When most people think of Cherokee North Carolina they think of gift shops, the mountains, and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel as the only entertainment available. Cherokee North Carolina offers much more entertainment than that. Cherokee North Carolina offers a wide variety of entertainment ranging from a zoo to a theme park, and so much more. If your trip to Cherokee North Carolina is short, you should make it a point to visit the following places for great, family entertainment.
Cherokee Bear Zoo and Exotic Animals
1204 Tsalagi Road
828 497 4525
Cherokee Bear Zoo and Exotic Animals is perfect entertainment for all ages. While there, you’ll be able to pet and observe several different varieties of animals. They have animals ranging from Black Bears to tigers to monkeys, and even Grizzly Bears. Being able to feed some of the animals is a moving experience. There are few times when you’ll actually be able to feed such exotic animals and for a child it’s a memorable experience that will help spur their love for animals. The admission price is only $5 for adults and children over 3 years of age. Children 3 and under are admitted for free. While there, why not visit their mini golf course for more entertainment. Cherokee Bear Zoo and Exotic Animals is open daily March 1st through December 31st and weekends in January and February (weather permitting).
Smoky Mountain Gold and Ruby Mine
Highway 441 North
Gold and Ruby Mine is especially fun for kids. Panning for gold and gems can be very messy, so of course your children will love it. If you aren’t interested in getting dirty, don’t worry. There is a gift shop that sells jewelry, allowing you access to gold and gems without the mess, and we all know their entertainment to be found in shopping. If you do pan for gold and gems and are lucky enough to find a gem that you just love, they will cut, polish, and set the gem into one of their many fine jewelry settings. A tip to remember, is that the price of the bucket of dirt you purchase will determine how many and what kind of gold and gems you will receive. Open daily March through November.
Cherokee Fun Park
Cherokee Fun Park is great entertainment for little kids and teenagers, and those who are kids at heart. The offer bumpers boats, miniature golf, go-carts, an arcade, and 8 kiddie rides. It’s honestly like a miniature theme park. There are several go-cart tracks to choose from and you could spend the whole day there and never get bored.
Santa’s Land Theme Park and Zoo
571 Wolftown Road
828-497-9191 or 828-497-9188
Santa’s Land is mostly entertainment for little kids, but can easily be enjoyed by older kids and adults as well. Offering a variety of rides, Santa’s Land will keep your children happy for quite a few hours. Santa’s Land also has several animals in their zoo and several gift shops as well. Santa’s Land might quite possibly have the cheapest admission of all theme parks at $16.59 plus tax. Children 2 and under are admitted for free. They are open daily from the first week of May to the first week of November 10am to 5pm Monday-Friday and 9am to 6pm on the weekends.
Unto These Hills
Unto These Hills is not only a wonderful entertainment option, but tells the story of the Cherokee Native Americans. Your children will be totally oblivious to the fact that they are learning something as they watch the Cherokee fight for their land. You will truly feel what the Cherokee felt. This is a very moving play and should not be missed. The play can be viewed Monday-Saturday June through mid August.
If traveling with younger family members, it’s important to know that these entertainment options are available. Too often, I see families coming to Cherokee North Carolina to visit Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel, which is a wonderful place, but they leave their children alone in the hotel rooms with nothing to do. So if you’re coming to visit the casino for adult entertainment, please bring along someone who can take the younger ones around town to enjoy these entertainment options, so they won’t be bored and alone.