5 Fun Family Activities You Can Enjoy In Gatlinburg

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In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, the importance of family vacations cannot be overstated. These precious moments of togetherness provide a sanctuary where parents, children, and extended family members can disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other. And what better place to experience this bliss than the charming town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee?

Gatlinburg beckons with its quaint streets, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant atmosphere that ignites the spirit of adventure in every visitor. To give you a better idea, we will delve into the myriad of family-friendly activities that await you in this popular tourist destination:

1. Enjoy At A Bar 

After a day of adventure, hiking through scenic trails, or exploring the wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you may find yourself craving a lively atmosphere where you can kick back and toast to the beauty of your surroundings. Fortunately, Gatlinburg boasts various bars catering to different tastes and preferences. From cozy and intimate establishments to bustling venues with live music, there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

Take the example of Puckers Sports Grill. The air buzzes with the anticipation of a great time as friendly faces and laughter fill the space. You can feel the positive energy flowing, setting the stage for an incredible evening. On top of that, skilled bartenders at Puckers are masters of their craft. They are always ready to mix up your favorite drink or recommend something new and exciting to tantalize your taste buds.

With numerous TV screens broadcasting various sporting events, both adults and children can even cheer for their favorite teams. So if you are looking to explore family-friendly bars in Gatlinburg, there’s a multitude of options. 

2. Explore Ripley’s Aquarium Of The Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a must-visit destination in Gatlinburg. It provides ample opportunity to deepen your understanding of the underwater world and appreciate the beauty and diversity of marine life.

As you wander through the aquarium’s exhibits, you will witness a stunning array of underwater creatures. One of the highlights of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is the mesmerizing Shark Lagoon. Walk through an underwater tunnel and feel the thrill of being surrounded by these awe-inspiring predators as they gracefully glide overhead. It is a truly immersive experience that offers a unique perspective on the ocean’s most enigmatic creatures. 

For a hands-on encounter, do not miss the opportunity to touch stingrays and horseshoe crabs at the Discovery Center. Kids and adults alike can interact with these fascinating animals, learning about their habitats and behaviors from knowledgeable staff members. 

3. Visit Hollywood Star Cars Museum

Situated conveniently along the bustling Gatlinburg Parkway, Hollywood Star Cars Museum is a treasure trove of iconic vehicles that have graced the television screens. The Hollywood Star Cars Museum appeals to both young and old. Grandparents can reminisce about the classic movies they grew up watching, while younger family members can connect with more recent blockbuster hits.

One of the highlights is the iconic DeLorean from the time-traveling blockbuster “Back to the Future.” Its gull-wing doors and futuristic charm will instantly transport you back to the ’80s. 

What sets this museum apart is the interactive nature of the exhibits. Visitors are encouraged to take pictures of the cars, sit inside some of them, and even rev the engines (do not worry, they are not running!). 

4. Drop By Mysterious Mansion

Have you ever wanted to experience Halloween chills and thrills all year long? Well, there is a place in Gatlinburg called the Mysterious Mansion where the spooky season never ends. Upon stepping inside, you will find yourself wandering through chilling parlors, navigating through hidden passageways, and venturing into rooms that exude an unsettling aura. The dimly lit hallways, creaking floors, and eerie atmosphere set the stage for a heart-pounding journey through the unknown.

Families, in particular, find this haunted house a fantastic attraction. It provides an exciting yet safe environment for kids and adults to enjoy together. As you explore the mansion’s chilling ambiance, you will create lasting memories, fostering a sense of adventure and bonding among family members. It is a unique opportunity for parents to introduce their children to the excitement of Halloween and the world of haunted houses.

5. Head To Anakeesta 

When planning a family vacation, if you have ever found yourself gazing up at the sky, daydreaming about soaring through the air like a bird, then Anakeesta is the answer to your wildest fantasies. It is nestled within the embrace of the magnificent Smoky Mountains. While other attractions in town offer a bird’s-eye view via chair lift, Anakeesta stands out as the most unique among them. 

Your journey begins with a choice – how would you like to ascend the 600-foot trip to the summit? Will you opt for an open chair while securely held by a safety bar, or prefer the comfort of a gondola cabin? As the 14-minute ascent from downtown Gatlinburg to the summit unfolds, you will be captivated by a sensory overload in the most delightful way imaginable.

Your eyes will be drawn to the magnificent beauty of the living mountain. Even on the warmest of days, the air that caresses your face at this elevation feels cool and refreshing. These fleeting moments on the way up allow you to simply unwind and soak in the natural splendor that surrounds you.

From the moment you step off the chair lift, or out of the gondola, you will be struck by the meticulous attention to detail that has gone into creating the Firefly Village. Its treehouse-themed buildings and strategically placed scenic overlooks provide an almost 360-degree view of the breathtaking Eastern Tennessee landscape.

For families with little explorers, Firefly Village offers a gem mining experience that will ignite their curiosity and spark their sense of adventure. Watch as their eyes light up with excitement when they discover precious gems and minerals hidden within the mining sluice. 


Gatlinburg is a dream destination for families in search of a fantastic time. With its wide array of activities, there is never a dull moment in this picturesque town. Surrounded by the majestic beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, you and your loved ones can bond, laugh, and create memories that will last a lifetime. So why wait? Start planning your family getaway to Gatlinburg, and let the adventure begin!

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