The sweeping views and natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee are just the beginning of what awaits you and your family on vacation to this beautiful vacation destination. You could spend days exploring the incredible sights, hours wandering the bustling downtown area, and more time uncovering the hidden gems. 

However, if your family includes kids, you must improvise and plan a fun and exciting vacation for everyone. Because sightseeing, walking, and leisurely exploring can get tiring, and children might start acting out. From throwing tantrums, getting lost in the crowd, not listening to directions, and running off, your “dream vacation” can become a big nightmare if the little ones are not entertained.

Discover the Best Family Activities in the Great Smoky Mountains

Fortunately, this scenic destination offers numerous activities for kids and families – whether you’re visiting Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, or other charming mountain towns in eastern Tennessee.

Enjoy an Immersive Underwater Adventure at Xperia

You might have taken your kids to an aquarium to experience a simulated underwater environment, but you can experience something even more unique in Sevierville. You can watch ocean creatures swimming above you or right next to you while you explore the depths of a virtual underwater world at Xperia. It combines stunning visual effects with cutting-edge technology to create an exciting and immersive undersea experience you won’t find anywhere else in the Smokies.

What’s best, kids of all ages can get in on the adventure and learn about some of the ocean’s most fascinating creatures in a safe and interactive environment. So, bring the whole family and explore the depths of Sevierville’s virtual underwater world!

Experience the Thrill of a Mountain Coaster

It’s a half roller coaster and half mountain slide – the perfect combination for an unforgettable thrill ride. You can accompany your kids in the double cart or brave the single-riders-only section as you twist and turn through the Smoky Mountains.

The coaster features exhilarating drops, hairpin turns, and incredible views of the surroundings while reaching speeds up to 25 – 30 miles per hour. Besides, the carts have braking systems, so you can customize your ride and control the speed.

If you’re looking for the perfect mountain coasteering experience, head towards Pigeon Forge and ride the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster to feel the rush of adrenaline like never before! Or, if you’re in Gatlinburg, ride on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster for a thrilling journey through the treetops and valleys of the Smoky Mountains National Park.

Go Whitewater Rafting

If your kids love playing in the water, they’ll enjoy whitewater rafting in the Smokies. This adventurous outing is a great way to bond with family while experiencing the beautiful rapids of local rivers.

The Smokies offer a variety of whitewater rafting opportunities ranging from mild to wild so that you can choose the ideal adventure for your family’s age and ability level. However, make sure to have the required equipment for a fun-filled experience.

For an unforgettable adventure, consider rafting with a seasoned guide who can offer valuable tips and safety advice during your expedition. Additionally, try an exhilarating overnight rafting trip that enables you to explore the mountains and indulge in exciting activities such as camping, fishing, and cave exploration. This unique experience guarantees ample opportunities to immerse yourself in the great outdoors and create lasting memories with loved ones.

Challenge Your Kids in Go-Karting

These tracks offer a scaled-down version of race circuits, with sharp hairpin turns and challenging bridges. Your children will be thrilled as they zip around the track in their compact cars, relishing in the adrenaline-pumping experience. Additionally, many facilities offer an array of fun family activities, including bumper cars and more.

Get Spine-Tingling Thrills Exploring Haunted Attractions

The Smokies are overflowing with spooky stories and mysterious tales, and what better way to explore them than a visit to one of the many haunted attractions in the area?

These unique walk-through experiences bring the stories of the Smokies to life. You’ll find ghouls, goblins, witches, and other creatures of the night while exploring dark passageways, secret rooms, and hidden hallways.

The most famous haunted attraction in the Smokies is Gatlinburg’s Mysterious Mansion. Here you’ll be taken on a hair-raising journey through eerie rooms and secret passages filled with elaborated props, animatronics, and special effects.

Hike to the Most Scenic Views

No Smokies vacation is complete without a hike to one of the area’s most scenic views. Hiking trails in the Smokies range from easy walks for families with small children to strenuous hikes for the more adventurous.

Some of the most breathtaking views are at Clingmans Dome, an observation tower over 6,000 feet. Another popular hiking destination is Grotto Falls, a 25-foot waterfall in the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

Make sure to bring along hiking essentials and plenty of water to stay hydrated. If your kids feel the need to stretch their legs, stop along the way for a picnic lunch or take a break at one of the many serene overlooks.

Lastly, don’t forget to take lots of pictures. A trip down the rails in the Smokies will create lasting memories you and your family can look back on for years.


A vacation in the Smokies with kids is the perfect way to explore the beauty of nature while creating lasting memories. Take your little ones on an underwater adventure to view the aquatic life, or venture up the mountains to ride a mountain coaster.

Reserve a day for whitewater rafting in the rolling rivers or enjoy a fun go-karting session at the local track. The Smokies is also bustling with haunted attractions that make kids and adults experience fun and horror. Lastly, end your vacation with a scenic hike to the peaks and valleys of the Smoky Mountains National Park. No matter what activities you choose, a family vacation in the Smokies will bring the family closer together and create lasting memories.

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