Traveling to Chattanooga on a family vacation? There are plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Chattanooga, TN!
Located on the Tennessee-Georgia line, Chattanooga is a popular vacation spot for tourists. With a river running through it and mountains surrounding it, Chattanooga is a picture-perfect place to bring your family.
Chattanooga is home of the iconic Rock City that was painted on barns telling you to “See Rock City” all through the South and the Chattanooga Choo-Choo from the famous song. There is a rich history in this family-friendly town.
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Kid Friendly Things to Do in Chattanooga, TN
1. Children will love the Creative Discovery Museum. With two floors of fun, there are plenty of hands-on exhibits for kids who love to play, climb, and touch everything they see! Featuring an impressive water play area, an indoor playground, and a rooftop exhibit, kids will have a great time in this museum built just for them.
2. Be sure to walk the Walnut Street Bridge connecting the art district to the Northshore area that are located on the banks of the Tennessee River. After you’re done walking the bridge, walk down the hill to Coolidge Park to ride the carousel. If you’re visiting Chattanooga in the summer, be sure to let your kids wear their bathing suits and jump in the fountains.
3. The Tennessee Aquarium is a must-see. With two buildings (one for saltwater and one for fresh water fish), the aquarium will take you the better part of a day to get through. Once you have seen all of the fish, touched the stingrays in the touch tank, and walked through the butterfly garden, head outside to walk in the water step fountains. This is another great thing to do during the summer.
4. You can’t go to Chattanooga without seeing the famous Rock City. Located at the top of Lookout Mountain, Rock City is a classic Chattanooga experience. At the overlook, you’ll be able to see seven states with the binoculars! If you are visiting Chattanooga in the winter time, you could go at night and see the Festival of Lights with thousands of Christmas lights set up all over the famous attraction.
5. Made famous by the 1941 Glen Miller song, the Chattanooga Choo Choo is a historic hotel where you can sleep in actual train cars. Kids will love this! And for the train enthusiast, take the kids to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum where you can take a quick ride on a train and climb on old train cars.
6. Take a walk in the caves to see Ruby Falls, the tallest underground waterfall located on Lookout Mountain. Ruby Falls has been one of Chattanooga’s top attractions since 1930. Once you’re done in the caves, take a trip down the zipline at the Ruby Falls ZIPstream Aerial Adventure.
7. Pack your hiking boots and explore many of the hiking trails found all around the town nestled between the mountains. There are tons to choose from with various levels of difficulty. The overlooks from Signal Mountain are breathtaking and worth the hike. Just be careful on the winding mountain road to get to the trails!
8. Just when you think you’ve seen it all from land, splash into the Tennessee River for the unforgettable views of Chattanooga’s Riverfront and Maclellan Island from the Chattanooga Ducks. It’s not just a tour, it’s an adventure! You will board an authentic renovated WWII amphibious landing craft for a narrated tour of downtown Chattanooga, TN and sail around the river. If you’re lucky the captain will even let the kids have a turn at the wheel.
9. Take a ride on the Incline Railway up Lookout Mountain. Originally two incline railways, the current Incline Railway has been around since 1895. Now that’s a great piece of history!
10. Take a short drive to the Chickamauga Battlefield. While not in Chattanooga, it’s just a short 20 minute drive. You can see historic buildings, see cannons, look at monuments, and learn more about the Civil War battle. The Chattanooga area is full of Civil War history for the history lover.
Sara McClure lives in Chattanooga, TN with her husband and two boys. She’s the author of (affiliate link) Busy Bags Kids Will Love and blogs at Happy Brown House. You can find her on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook as well.