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The Appalachian Lodge
father and son hiking to clingmans dome

Spending your vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains is a way to guarantee that both parents and kids have an experience that they’ll never forget! Here are 4 things that kids love about visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

Kids Love Going on An Adventure

From the moment you tell your kids that you’re going on vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park they’ll have nothing but adventure on their mind! Going to the mountains, hiking, watching for wildlife, seeing waterfalls, playing in the creek and driving up to the highest peak of the Smoky Mountains, is the ultimate adventure for children of any age. It’s also an adventure that can begin even before you get to the park. In the weeks before your trip read a few books about the park, explore photos online, watch a video and get them involved in the planning process. Letting them pick a few things to put on the bucket list for a national park getaway with the family will only add to their excitement on the day that you arrive in Gatlinburg. If you really want to see them pumped about exploring, take time to put together a hiking pack for them with a small first aid kit, compass, map, magnifying glass, snacks and a bottle of water. Giving them the opportunity to carry their own supplies will not only give them a wonderful sense of independence but it will also be the first steps of turning them into a true Smoky Mountain hiker.

It’s Where the Wild Things Are

black bear cub in the smoky mountainsGoing into the Great Smoky Mountains, is going into the wilderness. It’s where the wild things are and to kids that’s incredibly exciting. Yes, they’ll see real bears. Yes, they might spot a snake, a salamander, an otter or even a bobcat. Chances are good that they’ll see plenty of deer and wild turkeys as well many other forest friends. Learning about all of the wild things before arriving will again build their excitement. It’s also a great time to fill them in on safe choices and respecting the personal space of all wildlife in the park. If you’re visiting in the spring and summer months, take a bit of time to go on a wildflower hunt and see how many different photographs you can take of different wildflowers throughout the park. Kids love seeing beautiful blooms, creepy crawlies and animals in the wild. It’s fun for them, but it also helps to foster a love for nature and instills in them a desire to protect the park for generations to come.

They Love to Learn, Especially when Learning is Fun

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not only a 520,000 acre playground, but it’s also a massive natural classroom. Kids love learning and they especially love to learn when it’s fun. Here in the Smokies children get a chance to see things that they may have only read about in books. They have the opportunity to explore historical places, experience life in one of the greatest national parks in our country and learn in a way that they can’t do in an indoor classroom setting. Kids can also participate in the park’s Junior Ranger Program that allows them to be both learners and leaders. In the program they’ll learn how they can help protect our wild places and who knows, maybe one day they’ll be working as a real park Ranger in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and it will have all started with some fun in the Smokies.

Speaking of Fun… They Get to Have Fun With Their Family

family hiking in the smoky mountains with kidsEvery day life is a balancing act of work, school, chores, extra curricular activities and more. With the hustle and bustle of life, too often uninterrupted fun with the family gets pushed to the side. One of the many reasons that kids love to visit the Smokies is that they get to just focus on having fun with their families. During their time in the park, there are no phone calls interrupting their time with you. Time relaxing and playing by a Smokies stream gives them a chance to just simply enjoy being with you. A hiking adventure is the perfect opportunity for them to connect with you and to see you being a kid again. Watching the sunset at Clingmans Dome allows a bit of peaceful time when you can share stories with them about your trips to the Smoky Mountains when you were a kid. Days like that are the moments that they love the most and it’s those moments that they will someday tell their children about as they sit together on a mountain top.

Are you ready to make memories of a lifetime with your family?

Our Gatlinburg hotel is the perfect location for you to stay during your vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Our Guest Rooms are filled with in-room amenities and there’s a room to fit every family’s preferences. Our location is great for exploring Gatlinburg, the national park, Pigeon Forge and surrounding areas. And, kids love our indoor and outdoor swimming pools! If you keep them busy and happy, then you’re sure to have a wonderful trip!

Click Here to book your stay and make plans for a relaxing getaway to the mountains!

We hope to see you soon!