The Smoky Mountains are a top destination for family vacations! That's because the area is overflowing with incredible, kid-friendly things to do. To help guarantee you have the best vacation with your children, we've come up with 5 of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains for kids.
1. Ripley's Aquarium
Ripley's Aquarium is not only one of the top aquariums in the country, it's on the top of our list for things to do in the Smoky Mountains for kids! That's because the Gatlinburg aquarium provides both an educational and fun visit for children. Kids love traveling through the underwater tunnel and seeing their favorite sea animals swimming all around them. The aquarium also has a Discovery Center, where the kids can not only learn about the different animals, but will have the chance to touch a jellyfish and a horseshoe crab! There are also a number of unique experiences that allow the kids to interact with the animals, like Turtle Time, during which they can feed Sally the Sea Turtle, and the Penguin Encounter, during which they can waddle with penguins!
What better place to bring your kids for a day filled with family fun than the world-class theme park, Dollywood? Though you might know Dollywood for its thrilling rides, the park has plenty of kid-friendly activities as well! They can spend the day flying around in elephants, playing on a playground, riding a carousel and so much more. Not to mention, the park has family-friendly shows, delicious eateries and places to shop where the kids can pick out a souvenir to take back home!
3. Country Tonite
Country Tonite is the best show in Pigeon Forge for families. Part of the reason is because it's the only show in the area that has youth performers! Don't let the name fool you - you don't have to be a fan of country music to love the show. The performance features singing, dancing, comedy, powerful gospel and American patriotism for a feel-good show both children and parents will love. And the best part is that kids get in for free! Children 12 and under are free with the admission of a paying adult.
WonderWorks is an indoor amusement park filled with more than 100 hands-on exhibits that are designed to challenge the mind and spark the imagination. Kids love exploring the different WonderZones, where they can learn about natural disasters, space and more through interactive experiences. One you finish exploring the WonderZones, head to the Indoor Ropes Challenge for a 4-story, glow-in-the-dark adventure that will challenge them one step at a time, or play a game of laser tag!
5. The Island in Pigeon Forge
The Island in Pigeon Forge is your one stop for affordable family fun! Kids can ride bumper cars, jump on a bungy trampoline, travel through a mirror maze, complete a ropes course and more! There is even an arcade where they can win awesome prizes and kid-friendly roller coasters to try. Before you leave, make sure to ride The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, which provides a breathtaking view of the Smoky Mountains from a glass gondola that fits the whole family.
You don't want to miss out on all the fun in the Smokies! Check out more things to do in the Smoky Mountains, and start planning your vacation.
About Darryl Payne
Darryl Payne is a native of East Tennessee in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. He is a web developer with a passion for building great websites. As a local, he can offer a unique perspective on where to stay and things to do while on vacation in the Smokies. To read his latest recommendations, please click the Google+ follow button.