The Best Activities for Families

Wilderness Wonders: The Best Activities for Families in the Smokies

The Best Activities for Families

Families are drawn to the spectacular Smoky Mountains in the east of the country for its breathtaking scenery and unforgettable adventures. If you're considering taking your kids to this fantastic location for an escape, you're all in for a treat! We hope to narrow down and highlight the top 10 family-friendly things to do in the Smoky Mountains. There are many enjoyable family activities that combine nature, history and adrenaline. Get ready for a spectacular adventure!

Hiking through Scenic Trails
Immerse yourselves in the beauty of nature by embarking on a family-friendly hiking expedition. The Smoky Mountains boast a myriad of well-maintained trails suited for all ages and abilities. Some of the best trails for kids include Laurel Falls, Grotto Falls and Clingmans Dome. Pack a picnic, encourage curiosity about the flora and fauna and capture precious memories amidst stunning vistas. Discover our top Hiking Trails Here

Junior Ranger Program
The National Park Service's Junior Ranger Program is an educational and entertaining way to engage young minds. Kids can pick up an activity booklet, complete fun tasks related to the park's natural and cultural heritage and earn a Junior Ranger badge upon completion. This program fosters a sense of stewardship and connection with the environment. 

WonderWorks Interactive Museum
Located in Pigeon Forge, WonderWorks is an amusement park for the mind, featuring more than 100 interactive exhibits. Kids can experience natural disasters, create bubbles bigger than themselves, and try their hand at virtual sports. It's a perfect blend of education and entertainment. *Each Stay with Jackson Mountain Rentals receives one complimentary ticket to WonderWorks!

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
A trip to Gatlinburg isn't complete without a visit to Ripley's Aquarium. Dive into a world of wonder as you encounter fascinating marine life, watch mesmerizing underwater shows, and experience interactive exhibits. The Shark Lagoon and Penguin Playhouse are definite crowd-pleasers for kids of all ages!

Horseback Riding
Saddle up for an exciting horseback riding adventure! Numerous stables near the Smoky Mountains offer guided horseback tours, allowing families to traverse scenic landscapes on gentle steeds.

A premier family-friendly attraction nestled atop a mountain in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, offering a one-of-a-kind experience in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, this aerial adventure park boasts a scenic Chondola ride that takes visitors on a picturesque journey up the mountain. At the summit, an enchanting treetop canopy walk awaits, allowing guests to explore suspended bridges amidst the lush forest. Anakeesta also features thrilling ziplines, a mountain coaster and a treehouse playground, ensuring endless fun for kids and adults alike. Explore more on Anakeesta.

Cades Cove Exploration
Step back in time by visiting Cades Cove, a historic valley brimming with 19th-century structures and scenic landscapes. Children will love the opportunities to spot deer, wild turkeys and even black bears! The Cades Cove Loop Road is a must-visit, offering a leisurely drive or bike ride through this historic treasure.

Dollywood is a must-see for anybody visiting the Smoky Mountains. This world-class theme park features thrilling rides, live entertainment, and a water park to keep you cool in the summer. Explore our blog here on Dollywood for a breakdown on rides and the current year's operation calendar. 

Families can experience the magical playground of the Great Smoky Mountains, which promises treasured moments and experiences to remember forever. There is something for every family member, from interactive museums and amusement parks to hiking trails and historical sites. The Smoky Mountains will definitely capture the hearts of both young and old, whether you're exploring the beauties of nature or taking part in educational activities, ensuring a trip full of fun, discovery and camaraderie. Pack your bags and get ready for a unique experience in the stunning Smoky Mountains with your kids!