Things to Do in Knoxville TN with Kids
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Top 10 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Knoxville, TN

Knoxville, Tennessee is a great family vacation destination, with plenty of things to do with kids. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or indoor activities, Knoxville has something for everyone. From exploring nature to visiting museums, there’s never a dull moment in this vibrant city. One of the top attractions for families in Knoxville is…

Knoxville, Tennessee is a great family vacation destination, with plenty of things to do with kids. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or indoor activities, Knoxville has something for everyone. From exploring nature to visiting museums, there’s never a dull moment in this vibrant city.

One of the top attractions for families in Knoxville is Zoo Knoxville. With over 900 animals from around the world, it’s a great place to learn about wildlife and conservation. Kids will love getting up close and personal with the animals, and there are plenty of interactive exhibits and activities to keep them engaged. Another popular attraction is the Knoxville Museum of Art, which offers a variety of exhibits and programs designed for kids of all ages. From hands-on art activities to special family events, it’s a great place to spark your child’s creativity and imagination.

For those who love the outdoors, Knoxville has plenty of parks and trails to explore. The Ijams Nature Center is a must-visit destination, with over 300 acres of forests, meadows, and wetlands to explore. Kids can learn about local wildlife, go hiking or biking, or even go on a guided nature walk. With so many things to do with kids in Knoxville, it’s the perfect destination for your next family vacation.

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Family Activities

Knoxville is a great destination for families with kids of all ages. The city offers a wide range of activities that are sure to keep everyone entertained. Here are some of the best family activities in Knoxville.

Outdoor Activities

Knoxville has plenty of outdoor activities that the whole family can enjoy. The city is home to several parks, including the Ijams Nature Center, which offers hiking trails, rock climbing, and canoeing. The Knoxville Zoo is another great outdoor destination, with habitats for animals from around the world.

If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, check out Navitat Knoxville. This outdoor adventure park offers zip lining, bridge walking, and other thrilling activities.

Indoor Activities

When the weather isn’t cooperating, Knoxville has plenty of indoor activities to keep the family entertained. The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge is a great place to start. The museum offers interactive exhibits on science, history, and art.

For animal lovers, the Little Ponderosa Zoo and Rescue is a must-visit. This animal rescue center offers a chance to get up close and personal with a variety of animals, including tigers, kangaroos, and camels.

And if you’re looking for a sweet treat, head to Cruze Farm. This family-owned ice cream shop serves up some of the best homemade ice cream in the city.

Overall, Knoxville is a great destination for families with kids. With a wide range of activities both indoor and outdoor, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Attractions

Knoxville is a city with a rich history and diverse culture, offering a variety of attractions for visitors of all ages. Here are some of the best attractions to visit with kids:

Museums

Knoxville is home to several museums that offer interactive exhibits and educational experiences for children. The East Tennessee Historical Society Museum is a great place to learn about the region’s history, while the Knoxville Museum of Art offers a variety of art exhibits and workshops for kids.

Historical Sites

For families interested in history, Knoxville has many historical sites to explore. The James White Fort is a reconstructed fort that offers tours and demonstrations of life in early Knoxville. The Mabry-Hazen House is another great option, featuring a Civil War museum and beautiful gardens to explore.

Gardens

Knoxville is home to several beautiful gardens that are perfect for a family outing. The Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum offers a variety of themed gardens, including a children’s garden with interactive exhibits. The University of Tennessee Gardens is another great option, featuring a variety of plant collections and educational programs for kids.

Neyland Stadium

For sports fans, a visit to Neyland Stadium is a must. The home of the University of Tennessee football team, Neyland Stadium offers tours and interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience the excitement of game day.

Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or just having fun with the family, Knoxville has something for everyone.

Culture and Entertainment

Knoxville offers a wide range of cultural and entertainment activities that are perfect for families with kids. From music venues to festivals, there is always something fun and exciting to do. Here are some of the top options:

Music Venues

Knoxville is home to several music venues that offer live performances for all ages. The Bijou Theatre is a historic venue that hosts a variety of shows, including concerts, comedy acts, and plays. The Mill & Mine is another popular venue that features both indoor and outdoor performances. With its state-of-the-art sound system and lighting, it is a great place to catch a show.

Festivals

Knoxville is known for its many festivals that take place throughout the year. The Dogwood Arts Festival is one of the most popular, featuring art shows, live music, and cultural events. The International Biscuit Festival is another favorite, celebrating the Southern staple with cooking competitions, tastings, and more. Other festivals include the Knoxville Film Festival, the Rossini Festival, and the Tennessee Valley Fair.

The Muse Knoxville

The Muse Knoxville is a children’s museum that offers hands-on exhibits and activities for kids of all ages. It is a great place to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in a fun and interactive way. The museum also hosts special events throughout the year, such as science fairs and art shows.

In conclusion, Knoxville has plenty of cultural and entertainment options for families with kids. Whether you’re looking for live music, festivals, or educational activities, there is something for everyone. So, plan your trip today and experience all that Knoxville has to offer!

Dining

When traveling with kids, finding a good place to eat can be a challenge. Luckily, Knoxville has a variety of kid-friendly restaurants that offer great food and a welcoming atmosphere.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants

Here are some of the best kid-friendly restaurants in Knoxville:

  • Corner16: This American restaurant offers a play area for children near the outdoor seating, making it a great place for families to enjoy a meal. The menu features a variety of dishes that both kids and adults will love.
  • Nick & J’s Cafe: If you’re looking for a casual spot to grab a bite to eat, Nick & J’s Cafe is a great choice. The cafe serves up classic American fare, including burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Kids will love the laid-back atmosphere and delicious food.
  • Token Game Tavern: This restaurant combines great food with a fun gaming experience. The menu features classic American dishes, and the restaurant offers a variety of board games and video games for kids to play.
  • Stock & Barrel: This burger joint is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The restaurant offers a variety of burgers and salads, as well as a full bar for the adults. With its casual atmosphere and delicious food, Stock & Barrel is a great choice for families.
  • Bit Burger Knox: This burger restaurant offers a unique twist on classic burgers. Kids will love the creative toppings and delicious sides, and parents will appreciate the affordable prices.

No matter what type of cuisine you’re in the mood for, Knoxville has a variety of kid-friendly restaurants to choose from. From casual cafes to upscale dining establishments, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Accommodations

When planning a family vacation in Knoxville, finding the right accommodation is key. Luckily, Knoxville has plenty of kid-friendly hotels that cater to families of all sizes.

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Kid-Friendly Hotels

Embassy Suites by Hilton Knoxville Downtown is a great choice for families. The hotel offers spacious two-room suites with separate living areas, perfect for families who need a little extra space. The hotel also has an indoor pool and complimentary breakfast, making it a great option for families on a budget.

Another great option is the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Knoxville West, TN. This hotel offers a kids pool, extra beds/cribs, and free breakfast for the whole family. While the breakfast has received mixed reviews, the hotel’s convenient location and affordable rates make it a solid choice for families.

For families looking for a more luxurious experience, The Tennessean Hotel is a great option. This four-star hotel offers spacious rooms and suites, an on-site restaurant, and a rooftop bar with stunning views of the city. While it may be a bit pricier than other options, the hotel’s top-notch amenities and central location make it worth the splurge.

No matter which hotel you choose, be sure to book in advance, as Knoxville can get busy during peak travel seasons. Additionally, be sure to check the hotel’s policies regarding children and any additional fees that may apply.

Nearby Cities

Knoxville, TN is a great place for families with kids, but there are also some nearby cities that offer plenty of fun activities for kids of all ages. Here are some of the best nearby cities to explore:

Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge, located just 25 miles from Knoxville, is a popular tourist destination known for its family-friendly attractions. Here are some of the top things to do with kids in Pigeon Forge:

  • Dollywood: This theme park offers rides, shows, and attractions for all ages.
  • The Island in Pigeon Forge: This shopping and entertainment complex features a variety of attractions, including a Ferris wheel, mirror maze, and arcade.
  • WonderWorks: This interactive museum offers exhibits and activities that teach science, technology, and more.

Sevierville

Sevierville is another nearby city that offers plenty of fun activities for families with kids. Here are some of the top things to do in Sevierville:

  • Forbidden Caverns: This underground cave system offers guided tours that are both educational and fun.
  • Rainforest Adventures: This indoor zoo features exotic animals from around the world.
  • NASCAR SpeedPark: This amusement park offers go-kart racing, mini golf, and other attractions.

Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is a charming mountain town that offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. Here are some of the top things to do with kids in Gatlinburg:

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park: This park offers hiking trails, scenic drives, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
  • Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies: This aquarium features a variety of marine life, including sharks, penguins, and sea turtles.
  • Ober Gatlinburg: This ski resort offers year-round activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating in the winter, and an alpine slide, wildlife encounter, and more in the summer.
woman in black and white jacket standing beside brown wooden wall

Overall, there are plenty of nearby cities to explore when visiting Knoxville with kids. Whether you’re looking for theme parks, museums, or outdoor adventure, there’s something for everyone in the surrounding area.

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Tips for Visiting Knoxville with Kids

Knoxville, TN is a great destination for families with kids. With so many things to do, it can be overwhelming to plan your trip. Here are some tips to help make your visit to Knoxville with kids a success:

1. Plan Ahead

Before you arrive in Knoxville, make a list of the things you want to do and see. Check online for discounts, coupons, and special offers. Many attractions offer free admission for kids or discounts for families. Make sure to check the hours of operation for each attraction and plan your itinerary accordingly.

2. Take Advantage of Free Activities

Knoxville has many free activities for families with kids. Visit Market Square for live music, street performers, and festivals. The World’s Fair Park has a large fountain and an amphitheater with free concerts and events. Take a walk along the Tennessee Riverwalk or hike in the Ijams Nature Center.

3. Visit Museums and Attractions

Knoxville has many museums and attractions that are perfect for families with kids. Visit the Knoxville Museum of Art for hands-on art activities and exhibits. The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture has interactive exhibits and artifacts from around the world. The Zoo Knoxville is home to over 900 animals and offers animal encounters and educational programs.

4. Attend a Volunteer Football Game

If you’re visiting Knoxville in the fall, attending a Volunteer football game is a must. The energy and excitement of the fans is contagious, and kids will love the game-day atmosphere. Make sure to arrive early to tailgate and experience the pre-game festivities.

5. Embrace Technology

Knoxville is a regional hub for technology, and there are many opportunities for kids to learn and explore. Visit the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center for workshops and classes on coding, robotics, and entrepreneurship. The Knoxville Children’s Theater offers classes and productions for kids of all ages.

With these tips, you’re sure to have a fun and memorable visit to Knoxville with your kids.

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