92 Days of Summer

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Knoxville Summer Activities

The countdown is officially on. We are fewer than five weeks away from the first day of summer. In case you didn’t know, there are exactly 92 days of summer, and I’m kindly providing you with an activity in or around Knoxville for each day. 

  1. 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. 
  2. In just a few short weeks, Knoxville’s thrilling and fun Action Adventure Park will be opening in the Cedar Bluff area! Ninja warrior course, trampolines, go karts, zip line, and so much more!
  3. Bring a bike, a scooter, or some skates (just don’t forget the helmet!) down to Safety City.
  4. Check out the Bike Boat Brew & Bark Fest on Saturday, June 1.
  5. Enjoy a Mother Daughter Princess Tea Party aboard the Volunteer Princess Cruises boat, or even a Royal Father Daughter Ball this summer.
  6. Enjoy one of the very few remaining drive-in theaters in the country by spending the evening a Parkway Drive-In Theatre in Maryville.
  7. Rent a pedal boat, SUP, kayak, bike or canoe at Adventure Outdoors.
  8. Take a free trip up to the observation deck of the Sunsphere (or is it a wig shop?).
  9. Six words: Monday Night Madness at Main Event
  10. Since this is number 10, for ONLY $10, you can check out Kentucky Splash Waterpark (almost the same drive time to Dollywood Splash Country) but SO much cheaper and great for little kids!
  11. Attend one of Knoxville’s great many festivals.
  12. Go on a swimming hole scavenger hunt.
  13. Go fish! But not with a pole, just visit Ripley’s Aquarium.
  14. Splash the day away at one of Knoxville’s splash pads.
  15. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to explore all of the amazing parks Knoxville has to offer.
  16. Run, don’t walk to your nearest KARM and buy some board games for a family game night!
  17. Make a kite and fly it at the picture perfect location: World’s Fair Park.
  18. You certainly can’t miss the chance to check out the newest expansion of Dollywood: Wildwood Grove! But if it’s too hot for thrill rides, just visit Dollywood Splash Country instead!
  19. Dine at the most kid-friendly spot in town, the Central Filling Station! Plenty of food options for the little ones, plus a sandbox and sidewalk chalk.
  20. Choose adventure at Navitat Canopy Adventures.
  21. Go on a family-friendly daytrip.
  22. 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.
  23. Don’t like the forecast for the day? How about open gym at Tataru’s and Gym Bugs or plenty of other indoor activities?
  24. Enjoy a First Friday at least once this summer.
  25. Take your kids on a local safari when you visit Zoo Knoxville.
  26. Spend the day at Knoxville’s “beach.” 
  27. It’s picnic season! Truly you could spend several days picnicking in the best spots around town.
  28. 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.
  29. Maybe not for little ones, but how about leaving your kids in a trapped room and letting them find their way out? Just kidding, sort of. There are several options for great escape rooms around town.
  30. Take in a baseball game at the Tennessee Smokies Stadium.
  31. Save the hottest day of the year for indoor ice skating or hockey at Cool Sports or the Ice Chalet.
  32. 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.
  33. Whatever you do, don’t miss the sunflowers!
  34. It may not be Sundown in the City, but you can still enjoy a free concert on Market Square Tuesday and Thursday nights.
  35. Try out a Tiny Tot Art Class or some of the other family friendly events at Adara Events & Photography!
  36. On Friday, June 7, the Knox Area Rescue Ministries will host its 17th Annual Dragon Boat Festival. This is a terrific family-oriented event that raises money for a great cause.
  37. Tickets go on sale for the  Tennessee Valley Fair. on May 31, and they release the concert headliners on May 29! You don’t want to miss the rides, games and funnel cake!
  38. Shaved ice, the perfect summertime treat. Find some at Pelican’s Snoballs or Beach Bums Shaved Ice.
  39. Admission AND parking are free at McClung Museum so family fun days are an absolute must.
  40. This might be cheating, but don’t forget to spend your 4th of July downtown taking in the spectacular fireworks. Of course, there are also nearby firework shows like Freedom Fest in Alcoa or Rockin’ the Docks in Lenoir City.
  41. 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 and before long, a new food truck park, Southside Garage.
  42. Bring out the frisbee and play a round of disc golf at Victor Ashe, Admiral Farragut and Morningside parks.
  43. Check out the great fruit and veggie patches around town or visit a Farmers’ Market with the kids!
  44. Beginning June 21, don’t miss the 21st annual Summer Movie Magic at the Tennessee Theatre. Tickets for each movie are $9 for adults, $7 for children under age 12 or seniors 65 and older.
  45. And while we’re talking about movies, Ijams Nature Center hosts “Movies Under the Stars” starting June 14. Grab a picnic blanket or lawn chair! Doors open at 6pm and the movies start at dark. Tickets are $8 a person, $25 a family four-pack. Local food trucks and a beer garden will offer food and drink.
  46. Last but not least, have a Regal movie experience with $1 movies all summer long.
  47. Hop on down to Athens, TN for a tour of the Mayfield Dairy plant.
  48. Witness nature in all of its beauty during the synchronous firefly season, even if you didn’t win the lottery.
  49. Go for a boat ride underground by exploring the Lost Sea.
  50. Perhaps one of my favorite activities: paint pottery at Liza Moz Pottery or Mighty Mud.
  51. So many great summer camps, so little time!
  52. Let your kid be a kid at Fort Kid.
  53. 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.
  54. Pitch a tent at a nearby campground, break out the s’mores and then share some spooky ghost stories.
  55. Speaking of ghost stories, if you’ve got some teenagers who are into spooky adventures, Knoxville offers a few ghost tours: Haunted Knoxville and Knoxville Walking Tours.
  56. See the sights of the Smokies with some relatively easy hiking trails.
  57. Don’t just see the Circus, be the Circus at Dragonfly Aerial and Arts Studio.
  58. Biking is boring, but hydrobiking, well, that just looks like fun!
  59. Amuse your kids with a trip to The Muse.
  60. Explore the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge.
  61. 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?
  62. And then off to visit the home of the first Tennessee State Governor, John Sevier at Marble Springs Historic Homestead?
  63. Take a trip back in time over 200 years to James White Fort
  64. Tour the historic Mabry-Hazen house.
  65. Visit the birth place of Tennessee, the Blount Mansion.
  66. 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.
  67. Speaking of castles and all things medieval, take in a Shakespeare performance on Market Square.
  68. Take advantage of free admission to the Knoxville Museum of Art
  69. Admire the scenic gardens at Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum.
  70. Board the Hiwassee River Rail Adventure scenic train ride from Etowah. The ride rolls through parts of the Cherokee National Forest and Hiwassee River Gorge.
  71. Spend a day giving back to the wonderful community you live in.
  72. Shoot some hoops and then take a tour around the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
  73. Go belly up, down the Little River from the comfort of a tube.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. Where’s Waldo? You tell me after you participate in the Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt downtown during the month of July.
  77. See the Smoky Mountains like you’ve never seen them before, from a hot air balloon.
  78. 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.
  79. Strengthen those arm muscles at Onsight Rock Gym.
  80. Come out to the Knoxville Moms Blog’s 6th Annual Beat the Heat event at McFee Park & Splash Pad on Sunday, July 14.
  81. Did you know we had a Hummingbird Festival right here in our backyard? 
  82. Read a book, or two or three or four. But if you’re going to read that many, you might as well sign up for the Summer Library Club!
  83. Let your child’s imagination run rampant with creativity at the Knoxville Arts & Fine Crafts Center.
  84. Have a brand new cinematic experience — Movies in the Cave — at Cherokee Caverns.
  85. Take a journey back in time on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. 
  86. If you’re willing to drive a little ways, you can still ride a llama or alpaca!
  87. And if llamas or alpacas are too edgy for you, there’s always traditional horseback riding.
  88. Take some beautiful family photos at UT Gardens.
  89. Spend a rainy day at JumpJam or Max Air Trampoline Park.
  90. Catch Paw Patrol Live at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium August 20-21.
  91. 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.
  92. Live the ultimate summer dream. Rent a pontoon boat and celebrate the season in all its glory.

We hope you have 92 fun-filled summer days ahead!

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