We just got back from Gatlinburg for Kennedy's dance nationals, but while we were there we did a little vacation, trying to do as much as we could as family while there.

We had so much fun, & already planning a trip back so we can do more without breaks for dancing. & get a cabin next time. We needed to be close to the convention center, so we got a hotel in town so it was within walking distance.
I was so pleasantly surprised on how much there was to do with young children. I was little nervous.

My biggest thing I didn't like for kids, & mostly Kennedy as she is allergic, was walking down the main strip was the smoking. I really feel like everyone smokes down there. It was every other person. It made it difficult, but it won't keep us from coming back again. Just will make sure I have her inhaler on me rather than back in the room!

1. The Strip

Besides the smoking, we had so much fun just walking up & down the main drag downtown. There are little alley ways that have such fun shops & places to get snacks! The girls loved looking around the candy store!
We loved this "gem mine" store, where you could sift through buckets of dirt to find gems. The girls couldn't get enough of it & thought it was the coolest!

2. Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

I can't say enough good things about this place. Brandon & I went while I was pregnant with Kensley, I knew I couldn't wait to come back with both the girls. It is SO kid-friendly. & lots of stuff that is hands on. The girls loves the "tube" where the fishes swim all around you. & feeding & touching the stingrays! I really can't recommend this place enough!

You really can't go wrong going anywhere in the park! We really wanted to make our way up to Cades Cove, but ran out of time! On a suggestion for a friend, we went to the Chimneys Trail Head
I wish I got more photos here, but I slipped on a rock & busted my knee pretty bad. The girls swam in the water & had a absolute blast! This is great with little ones, because there really isn't much of a hike at all, you walk over a bridge & you see all the beauty! If you go during the summer months, pack swimsuits for the kids! Just watch out for slippery rocks ;)

4. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

This trail is amazing. It is a one way motor trail, meaning you drive the trail. It has stop offs, what seems like every few feet to stop & walk around. Nature seriously closes in around you & the beauty of this trail is beyond words. There is two falls you can hike to. Rainbow & Grotto. We choose Grotto Falls, because it was the shortest & most easy for the girls. Turns out I needed to be more worried about myself. The trail to the falls 1.4 miles, & very much at a incline about the whole way. We were going against the clock so it didn't get dark on us. I think we would have had a much more pleasant experience if had taken time. So I suggest that. The waterfall makes it so worth it. It is the only waterfall that you can you go behind. It is so beautiful. The girls haven't stopped talking about it. We also saw 1 possibly 2 bears! We are unsure if the second was the same bear we saw the first time or a different one!

Grotto Falls

5. The Dixie Stampede

This is such a fun dinner show! My girls loves the horses & the show in general!
Just a FYI if you find it maybe a issue for you little ones, or you. This dinner show does not use any silverware. The soup you drink from a bowl & the rest with your fingers. My girls loved it. The food wasn't exactly their favorite but Brandon & I enjoyed it! We all couldn't get enough of the creamy vegetable soup! It was mouthwatering! The show is very entertaining! The girls might have enjoyed the food more if they had paid attention to eating more ha! They couldn't keep their eyes off the show! If you buy your tickets ahead, which I suggest. Make sure you stop by the ticket box to pick up your physical tickets before getting in line! We didn't know this & stood in line forever only to be told to go get our actual tickets & get back in line! What a pain! 

& there you have it!
I cant wait to add more to list! What is your favorite thing to do Gatlinburg? Let me know so I can add it to our list for our next visit!

Watch our trip video below!