60 Knoxville Summer Activity Ideas


60 Knoxville Summer Activity Ideas

There’s still a lot of uncertainty about what the summer of 2020 is going to look like. We wait with bated breath to see if neighborhood pools will open, if and when Dollywood or Splash Country might allow us some family fun, and when the caution tape will finally come off the playgrounds. We are still incredibly lucky because there’s no greater place to live than East Tennessee. There are still plenty of activities to get you through this

60 Knoxville Summer Activity Ideas to Get You Through the Pandemic: {Check out our free printable here!}60 Knoxville Summer Activity Ideas

  1. Go 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. What would summer be without ice cream? Start the season off right with the some of the best in town, whether it’s Cruze Farm Ice Cream, Phoenix Pharmacy & Soda Fountain, or Kilwin’s.
  3. Nature lesson alert! Go pick your own fruit at these pick-your-own farms.
  4. Believe it or not, you can still see movies on the big screen! Parkway Drive-In Theatre in Maryville is already open!
  5. Let your kids cook you a meal for once, or at the very least, learn to cook yourself a meal at The Cutting Edge Classroom. FlourPower Kids Cooking Studios will also be opening in Knoxville soon as well!
  6. Rent a pedal boat, SUP, kayak, bike or canoe at Adventure Outdoors.
  7. Take a free trip up to the observation deck of the Sunsphere.
  8. Zoo Knoxville officially reopens on May 18!
  9. Explore the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge.
  10. 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.
  11. After that, you can see the sights of the Smokies with some relatively easy hiking trails.
  12. Make a kite and fly it at the picture perfect location: World’s Fair Park.
  13. Break out the frisbee and play a round of disc golf at Victor Ashe, Admiral Farragut and Morningside parks.
  14. 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.
  15. Admire the scenic gardens at Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum.
  16. Go on a swimming hole scavenger hunt.
  17. Be one with nature! Ijams Nature Center facilities reopened on a limited basis on May 9.
  18. Don’t just see the Circus, be the Circus at Dragonfly Aerial and Arts Studio or Elevation Arts and Fitness.
  19. Spend the day at Knoxville’s “beach.”
  20. Mo Willems, author of the famous kid pigeon books, can teach your kids some fun doodles through this Youtube series.
  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, and craft until your heart’s content. Or for that matter, let your kids go crazy and give them $10 to spend.
  24. Once they reopen, enjoy dining at the amazing food truck parks here in Knoxville: Central Filling Station or Southside Garage! Food trucks = plenty of food options for the little ones!
  25. Shaved ice, the perfect summertime treat. Find some at Pelican’s Snoballs or Beach Bums Shaved Ice.
  26. Go on a family-friendly daytrip.
  27. Explore some of the best museums in the world form the comfort of your own couch with these virtual museum tours.
  28. Bring the outdoors indoors and make it educational too! Check out these virtual visits of National Parks too!
  29. And while you’re at it, 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. If you love podcasts, maybe your kids will too. Check out these 25 best podcasts for kids.
  32. Take advantage of free admission to the Knoxville Museum of Art!
  33. Perhaps one of my favorite activities: paint pottery at Liza Moz Pottery or Mighty Mud.
  34. Shoot some hoops and then take a tour around the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
  35. Enjoy a First Friday at least once this summer.
  36. Let Dolly Parton read your kids a bedtime story.
  37. It’s picnic season! Truly you could spend several days picnicking in the best spots around town.
  38. Save the hottest day of the year for indoor ice skating or hockey at Cool Sports or the Ice Chalet.
  39. Admission AND parking are free at McClung Museum so family fun days are an absolute must.
  40. 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.
  41. Check out the great fruit and veggie patches around town or visit a Farmers’ Market with the kids!
  42. Witness nature in all of its beauty during the synchronous firefly season, even if you didn’t win the lottery.
  43. Go for a boat ride underground by exploring the Lost Sea.
  44. 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?
  45. Take a trip back in time over 200 years to James White Fort.
  46. Tour the historic Mabry-Hazen house.
  47. Visit the birth place of Tennessee, the Blount Mansion.
  48. 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.
  49. Spend a day giving back to the wonderful community you live in.
  50. Go belly up, down the Little River from the comfort of a tube.
  51. 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 Gooney’s.
  52. See the Smoky Mountains like you’ve never seen them before, from a hot air balloon.
  53. 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.
  54. Strengthen those arm muscles at Onsight Rock Gym, reopening May 1, 2020.
  55. Let your child’s imagination run rampant with creativity at the Knoxville Arts & Fine Crafts Center.
  56. If you’re willing to drive a little ways, you can still ride a llama or alpaca!
  57. And if llamas or alpacas are too edgy for you, there’s always traditional horseback riding.
  58. Take some beautiful family photos at UT Gardens.
  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.




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