There were so many fun things to do in Chattanooga with kids and we really liked the area. In this post we will share what we did with our kids while in Chattanooga and some additional activities we think you will love!
Table of Contents
- Additional Activities
- Where To Eat
- Where To Stay
Coolidge park is located in downtown Chattanooga, in the North Shore area. We started out walking across the well known Walnut Street pedestrian bridge. We got about half way and knew the kids wouldn’t make much more so we turned around and headed down to the park.
There is a water fountain for the kids to play in with cool animal statues around it. There are large green open spaces to just run and play or have a picnic. Plus there is a 100 year old restored antique carousel!
The nice thing about the park is it is adjacent to a lot of local restaurants, shops and art galleries. It makes for a perfect spot to take a break and let the kids run around!
Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
On Wednesday we headed to the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway in historic St. Elmo.
The ride up was really cool and the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park area, which was a couple of blocks down the road, had a great gift shop area, Civil War videos and facts.
Point Park (the site of the pivotal Battle Above the Clouds in the fall of 1863 that helped Union troops gain control of Chattanooga) was also there and offered amazing views.
It was an interesting experience . . . Our 2 year old did not like it! He was on my back in the backpack and just did not want to be there.
You couldn’t touch anything (seriously they can arrest you and fine you if you touch some areas or break anything) so I couldn’t really let him down.
We didn’t know going into it that it was a half mile walk to get to the falls and then another half mile back . . . Seeing the caves was really cool and so was the underground waterfall – but not something I would recommend with young kids.
I wasn’t expecting Rock City to be much and wasn’t sure if it would be a fun thing to do with kids in Chattanooga. But figured we would try.
We are glad we did! When we got there it was Starbucks happy hour – buy one get one on holiday drinks so we had to stop. The kids got the holiday hot chocolate too.
Then we headed in. The trails were really cool – but a bit nerve-racking with a 2 and 4 year old. Our 2 year old and is a runner and our 4 year old trips over a painted line. So we made sure someone had someone’s hand when we were by the ledges.
This was definitely an outdoor adventure! We stopped and viewed 7 states from one spot and then went into the Fairyland Cavern – it was pretty neat!
High Point Rock Climbing
When we were driving in we saw a rock climbing place – High Point Climbing and Fitness – that had some really cool kid friendly options. We stopped over to check it out and since my parents paid for dinner (thanks Mom and Dad!) we decided to try the rock climbing. It was great.
The kids had a blast and were able to climb to the top of the walls and climbed and jumped off another high structure. It is crazy how when you are a kid your fear level is so different than as an adult!
We are so glad we stopped and hope that we can stop again on our travels!
Below are some activities we didn’t get to do in Chattanooga this time around, but we think would be really fun on our next trip!
Good Fortune Soap And Spa
Have a blast mixing your own signature scent from essential oils! You can choose from things like lotion and perfume roll ons for mom, beard oil or aftershave for dad and fun things like rainbow fizzy bath salts or bath bombs for the kids.
A mixologist will assist you in the process and you’ll leave with an awesome product you made yourself.
Train Ride and Trolley Tour
Who doesn’t love a train ride? Learn about the railway history of this great city. Take a train ride on the Tennessee Valley Railroad. On this guided tour you will learn about local history and the role that transportation has played in Chattanooga.
If your family loves museums, Chattanooga won’t disappoint! Check out one of these awesome museums:
Tennessee’s Aquarium contains two buildings called River Journey and Ocean Journey. River Journey was the largest freshwater aquarium in the world when it opened. The aquarium prides itself on showcasing life in, above and around water!
Bluff View Art District
Named for the overlooking bluff views of the Tennessee river, Walnut Street Bridge and more, this one may be more to mom and dad’s liking. The Bluff View Art District is an historic district in Chattanooga contains higher end restaurants and coffee shops, a bakery, art gallery and plenty of historic buildings and gardens to stroll through.
If you are looking for a night out without the kiddos, check out Station Street which hosts various restaurants, comedy clubs, live music and more nightly. This are is also home to the Chattanooga Choo Choo historic hotel, which has restaurants and gardens (as well as the historic factor) that would be fun to see with the kids during daytime as well.
If you are into zoos you won’t want to miss the Chattanooga Zoo! Check the schedule for Keeper Chats to learn more about the animals. And be sure to stop at the Nature Play area to let the kids run around and play for a bit.
If you are really into smaller amusement parks, you may want to check out Lake Winnepesaukah! They have great rides for the whole family.
Walnut Street Bridge
While looking for things to do in Chattanooga, Tennessee be sure to check out the Walnut Street Bridge. This is the world’s longest pedestrian bridge. This bridge connects the North Shore to Downtown Chattanooga.
There are a wide variety of guided tours available in Chattanooga. If you like spooky be sure to check out the family friendly walking tour of Chattanooga’s most haunted destinations. Discover all the history and secrets of downtown Chattanooga on a 2- hour Segway Tour. For the adults in your family check out the Craft Brewery Walking Tour and Beer Tasting. On the Southern Belle Riverboat Cruise, see Chattanooga from a different view as you travel the Tennessee River.
Where To Eat
Good Dog Restaurant
Good Dog this mobile food truck has a variety of delicious hot dogs to choose from. Be sure to check their website for updates on their location.
Julie Darling Donuts
I had searched Chattanooga donuts and we found Julie Darling donuts – it had great reviews! We went and checked it out – and I am glad we did!
The Donuts were amazing!! I got a sea salted caramel one and it was soooo good. If ice cream is more your thing, check out Clumpie’s Ice Cream for handcrafted, seasonal favorites.
I had heard Mellow Mushrooms was good – so we went back into Chattanooga to Mellow Mushrooms. Our pizza was awesome!
It was funny when we got there they took us right back to the “back room” as we got back there we noticed a lot of other kids were there and then the tables kept filling up with more and more kids – we were obviously put in the “kids” area. Which was great!! I wish all restaurants had a kids area.
Where To Stay
We stayed at Raccoon Mountain Caverns and Campground – which was a great campsite about 15 minutes outside of downtown Chattanooga. After the not fun trip into Gatlinburg (Read here) – we made sure to leave early in the day so we could pull into Chattanooga in the day light.
We got there with no issue and pulled in – literally – since we had a pull through site – those are AWESOME!! If you have ever backed in an RV you would understand – not that I have – but I have helped Craig multiple times as he has backed into some tight spots! A pull through is so easy!!
Check out RV rentals here if you are interested in renting an RV for your Tennessee road trip!
Stay right in the heart of downtown with Staybridge Suites Downtown Chattanooga. These studio, 1 or 2 bedroom suites come with full kitchens and a hot breakfast bar is included in the price.
Homewood Suites by Hilton has full kitchens and a separate living area as well as convenient workstations if you need to work on your trip.
Choose between a Cozy and Contemporary Cottage or a Perfect Location Downtown with views of Lookout Mountain. Chattanooga has a wide variety of vacation rentals available. No matter if you want a luxury loft or a spacious home to stay in, there is a great place for you to stay.
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