Thrilling Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge Attractions For Kids

It’s not every day you and your kids get to experience high speeds and heart-racing thrills. Yet, the Smokies are a hub of family-friendly activities that satisfy the adrenaline fix in a safe way. Some of them foster a spirit of friendly competition, while others convey educational lessons through fun and games. Some might allow you to try something extreme that you might not do otherwise. Still, others might tell a story using fear as a device. If yours is the kind of family that craves a dash of thrill with your adventures, look no further than these rip-roaring Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge attractions for kids!

bumper boats at Adventure Raceway

Pigeon Forge Attractions for Kids

If you’re staying at any of the top-rated Pigeon Forge hotels, you’ll be just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the Parkway. It won’t be long before you are racing, flying, learning, and battling at these Pigeon Forge attractions for kids.

Adventure Raceway

Adventure Raceway

Put the pedal to the metal to settle old scores! At Adventure Raceway, you can compete ‘til your heart’s content on their elevated wooden go-kart track. Up, up, up you’ll go for three stories to “The Hump” at the top of the track – only to spiral back down to earth at top speeds! If you’re visiting in the summertime, don’t forget to stay for more fun on the bumper boats. The large sit-in tubes keep your bottom dry as you float past the track. But beware… Each boat has a sprayer gun, allowing you to hose down the competition!

Ripley's Super Fun Park

Ripley’s Super Fun Park

If you couldn’t get enough go-kart racing at Adventure Raceway, you’ll also love the multi-level track at Ripley’s Super Fun Park. Buckle up into a single or double kart, and get ready, set, go! If you’re all zoomed out, take a ride on their bumper boats with water cannons, or get right back to competition mode at the arcade. The 10,000-square-foot arcade features a wide variety of games, both classic and new. Finally, close out your fun-filled afternoon with a ride on the carousel for the little ones.

Flyaway Indoor Skydiving

Flyaway Indoor Skydiving

Skydiving is one of the most thrilling recreational activities on earth – or should we say, above earth! Yet, falling to the ground from an airplane may be too scary or dangerous for some, especially kids. Did you know you can still experience the raw sensationalism of flight in a safe environment suited for kids? At Flyaway Indoor Skydiving, a powerful vertical wind tunnel gives you the chance to experience weightlessness and test your body flying skills. After donning your safety equipment and participating in an instructional brief on the basics of skydiving, you’ll get to soar for three blissful minutes! Plus, you can do it on the cheap – snag this $3 off coupon for your next single flight!



A 42,000 square-foot “edu-tainment” amusement park focused on learning science through fun; WonderWorks is easily one of the best Pigeon Forge attractions for kids. Over 100 interactive exhibits teach young minds about the scientific concepts behind extreme weather events, space exploration, physics, light and sound, and the psychology of imagination.

Just as learning through playful trial-and-error stimulates the mind, this one-of-a-kind museum also offers exciting physical activities. Let the kids run loose on the glow-in-the-dark ropes course, a four-story-tall jungle gym of obstacles that challenge kids to discover their own abilities; or battle it out on the laser tag arena, and then settle in for a thrilling ride on the 4D XD Motion Theater. The best part for parents? You can save $2.50 on admission with this WonderWorks coupon!

having fun in Gatlinburg with kids

Fun in Sevierville & Gatlinburg with Kids

With Sevierville to the north and Gatlinburg to the south, Pigeon Forge is quite centrally located. However, we don’t recommend staying holed up in one town when there’s so much fun to be had just a 15-minute drive along the Parkway! Hop over to Sevierville or Gatlinburg with the kids for sensational zooming, haunts, and scenic rides.

NASCAR SpeedPark

NASCAR SpeedPark

Named after the nation’s most popular sport racing series, NASCAR SpeedPark is the real deal when it comes to go-karting. Get your start on the 200-foot Baby Bristol or rookie track, The Qualifier, or treat the little ones to a double-kart race on the hourglass-shaped Family 500. Young thrillseekers can then move up in the world to the 1,100-foot Young Champions track or NASCAR-style, side-by-side racing track, The Competitor.

However, only the most experienced go-kart racers can handle the tight turns on Slidewayz and The Intimidator or the impressive quarter-mile-long Smoky Mountain Speedway. Once your hair is well-windswept, stick around for more fun at the amusement rides, mini-golf course, Hologate VR gaming arena, arcade, and mini-bowling alley.

Ripley's Mountain Coaster

Ripley’s Mountain Coaster

When in the Smokies, catching scenic vistas is a must. If you are torn between your need for speed and your desire to view these beautiful mountains, you can kill two birds with one stone at Ripley’s Mountain Coaster.

Once you are set in your standalone cart, gravity will send you twisting, turning, and zooming past panoramic overlooks on your way toward the bottom of the hill. The best part is that you get to control your own speed! Let gravity keep your rapid pace, or hit the brakes to better take in the mountain scenery. Children must be at least age 3 to ride on a double cart with an adult or 10 to ride solo.

Ripley's Haunted Adventure

Ripley’s Haunted Adventure

Not all thrills come in the form of miles per hour or physical challenge. Some come sneaking up behind you in the shadows when you least expect it… Ripley’s Haunted Adventure is a mysterious mansion emitting screams all year round, not just during the spooky season. Can you keep your cool on a tour of Gatlinburg’s most haunted house? Or will the live actors, strobe lights, special effects, and jump scares send you running for your life? Because it is sure to give even the toughest adults nightmares, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure is not suited for children under age 6.

Big Daddy's Pizzeria

Break For Mealtime at Big Daddy’s Pizzeria

Soon enough, you may just find the kiddos start to droop around midday or your own energy levels fail to keep up by evening. After all, thrills and playtime sure do work up an appetite, no matter your age! When you’re ready for a break from the fun and games, make it pie-time. Wood-fired, brick-oven pies are always an audience favorite, and the flavorful ones from Big Daddy’s Pizzeria are sure to bring the whole family back to life.

Tear into Neapolitan-style pizza with a crispy, homemade dough and classic toppings like pepperoni, salami, prosciutto, peppers, onions, and olives. On the other hand, you might take the path least followed with an unconventional pie like the BBQ Porky Pie, pineapple-topped Big Kahuna, or Taco Pie topped with refried beans. Not only does Big Daddy’s have the most drool-worthy pizza creations in the Smokies, but you can even launch straight back into playtime at their Pigeon Forge location’s arcade!

Every parent knows only too well that kids need constant stimulation. If you are traveling to Pigeon Forge, Sevierville or Gatlinburg with kids, you’re going to want a list of go-to activities in your back pocket. Thankfully, many of the most exciting things to do with kids in the Smokies are thrilling for adults, too!

Afterward, you’ll know the little ones got their fill of fun when they’re snoozing in the backseat. If you’re not too thrilled-out after putting the kids to bed, check out the Smoky Mountain nightlife and other things to do for adults!

Content on this page is subject to change. Please contact the locations mentioned to see if promotions, hours, pricing, etc. are still valid.

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller is a native Tennessean who currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina. She loves spending time in the great outdoors, such as camping, hiking, and mountain biking. She also enjoys exploring all that the Smoky Mountains have to offer.

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