Knoxville is just a hop skip and a jump away from the Great Smoky Mountains national park and offers a wealth of kid friendly activities. The vast variety, including indoor rock climbing, theater groups and outdoor splash pads, will appeal to children of all ages. If you’re in Knoxville, you’re never too far from a family friendly adventure.
If you are in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, or Townsend, Knoxville is a fun day trip waiting to happen. Don’t miss out on your Smoky Mountain vacation, by ignoring the rich history and heritage of Knoxville. The drive is just over an hour, so take a peak at what the area has to offer!
*Prior to attending any of these activities. Please contact the venue.
Free Indoor Activities
Hands On Activities:
Home Depot Kids Workshops– Free hands-on workshops for kids ages 5-12. Workshops are held on the 1st Saturday of each month. Contact your local store for details
Williams-Sonoma Junior Chef Classes – Located in West Town Mall, hands-on cooking activities for kids.
Mornings with Mommy – Mommy and me interactive play date at a local church.
Smart Toys and Books – Story time and various hands-on activities scheduled throughout the week. They also offer some special needs friendly activities.
Knoxville’s Safety City – Hands-on educational program held in a miniature city. The program is designed to teach children safe vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian skills.
Knox County Public Library – for ages infant to 5 years, starting around 10am, Monday – Friday. Check the website for the library closest to you and for specific date and age groups
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra – works with the Knox County Public Libraries to provide musical story times.
Barnes & Noble – Story time, Saturdays at 11am
McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture – Features a variety of permanent and rotating exhibits, including dinosaurs!
Knoxville Museum of Art – Enjoy visual arts of past and present with a focus on artists of East Tennessee.
Beck Cultural Exchange Center – The museum centers around African-American history and features a variety of permanent and rotating exhibits.
Farragut Folklife Museum – Immerse yourself in the rich history of Farragut through a variety of artifacts and photographs.
Sunsphere – Enjoy spectacular 360° aerial views of Knoxville from inside the Sunsphere. Expand your Knoxville knowledge with the informative plaques and photos that depict the past and present of K-Town.
Lenoir Museum – A collection of artifacts that span over 60 years of life in historical Appalachia.
Knoxville Visitor’s Center – In addition to a wealth of local information, the visitor center also offers a free music hour at noon (except for Sunday) called the “Blue Plate Special.”
Indoor Activities $10 or Less Per Person
Hands on Classes:
The Basement Community Art Studio – Open studio with art materials supplied. $10/per person all ages welcome with adult supervision. A variety of free weekly classes are also offered. See schedule on website.
Michaels – Features a variety of seasonal and themed crafting classes for children. The cost varies per class but is typically less than $5.
Knox County Parks and Rec – Offers a variety of classes, festivals and sporting activities.
Liza Moz (paint your own pottery) – Get creative at this paint-your-own pottery studio. Cost varies per piece. Pieces starting at $10. Parties also available.
Brush Fire Pottery – Get creative at this paint-your-own pottery studio. Cost varies per piece. Pieces starting at $10. Parties also available.
The Little Gym – A variety of classes offered, including parent/child options.
All Bounce Events (bounce houses)- Open Play hours on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Children 2 and under $5 per child, children 3 and up $8 per child. Parents are free with paid admission.
Pump It Up (bounce houses) – Open Jump Monday – Friday, times vary. $7.50 per child. 1 parent is free and must accompany child(ren).
Gym Bugs – Open gym time includes trampolines, a mini roller coaster, a ball pit, slides, tunnels, balance beams, mats and preschool gymnastics equipment. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10:30-11:30. $5 per child ($1 discount for siblings).
JumpJam (indoor trampoline park) – 6 and under $8 for 1 hour. Children under 2 are free with an adult ticket purchase.
Coolsports – (public ice skating)- $4/kids 4 and under (includes skate rental), $9/over 4 ($4 skate rental). Limited days and times.
The Ice Chalet (public ice skating)-
Tataru’s Gymnastics – Facility offers open play and parents night out. Cost is $5 per child.
The Muse Knoxville – Hands-on children’s discovery museum with preschool story time every Monday (included with paid admission). Adults $5, kids 2 and over $4, kids under 2 are free.
American Museum of Science and Energy – $5 adults, $3 children (6 – 17 yrs old), children 5 and under are free.
Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge – adults $8, kids 3 and up $6, children under 3 are free.
Museum of East Tennessee History – Admission is $5.00 for adults, $4.00 for seniors, and free for children 16 and under. Admission is free each Sunday.
Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame – Museum focused on the past present and future of women’s basketball. Admission is $5.95/youth and $7.95/adults.
Mabry Hazen House – Historic home that housed both Union and Confederate soldiers during the civil war. Tours are $10/adults and free for kids.
Blount Mansion – $5/kids over 5 or $7/adults. Children 5 and under are always free. Children are free the first Tuesday of each month.
Crescent Bend House and Gardens – Children 12 and under are free. Students over 12 are $5 and adults are $7.
Ramsey House – Children under 6 are free. Children 6 and over are $5 and adults are $7
Marble Springs Historic Home – $4/kids or $5/adults. Walk the grounds for free. Living history demonstrations on select dates. See website for details.
Historic Westwood Mansion – Tours are available Monday – Thursday.
Bleak House (Confederate Memorial Hall)- Historic home open for tours.
James White Fort – $3/kids or $7/adults
Knoxville Ice Bears – Enjoy the fast paced thrill of a professional minor-league hockey game. Ticket prices vary.
Chuck E Cheese – Arcade games, rides and concessions. Cost varies based on individual purchases.
AMC Movies 7 – Save big bucks at this discount movie theater. Adults and children $2.50.
Skatetown – Enjoy the exciting fast-paced thrill of indoor rollerskating. Prices vary by date and time but range from $2-$10 + cost of skate rental.
Strike and Spare Family Fun Center – There are several locations. Cost is $4.50/game per person.
Knoxville Children’s Theatre – Join the company or take in a show. Show tickets are $20 per adult/child couple or $12 per person.
Indoor Activities Over $10 Per Person
Museum of Appalachia (Clinton) – adult tickets are $18.00, children aged 5-12 are $6.00, children under 5 are free.
Breakout Games Knoxville – This facility houses multiple escape games. $25 per person. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Tennessee Theater – Take in a traveling Broadway show. Ticket prices vary.
Star of Knoxville Riverboat – Ticket prices vary based on type of tour you choose.
Three Rivers Rambler (Steam Train) – Children 16.50, adults $26.50.
Hands on Activities:
Jo-Ann Fabric – A variety of kids crafting classes offered in-store. Costs are typically between $30-$45 per class. They also offer open studio sessions for $15 per child.
Kindermusik – Free trial class. Offers a variety of music classes in varying age ranges. $65/month per child or $95/month per family.
Flora Mainord School of Etiquette – $150 for 6 1-hour etiquette or dining classes.
Painting with a Twist – Teacher lead painting projects. Kids painting are typically $25 per child. Parties also available.
Mighty Mud – Kids pottery classes that allow them to craft their own items by hand or o the wheel.
Davis Art Studio -$100 for 6 lessons
Fountain City Art Center – classes in drawing painting and clay. Cost varies by class.
Knoxville Arts and Fine Crafts – The center is run by Parks and Rec and offers a variety of different art classes throughout the year. Classes are geared toward specific age groups. Class are typically under $20/per person and include all materials.
The Climbing Center – Indoor rock climbing. $16 day pass for kids. $18 day pass for adults.
Onsight Rock Gym – Tennessee’s largest indoor climbing facility. Separate children’s climbing area.
Free Outdoor Activities
Museums and Memorials:
East TN Veterans Memorial – This stone pillar memorial honors 6,222 fallen war veterans from East Tennessee.
Market Square Farmers Market – Enjoy the live music as you browse a variety of farm fresh offerings including meats, produces, flowers, herbs and baked goods. A variety of artisan crafts are also available.
Knoxville Disc Golf Courses – In addition to disc golf, the parks also include playgrounds, picnic tables, pavilions and walking trails.
Parks and Hiking:
Carl Cowan Park -The best feature of this park is a really nice splash pad with a lot of bells and whistles. The park also has a nice playground, picnic areas, pavilions, restrooms, sports fields and hiking trails.
Fountain City Park -Enjoy a romp on the playground. Be sure to bring a picnic lunch and your walking shoes for the trails.
Concord Park – This play ground boasts lake swimming, fishing, playgrounds and picnic areas.
World’s Fair Park – This park is in the heart of downtown. There are several parking garages within walking distance. The park has a HUGE splash pad, playground and restrooms. The park is also within walking distance to Market Square.
Hawridge Park – Natural trails for hikers are mountain bikers.
Fort Dickerson Park – Hiking trails, picnic areas and historic artifacts
Krutch Park – Eat a picnic lunch next to the stream or play in a nearby fountain.
House Mountain State Natural Area – Natural hiking trails with spectacular views.
Knoxville City Parks – In addition to the wonderful parks above, that were mentioned by name, Knoxville has a vast parks system that offers a variety of playgrounds, walking and hiking trails, picnic areas, ball courts/fields, fishing and water sports.
Knox County Greenways and Trails -Enjoy the fresh air and foster a healthy lifestyle by walking, jogging or biking along one of Knoxville’s many greenways and paved trails.
Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum – Pack a picnic and take a leisurely stroll through the scenic gardens or participate in one of the many educational programs.
UT Gardens – Free admission to view the gardens. Educational programs also offered. (books and blooms?)
IJAMS Nature Center – natural hiking trails, indoor nature center and injured bird aviary. A variety of educational programs are offered throughout the year.
Knoxville Urban Wilderness – 42 miles of natural surface hiking trails. Also features 3 civil war forts along the trails.
Erin’s Meadow Herb Farm (Clinton) – Host various classes and educational programs throughout the year.
Fruit and Berry Patch – pick your own seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Black Oak Farms – Pick-your-own strawberries, blackberries and peaches.
Clift Orchard – Pick your own blueberries. 865-933-3942
Beauchene’s Berry Farm – Pick your own blackberries and blueberries. (865) 693-4221
King’s Hydrofarm – Pick-your-own, including beans, berries, squash, tomatoes and peppers. (865) 660-9656
Beardsley Community Farm – Urban demonstration site that promotes food security and sustainability.
Kirkhaven Farm – This pasture raised beef farm will provide farm tours by appointment.
Penrose Farm – Horse farm providing riding lessons.
Oakes Farm – Petting zoo, corn maze, pumpkin picking and more! (open during the fall only)
Gilrieath Farms – Petting zoo, corn maze and hayride. (open during the fall only)
Colvin Family Farm – Non-GMO produce, pork and chicken farm that allows farm visits. The farm also hosts 2 Farm Days each year. The Farm Days are filled with a variety of fun and educational activities.
Still Water Farms – A pick-your-own farm with blueberries and blackberries.
Knoxville Community Pools – Bring the kids and cool off on a hot summer’s day. A small per person fee is charged.
Knoxville Splash Pads – Amazing fountain-esque water play areas.
Knoxville City Blueways – Water ways perfect for fishing, kayaking and other water sports.
Outdoor Activities Under $10 Per Person
Little Ponderosa Zoo and Rescue (Clinton) – Kids under 2 are free. Kids ages 3-16 are $8 and adults are $12. Season passes also available.
Knoxville’s Holidays on Ice (late November – mid January only) – An open air skating rink in the center of Market Square. $10/adults, $7/children
Fun Center Putt Putt – Open February through October.
Sir Goonie’s Fun Center – This facility features miniature golf , go-karts, paintball and water slides. The Fun Center is open year round.
Outdoor Activities Over $10 Per Person
*Prior to attending any of these activities. Please verify the that this information is still accurate by contacting the facility.