When moving to a new area, it’s hard to know what to do around town with your kids. The good news is Knoxville, Tennessee, is a great place for families and kids. So, if you’re looking to relocate somewhere new with your family and want some ideas on what to do in Knoxville, TN, with kids, then this blog post is for you!
Below we’ve come up with a list of 10 things that make Knoxville such a great destination for those traveling with their children or planning to move to the area. You’ll find out about the top attractions around town as well as why it’s such a popular spot among those who want to move there.
So if you’re thinking about moving or just visiting Knoxville, TN- don’t forget to check out one of these 10 best things to do around town.
What Makes Knoxville Such a Great Place
Knoxville is a family-friendly city. What does that mean? It means the people of Knoxville are not only welcoming to families, but they actively work to make it an even better place for kids and parents. The best thing about living in Knoxville is that there are many opportunities for people to take part in different activities, no matter what age they may be. So if you’re interested in moving to the area, Knoxville is a great city to raise a family.
Best Things to Do in Knoxville With Kids
Best things to do with kids in Knoxville: there’s so much here! You can go hiking with your child on one side of town and visit an art museum on the other side–all without leaving your neighborhood! Below we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best things to do in Knoxville with kids.
#1 Best Things to Do: Knoxville Tennessee Zoo
There are many fantastic places to visit in Knoxville as the city aims to be a family-friendly destination. One of these attractions is the Knoxville Zoo, which features more than 800 animals from around the world. The zoo also has an interactive children’s splash pad, a carousel, train rides, and animal encounters. Families can wander through the zoo at their own pace without worrying about missing any animal exhibits.
It’s free for Zoo members to enter, and if your crew gets hungry while you’re there, there are several places to grab a bite to eat like Mas Tacos, Beastro Cafe, and Aldos Grill.
Knoxville Zoo is great for kids of all ages and adults too!
#2 Best Things to Do: Muse Knoxville
Muse Knoxville is a non-profit children’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) museum in Knoxville, Tennessee. Their full-dome planetarium offers kids an exciting experience by teaching them about the cosmos. They can also explore the unique exhibits and engage in fun STEAM activities.
There’s something for everyone with a wide range of programs including field trips, pre-school, homeschooling, corporate partnerships, and more! Onsite they have a gift shop as well as party and event rentals.
We recommend Muse Knoxville for kids aged 3 to 10.
#3 Best Things to Do: Tennessee Theatre — Downtown Knoxville
The Tennessee Theater is one of the most popular attractions in Knoxville, with its magnificent interior design that will pique your interest as you learn about the area’s history.
When you get the chance to visit, make a reservation for a show and see the area’s most renowned performing arts center, which features cutting-edge technology, spectacular staging, and lighting that will provide you with outstanding performances that will be the high point of your visit.
Upcoming events for kids include:
- L.O.L. Surprise!
- Live, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
- The Musical and Disney Princess – The Concert!
The Tennessee Theater is recommended for families with kids aged 3 and up.
#4 Best Things to Do: Ijams Nature Center
The Ijams Nature Center is part of the Knoxville Urban Wilderness, a recreational, cultural, and historic preservation project sponsored by the Legacy Parks Foundation that includes 1,000 forested acres along downtown’s south waterfront. It provides an outstanding recreation and heritage area that beckons residents and visitors to enjoy the city’s distinctive character-defining features. This lovely region, which includes more than 40 miles of multi-use paths, 10 parks, four Civil War sites, stunning vistas, and unique natural features, offers a one-of-a-kind outdoor experience. The first land donation to the Legacy Parks Foundation was Ross Marble Quarry in 2014. The 104 acres of vacant quarry now adjoins Ijams Nature Center and provides miles of uninterrupted walking and cycling paths as well as wildlife abundance.
Ijams offers environmental teaching programs, classes, hikes, and camps for adults and children.
Exploring the great outdoors at the Ijams Nature Center is one we recommend to youngsters aged 5 and up
#5 Best Things to Do: Knoxville Museum of Art
Visit this museum to learn about the culture and history of artistry in Knoxville. Explore the many pieces and exhibits on display inside.
Aside from the beautiful and fascinating pieces of art on display, the museum also includes an enormous outside space encircled by trees and well-kept grass lawns that make it a fantastic picnic site after your visit inside.
We’d recommend the Knoxville Museum to youngsters aged 3 and up.
#6 Best Things to Do: Sunsphere
This magnificent hexagonal steel truss structure, which is 266 feet tall and supports a 75-foot golden glass globe, is an eye-catcher for both residents and tourists.
Within the tower, you’ll discover a variety of eateries that will keep you satisfied after seeing the beautiful interior design and structure.
3 and up is the recommended age for children to visit the Sunsphere Tower.
#7 Best Things to Do: DEFY Knoxville
Knoxville’s Ultimate Indoor Trampoline Park is a unique entertainment, fitness, and sports facility that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The first of its kind in Knoxville, as well as the ideal location for active social gatherings, strenuous individual workouts, and memorable birthday parties. All ages are welcome here. And they do offer KidsJump, an opportunity to jump with your little one at no cost. One accompanying parent of a jumper 6 yrs and under may jump free with the purchase of a KidJump ticket. KidsJump is available every Monday-Friday from the park open until noon.
#8 Best Things to Do: Cool Sports
Cool Sports has approximately 90,000 square feet of recreational fun and has become East Tennessee’s total sports destination. The facility offers ice skating, soccer, and flag football programs, public ice skating times, birthday parties, summer day camps, holiday events, and private rentals.
It has become a great place for families, businesses, and friends to come together! Cool Sports provides some great indoor activities on a rainy or hot East Tennessee day.
Cool Sports is ideal for kids and adults.
#9 Best Things to Do: Safety City
The Knoxville Police Department’s Safety City is a program that provides early childhood education on automobile, pedestrian, bike, and fire safety for kids in kindergarten through second grade.
Working traffic signals and signs are featured in Safety City’s child-size setting buildings. Children may practice and demonstrate their safe driving skills during interactive games.
Safety City is open during the summer, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
#10 Best Things to Do: The Climbing Center at River Sports Outfitters
The Climbing Center in Knoxville, Tennessee is the place to go if you want to try climbing indoors. They provide a wide range of climbing activities for people of all levels and ages. They have everything from bouldering to top ropes and lead climbing, as well as training equipment. The Climbing Center is an ideal location for a special event like a birthday party, group picnic, scouting event, or team-building exercise. They also can rent the gym out to your organization for a private gathering.
We’d recommend climbing for older children.
Did You Know This About Knoxville
Knoxville is a really interesting place, and there is always something new to find out about this East Tennessee city. If you’re thinking about moving to the area or just interested in Knoxville’s historical background, below we’ve compiled some basic information about the area and random things you should know about Knoxville.
Did you know this about Knoxville?
- Knoxville was actually the capital of Tennessee from 1796 to 1817.
- Knoxville is part of Appalachia as well as the geographic region known as The Tri-Cities; it’s also one of three cities, along with Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, that make up what locals refer to collectively as “The Great Smoky Mountains.”
- As of 2020, metro Knoxville had an estimated population of just over 860k people, making it one of Tennessee’s more prominent cities.
- Knoxville was founded by James White in 1791 when he built his home near what would eventually become downtown Knoxville. His son, William White (1795-1869), also helped to establish the city. Knoxville was named after Major General Henry Knox, who founded Washington County in what is now Tennessee and other areas of Tennessee as well.
- Knoxville was named the second happiest city to work in by Career List.com in 2013.
- Knoxville was listed by Forbes’ as the Best Places for Business and Careers.
- Knoxville is considered the top spot for residents wanting to retire, according to Livability.com.
- Knoxville was rated one of the best three cities in the country for having recovered best from the recession in 2008 and 2009 and is among the top 10 for economic development potential.
The U.S. News and World Report ranked Knoxville, TN:
#41 in Best Places to Live
#30 in Best Places to Retire
#2 in Best Places to Live in Tennessee
A few quick stats about Knoxville:
- Median Home Price is $295,544
- Median Monthly Rent is $883
- Median Age: 40.4 years old
- Average Annual Salary: $45,450
- Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
- Average Commute: 23.9 minutes
- Average High Temps: 69.5 F
- Average Low Temps: 48.76 F
- Average Rainfall 47.86 inches
Knoxville is a fantastic location to live in, whether you’re relocating for work or just looking for a great place to call home.
Why You Should Move to Knoxville
Tennessee is the perfect place for outdoorsy people with mountains, lakes, and rivers.
The charm doesn’t just come from the landscape, though, because the culture seems to be so welcoming to outsiders. If you are looking for an easier way of life without abandoning all the sophistication the city has to offer, Knoxville, TN, is a great option. With excellent elementary, middle schools, and high schools, your children have great education opportunities. And then once they reach college age, the University of Tennessee is right here in town.
Besides education, the average cost of living in Knoxville is very reasonable compared to other cities, and housing is also affordable compared to Nashville or Atlanta.
Knoxville is a beautiful city that has so much to offer. Whether you’re looking for some of the best restaurants, sporting events, or family attractions, Knoxville offers it all and then some! The more you learn about this great town, the more you’ll want to come back and explore what else there is on our list of things to do in Knoxville with kids. We hope you found this article informative— and if you’re interested in relocating to the Knoxville area, we can help!
We are one of the top companies that buy houses in Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Birmingham. So if you’re considering moving to the Knoxville area or relocating within the metro area, we can make you a cash offer for your home.
We buy homes in Knoxville primarily but have worked with clients all over Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. We’re a home-buying company and investors; we buy houses with cash, no matter the condition or unique buying situation. We can also close in as little as 7 days. So if you need someone to “buy my house in Tennessee” quickly, we can make it happen.
If you’re interested in selling your house but would like to avoid repairs, renovations, and expensive realtor commissions, we can definitely help. Just give us a call at (865) 999-0025 or visit our website – Nexus Homebuyers, for more information about how it works and about our company.