Spring break is an amazing time to come visit the Smoky Mountains! After the off-season lull, many business are reopening and ready to welcome visitors from all over the world. With so many things to see and do, your family won’t be bored on a trip to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge! Here’s our list of family-friendly spring break ideas.
Book your cabin
American Patriot Getaways has plenty of great family cabins all over the Smoky Mountains! You can search on our website for cabins of any size or budget. From a studio style efficiency to a 13-bedroom sprawling mountain home, we have you covered! Since our cabins have well-appointed kitchens, you’ll be able to prepare some meals in the cabin. This saves you the time and money of going out for a meal.
Many of our cabins have family game rooms. With pool tables, air hockey, foosball, darts, or arcade games, you’ll still have plenty of family fun without even leaving the comfort of your cabin! Rainy days are no problem when you book one of our theater room cabins! Have a movie marathon and stay dry.
Take a Scenic Drive
As America’s most visited National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains offers something for everyone. A scenic drive offers the chance to get close, but not TOO CLOSE, to nature during your Spring Break.
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Just outside of Gatlinburg is the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail (open April through October). This mountain auto tour is 5.5 miles long and offers some amazing scenery. See well-preserved historic buildings at your own pace. With nature trails and hiking trails sprinkled throughout your drive, you can drive a little and hike a little throughout the afternoon. Mountain streams and old growth forest will take your breath away.
A classic Smokies drive is the Cades Cove auto loop. Open from sunrise to sunset daily (closed to cars Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10 a.m., May through September) this drive is not to be missed! An 11-mile, one-way loop offers a huge collection of historic cabins, mills, and churches for you to see at your leisure. Arrive early and you’ll get a chance to see wildlife, too! Cades Cove is known as being the best place to spot a black bear in the park! Make sure to pack a picnic lunch and you can spend all day unplugged and in nature together as a family.
Cades Cove look to be busy the day you want to visit? Never fear. We have a list of places you can visit as an alternative!
Take the Scenic Route
If one-way loop drives aren’t for you, you still have options in the area as well! Driving Newfound Gap Road to the Tennessee-North Carolina state line and seeing the famous Appalachian Trail is always a crowd pleaser. The nearby Blue Ridge Parkway runs 470 miles through the mountains all the way to Shenandoah National Park in northern Virginia. The Foothills Parkway now connects Wears Valley to Happy Valley. No matter what you want to see, there’s a scenic drive in the area to suit your needs!
Voted the Friendliest Theme Park in America, this wholesome destination is a hit with people of all ages! During the spring months you’ll experience the The Flower and Food Festival – a new tradition in it’s second year. You can eat street foods from all over the world, see incredible living flower sculptures, and take the perfect Instagram photo underneath the Umbrella Sky. This festival starts on April 23rd and runs through June 7th so your family will have a chance to experience the magic.
Of course, the traditional rides and crafts of Dollywood are still available throughout the spring break season. Country Fair staples like Demolition Derby, the Carousel, and Scrambler are always popular. For the bigger kids and teens, Dollywood also has a fun selection of roller coasters and thrill rides, like the 21-story Wild Eagle or the oldest coaster in the park – the kitschy Blazing Fury.
In 2019, Dollywood brought us Wildwood Grove. Billed as the largest Dollywood expansion ever, Wildwood Grove is looking to help you Explore, Play, and Imagine together like never before. The centerpiece of this amazing new park expansion is the Wildwood Tree. Decked out in butterflies dancing in the breeze, the gnarled bark is caved with oversized musical instruments and is a great place for family photo ops. No park expansion would be complete without new rides! The DragonFlier, Mad Mockingbird, and TreeTop Tower rides will give guests an exhilarating experience.
Entertainment in the Park
For the moments at the park when you’re ready to get off your feet and relax, you’ll find no shortage of shows and entertainment at Dollywood. Take a multisensory film experience through the Great Smoky Mountains at the Heartsong Theater. See America’s national symbol, the eagle, up close and personal in the Wings of America Birds of Prey show. Head over to Jukebox Junction and enjoy the music of the Gem Tones. More shows are added throughout the year!
Ripley’s Attractions in the Smokies dominate downtown Gatlinburg. With the Believe it or Not! Museum, you can walk through three floors packed with more than 500 exhibits and artifacts in 16 themed galleries. Joyfully billed as the “Weirdest Place in Gatlinburg”, you can spend hours of fun interacting and learning on your Spring Break.
If you want to see how you stack up against the world record holders in the world, you need to see the Guinness World Records Museum. With more than 20 interactive games and challenges, you can try your hand tons of interactive challenges.
The start of the Ripley’s Attractions downtown has to be Aquarium of the Smokies. At this amazing aquarium you get a chance to see a wide variety of marine animals from all over the world. Arrive early and watch divers interact with live sharks in Shark Lagoon. Watch a feeding show and learn about colorful coral reefs multiple times per day. Enjoy the begin shows and learn about the warm weather African Penguins housed at the aquarium. There are even hands-on exhibits where you can touch a jellyfish, stingray, or shark!
Wonderworks of Pigeon Forge
If you’ve got kids who love to run, jump, and play Wonderworks is the perfect destination! With so many hands-on exhibits to engage the senses, kids can learn and have fun on their spring break. Six different WonderZones of discovery encourage kids to run at the speed of light, stomp aliens back to their home planets, and even give kids the chance to crawl into a replica of a one-man spacecraft.
If your family can’t manage to find enough to keep them busy here most of the day, Wonderworks offers some additional packages as well. The indoor ropes course glows in the dark and has more than 50 obstacles to overcome while you’re four stories high. A laser tag arena encourages a healthy dose of friendly competition among siblings and friends. The Wonders of Magic show features Terry Evanswood – the longest-running headline performer in town.
Ready to go?
These attractions are just a few of the family friendly and fun places you’ll enjoy on your Spring Break to the Smoky Mountains. When you stay with American Patriot Getaways in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, you have an amazing home base to make fun family memories. For guests of our cabins, we offer a great selection of discount tickets to many area attractions and shows to save you time and money.
Be sure to check out all of our vacation guides to help you plan the best spring break trip ever! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all the latest happenings in the Smokies.