Fun Activities in Gatlinburg for Toddlers




Fun Activities in Gatlinburg for Toddlers


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Are you planning a trip to Gatlinburg with your 2-year-old? Look no further, because we have the ultimate guide to fun activities in Gatlinburg for toddlers! From interactive museums to kid-friendly hikes, this charming city has plenty of options to keep your little one entertained. Whether you’re seeking educational experiences or simply looking to let them burn off some energy, Gatlinburg has it all. Get ready for a memorable family vacation filled with laughter and joy as you explore the best activities that this charming city has to offer for your toddler!

Fun Activities in Gatlinburg for toddlers
Kids in Downtown Gatlinburg” by Rob Briscoe is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Fun Activities In Gatlinburg For Toddlers – Outdoor Activities

Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

One of the must-visit outdoor destinations in Gatlinburg is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This breathtaking national park is known for its stunning mountain views, pristine forests, and diverse wildlife. Whether you want to go hiking, camping, or simply enjoy the beauty of nature, this park offers endless possibilities for outdoor adventures. Take a leisurely stroll along one of the many picturesque trails, or challenge yourself with a more strenuous hike to reach panoramic viewpoints. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture memories of this unforgettable experience.

Explore Gatlinburg Trail

For those looking for a family-friendly outdoor activity, the Gatlinburg Trail is an excellent choice. This trail is perfect for all skill levels and offers an enjoyable walk through the serene woodlands of the Great Smoky Mountains. As you make your way along the trail, you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of nature, with lush forests, flowing streams, and even the occasional wildlife sighting. This trail also offers a unique opportunity to explore the remains of historic homesteads, adding a touch of history to your outdoor adventure.

Enjoy a picnic at Mills Park

If you’re in the mood for a relaxing outdoor activity, head over to Mills Park for a delightful picnic with your loved ones. This peaceful park is nestled amidst the natural beauty of Gatlinburg and features well-maintained picnic areas where you can unwind and enjoy a delicious meal amidst scenic surroundings. Take a break from your busy schedule, spread out a blanket, and soak in the ambiance as you indulge in tasty treats while surrounded by towering trees and manicured gardens. It’s the perfect way to reconnect with nature and spend quality time with your family.

Go for a nature walk at Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

For a scenic nature walk that offers a glimpse into the rich biodiversity of the region, head to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This 5.5-mile loop is a self-guided drive that takes you through picturesque landscapes, including dense forests, cascading waterfalls, and intriguing historic sites. Step out of your vehicle and embark on a leisurely stroll along the designated walking paths, allowing yourself to be enveloped by the peaceful sounds of nature. The trail is particularly stunning during the fall season when the foliage adorns the landscape with vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold.

Spend a day at Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park

For a day filled with excitement and fun, a visit to Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park is a must. This alpine-themed park offers a wide range of activities and attractions suitable for all ages. From thrilling rides to mini-golf, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy. If you’re visiting during the winter months, be sure to try your hand at skiing or snowboarding on the slopes. During the warmer seasons, you can hop on the scenic Aerial Tramway for breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. There’s no shortage of entertainment and adventure at Ober Gatlinburg!

Indoor Activities

Visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

If you’re looking to escape the elements and experience an enchanting underwater world, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is the perfect destination. This world-class aquarium showcases a mesmerizing array of marine life, including colorful fish, magnificent sharks, playful penguins, and graceful stingrays. Wander through the exhibits, marvel at the diverse ecosystem of the ocean, and enjoy various interactive experiences such as touching stingrays or watching a live dive show. It’s an immersive and educational adventure that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the marine world.

Explore Wonderworks

Wonderworks is a unique indoor amusement park that offers an exciting blend of science, entertainment, and hands-on activities. Step inside this upside-down wonderland and let your imagination soar as you explore a vast array of mind-bending exhibits and interactive displays. From experiencing a simulated earthquake to defying gravity in the Anti-Gravity Chamber, Wonderworks is a place where learning becomes an extraordinary adventure. Don’t miss the chance to challenge yourself at the indoor ropes course or indulge in the thrilling 4D XD motion theater. Wonderworks guarantees a day full of laughter, discovery, and unforgettable memories.

Enjoy interactive exhibits at the Hands-On Children’s Museum

When it comes to engaging indoor activities for children, the Hands-On Children’s Museum reigns supreme. This interactive museum is specifically designed to cater to the curious minds of young children, offering a safe and stimulating environment for fun and learning. With a variety of exhibits and play areas, kids can immerse themselves in imaginative play, discover scientific concepts, and explore various hands-on activities. From building structures with blocks to experimenting with water and light, there’s no shortage of opportunities for young minds to explore, create, and learn.

Enjoy a day at the Gatlinburg Space Needle

For breathtaking panoramic views of Gatlinburg and the surrounding Smoky Mountains, head to the iconic Gatlinburg Space Needle. This 407-foot observation tower offers a 360-degree observation deck that provides unparalleled vistas of the mountainous landscape. Take a ride up the elevator and marvel at the stunning scenery unfolding before your eyes. It’s the perfect spot to snap some incredible photos, enjoy a romantic sunset with your partner, or simply take in the natural beauty of the area. Afterward, explore the various attractions and shops located at the base of the Space Needle to complete your day of indoor fun.

Have fun at Arcade City

If you’re in the mood for some classic arcade games and family-friendly entertainment, look no further than Arcade City. Located in the heart of Gatlinburg, this arcade offers a wide range of games suitable for all ages. From traditional favorites like air hockey and skee-ball to modern virtual reality experiences, there’s something to entertain everyone. Challenge your friends and family to a friendly competition or try your luck at winning prizes. Arcade City is the perfect place to escape the elements and unleash your fun-loving spirit.

Animal Encounters

Visit the Smoky Mountain Deer Farm & Exotic Petting Zoo

For an unforgettable animal encounter, head to the Smoky Mountain Deer Farm & Exotic Petting Zoo. This unique attraction allows you to get up close and personal with a variety of friendly animals, including adorable deer, miniature horses, playful goats, and much more. Take a leisurely stroll through the petting zoo, where you can interact with the animals, feed them, and even have the chance to bottle-feed baby deer. It’s an experience that both children and adults will cherish, providing an opportunity to learn about and appreciate the beauty of these amazing creatures.

Take a ride on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

In addition to its scenic beauty, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail offers a fantastic opportunity to spot wildlife in their natural habitat. Hop in your car and embark on a drive through this picturesque trail, keeping your eyes peeled for the various inhabitants of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From black bears and white-tailed deer to wild turkeys and colorful birds, this trail is teeming with wildlife. Make sure to bring your camera and binoculars to capture these incredible creatures in action. It’s a wildlife adventure you won’t want to miss.

Educational Activities

Visit the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community

Immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of Gatlinburg by visiting the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community. Spanning an impressive 8-mile loop, this community is home to a wide array of artisans and craftsmen. Explore the numerous shops and studios, where you can watch talented artists at work and learn about traditional arts and crafts such as pottery, woodworking, glassblowing, and more. Whether you’re interested in purchasing unique handmade souvenirs or simply appreciate the craftsmanship involved, a visit to the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community is an enriching experience that celebrates the local artistic spirit.

Explore the Sugarlands Visitor Center

For a deeper understanding of the natural wonders that surround Gatlinburg, a visit to the Sugarlands Visitor Center is a must. As the main visitor center for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it provides a wealth of information about the park’s history, geology, flora, and fauna. Engage with the friendly park rangers who are always ready to answer questions and offer guidance for your outdoor adventures. Take advantage of the various exhibits, educational films, and interactive displays to gain a deeper appreciation for the unique ecosystem that exists within the park’s boundaries.

Take a tour at the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

If you’re a fan of quirky and offbeat attractions, a visit to the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum is sure to delight. Located in Gatlinburg, this museum houses an extensive collection of over 20,000 salt and pepper shakers from around the world. Discover the fascinating history and evolution of these humble kitchen essentials as you peruse the countless displays filled with shakers of every shape, size, and design imaginable. The museum offers guided tours and the opportunity to learn about the cultural significance and artistic craftsmanship behind these often-overlooked objects.

Learn about local history at the Gatlinburg History Museum

To delve into the rich history of Gatlinburg and learn about the pioneers who shaped the region, a visit to the Gatlinburg History Museum is a must. Located in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, this museum offers a captivating journey through time, showcasing artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that tell the story of the town’s past. From the early settlers to the development of the tourism industry, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Gatlinburg’s roots and how it has evolved into the vibrant destination it is today. Explore the exhibits at your own pace and engage with the knowledgeable staff to learn more about this fascinating slice of history.

Water Fun

Spend a day at Dollywood’s Splash Country

If you’re seeking a water-filled adventure to beat the summer heat, look no further than Dollywood’s Splash Country. This expansive water park offers a wide range of thrilling water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and interactive play areas suitable for all ages. Whether you prefer the adrenaline rush of daring water slides or the relaxation of floating along a tranquil river, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Take a break from the rides and fuel up at one of the many delicious dining options available within the park. Dollywood’s Splash Country promises a day of splashing fun and lasting memories for the whole family.

Enjoy the aquatic attractions at Wild Bear Falls Water Park

For a water park experience with a twist of wilderness, make your way to Wild Bear Falls Water Park. Situated in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, this indoor water park is perfect for year-round fun. With a focus on family-friendly attractions, Wild Bear Falls offers various slides, sprays, and pools designed to cater to the needs of all age groups. Take a plunge down the thrilling water slides, relax in the lazy river, or let the little ones enjoy the toddler play areas. Regardless of the weather outside, Wild Bear Falls Water Park provides countless opportunities for aquatic adventures and refreshing relaxation.

Seasonal Activities

Visit during Winterfest and enjoy holiday lights

Winterfest in Gatlinburg is a truly enchanting experience for visitors of all ages. From late fall to the end of February, the town transforms into a winter wonderland adorned with millions of twinkling lights. Take a stroll through the streets and be captivated by the festive displays, giant ornaments, and illuminated storefronts. Marvel at the spectacular synchronized light shows and enjoy the charming atmosphere that only the holiday season can bring. Winterfest offers a unique opportunity to celebrate the magic of the season while enjoying the natural beauty of Gatlinburg.

Have fun at Santa’s Claus-et outdoor play area during Christmas

For young children, visiting Santa’s Claus-et during the Christmas season is an absolute delight. Located in the heart of Gatlinburg, this outdoor play area provides a winter wonderland of festive activities and entertainment. Kids can indulge in snow tubing, build snowmen, make crafts, and even take a ride on Santa’s train. The highlight of the experience is undoubtedly meeting Santa Claus himself. Little ones can share their holiday wishes with the jolly man in red and capture precious memories with a keepsake photo. Santa’s Claus-et is the perfect place to embrace the joy and spirit of Christmas with your little ones.

Celebrate spring at the Gatlinburg Blooms and Greenbrier Wildflower Walks

As spring breathes new life into the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg comes alive with vibrant colors and blooming flowers. Celebrate the arrival of spring by participating in the Gatlinburg Blooms event, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature with guided wildflower walks, gardening tips, and floral displays. Additionally, the Greenbrier Wildflower Walks offer a chance to explore the scenic beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains with knowledgeable guides who will introduce you to the diverse array of wildflowers that blossom throughout the season. Springtime in Gatlinburg is a captivating experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and connected to the wonders of the natural world.

Enjoy fall colors during the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair

Every fall, the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair celebrates the vibrant hues of autumn while showcasing the talents of local artisans. This popular event brings together skilled craftsmen from across the region, offering visitors the chance to browse and purchase their unique creations. From beautifully handcrafted pottery and intricate woodwork to stunning jewelry and exquisite textiles, there’s something for every taste. As you explore the fair, you’ll also have the opportunity to witness live demonstrations, providing a firsthand glimpse into the craftsmanship involved in creating these one-of-a-kind pieces. The Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the beauty of fall while supporting local artisans.

Entertainment for Toddlers

Watch a kid-friendly show at Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre

For a taste of live entertainment specifically catered to young children, Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre is the place to be. This historic theater puts on hilarious shows filled with comedy, music, and plenty of family-friendly fun. Watch as talented performers bring colorful characters to life on stage, captivating young minds with their hilarious antics and playful performances. The lively atmosphere, catchy songs, and interactive elements make it an unforgettable experience for toddlers and their families. Treat your little ones to a delightful show that is sure to leave them with smiles and laughter.

Enjoy live music and entertainment at Anakeesta

Anakeesta offers a unique blend of outdoor adventure and live entertainment that the whole family can enjoy. This mountaintop amusement park provides stunning views of Gatlinburg and the surrounding mountains, along with a range of attractions suitable for toddlers. Enjoy live music performed by talented musicians as you explore the park’s various themed areas, including treetop bridges, a magical forest, and a whimsical play area. From interactive storytelling to lively performances, Anakeesta ensures a fun-filled day of entertainment that will captivate the imaginations of toddlers and create lasting memories for the entire family.

Have fun at the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster

Thrill-seeking toddlers and their parents will find excitement and laughter at the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster. This gravity-propelled coaster offers a thrilling ride through the scenic mountainside, with twists, turns, and exhilarating drops that are sure to delight riders of all ages. Toddlers can ride with a parent, ensuring a safe and memorable experience for the whole family. Hold on tight as you zoom through the forested landscape, enjoying the rush of adrenaline and the breathtaking views along the way. The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is a must-visit attraction for families looking for an exciting adventure.

Take a ride on the Gatlinburg Sky Lift

For a leisurely and scenic experience that will please both parents and toddlers, take a ride on the Gatlinburg Sky Lift. This iconic chairlift takes you on a peaceful journey above the treetops, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. As you ascend, take the opportunity to point out different landmarks and share interesting facts about the area with your little ones. The gentle sway of the chairlift and the awe-inspiring vistas create a tranquil and memorable experience for the entire family. It’s the perfect way to relax and appreciate the natural beauty of Gatlinburg from a different perspective.

Art and Creativity

Visit the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community

For art enthusiasts and those eager to tap into their creative side, a visit to the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community is a must. This unique community showcases the works of local artists and craftsmen, offering a diverse range of artistic mediums and styles. Immerse yourself in the vibrant galleries, studios, and shops, where you can witness artists at work and gain insight into their creative processes. Whether you’re looking to add a unique piece to your art collection or simply appreciate the beauty of handmade crafts, the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community is an inspirational haven for art lovers of all ages.

Create your own masterpiece at the Smoky Mountain Painting Experience

Unleash your inner artist and create a work of art to cherish at the Smoky Mountain Painting Experience. Located in the heart of Gatlinburg, this art studio offers guided painting sessions led by talented instructors who will provide step-by-step guidance to help you bring your vision to life. No prior experience is necessary, making it the perfect opportunity for both children and adults to explore their artistic abilities in a supportive and fun environment. Choose your desired painting from a selection of options, grab a brush, and let your creativity flow as you paint your own masterpiece to take home as a keepsake of your time in Gatlinburg.

Try pottery painting at the Mountain Monkey Business

For a hands-on and engaging art experience, head to Mountain Monkey Business and try your hand at pottery painting. This creative studio allows visitors to choose a piece of unpainted pottery and decorate it with their own unique designs. Let your imagination run wild as you select a colorful palette of paints and bring your chosen pottery piece to life. Whether it’s a mug, plate, or figurine, the possibilities are endless. Once you’re finished, leave your creation to be fired in the kiln, and it will be ready for pick up later. Pottery painting at Mountain Monkey Business is a wonderful way to indulge in creativity and create a personal memento of your visit to Gatlinburg.

Family-Friendly Attractions

Explore the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster

The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is not only an exhilarating ride for thrill seekers, but it also offers a fantastic experience for families. Hop on this gravity-propelled coaster and zoom through the mountainside, enjoying twists, turns, and breathtaking views along the way. With different seating options available, including tandem carts, the whole family can join in on the fun. Create unforgettable memories as you race down the track, sharing laughter and excitement with your loved ones. The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster is a perfect choice for families looking for a thrilling adventure that can be enjoyed by all.

Visit the Hollywood Star Cars Museum

For movie buffs and automobile enthusiasts, a visit to the Hollywood Star Cars Museum is a must. This unique attraction showcases iconic vehicles from the world of entertainment, including cars from beloved movies and TV shows. Wander through the museum and marvel at famous vehicles such as the DeLorean from “Back to the Future,” the Batmobile from “Batman,” and the General Lee from “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Get up close to these legendary cars, snap photos, and learn interesting trivia about their on-screen appearances. The Hollywood Star Cars Museum promises an exciting and nostalgic experience for the whole family.

Have fun at the Gatlinburg Pinball Museum

For a retro gaming experience that’s fun for the whole family, head to the Gatlinburg Pinball Museum. This unique museum allows visitors to play over 100 vintage pinball and arcade games from different eras. Revisit the golden age of gaming as you navigate your way through rows of classic pinball machines and retro video games. Challenge your family members to friendly competitions, reminisce about your favorite childhood games, and create new memories as you discover hidden gems from the past. The Gatlinburg Pinball Museum offers a nostalgic and entertaining outing that is sure to bring out the competitive spirit in everyone.

Unique Experiences

Experience underwater fun with the Sevier Air Trampoline and Ninja Warrior Course

For an extraordinary and high-energy experience, head to the Sevier Air Trampoline and Ninja Warrior Course. This unique attraction combines the thrill of trampolines with the excitement of a ninja warrior obstacle course. Bounce, flip, and soar high in the air on a sea of interconnected trampolines, or test your agility and strength as you navigate through challenging obstacles inspired by the popular TV show. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a novice looking for a fun workout, the Sevier Air Trampoline and Ninja Warrior Course provides an exhilarating adventure like no other.

Take a scenic ride on the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway

For panoramic views that will take your breath away, hop on the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. This scenic cable car ride offers an unforgettable journey high above the treetops, providing stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains and Gatlinburg below. Sit back and relax as you glide through the air, taking in the majestic beauty of the Smokies from a unique perspective. At the top, explore the observation deck, grab a bite to eat at the mountaintop restaurant, or go for a leisurely hike along one of the many trails. The Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway promises an awe-inspiring adventure that will leave you with lifelong memories.

Enjoy a guided horseback ride in the Smoky Mountains

For a memorable outdoor experience that allows you to connect with nature and experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains firsthand, book a guided horseback ride. Several stables in Gatlinburg offer scenic trail rides that cater to riders of all experience levels. Enjoy a leisurely ride through peaceful forests, over babbling streams, and across vast meadows. As you meander along the trails on horseback, listen to the soothing sounds of nature, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and marvel at the incredible natural beauty that surrounds you. A horseback ride in the Smoky Mountains is a unique and tranquil experience that allows for a deeper connection with the stunning landscapes.


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