Gatlinburg is known for family fun, outdoor adventures, and Southern charm. While you can indulge in more expensive attractions like top-rate theater performances and scenic helicopter rides, families on a budget have plenty of options as well. Whether you’re down for trampoline parks, mini-golf, or hiking trails, both adults and kids can enjoy the family vacation. Read on to discover the best 10 cheap things to do in Gatlinburg.
1) Aerial Tramway
Looking for gorgeous views of the Tennessee terrain? The 120-passenger tramway delivers year-round picturesque sights 11,000 feet above Gatlinburg. Guests can take the tramway from downtown to Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area and Amusement Park for their convenience and a top-rate experience. Further, the 2.1-mile ride costs only $15 for adults (2 Day, unlimited rounds) and $12 for kids ages five to eleven-years-old regularly, but you can receive discounts via Tripster. The tramway station is located at 1001 Parkway and LeConte Street downtown.
2) Roaring Fork Motor Trail
Other than gas money and whatever supplies you choose to bring, there is no admission fee to enter this historic forested trail. Named after its powerfully flowing mountain stream, Roaring Fork Motor Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a 5.5 mile-long loop road with stunning views and preserved historic buildings. Visitors can stumble upon wildflowers, mountain streams, and an all-encompassing hardwood forest in one of the national park areas in the United States. Moreover, well-preserved log cabins, grist mills, and other structures reside along the trail as you head up to Rainbow Falls. This popular waterfall requires a 5.4-mile roundtrip hike, but it’s worth it as long as you’re dressed for the occasion. You can’t beat this trail as one of the best cheap things to do in Gatlinburg.
Please note you can’t access this trail during the winter season.
3) Rainforest Adventures
You can reach this family-fun attraction in less than 30 minutes from Gatlinburg. The Rainforest Zoo in Sevierville, Tennessee houses over 600 animals and depicts over 130 species. As a great indoor and outdoor option with plenty of attractions for visitors of all ages, you can head to the zoo during any season for a quality day. Whether your little ones display excitement over the petting zoo or you prefer to see South American monkey species, no one in the family will feel bored by the multitude of exhibits and shows. Moreover, Tripster offers a deal of $9.99 per person, so you can’t beat that in terms of finding one of the top cheap things to do in Gatlinburg.
4) Ole Smoky Distillery
The Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery’s “Holler” location in Gatlinburg brings top-notch moonshine to Tennessee residents and visitors alike. Producing traditional and eclectic flavors, Ole Smoky has been voted the nation’s top distillery and offers daily tours for interested patrons. While the authentic moonshine can cost you, you can still tour the facility and sample signature shine for fairly cheap! After you navigate the production process, treat your senses to $5 samplings and leave satisfied. Of course, you’re welcome to purchase jars of Apple Pie Moonshine or White Lightnin’ on your way out.
5) Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze
Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze presents an engaging sensory experience for the whole family! Lose yourself in a labyrinth of dead ends, rotating mirrors, mind-bending corners, and continuous circles. See infinite reflections of yourself under special effects in the Infinity Room as you strike a pose. Located downtown, you’ll never experience each room the same way no matter how many times you go. Also, Ripley’s Candy Factory is on-site for a well-deserved treat after you complete the maze. Note that you receive unlimited admission to the maze from the time the ticket is scanned until the end of the business day.
With Tripster’s discount, the experience costs only $8.74 per person, so it’s definitely one of the premium cheap things to do in Gatlinburg.
6) 7D Dark Ride Adventure
As 7D Dark Ride Adventure lies in neighboring Pigeon Forge, TN, the attraction is about a fifteen-minute drive from Gatlinburg. This highly interactive, thrilling theater game entices visitors of all ages. While your seats rise, shake, fall, and swing, you’ll be armed with zombie-fighting weapons and special glasses in order to take down undead enemies. Better yet, compete with friends and family to see who obtains the highest score! The 7D Dark Ride Adventure has no age limit to ride, although passengers must meet the minimum height requirement of 40″. Further, the ride only costs $10.99 per person through Tripster!
7) Sevier Air Trampoline & Ninja Warrior Park
Let loose at the Sevier Air Trampoline & Ninja Warrior Park! Channel your inner American Ninja Warrior by testing your skills on the obstacle courses or bouncing on the trampolines. With 38,000 square feet of space, you and yours have plenty of opportunities to have fun and get active. Furthermore, kids ages two to ten-years-old can play in the three-story net system for maximum good times. Also, if you would rather spectate, there are numerous areas to sit, relax, and keep an eye on your kids while you snack on delicious concession stand treats and take advantage of free Wi-Fi. Located in the mall at Governor’s Crossing in Sevierville, it’s not too far at all from Gatlinburg so you can experience a fantastic afternoon.
Visit the park starting at $15.90 per person via Tripster.
8) Rowdy Bear Mountain Adventure Park
Home to two amazing thrill rides, Rowdy Bear Mountain Adventure Park enables guests to soar through the treetops and zoom around the mountain for a unique experience. Sail through the trees on the original Mountain Glider, a single rail coaster that safely maneuvers through the forested area for an adrenaline rush. Then control your own speed on the Mountain Coaster, a gravity-propelled alpine coaster that reaches up to 35 miles per hour. You and your family can experience safe but fun thrills, as the coasters possess the latest Intelligent Distant Control System to ensure your well-being. Note that height, weight, and age restrictions apply for each ride.
The coaster ride costs $12.32 per person via Tripster and the glider ride costs $17.90 per person.
9) Great Smoky Mountains National Park
If you care to take in spectacular sights outdoors, head to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to hike hundreds of trails as well as tour Cades Cove’s historic 19th-century buildings within the park. Also, guests can climb up to Clingmans Dome to see 100 miles of land across seven states, catch some sun whitewater rafting, or fish in Little Pigeon River. Note that you may come across wildlife such as black bears, so pay attention to wildlife and warning signs and take precautions.
10) Circus Golf Blacklight 3D
Who doesn’t love mini-golf? Even better, the action-packed, interactive mini-golf course features a full 18-hole course as well as a circus fun house! The funhouse displays computer animations, animatronic characters, sound effects, and black lights, appropriate for guests of all ages. If you get a hole-in-one on the 18th hole, you’ll be rewarded with a special celebration song! Moreover, admission only costs $5.95 per person via Tripster.
Visit Gatlinburg for Family Fun and Thrills
With so much to see and do, no one in the family will be bored by the itinerary. Save money and book your vacation through Tripster to see the top cheap things to do in Gatlinburg.