Blog for Zipline Attraction in the Smoky Mountains

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


Science-y Things To Do In The Smokies

By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on July 23, 2023

With all the recent talk about getting kids back to school, let's not forget that there's still a lot of summer left. Even after school starts, there will still be plenty of warm weekends and even some wonderful fall days to get out and enjoy some time in the Great Smoky Mountains. So what if there were a way to get the kids a little bit of scientific education while ALSO having fun in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville?

In this post, we'll share some destinations you may consider working into your next weekend or vacation in the Smokies. These are all places where the kids (and you) will get to learn about science and nature and have a blast in the process. Where applicable, we'll steer you toward activities that these destinations may offer that are specifically tailored toward school-aged kids.

And while our mission at Smoky Mountain Ziplines isn't specifically to teach science, kids can definitely learn some physics lessons while ziplining in Gatlinburg. After all, a zipline doesn't work without gravity, pulleys, momentum, force and all sorts of principles that might just make your kid a little smarter when they hit the classroom.


Head to Pigeon Forge and enter this topsy-turvy-looking attraction where the building may look upside-down but the experience is perfectly oriented toward fun. Within its 35,000 square feet, you'll find hundreds of interactive exhibits divided into six different Wonder Zones. The kids can learn about weather, outer space, light and sound and more. They'll learn like they would in the classroom, but they will feel like they're having recess.

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

This is one of two places we recommend to learn about animals. In this case, we're talking about aquatic life specifically. At this world-class Gatlinburg aquarium, you'll see creatures representing all the world's oceans and even a few freshwater species. Throughout the aquarium's two levels, you'll encounter everything from colorful tropical fish and penguins to sharks, octopuses and stingrays (which kids can touch with their own hands). Their educational mission is strong too. They offer virtual online field trips, home-school curricula and in-person school programs that are tailored to specific grade levels.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Consider this very popular national park one of the largest outdoor classrooms you'll ever see. Within its 800 square miles is a diverse ecosystem of animals, plants and other life forms. It's a great place to learn about the natural world, and at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, they have tons of educational opportunities geared toward everyone from actual scientists to school-age children. Family-oriented adventures include hikes, wildlife studies and camping experiences tailored to your specific interests.

Another program your kids can take part in in the Smokies (or any other national park) is to become a Junior Ranger. Participants are able to learn about each park's landscape, history and wildlife, and the kids can earn badges in the process. Just stop at one of the visitor centers and get the kiddos signed up.

Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo

This is our other animal-themed recommendation. Located at Governor's Crossing in Sevierville, this attraction showcases more than 600 animals representing 130 different species that hail from rainforests throughout the world. Fascinating reptiles, mammals, birds, bugs and amphibians - such as crocodiles, bullfrogs, lemurs and parrots - can be studied up close. At times, staff members will even bring some of their residents out to interact with the public.


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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