I'm planning a roadtrip with my family(2kids - 4 and 8 yrs old) on the week before christmas from Houston to Gatlinburg. The plan is to drive 8-10 hrs first day stay at some hotel and reach gatlinburg around mid day the next day. My challenges are to find enough stops on the way about half hour to an hour to let the kids play and run around little bit(shopping malls or park) and still reach my hotel before its too late or dark. I have no idea how to plan for such stops, any help is greatly appreciated.
Also if any segment of this route mountainous. I'm planning to drive from Houston to Lousiana, then drive up north all the way to Chattanooga, then knoxville, then take SR66 to Gatlinburg. Will there be any ice or snow during this time along this route. Do I need a 4WD ?. I'm planning to drive my car which is a 2WD(2006 Honda CR-V). We are going to be staying there for about 5 days in Gatlinburg. Among other things we may probably do the cades cove trail in gatlinburg in our car, and then drive back to Houston. Any information will be very helpful. Thanks !!