Gatlinburg is a charming mountain town in eastern Tennessee that draws visitors from all over the world. Renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and abundant outdoor activities, Gatlinburg offers something special to all its visitors looking to escape from daily life. Besides, if you are looking for a good time with your family, Gatlinburg has something for everyone. You can create memories with your kids in Gatlinburg, from visiting kid-friendly attractions, trying new adventures, and exploring unique museums to taking scenic hikes. 

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the fun things to do with kids on vacation in Gatlinburg: 

Where to Stay in Gatlinburg?

Regarding accommodation options, you have an array of choices available. Gatlinburg offers plenty of luxurious resorts, hotels, and cozy cabins on rent, making the town an excellent place to stay with children. 

Many people prefer local hotels when planning their stay. However, Gatlinburg has some better alternatives. You can book your stay in a comfortable and affordable cabin in the Smokies to make the most of your vacation. Cabins offer a unique experience, where you can take in the breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains and enjoy the mesmerizing sunsets and sunrises, as most cabins are located around the mountain.  While staying at one of the cabins for rent in Gatlinburg TN, you can easily hike and explore the mountains throughout the day. 

From small romantic cabins perfect for couples to large cabins for families with hot tubs and game rooms, you can easily find the best cabin accommodation with various amenities. 

Once you have planned your accommodation and booked your stay, read on to know which places and activities you can add to your to-do-list on vacation in Gatlinburg, especially when you are traveling with kids: 

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park 

Exploring this popular tourist spot should be on everyone’s list when visiting Gatlinburg. Its spectacular hiking trails provide breathtaking views of lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and stunning wildlife. It is one of the national parks named a world heritage site by UNESCO, which is visited by around 11 million visitors annually. 

You can go for a leisurely hike with your kids, or if you and your kids are adventure lovers, you can opt for a more strenuous trek. The park is also home to deer, bird species, and black bears, making the park a must-visit place for kids to make memories of exploring the wildlife. 

Gatlinburg SkyBridge 

The SkyBridge is found in the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, offering an ultimate experience you and your kids will cherish. It’s a suspended bridge featuring a glass bottom from where you can enjoy spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains and the surrounding area. Kids will surely enjoy walking on the glass bottom and 360-degree views of the park from the SkyDeck. 

Exploring the city and the Smokies from the SkyBridge is a great experience for adventure seeker families on vacation in Gatlinburg. 

Fannie Farkle’s

Fannie Farkle’s is one of the best places to enjoy food and games under one roof in Gatlinburg. The place offers an array of games that people of all ages, from children to adults, can play and enjoy. Their game rooms have classics such as PacMan, Skee Ball, and driving games. Moreover, you can enjoy playing new games like Sink It, Ticket Time, and Robot Storm. Hence, everyone will have fun at Fannie Farkle’s game rooms while munching their favorite food or snacks. 

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Listed among the top aquariums in 2021, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is one of the must-visit places in Gatlinburg, especially when you are on vacation with kids. This place offers interactive exhibits and touch tanks that allow children to get up close with sea creatures like stingrays, horseshoe crabs, and penguin and shark encounters. Furthermore, a glass-bottom boat ride takes visitors through an underwater tunnel of magnificent marine life. With such engaging activities, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies will certainly leave an impression, and both kids and adults will love visiting this attraction. 

Anakeesta Theme Park

Anakeesta is a unique theme park and a perfect place for families seeking adventure. The theme park offers an array of activities that you can enjoy with your kids and make the day memorable. From the charming Firefly Village, where you can explore quaint shops and enjoy delicious food at restaurants, to the exhilarating Tree Canopy Walk that takes you down the mountainside, there’s an adventure for everyone at Anakeesta. 

Kids can enjoy a playground and indulge in a gem-mining experience where they can pan for treasures. With breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains and various activities, Anakeesta is the ultimate destination for families looking for fun adventures to share together.

Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum 

The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum offers visitors of all ages an exciting and captivating experience. Situated in downtown Gatlinburg, this quirky museum houses over 20,000 salt and pepper shakers from all around the globe that range from classic collectibles to quirky designs, creating a fascinating atmosphere of fun for visitors of all ages! As you wander around the museum’s extensive collection, you will better understand salt and pepper shaker history. Kids will surely enjoy seeing shakers shaped like animals, edibles, famous landmarks, and other unique designs here. 

Hence, visiting the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum will be engaging for families with young children or anyone seeking something out-of-the-ordinary to explore. 


Gatlinburg offers a range of thrilling and enjoyable activities for kids and adults, including famous landmarks and adventurous attractions, arcade games, museums, amusement parks, and a lot more. There is something fun and engaging for everyone in Gatlinburg! Families can tailor their trip according to the individual interests of their children and plan their accommodation in cabins for a unique experience. So plan a family vacation to experience all the fun and create lifelong memories with your kids. 

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