Yes, there are plenty of fun things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains with toddlers and young children! You can have fun in a cabin, in the mountains and about town, and there are lots of options that are fun for adults too!
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
In Gatlinburg, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies offers sights and sounds of the seas, along with hands-on entertainment – you can touch and play with penguins, jelly fish, stingrays and more!
This underwater world of wonder lets visitors “soar through moving glide paths alongside rays and sea turtles and exotic colorful fish.” Come face-to-face with thousands of creatures – barracudas and sharks, jelly fish, eels and more.
There’s room for strollers and for kids to move around.
Children 4 and up can shake flippers with the aquarium’s most adorable creatures – those playful penguins. Reservations are recommended and there is an extra charge – $44.99 per person – to join the penguins in their habitat. Check out the live penguin cam to see what’s happening!
Let the kids touch and look at lots of other creatures in the Discovery Center. Kids can touch Moon Jellies and see the pufferfish and horseshoe crabs.
In the shallow end of the Stingray Bay tank, touch one of the beautiful stingrays that live at the aquarium.
Ripley’s Aquarium offers sensory nights for a quieter experience. The next Sensory Friendly Night is Wednesday, Oct. 28, Nov. 25, Dec. 30. The lights are on and the sound is down. Mention “Sensory Nights” at ticketing windows to receive $3.00 off admission.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 88 River Road, Gatlinburg, (865) 430-8808.
The Titanic Museum
Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge is another sights and sounds experience for kids. From the boat itself looking at it, towering above the glacier on the Parkway and the giant Lego replica inside to exploring the ornate décor and see the friendly crew dressed in costume.
Located at 2134 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Titanic Museum is a ship-shaped building that was designed half-scale to the original luxury cruise liner. The Titanic was 882 feet in length. At the time, it was the largest man-made moving object on Earth. The museum ship seems to be in motion cutting through the sidewalks and onto the streets of Pigeon Forge – towering above and beckoning visitors. Even little kids will be in awe just looking at it from the sidewalk.
Inside adults and older children can learn about the only voyage of the “unsinkable” ship.
Inside the ship, visitors become “passengers” and “crew” and experience what it was like to walk the hallways, parlors, cabins and Grand Staircase of the Titanic. Visitors touch a real iceberg, walk the exact replica Grand Staircase and third-class hallways, reach their hands into 28-degree water, and try to stand on the sloping decks.
Kids love the 56,000 Lego brick display that is a replica of the ocean liner, and the story is awe inspiring. Iceland born and autistic Brynjar Karl, at the time 10 years old, had a dream to build the world’s largest Titanic model with LEGO® bricks. It took 11 months. The Titanic Museum placed the boy’s masterpiece on display for its USA debut, as an exclusive, featured attraction.
Reservations are required at Titanic Museum, where the number of guests is limited. Call 800-381-7670.
WonderWorks Indoor Amusement park in Pigeon Forge, has more than 35,000 square feet of what they call “edutainment” – an amusement park for the mind. The attraction combines education and entertainment with more than 100 hands-on exhibits that challenge the mind and spark the imagination.
“Once a top-secret laboratory located in the Bermuda triangle, an experiment gone awry lifted the laboratory to Music Drive in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee where it landed upside down.” Luckily all of the exhibits remained intact and available for guests to explore.
Light & Sound Zone
Where you can dance like no one is watching! Walk in front of the screen and watch as your shadow quickly multiplies into different colors and patterns!
Strike a Pose with your shadow! The secret to this exhibit is the wall you pose in front of. When you stand directly in front of the wall and the flash appears, the portion of the wall that your body is covering is unable to absorb light. Your image on the wall has not become darker, but instead the rest of the wall has become lighter.
Giant Piano – one of the most interesting and versatile instruments and one of the largest. Jump from key to key on this giant piano and play music with your feet!
WonderWorks’ exhibits are altered to provide limited stimulation for children with special needs. The music in the facility is lowered, any loud exhibit is not operational and the inversion tunnel is stopped to create a safe environment for kids to enjoy the facility without feeling overwhelmed. The next Sensory Day is Nov. 8 from 2:00pm to 6:00pm. Purchase Tickets HERE!
WonderWorks is located at 100 Music Road, Pigeon Forge, (865) 868-1800.
The Track offers lots of rides for big kids and little kids alike. Kids Country is a park just for the little ones.
The Carousel is a whimsical amusement park classic. Children of all ages can choose their carousel animals and then bob along to jaunty music. Younger children may be accompanied by adults.
The miniature Ferris Wheel offers all of the fun of a traditional wheel, but pint-sized for the “littlest thrill-seekers.” Six cages circle around giving your child a bird’s eye view of The Track’s Kids Country area.
Kids take flight on The Red Baron Planes! In the spirit of old-school planes, young pilots-in-training can fly up and down as they soar in a circle.
The Train here is just for the little ones to enjoy the sights and sounds of a train chugging along its track.
The Track’s youngest guests can spin it to win it on the Spin Tops, a traditional carnival favorite designed for young riders.
Sit back and relax on the Swings, a small twirling set of swings designed for laid-back fun for little ones. Six swings circle a large pole giving riders a sense of floating through the air.
Board Noah’s Lark for big-time fun for your littlest ones. Swaying from side to side like a ship at sea, Noah’s Lark promises waves of laughter and joy as your kids set sail.
The Track is located at 2575 Parkway (Traffic Light #3), Pigeon Forge, (865) 453-4777
First thing you want to do is stop in at one of Dollywood’s Centralized Measuring station. A Dollywood host will measure your child and then give him or her a color-coded wristband. The coded wristbands correspond to the color-coded information displayed on signs at each ride in the park and helps parents quickly identify which rides your littles can ride.
Country Fair is the area for play. It is full of fun rides for the little guys, and the hosts running the rides are seriously as patient and kind as can be. There’s the Piggy Parade, Lucky Ducky, Busy Bees and Amazing Flying Elephants. There also are mask break areas in the Country Fair.
The Village Carousel is another ride for your littles. Located just up the hill from the Country Fair, the carousel features 60 beautifully painted animals.
Toddlers get tired, so if there’s a need for a midday break or nap, the Insiders have some suggestions including shows or a train ride. “The Little Engine Playhouse during Dollywood Summer is perfect, entertaining and air-conditioned. There are three 20-minute sing-along musicals throughout the day, each featuring Dolly via a special video-taped appearance.”
The Dollywood Express “is another tested favorite.” An authentic coal-fired steam engine takes you on a five-mile journey through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. “It is a perfect way to allow your littles to rest and still have fun.”
Rest up and entertain the little ones in a magnificent and cozy cabin
Let American Patriot Getaways’ friendly staff find the perfect cabin for you and your family. Maybe you’ll want to stay in one day and just enjoy the views and the cabin. Whether you are looking for a cabin with a movie theater, indoor pool, game room, spectacular views or all of the above, American Patriot Getaways has a cabin for you. All of the cabins at American Patriot Getaways come with fully equipped kitchens to whip up a tasty and affordable meal for your family in no time at all.
Be sure to check out all of our vacation guides for planning your Smoky Mountain getaway. See our blogs on Best Views in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and Kid-Friendly Restaurants. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest area information!
Give our staff a call at (888) 876-6509. Be sure to check out all our amazing featured deals. You can also contact us online by searching our Pigeon Forge cabins with views. Check out our Pinterest boards including Things to Do in Pigeon Forge Also, see our cabin discount/specials page.
Check out our useful vacation guides that include insider tips to help you plan the perfect Smoky Mountain vacation.