4 Favorite Things To Do in the Smokies with Kids
Whether it’s your family’s first or fifth visit this year, there’s no end to the fun that the area has to offer younger visitors. And while any of the numerous attractions, activities and shows the area offers are sure to leave your kids asking, “When can we go back?” we’ve assembled a few favorites over the years. Read all about them in our list of five favorite things to do in Gatlinburg with kids below:
1. Sugarlands Visitor Center
While Sugarlands Visitor Center serves to welcome and inform vacationers of the area, the visitor center is an attraction all on its own. You can learn about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the center’s free, 20-minute film about the park before observing the extensive natural history exhibits on display. Ranger-led activities are conducted seasonally, as well, so be sure to call Sugarlands for program times and availability.
A retail shop is also located inside the visitor center. There you can find local preserves and
treats, informational pamphlets, trail guides, and plenty of souvenir trinkets for the kiddos. Who knows? Their new favorite toy might end up being a stuffed critter that reminds them of the Smokies every time they snuggle it.
There are hiking trails and walks that are located near Sugarlands Visitor Center. A few family favorites include Gatlinburg Trail, Old Sugarlands Trail and Cove Mountain Trail. Gatlinburg Trail is an excellent choice with little ones in-tow, offering informational plaques and plenty of Smoky Mountain scenery along the way. The 2-mile trail serves as a connector between Gatlinburg and the Sugarlands Visitor Center.
2. Explore Cades Cove
One of our favorite things to do in the Smokies with kids, Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an 11-mile, one-way loop road that offers visitors views of three churches, a working grist mill, barns, log homes and many other restored 18th and 19th century buildings, providing ample learning opportunities with its rich historical presence and active wildlife. With woodland creature sightings around every corner, kids will delight in trying to see as many animals as possible. White-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, owls, foxes, turkeys and other wildlife are prevalent throughout Cades Cove.
You can find inexpensive, self-guiding tour booklets at the beginning of your trip. Only bicycle and foot traffic are permitted on the trek until 10 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday morning from early May until late September. The Cades Cove Loop is open to motor vehicles at all other times from sunrise to sunset all year long.
3. Go Hiking!
Kids love spending time outside and one of the best ways to get exercise and have fun in the Smokies is to go hiking. Try out one of the beginner trails in the Smoky Mountains and you’ll get to explore the mountains, the wildlife and have fun doing it!
4. Spend Time Together in a Gatlinburg Cabin
Gatlinburg cabins are designed with fun in mind, so even when you’re enjoying some down time back at the cabin, you and your family will still have a blast. Whether you’re watching a favorite movie with the kids in your Smoky Mountain cabin with a theater room, playing foosball and arcade games, or enjoying a warm dip in the hot tub on your private deck, you’re certain to make lasting memories when you stay at a cabin. Click here to explore some of the best Gatlinburg cabins and make your reservation to visit today.
Tell us your thoughts!
What are your favorite things to do in Gatlinburg with kids? Tell us in the comments below!