Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains

Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.


5 Kid-Friendly Places To Visit In The Smokies This Year

By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on February 28, 2018

Traveling with kids can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a challenge, especially if the tykes are around age 10 or younger. They're still at an age where they might need a little assistance from mom and dad when it comes to staying mentally occupied, not to mention the fact that the littlest of the little actually might need physical assistance in the form of a stroller or perhaps being carried from time to time as the day wears on.

So when you're on vacation, finding the right points of interest to visit is important. You want to go places that the whole family can enjoy, which is not an easy task when you're talking about a wide range of ages. So this week, read on to pick up a few ideas for places where your younger offspring will have a good time – and hopefully, with a minimum of fussiness.

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

This mega-attraction in downtown Gatlinburg has been providing families with plenty of wow factor since 2000, and it's still going strong thanks to its multiple levels of undersea exploration. Throughout the self-guided tour's many themed exhibits (Tropical Rain Forest, Ocean Realm, Coral Reef and more), the aquarium displays 350 different species of fish and exotic creatures from all the world's oceans. You'll see awesome octopi, slithering eels and colorful fish, and in the Touch-a-Ray exhibit, you can get hands-on by petting the resident stingrays. The centerpiece of the aquarium is Shark Lagoon, where multiple species of sharks are easily visible as you travel below the surface in an underwater tunnel that allows unobstructed views through clear Plexiglas walls. Also look for on-site eateries as well as the Cargo Hold gift shop.

Smoky Mountain Deer Farm Exotic Petting Zoo

If your littles like animals, they'll love this petting zoo located outside Sevierville. Not only can you touch animals like elk, goats, camels, zebras and kangaroos, but you can hand feed them as well. Also look for emus, exotic cattle and Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs. It's reasonably priced, and the attraction offers solo horseback riding for ages 5 and older and pony rides for tots and those who may not be interested in the full-size horses.


This Pigeon Forge attraction bills itself as an “amusement park for the mind,” and it's true that the multilevel experience entertains in an educational way. The interactive tour lets guests get a feel for what it's like to ride out a 5.3 earthquake, stand in hurricane-force wins, land a space shuttle or build their own roller coaster. There's even an art gallery where the walls are decked out with unique creations and mind-bending illusions. While you're at WonderWorks, you'll also find a laser tag area, a black light maze and a theater venue that hosts a fantastic magic show.


Not all of Dollywood is accessible by younger kids, because many of the roller coasters and other rides have height restrictions. But there's still plenty for wee ones to do at this renowned Pigeon Forge theme park. One section of the park, Country Fair, has nearly a dozen kiddie rides (including a fantastic carousel) that are just right for the youngest of guests, and the whole family will enjoy a ride on the Dollywood express, which takes a spin around most of the park. There are also multiple play areas where the kids can hang out while the bigger ones ride the coasters, and some of the water-themed rides can be enjoyed by the kids too. The park even has a parent swap plan that allows mom and dad to trade off riding the grown-up rides while the other parent tends to the kids. And don't forget that there are plenty of indoor attractions and seasonal shows that are tailor-made to the younger set.

Mini golf

This is a general category, but let's face it: Kids love mini golf. In the Smokies, you can take your pick of more than a dozen attractions and family amusement centers that offer miniature golf, both indoor and outdoor. It's all a matter of what type of course and experience you're looking for.

And don't forget that Smoky Mountain Ziplines will be open in a few days, and we allow kids as young as 8 (who weigh at least 60 pounds) to take our canopy tour. So if you're planning to zipline Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge this year, be sure to come see us. And bring the kids!


This content posted by Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Visit our home page, for more information on zipline adventures in the Smoky Mountains.

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