Top 5 FREE and FUN kid friendly things to do while visiting Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge
Gatlinburg Tennessee is one of the most visited vacation destinations in the United States. Are you looking to find kid friendly things to do when you get here? Well, Gatlinburg will not disappoint! We're listing the top 5 free kid friendly things to do below. The list includes things to do while your here for one day or many days. If you do plan on staying a while, visit piddlin.com to search multiple cabin rental companies and find the perfect cabin for your vacation.
Mynatt Park in Gatlinburg TN
Mynatt Park is a hidden gem in Gatlinburg. This is where you will find the locals getting away from the hustle and bustle of the more touristy areas. Also, a good starting spot for a hike. This park is one of the top places to go with kids, and many don’t know about this parks existence. Have a picnic, play in the creek, shoot some hoops, etc. The creek is perfect for the kids to fish [youth fishing only], and you can watch them closely at the tables set up next to the water. Mynatt Park is an ideal location to stop at after a long drive to the Smoky Mountains, get out stretch your legs and enjoy a picnic.
Things to do in Gatlinburg Pro tips:
- Pro tip #1: Pack a basketball for a quick pickup game or bring a ball and glove to practice your baseball moves.
- Pro tip #2: Bring a bathing suit and towel. The kids and young at heart can wade through the stream.
- Pro tip #3: Bring water shoes to walk among the rocks in the water. (some rocks may be slippery, be careful)
Cooter's Place in Gatlinburg TN
It's free to check out all the Dukes of Hazard Memorabilia in this little mom and pop attraction. If you have watched the show, then you will love this little museum and knick-knack shop. It's located at 542 Parkway in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. If you and your family would like to participate in the indoor go karting and indoor mini golf there is an associated fee for these activities. The go carts will reach up to to 23 MPH on the slick track and are gas powered. The 18-hole putt-putt golf course is great for younger kids. The setup of the greens are between rooms, making for a unique putt putt golfing experience.
Cades Cove in National Park
Cades Cove is always a no brainer, make sure you stop by when you come to the smoky mountains. It's one of the most popular places to visit in the Smokies. The views, plus the anticipation of random sightings of wildlife, make the cove a hit with the whole family. Visit the many stops off the loop, old homesteads, an old grist mill and a souvenir shop that has live music and demonstrations at certain times during the summer, check to see what’s going on during your trip, (https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/calendar.htm) etc. If you're staying in Gatlinburg, you will need to plan almost a whole day for the trip to the Cove. There are many shops, and places to eat along the way. Or take a picnic basket and a cooler with you, and you can stop along the cades cove loop for a bite to eat inside the park! Check out this in depth article about Cades Cove.
Sugarland Visitor Center in National Park
Inside the visitors’ center there is a 20-minute video introduction to the park and some interesting educational information. You can get a park schedule of things to do there as well as find out about ranger led programs, for example, the kids’ night hike. Some activities are seasonal so be sure to ask questions, you can also get maps for the Sugarland Visitor Center trails. They open bright and early at 8 am. 7 days a week except Christmas. There are restrooms and a soda machine.
Things to do in Gatlinburg Pro Tips:
- Tip #1: Cell service can be spotty so pick up some trail maps if you are going on a hike. (Cash/honesty system) Day maps $1
- Tip #2: Don't be afraid to ask about trail details in Gatlinburg or other areas of the park. Get to know which trails are difficult and which are easy to hike.
- Tip #3: Get there early or get prepared to be patient when speaking to staff or rangers. The park can get very busy in season.
- Tip #4:Some trails may be closed for many different reasons, ask before you hike.
- Tip #5: There is a short trail behind the center that takes you to Cataract Falls. .6 miles there and .6 miles back for a total of 1.2 miles.
The Old Mill Square
Feed the ducks while enjoying the mesmerizing mill!! Bring some peas instead of bread. Bread is essentially junk food for ducks. The Old Mill is just outside of Gatlinburg on the Pigeon Forge Parkway. It's super close to most areas of Gatlinburg. The mill is from the 1800s and is still working! If you prefer a guided tour, they are $3, there are other shops and restaurants nearby the whole family can enjoy.
Once you get to Gatlinburg, you will find it easy to entertain the kids. The entire family will enjoy each of these things to do in Gatlinburg.