10 Ways to Keep the Kids Happy in the Smokies


Bringing kids along on vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains means you’ll need to be equipped with local insight on fun things to do with kids in Pigeon Forge (and neighboring Gatlinburg, TN). The good news is there are plenty of kid friendly things to do in the Smokies, from riding go-karts, putt-putting, and duel zip lining to snow tubing indoors (year-round), petting moon jellies, and splashing in a private pool. There’s something for every stage of childhood in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. What’s the bad news? While finding something to keep the kids happy here is easy, getting them to leave the alluring attraction or enticing cabin won’t be easy — but it will be worth it.

1. TopJump Trampoline & Extreme Arena

High energy kids will love jumping around, climbing for hours, and beating arcade scores at TopJump Trampoline & Extreme Arena in Pigeon Forge. As the area’s first indoor trampoline park, it’s a prime spot to bring the kiddos to get out their wiggles and have a blast. Plus, it’s not just for kids, so if you’re a kid at heart, get ready for heart pumping fun on the Fire & Ice Ninja Course, Boneyard Stunt Tower, and trampoline sporting arenas!

2. The Track 

Dubbed a family fun park, every age is welcome to the thrills and excitement at The Track in Pigeon Forge! There are 4 go-kart tracks for all levels, bumper cars, blaster boats, miniature golf, kiddy rides, and a super arcade with 50+ games. The kids in your group will be grinning from ear to ear before they even walk through the door…and no doubt the same can be said for the adults.

3. Comedy Barn Theater

Clean comedy for family entertainment awaits at the Comedy Barn Theater in Pigeon Forge. With 25 years under their belt, they deliver in knee slaps, side stitches, and belly laughs from the start of the show to the closing curtain. Come see animal acts, singing and dancing, magic tricks, juggling stunts, and ventriloquy — at the most attended clean comedy theater in the world!

4. Mini Golf

Miniature golf is a great pastime to take things a little slower and spend quality time with the kids. Fun courses can be found all over Pigeon Forge. Attempt to find Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure, embark on a Fantasy Golf adventure with a dragon, play on the rooftop of Crave Golf, venture onto Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Farm, and hang out at Hillbilly Golf. 

5. Anakeesta

One of the latest and greatest mountaintop attractions in Gatlinburg, Anakeesta is a modern aerial adventure park that features fun activities for both kids and adults. Duel zip line with your daughter, ride the mountain coaster with your son, buy your granddaughter an ice cream at Pearl’s Pie in the Sky, play with your little grandson in the treehouse village, take an afternoon treetop skywalk together, and grab a souvenir before you go!

6. Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud 

A competitive show and exciting adventure park wrapped into one, Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud gives kids a taste of Appalachian history while having fun. Professional lumberjacks show off their mad skills, throwing axes, climbing trees, sawing with speed, rolling on water, and more. And after watching the pro show, you get to experience the lumberman life — safely — in the park! 

7. Pigeon Forge Snow

What child doesn’t love playing in the snow? Winter, spring, summer, or fall — every season is filled with Pigeon Forge Snow at this super cool indoor snow tubing park! Snow tube to your heart’s content and chow down on treats and drinks at the snack bar. Plus, there’s a snow play area where you can create snow angels and make snow people. 

8. Dollywood 

Roller coasters, live performances, handcrafted souvenirs, kiddy rides of all shapes and sizes, an eagle enclosure, train rides, Southern dining, and neat festivals and events await at Dollywood — arguably the best theme park in the Smokies! An entire day here will certainly keep the kids happy.

9. Ripley’s Aquarium 

Explore at a slower pace when you visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Kids will ooh and aah at all the sea creatures throughout this multi level, interactive aquarium. There are even special experiences you can sign up for such as the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure over Shark Lagoon, Splash with the Stingrays, and Turtle Time where you get to meet and feed Sally the sea turtle!

10. Cabin with Extras

Checking out local attractions will entertain the kids for sure…but what about when you need to take a break or head in for the night? Opt for a cabin with kid friendly things to do in Pigeon Forge, TN. From a private indoor pool, a bubbly hot tub, and a firepit for s’mores to a home theater, a rec room with game tables and arcade units, and high speed Wi-Fi, the kids (and YOU) will have a blast at your cabin rental in the Smokies!

Between playing at entertaining attractions in town and hanging at your private Pigeon Forge cabin with fun amenities, it’s easy to keep kids happy when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains!