Six Family Activities in Gatlinburg

Six Family Activities in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg has everything you need for a great family vacation. Explore the Smoky Mountains’ nature, attractions, and activities that will ensure a great time for all.

The Great Smoky Mountains tourist center of Gatlinburg is an ideal spot for a family vacation. Whether you’re looking for opportunities for kids to learn about the fascinating Smokies or simply want to spend the holidays immersed in fun and excitement, Gatlinburg has a lot to offer.

Here are the six best family activities in Gatlinburg – from rides and arcade games to horseback riding under the open sky – you shouldn’t miss on your next visit.

1. Visit The Island in Pigeon Forge

Gatlinburg The Great Smoky Mountain

With a carousel, roller coaster, arcades, and bumper cars, The Island in Pigeon Forge is an ideal spot for all-around family fun. 

One of the highlights is the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel that will take you up to 200 feet in the air. It’s where you can marvel at the glorious view of the Smokies and Pigeon Forge.

Once you’re done with the rides, take a stroll and check out the numerous shops situated on the Island. Then finish off the day with a sumptuous dinner at one of the restaurants while listening to the sound of live music. 

A perfect spot for family activities in Gatlinburg, The Island will provide ample fun for all while allowing you to feel the wonderful atmosphere of the area.

2. Explore Ripley’s Aquarium

Gatlinburg Ripley's Aquarium

While visiting an aquarium in the middle of the mountainous region might look a bit out of place, Ripley’s Aquarium is an unexpected delight. 

Among the sea life housed here are South-American piranhas, Japanese spider crabs, African black-footed penguins, and many more species that inhabit the oceans of the world.

The Shark Lagoon is a favorite of many, as you’ll see sharks, eels, sea turtles, and sawfish while going along the underwater tunnel on a moving walkway. Meanwhile, the Touch-a-Ray Bay and the Discovery Center are especially intriguing for kids, as they’ll have a hands-on experience with the more timid species.

3. Embrace the Outdoors at Anakeesta

Gatlinburg Anakeesta

Anakeesta offers an unforgettable outdoor experience suitable for kids and parents alike. 

After a scenic ride to the destination, you’ll get to the treehouse-themed Firefly Village where you can take time to look at the local crafts, browse the shops, and grab a bite to eat.

There are zip lines, treetop bridges, and a coaster where you can get the best outdoors fun while enjoying fantastic views of the surrounding landscape. The kids will also love the Treehouse Village Playground and the hunt for gemstones in the Anakeesta Gem Mine.

Combining the beautiful outdoors with plenty of great activities, Anakeesta is perfect for all those looking for unique things to do in Gatlinburg.

4. Have a Blast at Gatlin’s Fun Center

Gatlinburg Gatlin's Fun Center

Another great place for family fun and games is Gatlin’s Fun Center, which features mini golf, laser tag, escape rooms, bumper cars, and more.

While the center might be most famous for the awesome mini-golf courses, the escape room experiences deserve a special mention. 

The themes are exciting and immersive, and each room will take you on a journey of exploration that will remain one of your fondest memories for long. There’s The Legend of Atlantis, Moonshine Hill Hootenanny, The Haunting of Hyde House, and Masters of Magic rooms, with each offering an adventure according to their themes.

Finally, if you’re up for some high-tech fun that will put your agility to the test, try out one of the four game modes in Gatlin’s Atomic Rush.

5. Embrace the Mountains with Sugarlands Riding Stables

Gatlinburg Sugarland Riding Stables

There’s nothing like experiencing the Smoky Mountains while riding a horse. And the Sugarlands Riding Stables will provide just that.

Unassisted horseback riding on the uneven mountainous terrain will be best suited for adults or teens, but children aged five and above can participate in the adventure as well. The helpful staff members will make sure the kids have a safe and exciting ride.

An experienced guide will join you on the journey while you admire the view, and perhaps even encounter wild deer during the ride. Gorgeous, well-trained horses, the fresh air, and the incredible Smokies all make for a unique experience.

6. Ride Around the Track

Gatlinburg Ride Around the Track

If you’re in the mood for more fast-paced fun, don’t hesitate to jump in a go-kart and whiz around the tracks in this family entertainment park. 

After a drive on the Wild Woody track, no other go-kart ride will compare, as the track’s elevation and multiple levels will guarantee an adrenaline rush and plenty of excitement.

There are, of course, tamer tracks ideal for taking your kids for a ride. Those perfect for the little ones are the aptly-named Family Track, Rookie Track, and Kiddie Karts. 

But if you feel that driving isn’t safe enough, bumper cars are also available. And for a similar driving experience but on water, you can check out the Blaster Boats. 

Besides the driving fun, The Track features various excellent rides, including a carousel, Ferris wheel, swings, and many more. 

But if you’d rather spend some time firmly on your feet, pay Fat Daddy’s Arcade a visit. It’s where the whole family can enjoy and compete in numerous games and get a chance to win some prizes along the way.

Have an Amazing Family Vacation in Gatlinburg

On top of the natural wonder that is the Great Smoky Mountains, the awesome family activities in Gatlinburg will make your vacation one of the most rewarding experiences. 

There’s plenty of attractions to see, things to do, and fun to be had that the kids will undoubtedly leave the Smokies wanting for more.

Refreshing and exciting, your visit to the Smoky Mountains will be a long-lasting memory and Gatlinburg will become a favorite location for kids and adults alike.

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Six Family Activities in Gatlinburg