The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a popular destination for families looking for an outdoor adventure. The park offers a variety of activities for all ages, including hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, and more. With many things to do in the Smokies, planning the perfect family vacation can be overwhelming. If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll want to make sure you plan engaging, fun, and educational activities.
This blog will explore some of the best things to do in the Smokies if you’re with kids. From scenic drives and nature walks to historical sites and museums, there’s something for everyone in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Whether you’re looking to explore the outdoors or learn about the area’s rich history, the Smokies have plenty to offer for families with children of all ages.
Anakeesta Theme Park is located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains; It offers a variety of activities that allow visitors to explore the area’s natural beauty.
One of the most popular attractions at Anakeesta is the Chondola, a combination chairlift and gondola ride that takes visitors to the top of the mountain. From there, you can explore the park’s many attractions, including the Treetop Skywalk, which offers stunning views of the Smokies from a series of suspended bridges and platforms.
The Rail Runner, a mountain coaster, is also a big hit with adults and kids alike. It allows you to ride a single cart down a winding track through the forest.
2. Visit Children’s Home in Smoky Mountain
The Smoky Mountain Children’s Home is a non-profit organization in Sevierville, Tennessee, that provides care and support for children who have experienced abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences.
Want to give something back to the local community during your visit to the Smoky Mountains? You must visit this place.
The Children’s Home offers tours of its facilities, which include many homes and cottages that provide safe and comfortable living spaces for the children in their care. During the tour, you’ll learn about the organization’s mission, programs, and services, including counseling, education, and life skills training.
3. Visit Dollywood
Dollywood is a popular theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, offering a wide range of attractions and entertainment options for visitors of all ages. If you’re seeking a fun-filled day with your family, visiting Dollywood is a must.
Dollywood is themed after the music and culture of the Smoky Mountains and offers a unique blend of rides, shows, and shops. There are over 40 rides, including roller coasters, water, and kiddie rides. For a thrilling experience, check out the Wild Eagle, the first wing coaster in the United States, or the Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest wooden coaster. In addition to rides, Dollywood also offers a variety of shows and entertainment options, including musical performances, comedy acts, and magic shows. The park hosts seasonal events, including a famous Harvest Festival and a Smoky Mountain
4. Experience Whitewater Rafting or Float Trip
The Smoky Mountains offer excellent opportunities for whitewater rafting and float trips. Your choice depends on your preferences and comfort level with water activities.
Whitewater rafting in the Smoky Mountains can be an exciting and thrilling experience as you navigate through rapids and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding scenery. Some popular rivers for whitewater rafting in the Smokies include the Pigeon River and the Nantahala River.
If you’re seeking a more relaxed and leisurely water experience, a float trip may be a better fit for you. On a float trip, you can sit back and enjoy the scenery as you gently glide down the river. Some great options for float trips in the Smokies include the Little River and the Tuckasegee River.
5. Experience Kid-Friendly Hikes in Smoky Mountain National Park
The Smoky Mountain National Park offers a variety of kid-friendly hikes that are perfect for families looking to explore the great outdoors together.
Here are some recommended kid-friendly hikes and walks
- Laurel Falls Trail is a 2.6-mile round-trip hike with a beautiful waterfall. It is paved, making it stroller-friendly, and the waterfall is an excellent reward for kids.
- The Oconaluftee River Trail is a 1.5-mile round-trip hike that follows the Oconaluftee River.
It’s an easy, flat hike perfect for young children and offers plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife along the way.
- Cades Cove Loop is an 11-mile one-way road that allows visitors to experience the park’s scenic beauty from their car.
Remember to bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and insect repellent for the whole family, and always hike with caution and be prepared for changing weather conditions.
6. Pink Jeep Tour in the Smokies
It’s an exciting and unique way to experience the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. The tour is led by an experienced guide who will take you through some of the mountains’ most scenic and off-road areas in a custom-built, open-air Pink Jeep.
The Pink Jeep Tour offers various tour options, including a Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail tour, a Smoky Mountains Waterfall tour, and a Foothills Parkway tour. Each tour provides a different experience and takes you to other parts of the park, allowing you to see the stunning scenery and wildlife up close. During the tour, your guide will share interesting facts and stories about the park’s history, geology, and wildlife. The Pink Jeep is equipped with comfortable seating, so you can sit back and relax while taking in the beauty of the mountains.
7. Visit Titanic Museum:
It is one of the famous attractions that offer visitors the chance to step back in time and experience the famous ship’s history and legacy. The museum replicates the Titanic, with over 400 artifacts from the original ship. Upon entering the museum, visitors receive a boarding pass corresponding to a passenger on the Titanic, which helps personalize the experience. Throughout the museum, you’ll see interactive displays and replicas of the ship’s cabins and learn about the ship’s construction, maiden voyage, and tragic sinking.
The museum also has a special exhibit dedicated to the children onboard the ship and a gallery showcasing some of the Titanic’s most famous passengers. Visiting the Titanic Museum in the Smokies is an educational and emotional experience suitable for all ages. It’s a fantastic way to learn more about one of the most famous ships in history and to honor the lives lost in the disaster.
Overall, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a beautiful destination for families with kids, offering a range of activities that will create lasting memories. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or educational opportunities, there’s something for everyone in the Smokies. So pack up the family and head to the Great Smoky Mountains for a vacation filled with fun, excitement, and natural beauty.