Planning a homeschool field trip, a family vacation with curious kids, or a weekend away with friends who enjoy learning about new and interesting things? Consider visiting Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee — each city is filled to the brim with fun and educational activities for all ages. Plus, the Great Smoky Mountains surround the area, giving you a stunning view at almost every glance. Book your private cabin rental, pack your bags, and set off on an educational journey loaded with interactives, artifacts, history, and natural science this year! Need help choosing educational attractions to visit during your stay? Our favorite 7 educational attractions in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN, are just below. Feel free to skim for links or take time to…learn more..
7. Alcatraz East Crime Museum
Crime-fighting is no joke, and neither is the justice system. At Alcatraz East Crime Museum, teach your teens how the law works to keep everyone safe and learn a few things yourself along the way. This 2-story educational place has something for every age — including special Junior Detective exhibits, 100+ interactives, and genuine artifacts from notorious criminals.
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Mon-Sun)
Location: 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Combining education with entertainment, WonderWorks is known for its “edutainment” efforts to spark imagination and help children learn while having a blast! Honestly, it’s a fun place to explore with the whole family, no matter your age. At 35,000+ square feet, there are 100s of interactives to try, 6 Wonder Zones that target specific studies (like art, space, and weather), plus laser tag, an indoor ropes course, and a 4D XD simulator!
Tickets: $23-29 (FREE for children 3 and under)
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Mon-Sun)
Location: 100 Music Road, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
5. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium
Odd doesn’t even begin to describe what you’ll find at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium! Check out the largest collection of unique finds from around the globe at this 3-story museum. Venture through 16 galleries, experience cooky interactives, and wander about 500 exhibits and artifacts that celebrate the strange and misunderstood things of this world, like shrunken heads and 2-headed animals. Curiosity will only grow here!
Tickets: $15-28 (only $5 for children 2-5)
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Sun-Thur) & 10:00 p.m. (Fri-Sat)
Location: 800 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN
4. Titanic Museum Attraction
Board the most famous ship in history at the world’s largest museum attraction in Pigeon Forge, TN! Speaking of history, you’ll learn a lot about the Titanic, the journey, the passengers, the crew, and the shipwreck. You can even touch a real iceberg and dip your hand into 28℉ water. There are also 400 authentic artifacts, a replica of the grand staircase, and a Tot-Tanic interactive kids zone! For more info, check out their education guide.
Tickets: $15-28 (FREE for children 4 and under + $100 for family pass)
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Sun-Fri) & 6:00 p.m. (Sat)
Location: 2134 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
3. Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo
Youngsters and adults alike will enjoy visiting the jungle-style Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo. This one-of-a-kind educational attraction showcases biology at its best — featuring 600+ animals and 130 species from the incredible rainforests of the world! Reptiles, mammals, birds, bugs, and amphibians make up this zoo family and range from crocodilians, bullfrogs, and scorpions to lemurs, kinkajous, and parrots.
Tickets: $9-15 (FREE for infants 2 and under)
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Mon-Sun)
Location: 109 NASCAR Drive, Sevierville, TN 37862
2. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Winner of many awards, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a no-brainer on your educational adventure in the Smokies. Venture through 2 levels of amazing sea life, from little Nemos and playful penguins to huge sharks and swarms of reef dwellers. Or upgrade your experience with a sea turtle encounter or a glass-bottom boat ride! They even offer special educational opportunities, including homeschooling and in-person programs with toolkits.
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Mon-Thur) & 10:00 p.m. (Fri-Sun)
Location: 88 River Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Filled with educational activities, science, and history, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great stop on your educational journey. Hike to waterfalls, visit historic structures in Cades Cove, horseback ride through forests, fly fish in rivers, and picnic. As the most visited national park in the country, it’s the perfect place to teach your kids all about enjoying and respecting nature.
Tickets: FREE entry
Hours: open 24 hours (year-round)
Entrance: US-441 South (follow into the park)
Where to Stay
Stick close to the top educational attractions you choose to visit when you stay at a cabin rental in the mountains. Pigeon Forge TN Cabins has 450+ options that range from 1-bedroom retreats with a hot tub to family-size chalets with game tables and a theater to 16-bedroom lodges with a private indoor pool. Other amenities include full kitchens, big screen TVs, fireplaces, outdoor firepits, saunas, indoor jetted tubs, free high speed Wi-Fi, and mountain views! We even have excellent pet-friendly options so you can bring the whole family, and a cabin to suit just about any budget. Book online with ease or speak with a vacation specialist at 1.866.513.7885 to make reservations today.