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Best Places to Visit in Gatlinburg: Top 8 Kid-Friendly Adventures

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Nestled amidst the majestic Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is a haven for family adventures that promise fun, family memories that will last a lifetime. If you’re planning a getaway with your little explorers, you’re in for a treat! Gatlinburg offers a variety of kid-friendly activities that cater to all interests. From thrilling outdoor escapades to whimsical indoor wonders, here’s our roundup of the top 8 things to do in Gatlinburg with kids.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies: Dive into the wonders of the underwater world at Ripley’s Aquarium. Your little marine enthusiasts will be captivated by the mesmerizing exhibits, featuring playful penguins, graceful sea turtles, and interactive touch pools. Don’t miss the underwater tunnel for a jaw-dropping experience surrounded by sharks and rays.

Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies
Photo by Caroline Hernandez

Gatlin’s Mini Golf Extravaganza: Putt your way through a fantasyland of mini golf at Gatlin’s, where each hole tells a tale of adventure. Pirates, erupting volcanoes, and mystical creatures await, ensuring a putt-astic time for the whole family. It’s a hole-in-one for laughter and friendly competition.

Photo by Sean Foster

Dollywood’s Splash Country: When the Tennessee sun is shining, head to Dollywood’s Splash Country for a water-soaked adventure. From lazy rivers to exhilarating water slides, this water park guarantees endless laughter and refreshing splashes. Be prepared for a day of aquatic excitement and squeals of joy.

Dolllywood Splash Country
Photo by Yianni Mathioudakis

SkyLift Park and SkyBridge: Take your family to new heights at SkyLift Park, where the SkyBridge offers breathtaking views of the Smokies. It’s an adventure in the sky that combines awe-inspiring scenery with the thrill of walking across the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. A family photo op at the top is a must!


Hillbilly Golf Shenanigans: Gatlinburg’s Hillbilly Golf promises a hillbilly good time for the whole family. Set on a mountainside, this quirky mini golf course features hillbilly-themed obstacles and challenging holes. It’s a laughter-filled outdoor experience with a side of friendly competition.

hillbilly golf shenanigans

Gatlinburg Space Needle: Elevate your family adventure at the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Ride the glass elevator to the observation deck for panoramic views of the Smokies and the bustling town below. Kids will love spotting landmarks and sharing their own observations from the sky-high perch.

Gatlinburg Space Needle

Old-Timey Photoshoot Fun: Capture hilarious family moments with an old-timey photoshoot in Gatlinburg. Dress up as cowboys, princesses, or wild-west outlaws and create timeless, laughter-filled memories. It’s a unique and amusing way to commemorate your family vacation.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Immerse your family in the natural wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With scenic trails, diverse wildlife, and iconic landmarks like Clingmans Dome, it’s an outdoor playground for exploration and discovery. Don’t forget to pack a picnic for a relaxing break surrounded by nature’s beauty.

Great smoky mountains
Photo by Chad Madden

Gatlinburg, with its blend of natural beauty and family-friendly attractions, is a playground for the young and the young at heart. From underwater adventures to sky-high escapades, the top 8 things to do in Gatlinburg with kids promise a vacation filled with laughter, joy, and the magic of family bonding. Pack your sense of adventure and get ready for a Gatlinburg getaway that your little ones will cherish for years to come.

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