Start planning your Spring Break trip to the Great Smoky Mountains where there are endless things to do and see for kids of all ages. Dinner theaters, museums, water parks, zip lines, hiking, mini golf, sightseeing, roller coasters and more!waterslide

Dollywood Theme Park opens March 11, and its water park Splash Country opens May 20.

Dollywood’s traditional rides and crafts are all 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.

Dollywood’s Wildwood Grove

At Dollywood’s Wildwood Grove, explore, play, and imagine like never before.  The centerpiece 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.  The DragonFlier, Mad Mockingbird, and TreeTop Tower rides give guests an exhilarating experience.

Rollercoaster

Entertainment in the Park

There’s 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.

The Flower and Food Festival  is April 22 – June 5, 2022

Dollywood Flower and Food Festival

A sky of colorful umbrellas greets guests as they start the experience that is the beauty, color and flavors of spring in the Smoky Mountains! Immerse in the bloom of more than 500,000 vibrant and fragrant flowers spread across the park. Larger-than-life blooming sculptures reaching nearly 15 feet tall are to be enjoyed as are garden-fresh dining options created by Dollywood chefs. Inspiring musical performances during the spring concert series fill the air with delightful sounds.

Waterparks

Wild Waterdome Indoor Waterpark is open year-round! The 66,000-square-foot-indoor waterpark is located at River Lodge in Sevierville, TN, and features a see-through-roof that bathes the entire park in natural light and actually allows guests to tan – and tropical plants to flourish – all year!

The Wild WaterDome is also home to the Storm Chaser thrill ride, Great Wave wave pool, Smokies Surf Rider, indoor tube slides, a Magnolia Grove hot spa, Runaway Canyon family thrill slide and Washout Mountain play and spray structure.

Outdoor parks open soon too!

Lake Wilderness Outdoor Waterpark, also located at River Lodge, features Treehouse Springs and the NEW Cabana Forest! Some of the areas tallest and greatest slides are at the lake – The Wall, Wild Vortex and Cyclone Racer. There’s an expansive pool deck, in the wave pool or laying back on a tube in the lazy river. The slides open April 2, the rest of the park opens April 30.

Soaky Mountain Waterpark is an outdoor water adventure that opens May 14 with slides, rapids, Flowrider surf system and watercoasters.

Anakeesta

For more adventures  Anakeesta, is a magic filled park with beautiful views, fun during the day and night, music and great food and drink. Anakeesta is open year round but starts full spring hours on March 4.

This spring, Anakeesta is hosting Blooms and Tunes beginning April 15th and running through June 4th. “The mountain will feature larger-than-life spring-themed art installations, live music seven days per week, chef-inspired seasonal menu items and thousands of new blooms at Vista Gardens.”

Play at Anakeesta:

Anakeesta’s Dueling Zipline Adventure has three zips that offer beautiful views of the Smokies while zipping down side-by-side with a friend, partner, spouse. Along the way, are two challenge stations where guests can choose to rappel off platforms in a controlled. End the journey via a short downhill path to the Chondola mid-station and ride the Chondola back to the summit of Anakeesta.

Jump on the Rail Runner – a personal roller coaster on a single rail. The exhilarating ride begins with 1,600 feet of downhill twists and turns and ends with a scenic uphill ride back to the top of Anakeesta Mountain. With a 400 ft. elevation change and speeds of 25 mph, the coaster is the first one of its kind in the U.S.

The Treetop Skywalk is the longest tree-based bridge in North America. Guests walk more than 800 feet along a spectacular series of skybridges suspended 50-60 feet in the air. … Experience what it feels like to be a bird in the treetops. Keep a sharp eye, you may spot a bear on the forest floor below or a woodpecker nearby.”

AnaVista Tower

Climb the new AnaVista Tower and enjoy 360-degree views from downtown Gatlinburg’s highest point. Guests climb 78 steps to a large observation platform atop the tower. From the top deck, see views as far as Kentucky. Interpretive signs identify mountain ranges and peaks and two glass-panel floors allow guests to peer down into the garden 60 feet below.

Walk the meandering pathways in the Vista Gardens, a multi-sensory experience with botanical beauty, whimsical sculptures, musical instruments and scenic overlooks.

For more about Anakeesta, check out our blog post.

More fun in the Smokies!

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

mama bear and cub

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.


Cades Cove

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!

Ripley’s Attractions

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

A child wearing a full sized astronaut suit at Wonderworks!

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 Wonder Zones 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.

Museums

If you’re a fan of muscle cars, you need to check out Floyd Garrett’s Muscle Car Museum in Sevierville.  There are more than 90 cars inside and 5,000 artifacts in the museum.  From classic to modern, you’ll find it all.

In Gatlinburg, check out the Hollywood Star Cars Museum.  See some of the best well known cars from classic and modern movies.  Inventory is always changing, but a few on display right now include the entire collection from The Fast & Furious!

Meet your favorite celebrity, or at least their wax doppelganger, at Hollywood Wax Museum in Pigeon Forge.

The Tennessee Museum of Aviation in Sevierville is a must see for the kid who loves airplanes.  Explore the 50,000 square foot hangar and even take a photograph behind the wings of a plane.

It’s hard to miss The Titanic Museum on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge.  This amazing attraction is a half-size replica of the real ship.  While the real Titanic met her demise in 1912, the one in Pigeon Forge is still going strong.  The Titanic Museum presents special audio tours just for kids.

Miniature Golf Anyone?

miniature golf

Sevierville offers Ripley’s Old McDonald’s Farm Mini golf, located just past the Pigeon Forge city limits.  Two courses for 36 holes of family fun for kids of all ages.  Get a hole in one and you win a free game!

In Pigeon Forge, check out Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf.  Like Old MacDonald’s, you have two courses.  Ride a mine train to get to the first holes of each.

Gatlinburg offers Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini Golf and Hillbilly Golf. Hillbilly Golf an unforgettable downhill mini golf experience.  A Smoky Mountain classic to be sure!

Dinner and a show – a classic Pigeon Forge entertainment option.

Dolly’s Stampede is the true original.  Each ticket includes a four-course meal and pre-show entertainment.  A live animal show full of singing, dancing, and stunts will really get your blood pumping.

Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show puts the fun in dysfunctional for your Smoky Mountain Vacation.  An all-you-care-to-eat supper is served up along with a little bit of family fueding the whole family can enjoy.

Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show lets guests join Captain Blackbeard, “the most famous pirate to ever sail the seven seas and his quartermaster Calico Jack as they lead the Crimson and Sapphire crews in an epic battle for lost treasure on land, on deck, in water and high above pirate ships!”

For more ideas for spring break, check our blogs Children and Toddlers and kid-friendly-food.

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.

Book your cabin

Grande Mountain Lodge, a 5 bedroom rental cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN

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.

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