Things to Do with Young Kids in the Smokies

Things to Do with Young Kids in the Smokies

A visit to the Smoky Mountains can be the highlight of any family’s travels, with so many adventures (both of the indoor as well as outdoor varieties) to be had in the area. However, if you have little ones under the age of five, planning a vacation appropriate for every member of the family can be quite a daunting task. However, while your Smoky Mountain vacation itinerary might look a bit different from that of other families vacationing in the area, there’s no reason to skip out on any of the fun and excitement! To ensure that everyone in your family has an incredible time while exploring these hills of blue smoke, we’ve compiled a list of activities and attractions in the Smokies region that are perfect for the littlest of adventurers, as well as their parents!


Things to Do with Young Kids in the Smokies

Nestled high above Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Anakeesta offers a magical mountaintop experience for the whole family to enjoy. After a picturesque assent via the Chondola Chairlift or Ridge Rambler, your tiny tots will have plenty of exciting activities to choose from. From an awe-inspiring treetop skywalk and a one-of-a-kind botanical garden to a captivating treehouse play-area and the Anakeesta gem mine – there’s something for everyone to enjoy (no matter their size). As your little ones unleash their imagination in a safe and enchanting environment, you can enjoy the shopping, dining, and stunning 360-degree views of the Smokies.

Sky Pirates Golf

Embark on a swashbuckling adventure at Sky Pirates Golf, where mini-golf takes on a whimsical twist. With pirate-themed and mermaid-inspired courses featuring obstacle-filled holes, hidden caves, and fantastic creatures, families can enjoy friendly competition amidst stunning mountain views. Whether you’re putting through pirate ships or navigating through underwater caves, this mini-golf adventure promises a fun and exciting experience for the whole family to enjoy together.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Things to Do with Young Kids in the Smokies

Discover the wonders of the ocean at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, located in Gatlinburg. With interactive exhibits, touch pools, and fascinating marine life, this state-of-the-art aquarium offers an educational and mesmerizing experience for young minds. From the Shark Lagoon, where you can witness the majesty of sharks gliding overhead, to the Penguin Playhouse, where little ones can giggle as penguins waddle and slide, there’s no shortage of excitement.

The aquarium’s educational exhibits provide valuable insights into marine ecosystems, conservation efforts, and the diversity of ocean life. It’s a fun and enriching experience that will spark curiosity in young children, while keeping parents entertained as well.

The Track – Family Fun Park

For a day filled with thrills and excitement, head to The Track – Family Fun Park in Pigeon Forge. With a variety of attractions including go-karts, bumper boats, mini-golf, and an arcade, there’s something for every member of the family to enjoy, regardless of age. Kids can even drive their own mini go-karts in a safe and controlled environment, while parents root for their little racers from the sidelines. Whether you’re racing around the track, testing your skills in the arcade, or enjoying a friendly game of mini-golf, The Track offers endless entertainment for the whole family.

Big Rock Dude Ranch

Things to Do with Young Kids in the Smokies

For an outdoor adventure the whole family can enjoy, head to Big Rock Dude Ranch in Pigeon Forge. With horseback riding, gem mining, fishing, and more, it’s the perfect destination for families looking to explore the great outdoors. Let your children ride horses and enjoy the scenic trails of the Smoky Mountains, or engage in additional activities such as gem mining, fishing, and visiting the petting zoo. Whether it’s their first time in the saddle or they’re seasoned riders, Big Rock Dude Ranch offers horseback riding experiences suited for all ages and skill levels. Please note: if your little one is between the ages of two and five, an adult will have to accompany them on their Smoky Mountain horse ride.

The TITANIC Museum

Step back in time and experience the unforgettably tragic story of the Titanic at the TITANIC Museum in Pigeon Forge. Through immersive exhibits, scavenger hunts, and hands-on activities, families can explore recreated cabins, touch an iceberg, and learn about the ship’s history in an extraordinary way. The museum’s exhibits help to provide valuable insights into the Titanic’s tragic voyage and honor the lives of those who were onboard – in a manner that even the youngest visitors will appreciate. It’s a moving and educational experience that will leave a lasting impression and allow your children to engage with history in a hands-on approach.

Dig’n Zone Theme Park

Things to Do with Young Kids in the Smokies

Prepare for an unforgettable adventure at the newly opened Dig’n Zone Theme Park in Sevierville. This amusement park boasts the title of the largest construction theme park in the country and caters to kids of all ages. Your kiddos (and you) will enjoy a unique experience operating real construction equipment like excavators and forklifts, just like the pros. Imagine your little engineer skillfully and safely maneuvering heavy machinery, immersing themselves in a hands-on construction adventure unlike any other in the area. Whether your little ones aspire to be builders or you’re looking for a thrilling adventure for the whole family, Dig’n Zone is the perfect destination.

Cades Cove

Spend a day exploring the natural beauty of Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where families can enjoy stroller-friendly paths, spot wildlife, and visit historical sites. It’s a chance to slow down and appreciate the beauty of nature with your loved ones by your side. While you’re there, be sure to pick up a Junior Rangers Activity Guide from the Cades Cove Visitor Center – the booklet is full of, collaborative activities meant to introduce kids (of any age) to the Smokies. By finishing at least five activities and five experiences found within the guide, kiddos can be officially sworn in as Junior Rangers!

After exploring Cades Cove, stop by the Chimney Tops Picnic Area for a relaxing meal surrounded by the wilderness. With plenty of picnic tables and beautiful views, it’s the perfect spot to unwind and recharge before continuing your Smoky Mountains adventure.

Your Parkside Cabin

Things to Do with Young Kids in the Smokies

After a day of exploring the Smoky Mountains, retreat to your cozy cabin at Parkside Resort for some well-deserved relaxation and family fun. With comfortable living areas, breathtaking views, and plenty of room to play, our cabins provide the perfect retreat for families with young children. Take advantage of our onsite features such as firepits, pools, and a private putt-putt course, and end the day with a pool party, DIY smores station or movie night to create some truly unforgettable family moments.

A family vacation in the Smoky Mountains offers endless possibilities for fun and adventure, especially when traveling with young children. From theme parks and aquariums to outdoor adventures and educational attractions, the Smokies have it all. And by choosing Parkside Resort as your home away from home, the whole family will be able to enjoy a cozy retreat complete with countless amenities and opportunities for fun! Start planning your perfect family vacation to the Smokies and get ready for an experience your little ones will remember for a lifetime!

Things to Do with Young Kids in the Smokies

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