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aerial view of Gatlinburg TN on a spring day

Guide to the Perfect Family Day in Gatlinburg TN

Gatlinburg is one of the best family destinations in all of the Smoky Mountains. Between all the kid friendly attractions, restaurants, and activities, your kids will have a trip they will remember forever. However, it can be hard to decide what to see and do because there is so much to choose from. That is why we have put together this guide to the perfect family day in Gatlinburg TN:

Pancake Party

Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg If your kids are early risers and are excited to get their day started, you can take them to one of the hottest breakfast restaurants in town, Pancake Pantry. Not only is the food delicious, but they cater to young children in a multitude of ways. They have a huge selection of breakfast meals on the kid’s menu, including bear shaped pancakes! For the adults in the group, they serve a variety of amazing entrees, such as eggs, waffles, sausage, and two dozen different types of pancakes! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and there is no better place to get your adventure started than the Pancake Pantry.

Under the Sea

One of the most popular attractions in all of the Smoky Mountains is Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. This aquarium is much more than just a place to learn about marine life, as it holds dozens of interactive exhibits for both kids and adults. On the same day, you can get an up close view of a penguin, pet a stingray, and explore the wonders of the ocean. The opportunity for children to have hands-on experience with some of the creatures makes it much more enjoyable for all ages. If you want to take a break from the adventure, there is a large play area in the middle of the aquarium that your children will go nuts over! Be sure to stop by the gift shop on your way out to pick up a Smoky Mountain souvenir.

Explore the Great Outdoors

Gatlinburg SkyBridge Since Gatlinburg TN is located in the heart of the Smokies, you will want to schedule time during your day to visit some of the amazing outdoor activities around town. Luckily, there are a couple of mountaintop attractions that your kids will love. First, you can take a ride on the Gatlinburg SkyLift to the top of Crockett Mountain and explore the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park. There you will find some amazing activities for the whole family, including the longest pedestrian cable bridge in all of North America. For more excitement, head over to Anakeesta and take in the gorgeous mountain views from the top of the AnaVista Tower, the highest point in all of downtown Gatlinburg!

Delicious Dining

As your busy day in Gatlinburg continues, you will be curious to know about the best places to eat lunch and dinner. There are plenty of delicious places near all the biggest attractions, from local favorites to the biggest chains. If you are looking for a place the kids will love, you can’t go wrong with pizza. It is a quick and easy meal that everyone in the family will enjoy. There is a local pizza parlor located in downtown Gatlinburg, Big Daddy’s Pizzeria. They have all kinds of fresh ingredients and will cook your personal pizza to perfection in the wood fired brick oven. Plus, the kid’s meal comes with the scrumptious cinnamon donuts for dessert! Some of the other popular restaurants to check out include No Way Jose’s, Cherokee Grill, and Parton’s Deli.

Nightlife in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg at night The fun doesn’t stop in Gatlinburg TN once the sun goes down. If the kids can stay up a little bit past their normal bedtime, it’s well worth taking a stroll down the main strip of the Parkway. At night, all the attractions and shops around town light up, which creates an amazing scene. There are plenty of places to shop along the strip, including places where you can purchase a Smoky Mountain souvenir. Be sure to bring your camera along to snap pictures of the town, including the iconic Gatlinburg Space Needle lighting up the night sky! After your busy day, you can return back to your cabin or hotel to rest up for your next exciting day of sightseeing in the Smokies!

Now that you have the guide to the perfect family day in Gatlinburg TN, be sure to check out these helpful tips for kid friendly activities in Pigeon Forge! We look forward to welcoming your family to the Smokies!