15 Fun Family Friendly Things to Do in Gatlinburg with Kids

Gatlinburg is a mountain vacation city nestled in the East Tennessee mountains.

Gatlinburg has become a tourist destination since the turn of the last century.

Gatlinburg is a 10.1 square mile city with various sights and activities.

Gatlinburg, which has the most Ripley’s in America, a variety of amusement parks, and kid-friendly attractions, can guarantee your family one of the most memorable vacations possible.

Here is a list of entertaining things to do in Gatlinburg with kids to assist you in deciding which places to visit on your trip there.

  1. Ripley’s Moving Theater — Downtown Gatlinburg

The Ripley’s 5D Moving Theater, conveniently situated near other Ripley facilities, immerses viewers in movies using motion seats, computer effects, and even natural elements.

Why We Recommend This Activity

Prepare yourself for movies that make you feel things while watching them.

Your chair will swivel and turn in response to the happenings on the screen as you experience the approaching wind and snow.

Families compare the experience to something between a roller coaster and a movie.

If you’re seeking family-friendly activities, you’ll enjoy them here because Ripley’s 5D movie experience shows children’s movies like “Happy Feet.”

Recommended Ages

Children 43 inches tall and up are allowed in the theater. However, pregnant ladies and other visitors with recent medical concerns are advised against it.

You can also request that your child sits in an immovable seat so they can watch the movie without the effects if you believe the movements and special effects may be too much for them.

  1. Sweet Fanny Adams Theater & Music Hall — Downtown Gatlinburg

The state senate designated the 1977 opening of the Sweet Fanny Adams Theater in Gatlinburg as a National Historical Treasure.

Why We Recommend This Activity

We’d want to put a pin on the only musical comedy attraction in the city, which is also a well-known destination before we move on to any other afternoon activities.

When a fun-filled day is ended, go to the Sweet Fanny Adams Theater and laugh a lot before going to bed.

The theatrical company draws its inspiration from vintage music halls from the late 1800s, but they also give it their unique spin.

Recommended Ages

Children of all ages and families with infants are welcome to spend the evening having fun at Sweet Fanny Adams.

Make sure to look up the times for their shows.

For instance, they might skip today’s performance in favor of this weekend.

Make reservations in advance since seats can fill up.

  1. Gatlinburg Space Needle — Downtown Gatlinburg

The Gatlinburg Space Needle, a 407-foot observation tower finished in 1969, provides a 360-degree panorama of the Great Smokey Mountains.

Why We Recommend This Activity

Take a glass elevator up to the Gatlinburg Space Needle’s viewing deck to experience the Smoky Mountains’ beautiful view from a great height.

Higher Learning, a learning experience that includes historical information about Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains, is another element of the website.

Additionally, Space Needle’s observation deck provides viewfinders without charge.

Consider the expansive view at night with all the city lights below or on July 4th with all the fantastic fireworks.

Recommended Ages

The breathtaking view at the Gatlinburg Space Needle is accessible to people of all ages, including adults.

  1. Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster — Great Smoky Mountain

Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is always open, running day and night, come rain or shine.

You will be prepared to move once you reach the mountain’s summit after having your sled dragged up by a pulley system.

Why We Recommend This Activity

With a buddy, ride through the woods and down the mountains and experience the rush of flying down.

You can either let go of the handles or push ahead to regulate your pace.

Although the ride includes many bends and twists, you won’t have to worry about flying off because each car is fastened to the track.

The average speed is 35 miles per hour.

There might be certain family members who prefer to drive slowly, though.

Each car has its handbrake, so you may choose to have complete control over your pace.

Recommended Ages

Children 56 inches or taller and accompanied by an adult at least 16 years old are permitted to ride.

  1. Anakeesta — Downtown Gatlinburg

The Cherokee word meaning “high ground” or “the land of the balsams” is Anakeesta.

Families will like Anakeesta, one of Gatlinburg’s newest attractions, which keeps its commitment to preserving the area’s authenticity, history, and natural beauty while providing an outdoor mountain experience.

Why We Recommend This Activity

The enchanting theme park of Anakeesta is located within the mountain resort city of Gatlinburg. You may enjoy a gondola, a zip line, a mountain coaster, a treetop skywalk, gem mining, a treehouse playground, and many other attractions.

The natural trails, gardens, boutiques, and other thrills available on-site make Anakeesta also offers a full-service grill, bar, gourmet hot dogs, and desserts if you intend on staying a while.

Recommended Ages

There are many kid-friendly activities at Anakeesta and enjoyable events for teenagers and adults. It is a family-friendly mountain park.

  1. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies — Downtown Gatlinburg

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, one of the best aquariums in the country, has over 10,000 marine animals from 350 different species, family-friendly activities, and educational programs.

Why We Recommend This Activity

At Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, kids can get up and personal with colorful marine life, including sharks, barracudas, eels, and penguins.

Feed Sally the marine turtle, play with stingrays, or pet a penguin.

In addition to in-person interactions, Ripley’s Aquarium offers live dive shows where visitors can see divers engage with the tank’s marine life.

Mermaids will also be swimming in the aquariums if you visit between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

The best part is that your family can ride on a glass-bottom boat over Ripley’s Shark Lagoon and cruise through the sea while viewing ocean predators hidden beneath three inches of glass.

Recommended Ages

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies’ vibrant marine environment attracts kids of all ages to its glide trails and activities.

  1. Gatlin’s Escape Games — Downtown Gatlinburg

Gatlin’s Escape Games, which has top-rated escape rooms, is conveniently located close to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and offers family-friendly entertainment.

One of the newest forms of live interactive entertainment is the escape room, where a group of guests must leave a “locked” room within a set amount of time.

Why We Recommend This Activity

Gatlin’s Escape Games is one of Gatlinburg’s most well-liked kid-friendly attractions. Here, the whole family must cooperate in locating hints, solving puzzles, and completing tasks in the escape room adventure of your choice.

You all have to get out in the next hour.

You can pick between the Masters of Magic, the Legend of Atlantis, Moonshine Hill Hootenanny, and the Haunting of Hyde House themes for the four separate escape room adventures.

Recommended Ages

Gatlin’s Escape Games was enjoyable for families with kids as young as seven, and they would be eager to return.

However, this pastime is enjoyable for teens if you’re determined to tackle all the puzzles and obstacles correctly.

  1. Ripley’s Super Fun Zone — Downtown Gatlinburg

Another recent addition to Ripley’s in Gatlinburg is Ripley’s Super Fun Zone.

The fun zone, which has a 1980s motif, provides vintage entertainment and has a retro shop.

Why We Recommend This Activity

What should families do in Gatlinburg?

A lot. Ripley’s Super Fun Zone, where the entire family may play in laser tag arenas, an indoor mini golf course, or a small shooting range, is one of the most incredible things to do in Gatlinburg with kids.

The business sells vintage goods and has nostalgic ‘80s decor in the fun rooms, including arcade gaming systems, comic book panels, VHS rental shops, movie posters, and retro toys.

Consider Strawberry Shortcake dolls, Slinkies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Mario, and more.

Recommended Ages

Playing at Ripley’s Super Fun Zone is among the top things in Gatlinburg with young children, older children, teenagers, and adults.

  1. Arcadia — Downtown Gatlinburg

At Arcadia, the biggest family-friendly arcade attraction in Gatlinburg, you may play more than 100 games.

Why We Recommend This Activity

The Gatlinburg Space Needle is directly below a 27,000-square-foot area filled with unending family activities.

Star Wars Battle Pod, Mario Kart, Time Crisis 5, Jurassic Park, Pac-Man Smash, and many other titles are Arcadia’s newest and best games.

You’ll receive eTickets for your gaming prowess, which you can use to shop for top prizes in the most significant prize center in the Smokies.

Recommended Ages

All ages of kids, as well as adults, will enjoy the amusement park games, simulators, and other activities that Arcadia has to offer.

  1. Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini Golf — Downtown Gatlinburg

The courses of Ripley’s Mini Golf give an adventurous spin on the game of golf and are inspired by the exploits of American folk hero Davy Crockett.

Why We Recommend This Activity

The 54 holes at Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini Golf include animated figures from a farm, a forest, and a water feature, among many other interactive displays.

Even though these golf courses are a well-liked kid-friendly attraction, families found the holes reasonably tricky. To make the experience more thrilling, host a family competition.

The things that kids might discover on the golf course will keep them entertained even though some of the holes are advanced in difficulty.

Possibly even support Mommy or Daddy in their tournament.

Recommended Ages

At Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini Golf, kids of all ages are welcome to try their hand at a round of golf.

  1. Amazing Mirror Maze & Circus Golf — Downtown Gatlinburg

You may find the first and most enormous mirror labyrinth in Gatlinburg at The Amazing Mirror Maze & Circus Golf.

Why We Recommend This Activity

Enjoy cutting-edge lighting and music while you and your children navigate a maze of reflections.

According to families, the maze might not be as simple to navigate, so have fun letting the youngsters lead the way.

The staff provides gloves if you need to touch a mirror to ensure you won’t run into it because the maze is reasonably safe to navigate.

An 18-hole indoor golf course with a circus theme is located outside the maze and has just the appropriate amount of difficulty for kids.

The site’s 7D movie ride, known as the Shoot ‘Em Up Cinema, is the most recent attraction.

Recommended Ages

The mirror maze, circus golf, and 7D movie experience are exciting for everyone, including infants, toddlers, older kids, teens, and adults.

  1. The Village Shops — Downtown Gatlinburg

The two families who created this concept in the 1960s were inspired by the historic European homes, churches, and structures they had seen throughout their lengthy travels.

Why We Recommend This Activity

Visit this adorable small village, a retail center, to transport the youngsters to the fairy tale books from their bedtime stories.

One of the best kid-friendly free activities in Gatlinburg is exploring the region, which will guarantee cheap family enjoyment.

There are 27 stores in this “town,” and each has something entertaining for people of all ages, including gift shops, specialty stores, clothing stores, art galleries, and unusual restaurants.

You’ll be amazed to find children’s books, dolls, toys, doughnuts, candies, and accessories.

There may even be some fun decorations if you’re fortunate enough to visit The Village around a holiday.

Recommended Ages

Kids, teenagers, and adults may enjoy The Village’s Old World-themed ambiance.

  1. Wild Bear Falls Waterpark — Downtown Gatlinburg

For your comfort, no matter what time of year you decide to visit, the Wild Bear Falls Water Park at the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort has a cutting-edge retractable roof and indoor-heated water.

Why We Recommend This Activity

Enjoy their water slides everywhere, explore the interactive treehouse, or float down their 900-foot river.

If you want a thrill, climb Clingman’s Dome, the park’s highest point, and ride the 350-foot-long tube slide that returns you to the pool.

There is an indoor/outdoor sauna and a hot tub experience for individuals who want to relax and pass the time.

This 60,000-square-foot indoor water park has a lot to offer.

Recommended Ages

Children of all ages can take advantage of this water park’s relaxation, entertainment, and thrills.

  1. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium — Downtown Gatlinburg

The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, housed on three levels and containing more than 500 exhibits, Gatlinburg’s Odditorium exhibits strange creatures, people, and items from worldwide and throughout time.

Why We Recommend This Activity

By visiting our odditorium, you can be amazed at the oddities of nature, people, and the globe.

The tallest man, unusual primitive skulls, shrunken heads, cannibal skulls, albino animals, a car coated in crystals, works of art constructed from candy wrappers or matchsticks, magical illusions, and hundreds of other things can be seen here.

The odditorium offers entertaining games and engaging activities for the whole family.

Recommended Ages

Children of all ages are invited to the interactive exhibits at Ripley’s Odditorium in Gatlinburg.

  1. Ober Gatlinburg

Established in 1962, Ober Gatlinburg is an entertainment park and a winter wonderland. These days, it also includes creatures from the Great Smokey Mountains.

Why We Recommend This Activity
Ober Gatlinburg, among the most well-liked and enjoyable things to do in Gatlinburg with kids, is outfitted with snow-making equipment to extend its winter playground until Easter.

It hosts the only “snowless” summer tubing in Gatlinburg in the summer and entertaining festivals like MayFest and Oktoberfest in other seasons. It is a mountain wonderland where families can have a ton of fun all year.

They include an aerial tramway, an alpine slide, ski runs, a rink for ice skating, snow skiing and tubing areas, a scenic chairlift, a small zoo, a ski mountain coaster, and a lot more.

Recommended Ages

Families with kids of all ages appreciate Ober Gatlinburg’s mountain activities.

For safety reasons, some rides might not be suitable for tiny children.


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