We received complimentary tickets to Ober Gatlinburg Resort & Amusement Park. All thoughts and opinions remain my own, as always.
On the final day of our Smoky Mountain family vacation, we headed to Ober Gatlinburg. I’ve visited the Great Smoky Mountains around ten times, but never made it up the mountain to Ober Gatlinburg, so this was a first for our entire family. Nestled high above the mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, visitors can ride an Aerial Tram or drive up to Ober Gatlinburg. Once there, you’ll find beautiful scenery, wildlife exhibits, an ice skating rink, and a small amusement park.
Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram
We chose to ride the Aerial Tramway up to Ober Gatlinburg. The trams runs every 15 minutes and the ride lasts about 9 minutes. It was a fantastic experience and I’m so glad we did it. I am a very anxious person, so riding in a tram, hanging from a cable, with many other people was totally out of my comfort zone, but the view was fabulous and I’m thankful I was able to push my fear aside and give it a try! If you want to truly see the Smoky Mountains, hop on the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram!
Upon arrival, you’ll enter the large lobby filled with shops, an arcade, snack shacks, an ice skating rink, and a carousel. After grabbing our passes, the kids wanted to hop on the carousel first.
Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park
The amusement park is perfect for preschoolers and toddlers with a lot of the same rides you’ll find at your local county fair. Bryson and Bella rode motorcycles, cars, a train, and played on the playground. In addition to kiddie rides, Ober Gatlinburg offers rides for the entire family including several large slides. There is the fabulous alpine slide, a scenic chair lift, a maze, chair swings, mini-golf, and more. If you plan to check out all the activities offered, you’ll need to set aside several hours. The kids talked Justin and I into getting on Ober’s Lightnin’ Raft Ride and Shoot-the-Chute and it was a blast!
Ober Gatlinburg Wildlife
Bryson was most excited about seeing “REAL LIVE BEARS!!!” at Ober Gatlinburg. I had told him about the wildlife exhibits while planning our vacation and he asked every day, several times per day, until at last- we saw the bears! We also saw several different birds, snakes, and my favorite- a gorgeous owl.
Since this was our first visit to Ober Gatlinburg, we weren’t sure how much time we’d need to set aside. Give yourself at least 2-3 hours to walk around, check out the shops and exhibits, and enjoy the amusement park. While there are several snack bars and small restaurants at Ober Gatlinburg, I highly suggest eating before you head up the mountain. We ate at the Ober Snack Bar and it was disappointing. In fact, most of our food ended up in the trash because it was terrible. We wished we would have tried out the small Mexican snack bar instead.
Since we visited during the summer, we didn’t get to see the snow. If you visit during the winter when it’s cold, you’ll have the opportunity to go skiing, snowboarding, and tubing as the folks at Ober make their own snow. If you are looking for a family-friendly place packed with lots activities while on vacation in the Smoky Mountain, definitely head up to the mountains to Ober Gatlinburg!