Spring Break Staycation

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Spring Break Staycation

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:

  • Dollywood is right in our backyard! They reopen March 16, 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. Stroll over to Knoxville Chocolate Company to get your sweets fix and support a local business at the same time.
  • 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 while playing. 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 tribe and settle in at Chick-fil-A. 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. And 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! #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.

If February’s flooding has your wallet locked away, check out these free or low cost experiences:

  • Library events! They’re free, and always a good time. You can view their schedule 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 forecast have you down? Build a fort with pillows, have an indoor picnic, watch a movie. Play a board game, make an obstacle course, 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! AMC Classic Windsor Square 7 offers movies for $2.19 each, so you can see some flicks without breaking the bank.

Whether you do a big activity each day or just relax together, family time is precious regardless of where you spend it.

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Hey, y’all! I’m an adventurous wanderer who put down roots here in East Tennessee back in 2014. My little family moved here from the wilds of suburban Alaska in 2014. We love exploring Knoxville and the surrounding areas, especially the Smoky Mountains. I’m a freelance writer and teacher who loves looking at the mountains when my nose isn’t in a book. I’m a mom to two bookish kids, a wildly clingy dog, two cats, and a fish I’d be in trouble for not mentioning. Since becoming a mom, I’ve been able to add Lincoln Log architect, LEGO contractor, and mediator to my resume. I’ve always been a bit of a jack of all trades, as I’ve been a tutor, teacher, circus instructor, bookseller, amateur baker and, of course, writer. I remind myself of this as I tell my kid not to sit on my other kid’s head while stopping the dog from chasing the cat and the other cat from jumping on top of the fish tank. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and am currently pursing my Master of Fine Arts while keeping all these creatures who live in my house alive. I survive on coffee, writing fiction, reading, Disney, and snuggles. You can read more of my work at www.pawprintsinthesink.com.

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