Gatlinburg is a tourist-friendly town with an abundance of attractions for families, couples, or solo exploration.
For those traveling with their family, we have outlined 18 amazing things to do in Gatlinburg with kids, to make sure they have an unforgettable visit.
4 Best Tours In Gatlinburg
There are several tours and activities in Gatlinburg that you can book in advance. Here are those that kids and adults alike will love:
An ideal night-time activity that kids can enjoy too, the Impossibilities magic show will introduce the whole family to magic, mind reading, and mayhem.
The show stars magicians Chris Collins and Erik Dobell, who frequently use audience participation in their interactive performances.
You never know when you or your child will be plucked from the audience to join in on the magic! Impossibilities is held in the Iris Theater in the lobby of the Gatlinburg Space Needle.
The Moonshine Mountain Coaster is a popular ticketed attraction that the whole family will love.
Suitable for ages three and up, the coaster offers the opportunity to ride single or as a double rider down a silent track that descends the mountain through lush green trees.
This is one of the better roller coasters for kids as the individual brake handles allow the rider to control the speed of the ride and travel as slowly or as quickly as they like.
The Moonshine Mountain Coaster also has an uphill lift, so shorter legs won’t have to carry themselves to the top of the mountain to ride!
For children five years and older, the Zipline Canopy Tour at Family Adventure Island is an exhilarating tour that nudges participants out of their comfort zone, allows them to conquer their fears, and helps them soar like birds over the Great Smoky Mountains and Pigeon River.
There are experienced and qualified instructors present throughout the activity, so children constantly feel safe and secure as they traverse the two sky-bridges and six ziplines in full-body harnesses and tightly fitting helmets.
The Gatlinburg City Scavenger Hunt allows the whole family to explore the town while also competing for points as they get to know their surroundings.
Usually running for around two hours, the hunt is stroller accessible and a great choice for children of all ages. Simply download the app and undertake the challenges in whatever order you like.
A remote host is also on hand via live chat to answer any questions and give you a few hints if you need them!
18 Best Things To Do In Gatlinburg With Kids
Wondering if Gatlinburg accommodates children? Will kids enjoy the mountain town? Is Gatlinburg baby friendly? The answer to all three is yes!
Below we’ve curated a list of the top family-friendly attractions and activities that guests of all ages will love:
- Amazing Mirror Maze
- Gatlin’s Fun Center
- Climb Works Smoky Mountains
- Gatlinburg Pinball Museum
- Hillbilly Golf
- Anakeesta Mountain
- Wild Bear Falls Water Park
- Ober Gatlinburg
- Gatlinburg Farmers Market
- Sugarlands Riding Stables
- 7D Dark Ride Adventure
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium
- Ripley’s 5D Moving Theater
- Ripley’s Haunted Adventure
- Ripley’s Super Fun Park
- Ripley’s Mountain Coaster
- Nantahala Outdoor Center
- The Village
Make sure you also check out our list of best hotels to stay at on the Gatlinburg strip so you and your family can stay close to the many activities!
Kids, teenagers, and adults alike will love the Amazing Mirror Maze, the original and largest mirror maze in Gatlinburg.
The maze features a light and music show that will overwhelm the senses and give the whole family a thrilling escape from reality.
The venue is also home to Circus Mini Golf, which features 18 holes played under special blacklights, and the Shoot Em’ Up Cinema, a 7D movie ride that transports participants away to the Wild West.
2. Gatlin’s Fun Center
With locations in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Gatlin’s Fun Center is the premiere destination for fun in the Smoky Mountains.
Activities on offer include mini golf, escape games, laser tag, a ropes course, bumper cars, and a laser maze, making Gatlin’s one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg with kids.
The high-energy environment will keep everyone in the family entertained! The Fun Center is located in Downtown Gatlinburg and also in the Village shopping district.
3. Climb Works Smoky Mountains
Looking to take the kids on an adventure? Climb Works is one of the country’s most trusted zip lining companies.
Ages seven and up can participate in the ziplining courses, which are located in Smoky Mountains National Park and offer sublime views of the natural landscape.
Experienced guides run the tours and make every participant feel safe and in control, paying special attention to nervous guests.
The Gatlinburg Pinball Museum is like stepping back through time. Inside, you’ll find the largest collection of pinball machines in the Smoky Mountains, where the whole family can play all day.
This is the perfect way to introduce the kids to a legendary game of yesteryear, and remains open until 10 p.m., making for a great evening activity.
Mini golf is fun for kids at the best of times, but Hillbilly Golf is in a league of its own, given that it’s carved into the side of a mountain!
The terrain will provide an extra fun challenge for younger golfers as the slope makes it trickier to keep track of the ball, and there’s guaranteed to be lots of laughter throughout the 18-hole course.
Gatlinburg has no shortage of amusement parks and Anakeesta is one of the best.
The mountain theme park is home to a selection of thrilling outdoor activities that will keep the kids entertained, from ziplining to taking on the Treetop Skywalk.
Boasting exquisite views of the mountains, the park is also a great place for parents to spend the day.
You don’t need to visit Gatlinburg during summer to enjoy the Wild Bear Falls Water Park—with heated pools and a retractable roof, this state-of-the-art family destination is ideal for the winter too.
The park is part of the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort and boasts two giant water slides, an interactive treehouse, and a lazy river for guests who want to relax while other family members have the time of their lives.
While older kids will love the water park too, this is one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg with a baby thanks to the Little Pigeon River zero-depth splash pad.
Ober Gatlinburg is more than just a winter destination in the Smoky Mountains. The ski area and amusement park offer endless fun outdoor activities right through the year.
The Kiddie Umbrella Rides is one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg with toddlers, as is O’Bears Mini Golf, the Ski Mountain Coaster, and the park’s premiere wildlife encounter.
Ober Gatlinburg also provides extreme fun through its ice bumper cars and alpine slide.
Held seasonally on Saturday mornings, the Gatlinburg Farmers Market is fun for the whole family.
While adults can enjoy wandering through the stalls and enjoying fresh produce, the market also puts on exciting activities for the kids, including scavenger hunts that lead to various vendors throughout the market.
Horseback riding is a wonderful activity for travelers of all ages, and at Sugarlands, you don’t have to be an experienced rider to enjoy a trail ride.
The stable caters to riders of all skill levels, and their experienced guides are there to help on every trek through the mountains.
A ride with Sugarlands is fun for everyone in the family and takes you through some of the most picturesque areas of the Smokies.
Located in the Old Smoky Distillery, the 7D Dark Ride Adventure is one of the most exciting things to do in Gatlinburg with a toddler.
The interactive ride overloads all the senses and is thrilling for the whole family, from the little ones to the adults.
It’s also easy to book your tickets online and is a great indoor activity when it’s raining in Gatlinburg.
If your kids are fans of Ripley’s, Gatlinburg is the place to be! There are several Ripley’s establishments in town, the most popular of which is the iconic Odditorium.
The museum features three floors of genuine weirdness in the form of interactive presentations and exhibits to pique the kids’ curiosity and get them asking lots of questions.
Visitors of all ages will be stunned by the many strange displays of the odditorium!
Another Ripley’s destination that’s a must-visit for families with children is the 5D Moving Theater, an interactive adventure with digital effects and motion seats that will make the kids feel like they’ve landed in the movie!
There are rotating family-friendly films shown in the theater, including Aladdin: The Ride and Red Beard’s Rapids.
Gatlinburg has an eerie history, and there are plenty of ghost tours and haunted attractions to see.
But for a more child-friendly variation, try Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, a creepy renovated mansion where live actors are waiting to pounce on unsuspecting guests.
For ages six and up, the Haunted Adventure will provide a spook—and plenty of laughs—for everyone.
Ripley’s Super Fun Park offers a day of fun. The park provides three tracks of excitement, where kids can discover go-karting in a mountain setting and splashing on bumper boats.
There’s also a carousel, perfect for younger members of the family.
For kids looking for a thrill and the feel of fresh mountain air on their faces, Ripley’s Mountain Coaster is sure to please.
The gravity-propelled carts take riders on a track of twists and turns that offers spectacular views of the Smoky Mountains.
For ages three and up, the coaster is the perfect way to simultaneously spend time in nature and get an electrifying adrenaline rush.
The Nantahala Outdoor Center is technically a store where you can get premium outdoor gear and Smoky Mountains gifts.
But the center is also a fantastic place to take the kids. While parents shop, kids can enjoy the challenge of a swinging rope bridge across the second floor, crawling through a bear cave, and sitting by a giant fireplace. There’s even a 25-foot climbing wall!
With a lot more to do than just shop for souvenirs, the Nantahala Outdoor Center is a great destination to add to your Gatlinburg itinerary.
18. The Village
Speaking of shopping, sometimes simply browsing through stores is a ton of fun for kids, particularly when the stores are decked out in atmospheric European-themed décor.
The Village offers 27 unique shops, including those that the youngsters will love, like Toy Crazy or Gatlin’s Escape Games. There’s also Bonediggity Barkery & Gifts, where kids can pick something up for their furry best friend.
When the shopping is done, the whole family can indulge at locations like Maddi Mae’s Café & Creamery and The Donut Friar.
Free Things To Do In Gatlinburg With Kids
Visiting Gatlinburg doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are a few things to do in the town that won’t cost a cent and are fun for the whole family:
The Ripley’s Odditorium charges an admission price, but it doesn’t cost a thing to behold the wonders of the Giant Marble, otherwise known as the Kugel Ball, which sits just in front of the building.
The marble rock weighs nearly a ton but can easily be spun, tilted, and rotated by passers-by, thanks to its suspension on a thin film of water.
The Giant Marble will leave the kids in awe, and is sure to impress the adults too!
A picnic is the perfect family activity in summer, and Gatlinburg’s Mynatt Park is a wonderful spot for it.
The park is equipped with picnic tables, grills, and restrooms, plus outdoor amenities like tennis courts and basketball goals.
Plus, the park lies on the banks of the idyllic LeConte Creek, offering a tranquil vibe that the family will treasure after an action-packed trip to Gatlinburg.
A relaxing picnic outdoors is one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg with babies in the warm weather, and one that every family member can enjoy.
What kid doesn’t love candy? Not only will kids have the chance to eat candy at Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, they’ll also get to watch as the candy-makers work their magic in the open-kitchen style venue.
And while buying candy doesn’t come free, it won’t cost you a dime to watch the candy come to life.
This is a particularly good place to visit for taffy-lovers, since there are 33 flavours to discover, along with an array of other decadent sweet treats, from pralines to fudge.
The kitchen is so popular that there are now two venues in Downtown Gatlinburg to keep up with the demand!