15 Things to Try On Your Vacation Without Kids


We know you love your kids, and we know you love seeing their faces light up when they experience something new on vacation. But we also know that sometimes you need some “me time” or “us time” – sans the little ones. Or, if you don’t have kids, you probably want some fun ideas for vacation that don’t revolve around entertaining children.

We’ve put together 15 ideas for your adults-only vacation that give you some of that grown-up time you crave. Let the grandparents or friends get some extra quality time with the kids and plan a fun and relaxing retreat for yourselves.

  1. Go on a tour and tasting at a local winery.
    A peaceful day touring a winery and trying some reds, whites, and blushes isn’t quite the same with a little one. Spend the afternoon choosing the perfect bottle, and then take it back to the cabin to relax.
  2. Sip on moonshine and listen to live music.
    Get a taste of the mountains at Sugarlands Distilling Company, Ole Smoky Moonshine, or Doc Collier’s, with flavors like apple pie, White Lightnin’, and peach. Ole Smoky Moonshine even offers 2 places to listen to live music: the Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler in downtown Gatlinburg and the outdoor stage at The Island in Pigeon Forge.
  3. Treat yourself to a couple’s in-cabin massage.
    Want to make your vacation even more special? Just let your reservation specialist know that you want to add on a couple’s massage (yes, in the cabin!) when you’re booking. It’s the perfect way to relax and have some romantic time without the kiddos.
  4. Order a Romantic Dinner for Two.
    You don’t even have to do any planning for this one. Add the Romantic Dinner for Two to your reservation and we’ll have steaks and baked potatoes ready to be cooked, along with dessert and some other goodies, all waiting in your cabin upon your arrival!
  5. Take a Scenic Helicopter Tour over the Great Smoky Mountains.
    If you have little ones, you’re not likely to get to do this one on vacation. See the Smokies in a new way with a helicopter tour over the city and mountains of this beautiful place.
  6. Play at Dollywood – it’s not just for kids!
    With musical shows, good food, thrilling rides, and tons of shops, Dollywood is not just for the young. And when you’re without the kids, you won’t have to worry about everyone meeting height requirements; you can ride what you want!
  7. Go ice skating year-round at Ober Gatlinburg.
    Lace up and take a spin around the rink year-round (and no matter the weather) at the indoor ice skating rink at Ober Gatlinburg.
  8. Challenge yourself with a more strenuous hike (usually offering the best views!).
    You probably choose the easier hikes that are far away from any cliff’s edges when you hike with kids. So when you’re on your adults-only trip, try some of the more difficult hikes you’ve been wanting to check out. And while we definitely don’t suggest getting near the edges of cliffs, you may get to take a higher climb – with even better views – than usual. Just always follow signs!
  9. Spend a day biking among the trees.
    FoxFire Mountain is set among the trees, offering a cool wooden biking path that’s truly unique! Gear up and get ready for some fun in the great outdoors.
  10. Stop for a quiet picnic along your drive in Cades Cove.
    If you have kids, one thing you don’t get much of is peace and quiet. Take advantage of your adults-only trip by packing a picnic and finding a quiet spot along the scenic Cades Cove loop road. There are streams, fields of wildflowers, and more where you can sit down and enjoy some time to yourself among nature.
  11. Go horseback riding through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
    Another fun and unique way to see the Smokies is by horseback. Sugarland Riding Stables offers experienced guides who will take you through the trees, past streams, and into the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains.
  12. Fly down the ski slopes at Ober Gatlinburg.
    Ober Gatlinburg is fun year-round, but winter brings some local favorites: skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Bundle up and have some fun out on the slopes!
  13. Go on a shopping spree at the Tanger Outlets.
    Kids will only put up with so much shopping before the inevitable drop-all-your-stuff-and-run-out-of-the-store meltdown. Take advantage of your vacation without kids by spending your day shopping for jewelry, clothing, electronics, and more at the Tanger Outlets or The Village Shops in Gatlinburg.
  14. Curl up on the couch and unwind.
    Bring along some comedies, order pizza, grab a drink, and just kick back for a quiet night in the cabin, sans kids.
  15. Do nothing.
    Lazy days are few and far between when you have kids. Enjoy a day of your adults-only trip doing nothing, kind of. Sleep in, watch TV in the cabin, read a book on the porch swing, soak in the hot tub overlooking the trees, have a cup of coffee in the rocking chairs, play games in your rec room, watch a movie in your own theater…whatever amenities your cabin has, just spend a laid-back day enjoying them, without any other plans.