See the line where the sky meets the sea, it calls me!
Preach, Moana, preach. The sea calls me, too. Yet I know I’m not headed there, and soon we’ll be drooling over our friends’ beach photos in the post-spring break highlight reel.
But we’re not bummed to be spending spring break in Knoxville (even if it doesn’t have an ocean view), because there is just so much to do here! So if you haven’t made plans to turn staying in town to having a staycation, check out this list for some ideas to explore right here at home:
Spring Break Staycation Activities in Knoxville
Dollywood is right in our backyard! They reopen March 11, and a day of thrills and delicious food is sure to bring some smiles to your crew’s faces. Add in something new you haven’t done before, like mining for gems, playing a game, or trying a new show, and a special day is made even more so.
- Get downtown! Head to the Phoenix Pharmacy for some old-fashioned ice cream concoctions. Stroll down to Union Avenue books to satisfy your book cravings, and window shop all the beautiful window displays.
- If it gets miraculously warm and sunny: head to the Cove at Concord for some sand between your toes and a fun playground the kids will enjoy.
- Head to the zoo. I could spend all day staring at those tigers! With plenty of little play areas along the way, Zoo Knoxville offers educational opportunities as well as the general excitement of seeing animals.
- Visit The Muse and let your kids learn through play. With STEM learning as well as a large imaginative play area, The Muse is sure to keep those little minds churning over the break.
- Call your mom friends and have a park picnic. One of our favorite spots is the Karns Lions Club playground, as the picnic tables are covered and there are bathrooms for washing hands afterwards. Then the kids can play on the playground, the moms can catch up, and everyone will feel full when they leave — physically and emotionally alike.
- Are you a member of the local Y? They have spring break covered. Add a heated indoor pool to wear out those little people who live in your house = a good night’s rest for mama! See their schedule here.
- Visit Main Event or another local bowling alley or arcade for some ’90s style fun, then watch Wreck it Ralph when you get home! Token has old school pinball, board games, snacks, and video game consoles to satisfy every kind of gamer in your family. #ThemeDay
- Check out the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. With a life size dollhouse and super interesting WWII secret city exhibit, there’s truly something for everyone.
- Visit Ripley’s Aquarium in the Smokies! Make sure to see at least one dive show — they are too cool. Be prepared to do the shark tunnel at least twice, because again, just amazing.
Check out these free or low cost experiences:
- Library events! They’re free and always a good time. You can view their schedule here. Remember the library offers Explorer Passes you can “check out” digitally to visit local attractions for free. Find more information here!
- There are so many amazing parks in the Knoxville area! Pick a sunny day for a picnic and playground day. One of our favorites is the Karns Lions Club Park. It’s fenced in, so my adventurers can’t escape! Even better: it’s super inclusive. There are musical things, a playground, a picnic area, bathrooms (closed seasonally), benches for tired parents, and more.
- Visit the Knoxville Museum of Art. Admission is free, and you can wear the kids out at World’s Fair park before/after/both. There’s an interactive area at the front with a giant Lite Brite! Make sure to check out the tiny dollhouse room and the outdoor area.
- Rainy forecasts have you down? Build a fort with pillows, have an indoor picnic, watch a movie. Play a board game, make an obstacle course, and bake together. Read a story and then act it out together. Do a yoga YouTube video together and laugh uproariously at how everything looks upside down.
- If the endless rain returns, head to the movies! Regal offers discounted ticket prices on Tuesdays (details here), so you can see some flicks without breaking the bank.