10 Best Family Activities To Do In Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN
If there is one thing my family has missed during this hard last year, it’s been vacations. We love traveling, whether it’s just a quick day trip or a week long getaway to the beach. All I have wanted to do lately is pack up my suitcase and go! And as things start to progress, it looks like that dream will be a reality for my family soon. We knew exactly where we wanted to go on our first outing of the year, and that was somewhere near and dear to our hearts, Gatlinburg! Gatlinburg is a family favorite and has been for generations. Being a Tennessee resident, we all know the wonder and beauty of the great smoky mountains and I just can’t wait to get back there! In preparation of our upcoming trip, I wanted to share with you all our 10 best family activities to do in Gatlinburg, TN! I hope some of these give you some awesome ideas for the next time you decide to visit our little slice of the world!
If you are anything like me, you like to be well prepped on the places you are visiting. I am very much a planner, and not a fan of just “going with the flow” (unless I’m at the beach in which case, I just sit on the beach all day haha!), so I always love to research and find out what cool things a new city has to offer before I get there. I have been going to Gatlinburg, Tennessee once or twice a year since I was a child, so you know I already know all the fun spots for first time visitors! You ready to check them out? Let’s go!
Here are my 10 Best Family Activities To Do In Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN
- You gotta check out one of their many dinner shows! The entire Smoky Mountain area has SO many awesome dinner shows to check out! Dolly Parton’s Stampede would be our top pick because the food is delicious and the show is so fun. They really theme out the whole building and make it a show from the second you get out of the car. (and the soup is some of my favorite I have ever had!). Make sure no matter which dinner show you choose that you order tickets in advance, they sell out quickly!
2. Go Kart Tracks- If there is one thing that Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have the best of, it’s go karts! There are probably 15 tracks right on the main strip, all different! They even have a Nascar themed track for older teens and adults. A lot of go kart tracks are also attached to fun arcades and mini golf so you can make a whole afternoon out of it. My family always takes bet’s on who will win the race too, the winner is always treated to candy!
3. Magiquest– This has always been my daughters absolute favorite thing to do. It’s 4 separate attractions in one building which include magiquest, pirate golf, a mirror maze, and the adventure arcade. There is SO much to do here, we always dedicate a whole day to it. It’s super fun for those with kiddos who love adventure and to use their imagination. Also, if you buy of the wands that they sell in the gift shop, you can bring it back each time you go and it will keep up with your scores which is fun to see how you improve over the years!
4. Ripley’s Everything– Ripley’s is a household name in the Great Smoky Mountain area with attractions such as the award winning aquarium, their 5d theater, mirror maze, mini golf, haunted mansion, and the oddity museum! If you are planning on hitting more than one of them (and you totally should!) I highly recommend getting combo passes. It saves money and you only have to keep up with one ticket. It’s a win-win.
5. Titanic Museum– This is probably my personal favorite attraction in the area. I have always loved learning about the titanic since I was a child. This museum has SO many artifact from the actual ship and they do the story telling so well! I would recommend buying tickets in advance for this one, they tend to sell out, especially during the busy summer months.
6. Wonderworks– Wonderworks is another family favorite around here. It’s great for kids of all ages and adults. Lots of interactive and hands on exhibits that are always changing. And you can even gets the kids to learn a little something while they are on vacation which is a win for us parents right?
7. Get Old Time Photo’s Done- We do this EVERY single trip and they line the walls of my home. Up and down the main strip of both cities you are bond to find at least 3 places to get old time photos done. They all have different scenes and outfits and it’s so much fun to play dress up and take funny pictures with your family. (Pro tip, they are almost always on Groupon too! Check before you leave).
8. Shopping- The amount of shopping you can get done in downtown Gatlinburg alone will make for an entire day of fun, I promise. There are so many amazing shops and dining offered in the area. Make sure to grab some moonshine made locally in town, it’s the best!
9. The Hollywood Wax Museum– Another one of my personal favorite museums is the Hollywood Wax Museum! It’s got so may fun scenes with some of your favorite stars and it’s so much fun to stop and take photos with them all! Right behind it is Hannah’s Hall of Mirrors that you should totally check out when you are done!
10. The Great Smokey Mountain National Park- Last and certainly not least is the park itself. It is simply stunning no matter what time of year you go. Leave the phones in the cabin, pack a picnic lunch, and just enjoy the wonders of nature for a day, I promise you won’t regret it.
Where is your favorite place to visit while in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge? Let me know in the comments!
Looking for more fun family vacation tips? Check these out:
- 8 great socially distance day trips in Nashville
- 10 things to pack when on a road trip with kids
- Fun and inexpensive things to do in Pensacola Florida