I received admission for myself and my family to visit Ober Gatlinburg in order to facilitate this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Family Fun at Ober Gatlinburg
One of my favorite things about living in East Tennessee is the amount of things that there are to do. One of favorite things to do is to head on over to Gatlinburg. There are so many things to see and enjoy that I was excited when I was given the chance to spend the day at Ober Gatlinburg with my family. There are two ways to get to the top of the mountain at Ober Gatlinburg. You can drive up (which takes about 30 minutes) or you can take the Aerial Tramway (10 minute ride.) The Aerial Tramway costs $13 roundtrip for adults, $11.50 for kids 11 and under, and is free for kids under 4.
We decided to take the Aerial Tramway in order to take in the view of the mountains and the surrounding landscape. We went during Oktoberfest so the crowds were a little heavy and we waited about 15-20 minutes for the Tram. In total it took about the same amount of time as driving but was a fun experience. Next time we might drive so that we can see what the drive is like. There are shops at the base of the mountain in the Tramway Mall and on the top of the mountain. You will also find many dining options from quick snacks and cafeteria style food to a sit down restaurant with a great variety of entrees and sides. We were hungry when we arrived so we decided to dine in at Seasons of Ober Restaurant. We visited during Oktoberfest so we indulged on delicious German inspired recipes. The food was amazing and even my daughter’s (non German inspired) burger was full of flavor.
At the top of the mountain there is more to do than shop and eat. They offer many activities depending on the season and you can purchase tickets for individual attractions or purchase 1 of 2 levels of wristbands that include varying activities. Our first attraction was the Wildlife Encounter. It was a warm day so the bears were not very active but it was fun watching the two that were walking around. They also had an indoor area with owls, raccoons, turtles, and snakes.
There are a whole host of activities at Ober Gatlinburg for everyone in the family. You can choose from any or all of the following activities depending on how long you want to visit.
- Alpine Slide
- Scenic Chairlift
- Amaze’n Maze
- Mini Golf
- Chair Swing
- Kiddie Land & Kiddie Rides
- Ice Skating
- Ski Mountain Coaster
- Water Raft Rides (During the Summer Months)
We all tried out best at the Amaze’n Maze (only my daughter made it to all 4 checkpoints) and Mini Golf (this mom won.) I am not a person who likes heights so hubby went solo on the Ski Mountain Coaster. He had so much fun that he went twice.
He also took the Scenic Chairlift all the way up to the top of Mt. Harrison. The elevation at the top is 3,590 above sea level. There is a stop half-way up where you can get off and take the Alpine Slide back down. When you go all the way to the top you are greeted by gorgeous views of the Smoky Mountains. Stay as long as you want and then take the scenic chairlift all the way back down.
While he was enjoying the amazing view from the top of Mt. Harrison, my daughter decided to put on a pair of ice skates and cool off at the indoor rink. For only $9 you get three hours of continuous skating and skates. There are handrails around the rink for beginners to get their bearing and places on the outside for parents or other members of your party to sit and relax while you are skating.
Since we visited OberGatlinburg during Oktoberfest, a picture in a silly chicken hat seemed like the perfect accessory, to go with his outfit.
There is so much to do at Ober Gatlinburg and the fun even continues in the winter months when the mountain is turned into a ski slope for those who want to ski or snowboard. They usually operate from Mid-December to Mid-March but because the weather is unpredictable dates are not set in stone. I am not a skier but will make the visit just to check out the gorgeous views of the mountains covered in snow. For now this is as close as I will get to a snowflake but at least this one didn’t make me chilly.
This visit was not only approved by the parents but my daughter enjoyed herself as well and loved the variety of activities that there were. She even allowed me to take more than one picture of her enjoying herself.
If you are visiting Gatlinburg or the surrounding area make sure that you check out all that Ober Gatlinburg has to offer.