Planning a trip to Gatlinburg, TN, with your family? There is so much for you to see and do! Whether you want to see the incredible sights or visit an amusement park, you can do it all in Gatlinburg. Each year, families come here to experience the best family activities in Gatlinburg and make memories that will last a lifetime! Everyone from the kids to the grandparents will love exploring the different attractions. If you’re looking for help deciding what to do on your family vacation, look no further than our free Vacation Guide! Inside you’ll find details on all the best local eateries, attractions, entertainment, and more!  

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Top Family Activities in Gatlinburg for Your Next Vacation  

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Located at the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has hands-on kid-friendly activities. Get up close and personal with manta rays at the Touch a Ray Bay or watch playful penguins all day at the Penguin Playhouse. The Discovery Center lets kids get hands-on experience with horseshoe crabs and learn about other creatures of the deep. You can also stick around for live shows where divers feed fish and sharks. One of the most popular Family Activities in Gatlinburg is the 340-foot-long glide path that takes you through Shark Lagoon — be sure to keep an eye out for Sally the Sea Turtle! 

Ober Gatlinburg

No matter the time of year, there are always family-friendly things to do at Ober Gatlinburg. From mid-December to March, kids and adults can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing on the slopes. Even on the hottest summer day, the whole family can go ice skating in the indoor arena. The Aerial Tramway will take you from downtown Gatlinburg up to the theme park and ski area. An alpine slide and mountain coaster wind down the mountain for exciting rides, and the chairlift provides scenic views without the hike during all seasons. With so much to offer, the family fun is endless at Ober!  


To get to Anakeesta, you must board an open-air gondola that takes you up the 600-foot Anakeesta Mountain. At the top, you will find restaurants and shops in the Magical Firefly Village. Kids of all ages will enjoy the Treehouse Village Playground, and the whole family can take a nature walk in the Vista Gardens. If your crew likes adventure, be sure to book a zipline ride through the trees or take a ride on the Rail Runner, the only single-rail mountain coaster in the country.  

Gatlinburg Space Needle

To see one of the most incredible mountain views, you should check out the Gatlinburg Space Needle. The Space Needle stands at 407 feet tall and overlooks downtown Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. A glass elevator takes you to the 360-degree observation deck, where you can find impressive mountain views during the day and city lights at night. After admiring the view, you can play games in the arcade or test your skills in an escape room. 

Stay Near All the Fun at Edgewater Hotel Gatlinburg suites

Our Gatlinburg hotel is only steps away from the Parkway and all the best attractions, restaurants, and shopping! We are less than a 5-minute drive away from attractions like the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, Gatlinburg Space Needle, and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium Gatlinburg. Our hotel is also located on the trolley route, so you don’t have to worry about gas or driving through traffic while sightseeing. Plus, we offer free parking on-site, so you’ll never have to worry about running the meter! 

When you’re not busy exploring the city, our downtown hotel offers a fantastic array of amenities to keep everyone entertained! Whether you want to splash around in the pool, make s’mores by the firepit, or enjoy the city lights from your suite’s private balcony, there’s always something for you and your family to do!  

To start planning your next family vacation to the Smokies, check our availability and select the perfect accommodations for your stay. We look forward to seeing you and your family at The Edgewater Hotel!