Best Things to Do in Knoxville Tennessee with Grandchildren

Is it your week to spend much-needed quality time with your grandchildren? There are so many wonderful things to do with them in the fantastic city of Knoxville, Tennessee. Founded in 1791, Knoxville is the third-largest city in Tennessee and is home to exciting museums, beautiful parks, and endless entertainment opportunities. If you’re ready to have some fun, here is our list of the best things to do with grandchildren in Knoxville!

1. Zoo Knoxville in East Knoxville

What better way to get outside than to see and learn about animals? Zoo Knoxville is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily and closes only on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Parking is only 5 dollars. The zoo is the birthplace of the first African elephant born in the Western Hemisphere – adorable Little Diamond. An Aldabra Giant Tortoise named Big Al also lives at the zoo. He weighs an impressive 525 pounds and is estimated to be about 150 years old! 

Other fun animals at Zoo Knoxville include: 

• Elephants
• Giraffes
• Gorillas
• Critically-endangered Malayan Tigers
• Birds and Reptiles

The zoo is a great way to build fun memories with your grandkids while staying active in your golden years.

2. South Knoxville’s Ijams Nature Center

For kids five and up, try the exciting and adventure-packed Ijams Nature Center located on 315 acres of protected land in south Knoxville. This nonprofit environmental education center is full of so many exciting things to do! You can explore the outdoors and enjoy their playground, including stone, wood, and boulder fields. Each section provides a different way to exercise, and you can even download workouts in their green workout space or take the Primal Playground Challenge! You can climb, hike, bike, paddleboard, and swim at the Ijams Nature Center. The canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards rent for $14 per hour. Here, the adventures are endless for your little ones!

3. Downtown Knoxville’s Market Square

After enjoying some quality time with your grandkids in nature, head to the city and check out the vibrant and bustling Market Square in Downtown Knoxville. First used in the mid-1800s, this famous square was originally for regional farmers. It is a unique and fun-filled area with plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options – exciting for all ages! You can take the kids to see a movie, outdoor concert, or even Shakespeare on the Square. When you’re done, you can head over to play in the water fountains near Krutch Park or visit Knoxville’s Urban Wildnerness, a nearby 1,000 acre stretch of land which features over 50 miles of trails.

4. Knoxville Museum of Art

Are your grandkids budding artists? Inspire them with a trip to the Knoxville Museum of Art! It’s appropriate for ages three and up, and admission is free. You can enjoy a stroll through their beautiful galleries and elegant exhibitions or have a picnic in their beautiful outdoor space.  The museum is open daily Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to check their calendar before going for exciting events, informational workshops, and educational lectures. 

5. World’s Fair Park

One of the go-to experiences when visiting Knoxville is the World’s Fair Park, located in the heart of the city. This vast cultural space features a beautiful riverfront park and kid-friendly splash pads and fountains. The grandkids can play in the fountains from mid-April to early October. There are two remaining structures left from the 1982 World’s Fair – an amphitheater and the newly renovated Sunsphere. The Sunsphere is a tower with an observation deck that offers 360-degree views of the original 1982 World’s Fair site. The fee is $5, and you need a reservation

6. Seven Islands State Birding Park

Another must-see is the wildlife refuge, Seven Islands State Birding Park. What better way for the grandkids to spread their wings than birdwatching! This extensive 425-acre haven in East Knoxville features lush, beautiful meadows and gardens, including a captivating sunflower garden. Seven Islands boasts over eight miles of natural trails and includes impressive views of the Smoky Mountains. The park is home to over 190 species of birds, including songbirds, waterfowl, and hawks. There are even some old barns that house Barn Owls!

7. Muse Knoxville

Are the grandchildren toddlers? The Muse in East Knoxville is an excellent place for young ones. This creative museum offers fascinating exhibits, exciting facilities, and a variety of activities for kids. There’s a book nook, planetarium, illumination station, and outdoor spaces. The kids will love racing air rockets and interacting with the STEAM stations. Kids 8 and up can enjoy hands-on physical science stations in the museum’s exhibit space. This museum brings science to life for young kids, showing them how it connects to their everyday world and environment. Admission is $10 per person, and seniors 65+ only pay $5. Parking is free. Article written by Amara Home Care in Chattanooga Tennessee

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