60 Knoxville Summer Activity Ideas

60+ Knoxville Summer Activities
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The countdown is officially on! Splash pads are starting to open, the sun has finally given us temperatures in the 80s, and it’s time to enjoy some sunshine!

60 Knoxville Summer Activity Ideas: {Check out our free printable here!}

  1. 60 things to do this summer 2023 BGo on a safari! Briarwood Ranch Safari Park is open in Morristown, and your little ones will absolutely love seeing all of these amazing animals.
  2. Regal just released their lineup for the Kids Summer Movie Express. All movies are $2 on Tuesday/Wednesday at 10:00am all summer long. 
  3. What would summer be without ice cream? Start the season off right with some of the best in town, whether it’s Cruze Farm Ice Cream, Phoenix Pharmacy & Soda Fountain, or Kilwin’s.
  4. Nature lesson alert! Go pick your own fruit at these pick-your-own farms.
  5. Watch a movie under the stars at the Parkway Drive-In Theatre in Maryville or the LoCo Drive-In Movie Theater in Loudon!
  6. Let your kids cook you a meal for once, or at the very least, learn to cook some dessert at The Cutting Edge Classroom!
  7. Rent a pedal boat, SUP, kayak, bike or canoe at Adventure Outdoors.
  8. Take a trip up to the observation deck of the Sunsphere. Tickets are $5.00, children 12 and under are free with a paying adult.
  9. Did you know that you can get into Zoo Knoxville for free with a library card? You can reserve a pass in advance so what’s stopping you from adding it to your summer bucket list?
  10. Explore Muse Knoxville or the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge.
  11. Chances are, if you’ve already been tubing, you’ve heard of a little place called the “Wye.” But it’s not just for tubing. Set up a picnic and go swimming.
  12. After that, you can see the sights of the Smokies with some relatively easy hiking trails.
  13. Make a kite and fly it at the picture-perfect location: World’s Fair Park.
  14. Break out the frisbee and play a round of disc golf at Victor Ashe, Admiral Farragut, Plumb Creek and Morningside parks.
  15. Let your kids set up a lemonade stand (or something else fun) and consider visiting and donating the proceeds to any of Knoxville’s great local nonprofits.
  16. Admire the scenic gardens at Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum.
  17. Go on a swimming hole scavenger hunt.
  18. Be one with nature at Ijams Nature Center!
  19. Don’t just see the Circus, be the Circus at Dragonfly Aerial and Arts Studio or Elevation Arts and Fitness.
  20. Spend the day at Knoxville’s “beach.”
  21. Pitch a tent at a nearby campground, break out the s’mores and then share some spooky ghost stories.
  22. Where’s Waldo? You tell me after you participate in the Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt downtown during the month of July.
  23. Buy all the things at the Dollar Tree (aka $1.25 Tree now), and craft until your heart’s content. Or for that matter, let your kids go crazy and give them $10 to spend.
  24. Enjoy dining al fresco without the work! The Chef’s Workshop brings food truck events to towns across East Tennessee.  Food trucks = plenty of food options for the little ones!
  25. Shaved ice, the perfect summertime treat. Find some at Pelican’s Snoballs.
  26. Go on a family-friendly day trip.
  27. So many great summer camps, so little time!
  28. Buy a pair of binoculars and plan a visit to Seven Islands State Birding Park. With over 190 species of birds sighted, your kids can be regular old ornithologists too!
  29. Don’t forget to explore all of the amazing parks Knoxville has to offer (just stay off the playgrounds until the caution tape comes down!)
  30. Visit your nearest KARM and buy some board games or puzzles for a family game night!
  31. Dollywood is calling! Come check out the Food & Flower Festival or just spend the day at Dollywood Splash Country.
  32. While Knoxville doesn’t have a ton of pool options, there are quite a few options within a 30-minute drive. One of my favorites is Springbrook Pool, but there’s also Karns Pool and the Oak Ridge Outdoor Pool.
  33. Check out the great fruit and veggie patches around town or visit a Farmers’ Market with the kids!
  34. Sign up for unique crafting classes at Creative Spark Studio or Painting Around in Maryville!
  35. Witness nature in all of its beauty during the synchronous firefly season, even if you didn’t win the lottery.
  36. Take advantage of free admission to the Knoxville Museum of Art!
  37. Perhaps one of my favorite activities: paint pottery at Liza Moz Pottery or Mighty Mud.
  38. Shoot some hoops and then take a tour around the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
  39. Enjoy a First Friday at least once this summer.
  40. Take some beautiful family photos at UT Gardens.
  41. It’s picnic season! Truly you could spend several days picnicking in the best spots around town.
  42. Take a trip back in time over 200 years to James White Fort.
  43. Save the hottest day of the year for indoor ice skating or hockey at Cool Sports or the Ice Chalet.
  44. Admission AND parking are free at McClung Museum so family fun days are an absolute must.
  45. Have you been to South Knoxville lately? If not, you should pay a visit! SO much good stuff is happening over there, like Suttree Landing Park and Baker Creek Preserve Adventure Play Area.
  46. Go for a boat ride underground by exploring the Lost Sea.
  47. Just because the kids are out of school doesn’t mean they can’t still brush up on their history. There are some terrific historic sites, a hop, skip and a jump away. Why not start with the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center?
  48. Visit the birthplace of Tennessee, the Blount Mansion.
  49. Staying there might cost a pretty penny, but you could always take your kids for a drive to see a real-life castle: the Williamswood Castle, that is.
  50. Spend a day giving back to the wonderful community you live in.
  51. Go belly up, down the Little River from the comfort of a tube.
  52. There are tons of putt-putt options just across the way in Pigeon Forge, but if you want to stay close, play a round at Sir Goony’s.
  53. See the Smoky Mountains like you’ve never seen them before, from a hot air balloon.
  54. Even if you don’t like bowling, you’ll still have a great time and a good meal at Maple Hall Bowling Alley, probably one of my favorite spots in town. And even if you don’t like bowling, they’ve got a separate parlor for board games.
  55. Strengthen those arm muscles at Onsight Rock Gym.
  56. Let your child’s imagination run rampant with creativity at the Knoxville Arts Center.
  57. If you’re willing to drive a little way, you can hike with a llama!
  58. And if llamas or alpacas are too edgy for you, there’s always traditional horseback riding.
  59. Have a Retro ’90s Family Movie Night from the comfort of your own home. Or you if you really want to up your game, rent a projector and have an outdoor movie night.
  60. Live the ultimate summer dream. Rent a pontoon boat and celebrate the season in all its glory.

Want to take advantage of all summer has to offer? Check out all these guides that we’ve put together to make this summer THE BEST EVER!



  1. Another great place for ice cream is Irvey’s at the Kern’s Food Hall. It’s brand new and we love it! Kern’s is also a fun place for kids and grown ups to hang out. It’s not far from IJAMS as well!


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