The Top Family-friendly Attractions in the Smoky Mountains

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The Great Smoky Mountains are one of the most breathtaking places in all of America, offering sprawling natural beauty that simply has to be experienced to be believed. One of the best ways to experience the majesty the Smokies have to offer is doing so with your kids. 

On top of all the breathtaking views and natural wonders dotted throughout, the area is also home to several leading attractions that are perfect for the whole family to enjoy. To help you create the perfect day trip or weekend getaway with the entire family, we’ve compiled a list of the greatest attractions in the area.

Whether you’re enjoying thrill rides at Dollywood or enjoying some family fun at Hatfield and McCoy dinner shows, there’s something perfect for your family on this list.

Dollywood

Dollywood is one of the biggest—and most famous—family-friendly attractions in the Smoky Mountain area. With a storied and humble history dating all the way back to the 50s, Dollywood has massively expanded over the years into the area’s largest and most visited theme park, making Pigeon Forge an American vacation destination.

With a theme rooted in all things Appalachia, Dollywood is practically a love letter to the Smokies and many communities that make it up. Whether you’re catching one of the many live shows playing classic country, rock and roll, southern gospel, and bluegrass hits, or enjoying classic rides like the Lightning Rod—the world’s fastest wooden coaster, you’re going to have a great time with the family in Dollywood.

Anakeesta

This charming, award-winning mountaintop adventure park is the perfect place to spend the day with the family and enjoy the Great Smokies. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the Treetop Skywalk, take a spin on the mountain coaster, or just enjoy getting around on the scenic Chondola, there’s fun of all kinds for people of all ages at Anakeesta.

Located in the quaint and charming Gatlinburg, Anakeesta is a bit more grounded of a theme park, heavily leaning into the natural charm and beauty that the Smoky Mountains provide. Check out the Ridge Rambler adventure truck rides or enjoy the exceptional zip-line tours that let you enjoy the area’s stunning views in a whole new way.

The Island in Pigeon Forge

While not as expansive as some of the other full-fledged theme parks on this list, The Island in Pigeon Forge is a great way to spend the day or evening with the family. Home to the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, an impressive 200 ft high Ferris wheel that sits at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, there’s plenty to do during your time in the park.

Get in some games at Arcade City, a beloved area for kids featuring all of your favorite games of skill and other arcade classics. Get in a couple of games of laser tag at Battleground, and then hop on a ride for the 7D Dark Ride adventure. Once you’re ready to wind down, you can get a bite and something to sip at Margaritaville at Pigeon Forge, or Ole Smoky Moonshine’s innovative “The Barn” bar and eatery.

Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud

Take a trip back in time and choose your side in one of the longest-running family feuds in American History at the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud show. Take part in the battle and help the Hatfields and the McCoys settle their score—mountain-style. It doesn’t matter if you’re a city-slicker or a proper hillbilly; you’re going to have a great time with all the music, dancing, laughs, animals, and so much more.

But the fun doesn’t stop there; on top of all the great entertainment you get to take in, you also get to enjoy an all-you-can-eat southern feat at the same time—it’s so good that even Granny would approve! Featuring classics like fried chicken, pulled pork, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob, it’s the perfect down-home cooking to accompany such an entertaining, family-friendly show.

Soaky Mountain

Located in Sevierville just a couple of miles off of exit 407, the 50-acre Soaky Mountain waterpark is an excellent way to spend a hot day up in the Smoky Mountains. It’s loaded with waterslides of all sizes, plenty of pools, and all kinds of unique water activities to help keep the kids entertained and cooled off at the same time.

Check out the Avalaunch, a unique, first-of-its-kind water coaster that’s bound to leave a lasting impression. Or hop in the Soaky Surge, a massive 35,000-square-foot wave pool that’s capable of generating waves as high as six feet tall! If you’re planning a trip with smaller kids, don’t forget to stop by Boomer’s Bay—it’s loaded with kid-friendly versions of the thrill rides adults love, so everyone can have a great time.

Rockin Raceway

Do you love arcades? Even if you’re not the biggest fan, we already know that your kids are. Rockin Raceway offers plenty of family-friendly ways for you to enjoy your day in Pigeon Forge. If you enjoy go-kart racing, they’ve got you covered. Want to hop on the fastest slick track in the mountains? No problem at all.

They have over 150 different games in their expansive arcade. So once you’re done getting in all of your favorite classics that you love, you can check out something new you’ve never experienced—and still have so much to see or do.

Having The Perfect Family-Friendly Getaway in The Smokies

From thrilling roller coasters at Dollywood to the historical reenactment of the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud, the Smokies offers a plethora of experiences that cater to every member of the family. 

While you wander through Anakeesta’s treetop adventures, make sure you take in the majestic views from The Island in Pigeon Forge, or challenge your loved ones at Rockin Raceway, you’ll be reminded of the simple joys that come from spending quality time together. Each attraction, whether it’s the excitement of Soaky Mountain’s waterslides or the tranquility of gazing at the sprawling natural vistas, captures the essence of what makes this region so special.





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