The Best Activities for Grandchildren in Chattanooga

The relationship between grandchild and grandparent is one of life's true joys. I have such beautiful memories of my grandpa coming to pick me up to go fishing. I see can see the candy he carried in his pocket, Werthers Original, and the smell of his car. The memories you create with your grandchildren will last a lifetime. They are this poetic link from the past to the future. In this day and age, where screens take up so much of our attention, it's essential to get out of the house and have some fun. These are some of the best options in the Chattanooga area to take the grandkids to make memories that will last a lifetime. 

Southern Belle Riverboat

The Tennessee River is the heart and soul of the city of Chattanooga, and there might not be a better way to connect with its history than a riverboat tour. You can tour the captain's cabin or sit back and enjoy the view of the city as you float down the river. If the grandkids get hungry, there's a burger bar on board the ship where they can stop in for a snack.  There is so much incredible history in the city, but this is one of the best ways to connect to Chattanooga while still having a lot of fun. 

Creative Discovery Museum

The Creative Discovery Museum is an enjoyable early morning or afternoon activity that will keep the grandkids entertained for hours. The museum is designed as a hands-on learning environment for children with everything from gardens to play areas and art they can make. There's so much to see and do here. This is probably best suited to younger kids. You can also purchase food and beverages at the museum, so don’t worry about packing lunch.

A Round of Golf

Is there a better way to spend quality time with the grandchildren than by teaching them the great game of golf? We recommend taking them to one of Chattanooga oldest courses - Brainerd Golf Course, originally designed by Donald Ross. You don’t have to book a full round for the young ones, but instead, putt on the practice green and hit balls off the driving range. If your grandchildren are a little older and perhaps already know how to play, what better way to get some exercise and sunshine than swinging the clubs for 18 holes. If you don’t hit the ball as far as you used to, specific golf balls for seniors add distance to your game. That way, you can compete against the kiddos. 

High Point Climbing & Fitness

If the grandkids are adventurous, you might want to take them to a place they can get out all their energy, literally climbing up the walls. There are two locations in the city, and they offer a sprawling layout and options for kids of any age. There are particular areas for younger children and beginners to show them the ropes of climbing. If they are more experienced, they can try out the bouldering room and have some fun while they're working out. There are also aerobic and yoga classes offered. 

Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls is a gorgeous underground waterfall found on top of Lookout Mountain. It has a new viewing area and shops and zip lines, and other fun activities. The real star is the 145-foot tall waterfall that will take your breath away. Ruby Falls is a great experience, and something kids of all ages will enjoy experiencing. It is also a great way to teach your grandchildren about outdoor activities and the virtue of exercise. 

Tennessee Riverwalk

This 13-mile long greenway is an excellent way to see the city, whether by walking or riding a bike. There are often events from boat races to live music along the trail, so make sure to keep an eye on upcoming events. There are also spots to stop for lunch or dinner, along with ice cream and other treats to beat the heat in the summer. 

Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

This trolley line has glass-covered cars, so you get a fantastic view of the city as you ride straight up to the top of the lookout mountain. Once you make it to the peak, there's an observation area to soak in the views, as well as a Civil War museum. It’s quite the experience because you feel almost vertical as you ascend the mountain. On the way down, there’s ice cream for the kids and cold beer for the adults. 

Tennessee Aquarium & River Gorge Explorer

This excellent aquarium is right in the heart of the riverfront and provides many great activities for kids. They will have the chance to marvel at an incredible array of freshwater and seawater creatures. From sharks to stingrays, giant turtles, and penguins, there is so much to see. Also, make sure to check out the touch pool and the butterfly enclosure. There’s nothing more awe-inspiring than seeing the majestic animals swimming right next to you through the glass. 

Coolidge Park and the Great Outdoors

This park is a great place to take the kids to and enjoy the view of the Tennessee River. There's rock climbing, picnic areas, one of the world's longest pedestrian bridges, and an antique carousel. The park is also right next to a vast number of restaurants and art galleries. If it’s hot, the kids can run through the interactive water fountain. 

Raccoon Mountain Caverns 

This is a great outdoor setting and an opportunity to get away from the bustle of the city and enjoy the great outdoors. It offers RV parking and campgrounds, and you can even rent a cabin. Make sure to explore the caverns with over 5.5 miles of underground passages. Camping with the grandkids can be one of the best ways to spend time with them. Just make sure to bring ingredients for smores.

Bonus Tip for Christmas in Chattanooga 

If the grandkids are coming out around Christmas, there are many special events in the city, including many places previously discussed in the article. You can explore options from the Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum's North Pole Limited Adventures, Ruby Falls Christmas Underground, and special cruises on the Southern Belle Riverboat.

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