There are so many attractions and fun things to do in the Smoky Mountains with kids that the list could almost be endless. In addition to being fun, there are numerous educational things to do in the Smoky Mountains with the kids making it a great place for homeschoolers and worldschoolers to check out. In this post, I will give you a list of some of the top things to do in the Smoky Mountains with your kids that they will love and you can count as a “school day”.
Dollywood Pigeon Forge
There’s no question, Dollywood is the #1 attraction in the Smoky Mountains. My family has been visiting Dollywood since before it was Dollywood, but did you know that Dollywood is a great place to spend a ‘school day’ for homeschoolers? I know it is a theme park and certainly a fun thing to do with kids in the Smoky Mountains, but I suspect you may be asking, “How is riding roller coasters and splashing down waterslides educational?”
Dollywood Educational Resources
Here are a few things you could discuss before, during, and after your visit to Dollywood.
- Learn how water wheels like the one at Dollywood was used to create electricity.
- Get up close with the Bald Eagle and other birds of prey at the Dollywood Wings of America Theatre.
- Watch a Craftsman in Craftsman’s Valley at his trade.
- Do a unit study on roller coasters and learn about the mathematics and science behind how they are designed and maintained.
Recently the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) and Dollywood teamed up to make Dollywood even more educational by providing informational signs throughout the park and educational resources on their website.
Dollywood Homeschool Days
HOMESCHOOL DAYS: Dollywood has special ticket prices for homeschoolers August 5th – September 30th $37 for students and $48 for adults. Plus homeschoolers receive free lunch.
Additionally, Dollywood’s Dreammore resort has special rates for homeschooler’s in August and September.
Dollywood Ticket Prices
TRIPSTER DISCOUNTED TICKETS: Outside of homeschool days, you can often get a slight discount through Tripster or you can bundle tickets with other Smoky Mountain Attractions.
Titanic Pigeon Forge
There are several unique and fun attractions in Pigeon Forge that kids will love, but as a homeschooling mom, the Titanic Museum is one of my favorite things to do with kids in the Smoky Mountains. Inside this museum, is a replica of the inside of this beautiful ship, the clothing of the guests, and an opportunity to experience just how cold the water was where these pour souls perished.
Titanic Pigeon Forge Educational Resources
The Titanic Pigeon Forge museum has a host of educational resources available for parents and teachers. Before attending the museum here are a few ideas you might consider.
- Learn about the social classes of the different passengers on board.
- Discuss modes of transportation during the late 19th century and why the Titanic was considered a breakthrough.
- Teach a unit on buoyancy and why boats float and/or sink.
- Use a Globe or Map to show kids the planned route and how the Titanic got into trouble.
For these and other ideas and resources, check out the Titanic’s Educational Resources here.
Titanic Pigeon Forge Homeschool Days
HOMESCHOOL DAYS: Every day is homeschool day at the Titanic where teachers and students get in for the deep discounted price of $9.00 per student and $9.00 for one adult! The museum also offers educational resources and a Titanic Scavenger Hunt on the website making it a perfect fun thing to do with the kids in the Smoky Mountain and a wonderful unit study option for homeschoolers.
Titanic Pigeon Ticket Prices
TRIPSTER DISCOUNTED TICKETS: Save $3 on your other adults or non-homeschoolers at Tripster: $23.28 Reg: $26.26
WonderWorks Pigeon Forge
Wonderworks is right next door to the Titanic museum and is another great option for a “school day” in the Smoky Mountains. This indoor amusement park has over 100 hands on exhibits to spark a child’s imagination.
WonderWorks Educational Resources
There are tremendous amount science related educational resources on the WonderWorks website to complement the exhibits your children will experience.
WonderWorks Homeschool Days
HOMESCHOOL DAYS: Wonderworks offers amazing discounts for homeschoolers in the months of September, October, January, February, and May discounting the tickets to only $12 and $10 if you have a group of 10 or more.
WonderWorks Ticket Prices
TRIPSTER DISCOUNTED TICKETS: SAVE $2 ON TICKETS WITH TRIPSTER: $25.99 REG: $27.99
Ripley’s Aquarium Gatlinburg
Ripley’s Aquarium of Gatlinburg is always a hit with the kids and such a great place for homeschoolers. Their homeschool resource page has a nice big headline that states, “We love homeschoolers” along with information on monthly labs and discounted rates for homeschoolers.
Ripley’s Aquarium Gatlinburg Educational Resources
Multiple workshops and labs are provided for homeschoolers on the third Wednesday of every month from September through May (no labs in the month of December). Labs include such topics as:
- History of Sea Monsters
- Species Highlight: Cephalopods
- Creepy Ocean Animals
- Animal Defenses: Venom vs. Poison
Download their educational toolkit as an additional resource to prepare your students for their visit to Ripley’s Aquarium.
Ripley’s Aquarium Gatlinburg Homeschool Days
HOMESCHOOL DAYS: Ripley’s offers homeschooler’s and their siblings a discounted ticket price of $10.99 (Reg: $34.99 for adults and $19.99 for children)
A homeshcooling family of four gets admission for a little more than the price of one adult admission ticket!!
NOTE: You must provide some form of proof of homeschool such as a letter of intent, attendance record, or homeschool ID card at the admission windows in order to receive this discount.
Ripley’s Aquarium Gatlinburg Ticket Prices
TRIPSTER DISCOUNTED TICKETS: SAVE $2 ON TICKETS WITH TRIPSTER: $34.99 REG: $19.99
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
We can’t forget the most obvious resource for homeschoolers in the Smoky Mountains: The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. A full day exploring the national park and all the amazing hikes certainly qualifies in my book as an excellent day of school. There are plenty of easy hikes for kids in the Smoky Mountains. However, being a national park, GSMNP also has numerous ranger led programs, the Junior Ranger program, and other specialty and seasonal programs to cons
Great Smoky Mountains Educational Resources
The National Park website offers materials for educators to assist you in planning your time in the Smoky Mountains. Additionally you can learn about field trips led by the rangers throughout the year.
Great Smoky Mountains Entrance Fee
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the few US national parks that doesn’t charge any entrance fee giving you another great reason to visit the Smoky Mountains with your kids.
There are so many reasons to take kids to the national parks and as a homeschooling mom with an eye toward world schooling and roadschooling, the United States national parks are the perfect place for my kids to learn about nature, history, and the world in which we live.
Helpful Resources for the Visiting Smoky Mountains With Kids
What are your favorite things to do in the Smoky Mountains with kids?
US National Parks Printable List
Sign up for our newsletter to get this US National Parks List printable! Laminate it for your roadschool or homeschool or print one for everyone to have and put them in a Traveler’s notebook! It’s just a fun reference for you and the kids when you are planning or teaching about the national parks.