Top 5 Gatlinburg Attractions for Kids (and Parents!)

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg, TN is the ultimate family vacation destination! Whether you’re visiting with toddlers or teenagers, your kids are sure to have a blast in the Smokies.To help you make the most of your next getaway, Black Bear Inn & Suites has put together a guide to the top five Gatlinburg attractions for kids (that parents will love too).

1. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

A visit to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a can’t-miss part of any trip to Gatlinburg. Kids will love all of the aquarium’s hands-on exhibits, including Touch a Ray Bay (where you can pet a real live stingray) and the Penguin Playhouse (where you can crawl through plastic tubes in a habitat for African penguins). It’s no wonder that Ripley’s was recently voted the best aquarium in America by the readers of USA Today!

Gatlin's Smoky Mountain Fun mini golf in Gatlinburg TN.2. Gatlin’s Smoky Mountain Fun

Gatlin’s Smoky Mountain Fun offers a number of wonderful rain or shine Gatlinburg attractions for kids and families. Visitors can play outdoor or indoor mini golf, drive bumper cars, experience a thrilling motion ride, enjoy a game of laser tag, and mine for gems. Gatlin’s also features new Escape Games, where participants are “locked” in a room and must complete a series of challenges to find their way out!

3. Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen

The Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen has been delighting visitors to Gatlinburg since 1950! When you visit this beloved shop, your child can indulge her sweet tooth with a wide variety of homemade fudges, chocolates, and candies. Another highlight of stopping by the Candy Kitchen is watching the mesmerizing taffy-pulling machine in the window. Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen has two convenient locations on the Parkway.

4. Impossibilities Magic Show

Impossibilities: An Evening of Magic, Mindreading, and Mayhem is a one-of-a-kind show held at the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Starring magical comedian Chris Collins and master mentalist Erik Dobell, this unique performance is the perfect mix of mind-bending stunts and hilarious comedy. Audience participation is a big part of the show, so your kids might even get to go on stage!

The outside of Fannie Farkle's in Gatlinburg TN.5. Fannie Farkle’s

Fannie Farkle’s is Gatlinburg’s very best arcade. Located on The Strip, this fun destination has a great selection of arcade classics and the latest video games. Rather than dealing with tickets and tokens, Fannie Farkle’s uses a convenient card system that makes paying for games and keeping track of points a breeze. Your kids will love the arcade’s redemption center, which features some truly awesome prizes. If you get hungry during your visit to Fannie Farkle’s, be sure to try their enormous fresh-dipped corn dogs!

When you stay at Black Bear Inn & Suites, you will be near all of the best Gatlinburg attractions for kids. Our hotel is located right on the Parkway, just steps away from the area’s most popular things to see and do. With a complimentary breakfast bar each morning, an enclosed heated pool, high-speed wireless internet access, and suites with beautiful balconies, Black Bear Inn has everything you need for a spectacular getaway. To start planning your vacation, browse our selection of Gatlinburg hotel rooms!