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Chattanooga, Tennessee is a great city to visit for families. It’s small and doesn’t have a lot of traffic, but it packs a punch when it comes to things to do. Here are 9 of the best things to do with kids in Chattanooga so you can plan an awesome trip for your family!
#1: Tennessee Aquarium
The Tennessee Aquarium is one of the best things to do with kids in Chattanooga. It consists of two 3-story buildings. One building features animals that live in and near saltwater. The other one showcases animals that call freshwater rivers (and the areas around them) home.
This aquarium is one of the best ones I’ve ever visited. The exhibits inside are well designed and spread out in such a way that you can get great views of the animals without jockeying for position when it’s crowded.
Additionally, there is a cute little creek running around the aquarium that your kids can play in during your visit.
#2: Ruby Falls
Do your kids love adventure? Then Ruby Falls is a great activity for your family!
After meeting up with your tour guide, you will descend 260 feet down into the belly of Lookout Mountain. Once there, you will hike a half mile around and past interesting rock formations.
After you reach the end, you will be rewarded with mesmerizing views of one of the tallest underground waterfalls in the world.
This is such a surprising experience! My family loved it!
#3: Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
Another thrilling experience in Chattanooga is the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway. This funicular railway transports passengers from the bottom of Lookout Mountain all the way to the top. It is one of the oldest and steepest incline railways in the United States.
Once the rail car starts climbing the steepest part of the mountain, your kids will feel like they are on a slow-moving rollercoaster. You, on the other hand, will love the panoramic views you get from the top of the mountain.
#4: Rock City
Next on my list of the best things to do with kids in Chattanooga is Rock City. It is another fun Lookout Mountain experience.
Hike along the trails to find some incredible views! At one point, you can see seven different states from the same viewpoint on a clear day.
Your kids will love exploring Fairytale Caverns, looking for the famous gnomes, visiting Mother Goose Village, and crossing the 180 foot long suspension bridge.
Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for the various art installations scattered through the Rock City area.
#5: Chattanooga Zoo
If your kids love animals, then you have to take them to the Chattanooga Zoo.
This is a small zoo, but they have some very unusual animals that you may have never seen before! These include the capybara, the red panda, and Highland cattle. Definitely be sure to stop by the pied tamarins exhibit. These cute little monkeys are full of energy and are a lot of fun for kids to watch!
For even more animal interactions, take part in the giraffe feedings or book a behind-the-scenes experience to get up close to a favorite animal.
#6: Lookouts Baseball Game
The Lookouts are a minor league baseball team located in Chattanooga. Their stadium is located in downtown Chattanooga, not too far from the Tennessee Aquarium.
These games are so much fun for kids, especially if they are sports fans. And tickets to minor league games are much cheaper than they are for major league games. So, this is a great affordable family outing.
Check out their schedule here.
#7: Creative Discovery Museum
If you have little ones, then you have to spend some time in Chattanooga at the Creative Discovery Museum. This children’s museum is a lot of fun for younger travelers.
Their exhibits include a little farmhouse, a weather center, a STEM station, an insect building station, an art space, a water play area where kids can learn how rivers work, and so much more.
Your little ones will have so much fun here that they may never want to leave!
#8: Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge
One of the best things to do with kids in Chattanooga is to let them burn off some energy by taking a walk across the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge. This bridge is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the country.
As you walk across the bridge, you can get some amazing views of the city and the Tennessee River. The bridge is wide enough that your kids can have a little freedom to run and play as you stroll across.
Consider taking a walk across the river after dinner and grab some ice cream on the other side. This is a great way to end your day on a relaxed note.
#9: Clumpie’s Ice Cream Company
Speaking of ice cream, no list of the best things to do with kids in Chattanooga would be complete without including a trip to Clumpie’s to get some of the best ice cream in the country!
There are several locations throughout Chattanooga. All of them feature a whole list of seasonal flavors, in addition to some permanent fan favorites. You will have about 20 flavors to choose from, so there is definitely something here for everyone!
During our time in Chattanooga, we visited three different Clumpie’s locations. All of them had amazing flavors and a line out the door! But, I promise, it is worth the wait!
Chattanooga is a wonderful city for families. It has a ton of things to do without the large crowds and traffic that you typically find in larger cities. This list has the best things to do with kids in Chattanooga. I highly recommend taking a trip to this amazing city with your family soon!
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