Free and Inexpensive Indoor Activities for Kids

Guide to Knoxville Inexpensive Indoor ActivitiesCheck out all the Knoxville Indoor Activities throughout the area. (Click on the blue location to take you to the business links!)

Also if you are looking for summer activities be sure to check out this fun list, and for birthday parties check out our local guide. We also have an Ultimate Guide to all things Knoxville and family day trips and road trip destinations from Knoxville!

In the market for enrichment and extracurricular activities for your child? Check out our Guide to Enrichment & Activities!

If you are new to Knoxville from a different city or moving across town be sure to check out our Guide to Moving to Knoxville.



Knox County Public Library: for ages infant to five years, starting around 10am, Monday – Friday. Check the website for the library closest to you and for specific date and age groups. There are nearly 40 fun and educational storytimes in the Knoxville area each week!

Barnes and Noble: Saturdays at 11am. Check listing for location and storytime theme.

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra: performs at various Knoxville library storytimes!


McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture: Monday – Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 1 5pm. (The museum is closed on the following dates: January 1, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, December 24 and 25.)

Knoxville Museum of Art: Tuesday-Saturday 10am 5pm, Sunday 1 5pm. Admission is free, closed on Mondays.

Beck Cultural Exchange: Tuesday-Saturday 10am 6pm. (Temporarily closed due to COVID-19)

Farragut Folklife Museum: Monday-Friday 10am 4:30pm.

Sunsphere: Open daily 9am 10pm. (Temporarily closed due to COVID-19)

Lenoir Museum: (Norris, about 30 minutes north of Knoxville): historical artifacts from early life in East Tennessee. Hours vary. Call (865) 494-9688 for more information.

Stimpson Seashell Museum: (Loudon): one of the world’s largest private seashell collections. Monday-Wednesday 4:00pm-6:00pm, Thursday-Sunday 12:30pm-6:00pm. Call (865) 657-6609 for more information.

Local Stores and Shops (Some workshops are currently virtual)

Home Depot Kids Workshops: 1st Saturday of the month 9am 12noon; each child gets a free Home Depot apron.

Williams-Sonoma Junior Chef Classes: located in West Town Mall, every Saturday at 10am. A new “recipe” is introduced each week, with step-by-step instructions in this interactive class.

Smart Toys and Books:  Call (865) 394-6060 to book open play sessions and workshops.


Sporting/Physical Activities

Foothills Gym/Tumble Bears PRESCHOOL OPEN GYM – Every 3rd Wednesday of each month from 10 – 11 am. Cost is $5 per child, ages walking – 5 years old.

Gym Bugs: open gym: $5 per child ($1 discount for siblings); cash or check only, Monday-Thursday mornings, 10:30 11:30am.

Cool Sports: ice skating $10 skater ($3 skate rental), 4 and under $4 (includes skate rental) Check website for seasonal hours.

Defy: 6 and under: $11 for 1 hour; $15 for 1.5 hours; Additional hour $8. 7 and over: $15 for 1 hour, $20 for 1.5 hours, Additional hour $8. Check website for open days/times.

Onsight Rock Gym: Day Pass: Adult (13+) $16, Youth (6-12) $14, Tot (5 & under) $6. Weekdays 11am – 10pm,Saturday 10am – 8pmSunday 10am – 6pm.

The Ice Chalet: $6, skate rental $6, kids 5 and under $6; most days start at noon and go until 3:30 or 5:30pm. Group rates are available.

Knoxville Ice Bears: take the family to watch a hockey game! Tickets as low as $9. Check website for schedule and times.

Chuck E Cheese: admission is free, games are one token each. Check website for times and location and coupons for pizza/token combos.

Tataru’s Gymnastics: open play: 10am 4pm Monday through Friday & Saturday 1pm-7pm. Parents’ Night Out Friday and Saturday 7pm – 10pm.

Family Bowl Strike and Spare: Game rates: Monday-Friday 11am 6pm ($3.40), Sunday-Thursday, 6pm close ($4.75), Friday-Sunday, 6pm close ($4.90). Shoe rental: $3.95

Museums, Stores, and Movies

Whole Foods Kids’ Club: Offers hands-on cooking demos, crafts, and free activities each month.

Muse Knoxville: Designed for ages 1-12 (all ages welcome); Admission $10; Seniors, Teachers and military with ID are $5; Babies 12 months and under are free; Open every day 9:00am – 4:30pm; See website for current updates and changes.

American Museum of Science and Energy (Oak Ridge): $5 adults, $3 children (6 – 17 yrs old), FREE children (5 and under). Monday-Saturday: 9am 5pm; Sundays 1 5pm. The museum is open daily, except Christmas Eve, Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge: adults $8, kids 3 and up $5, kids under 3 are free; Tuesday-Thursday 9am 5pm; Friday 9am-8pm; Saturdays 9am 5pm; Sundays 1 5pm. Closed: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Museum of Appalachia (Norris/Clinton exit): adults: $18, children (5-12) $6, children (under 5): free. 9am 5pm, 7 days a week.

Museum of East Tennessee History: Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and FREE for children 16 and under. Admission is FREE each Sunday, and ETHS Members always receive FREE admission. Monday-Friday 9am 4pm, Saturday 10am 4pm, Sunday 1pm 5pm.

And don’t forget the mall play area and Chick-fil-A play area for a quick fix when you need some “mom conversation” and a place to let the kids enjoy for free!

Do you have a favorite indoor family activity location we’ve missed? Share with us in the comments and we’ll be sure to add it!