Activities for Kids in Knoxville

KnoxvilleWhether you’re looking for a special way to spend a Saturday afternoon or a unique summer camp, Knoxville has a lot to offer its junior citizens. From classic crowd-pleasers like the Knoxville Zoo and Dollywood to the more unusual fare (see below for a day camp for the 8-10-year-old Little House on the Prairie aficionado), there’s a lot to do in East Tennessee. Here are just a few ideas….

Ijams Nature Center, a 150-acre nature park and educational center in Knoxville’s Island Home area, offers a variety of family activities, from Owl Prowls and Bug Nights to a program called “Nature’s Yuckiest.” Sporty kids can also test themselves at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, and soak up a little bit of athletic history along the way.

Budding artists of all ages can find a creative outlet at the Knoxville Museum of Art, which teaches courses in a wide variety of artistic media during June and July. If fashion design, origami, screen-printing, or even “art and time travel” sounds right up your child’s alley, they’ll love the 2013 Summer Art Academy.

Science learning can start early, and be a (metric) ton of fun! The East Tennessee Discovery Center offers activities and games and learning in the life, physical, and earth sciences as well as astronomy.  Among the attractions at the Discovery Center are a Lego lab, live arthropod exhibit, and planetarium, even a liquid crystal wall! Yeah, it’s pretty cool.

The American Museum of Science and Energy’s motto is “where science and history come alive,” and that about sums up why it’s such a great destination for kids. Check out the museum’s “science @ home” suggestions for in between visits, and AMSE’s Science Explorer summer camps for summertime fun.

For young children, story time can’t fail.  Knox County Public Libraries offer options for young children of all ages, and you can check the story time calendar for times at all branches. If you can’t make it to a library branch, the KCPL website offers TumbleBooks, an online tool with story book, read-along, language learning, and game options for hundreds of books.

Finally, it’s no secret that Norris’s Museum of Appalachia is a unique experience, but did you know that they offer a Pioneer Summer Day Camp? If you’re looking for something in the more immediate future, you may want to stop by for annual Sheep Shearing Day, coming up on April 26, 2013.

What are your favorite things to do with your kids in the summer? Let us know in the comments below!


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