A family vacation is an opportunity to make beautiful memories that all members of the family will remember for many years to come! Finding places for children to be themselves and enjoy their time is one of the best ways to secure a great time in Gatlinburg. If you keep the little ones happy, the rest of the family will have a wonderful time as well! We wanted to help you plan your next vacation by sharing 5 of the best kid friendly attractions in Gatlinburg. Bonus: The adults will love each place as well!
Families visiting Gatlinburg will love Anakeesta! The top of the mountain is filled with adventure, dining, shopping and beautiful views of the Smokies. As one of the top attractions in the Smokies, Anakeesta offers year-round fun for everyone. You’ll start the day off with a chairlift or gondola ride in downtown Gatlinburg to the top of the mountain. Once you arrive at the summit of Anakeesta Mountain, you’ll find the Cliff Top Grill & Bar, Pearl’s Pie in the Sky and the magical Catching Fireflies shop. Family members of all ages will enjoy time on the ziplines, a mountain coaster, treehouse playground, tree canopy walk and gem mining. A full day of eating, playing, shopping and relaxing are waiting at the top for your family!
The Ripley’s Aquarium was voted the #1 aquarium in the nation in USA Today’s 2019 10Best Reader’s Choice poll. The aquarium is by far one of the most loved places in Gatlinburg and the Smokies! The property contains 10,000 creatures of the sea that is made up of 350 different species. During your visit, you’ll see live shows, have the opportunity to touch a stingray and come face to face with the sharks as you travel through a tunnel that places you underneath the water. Children will love exploring the discovery center, learning through hands on opportunities and playing in the Penguin Playhouse. If you’re looking to experience an even more special moment you can sign up for a behind the scenes tour, splash with the stingrays, sleep with the sharks or even propose to your significant other with the help of Ripley’s staff. Sensory friendly nights are available for families wanting a quieter experience for their children. A trip to Ripley’s Aquarium is a must if you have children in your party during your time in Gatlinburg!
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is filled with opportunities that children will not only enjoy, but that will also be lifelong learning experiences. Within the park, you’ll find one of the most loved natural playgrounds in the country! Families will enjoy spending time exploring the trails, splashing in the streams and viewing wildlife. The Sugarlands Visitors Center, near Gatlinburg, is a great place to start your Smokies adventure in the wilderness. The rangers there can get you started with a map, tips and needed information. You can also check into possibly participating in the Junior Ranger program. If you plan to visit us often, pick up a family hiking log and start recording your hikes! You’ll receive acknowledgment and free pins from the park to celebrate milestones. Happy hiking!
Ober Gatlinburg is Tennessee’s only ski resort and one of Gatlinburg’s most loved destinations. Ober isn’t just for winter fun, you’ll find year-round activities to keep you busy during your visit. The area offers a full-service restaurant as well as everything from an Alpine Slide to ice skating. Children will love climbing the rock wall and cooling off as they take a ride in the ice bumper cars. The youngest members of the family will have fun playing in the Kiddie Land area and riding rides that are the perfect size for them! If rains on your day at no Ober, no worries! You’ll find plenty of attractions indoors to keep you busy! When planning your Smokies vacation, be sure to check out their website for events happening throughout the year.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not
Ripley’s Believe It or Not is unlike any other place in Gatlinburg or the Smokies. With 3 floors filled with exhibits and artifacts, everyone in the family is sure to find something that leaves them completely mystified. The 500 pieces that you’ll come across during your tour will leave you with a mind full of confusion and a day full of laughs. Children will love exploring the gems around the property, but parents will also find the experience fun and interesting, making it a perfect stop on a family vacation in the Smokies!
During your time with us at the Old Creek Lodge, you’ll enjoy a private balcony and being stream side. Each morning you can have breakfast on us, spend afternoons in the outdoor pool and make the most of our cozy guest rooms and many amenities!
Are you ready to start planning your next trip to the Smoky Mountains?
Browse our guest rooms and book your stay with us! We’ll see you soon!