National Park Activities Just For Kids

There are many great activities and adventures in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that are perfect for kids. If you are looking to get your family immersed in the outdoors in an educational way, these free kids activities in the Smoky Mountains are a perfect place to start. They'll learn more fun information about our parks while having a blast.

Become A Junior Ranger

Pick up a junior ranger booklet for $2.50 at any national park visitor center for kids ages 5-12 to become a junior ranger. They are also available at the Cades Cove or Elkmont campgrounds. Kids can complete the booklet activities & return it to a ranger to receive their very own junior ranger badge. Find ranger-led programs especially for children on the national park website.

Ranger-Led Programs

Parks As Classrooms

Parks As Classrooms is an environmental education program for students in kindergarten through eighth grade that allows teachers in surrounding communities to bring their students to the park for hands-on learning experiences. The park offers a variety of fun and free curriculum-based programs.

Parks As Classrooms
Our park programs enhance classroom learning by using the cultural and natural resources as teaching tools. Through place-based learning, students make real-world connections with science and history, while having fun at the same time!


The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont is a year-round residential environmental education center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that offers workshops, camps, and programs for people of all ages. They even offer special programs for teachers. For more information, call (865) 448-6709.


Sugarlands Visitor Center

The Sugarlands Visitor Center is open every day of the year except for Christmas, and it is a great stop to add in when you're headed into the park. Visitors can view a free 21-minute movie about the park, explore nature and park exhibits and more. While the kids are exploring, plan out some easy hikes for families with kids, and speak to rangers about your itinerary and get their input.

Visitors Centers

Kid Hikes

Once you've explored some of the many kids activities in the Smoky Mountains provided by the park, make sure to go on a kid-friendly hike with your family. Whether you are looking for a short trek, or something a little more challenging, you're bound to spot some wildlife and scenic views your children will never forget. Challenge them to get out into nature and explore the great outdoors on your next trip to the area.

Kid Hikes

For other educational opportunities, visit the Cades Cove and Oconaluftee Visitor Centers. Dial 865-436-1200 for more information.

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