what are some fun things to do Knoxville Tennessee

If you are headed to Knoxville Tennessee for a bit of vacation or just passing through, we have tons of great activities for you to choose from to take advantage of what Knoxville has to offer.

what are some things to do Knoxville Tennessee for fun

A View of Knoxville.

Some of the best attractions are great for kids and adults alike, so make sure you save some time and energy for fun. We’ve provided many links so you can check ahead to make sure of hours and make any reservations, if needed.



  • International Biscuit Festival – 5/19/18 at Market Square.  Enjoy exhibits, baking & songwriting contests, music, and what else, eating biscuits.
  • Knoxville Public Library offers tons of special events for the kids. Be sure to check their schedule for what’s going on while you visit.
  • Market Square Farmer’s Market from Nourish America is a great way to spend some time. Enjoy interactive fountains, tons of local food, and entertainment.
  • They have an amazing Flea Market at the Knoxville Expo Center.  It is noted to be one of the area’s finest flea markets with over 250 booths.
  • Be sure to check out Made in Tennessee for unique experiences like a Civil War History Cruise. You can take a cruise and learn about civil war history and battles that took place along the Tennessee River.


  • The Knoxville Zoo is a great addition to any trip.  The bird show is amazing and very educational and the penguins are awesome to watch.  With it’s 80 acre campus, it makes for an easy day.  Don’t forget to feed the llamas, our favorite!
  • The Muse, formerly The Discovery Center, is filled with exhibits and play spaces, such as kidsspace, buildspace, and quietspace.   It is also home to the Akima Planetarium, with multiple shows offered throughout the day.  The Muse should keep the science and astronomy buffs of all ages in the family very happy and entertained.
  • The Knoxville Museum of Art – For a bit of culture and local history and artists, don’t miss this museum.  It features exhibits from around the world and a collection of contemporary art.
  • If you want a bit of the outdoors, you have several parks to choose from, including Volunteer Landing Park and Krutch Park, downtown.  Here you can have a picnic and enjoy small falls and flowing streams.  Also check out Outdoor Knoxville for activities in the area, where you can hike, bike, and boat – including rentals.
  • World’s Fair Park and Sunsphere – Also know as Rev3 expo and finish line…Back in 1982, Knoxville hosted the World’s Fair.  Visit the Sunsphere, a 300 foot tower you can go to the top of via your two feet or an elevator and where you can be on top of the world.

    what are some fun things to do Knoxville Tennessee

    World’s Fair Park in Knoxville.

  • For all of us Nature Lovers, Ijams Nature Park is a gem.  There are wonderful hiking trails with magnificent bluffs that all intersect with the Tennessee River.  Make sure you check the website for special events  and tours during your visit, as they are well worth the effort.
  • A day of fun can be had at Fort Kid, which is an elaborate play structure with slides, rides, and swings; the Candy Factory; Market Square, filled with boutiques, restaurants, and nightlife options; and just wandering around the Victorian-style homes that house a variety of arts and crafts shops.
  • So you want to see the Tennessee River, but want to just relax and save your energy for race day?  Then hop aboard the Star of Knoxville for a cruise. Prices are realistic and even the dinner cruises are worth the trip.  This stern wheel riverboat is perfect for the whole family or a romantic moonlight trip for two…make reservations ahead of time to assure you will have a spot when you want to go.
  • Did you know Dolly Parton was discovered in Knoxville?  Thus, Dollywood is located here too! Amusement parks are always a bonus for a race weekend, but as an added bonus, you can catch a live show while you are there.  Be sure to check the events calendar, too. Dollywood is also known for its water attractions, so you are being forewarned to dress appropriately.  For information on discount tickets, check Dollywood.

Please check out this link from a Travelingmom.com article that includes 12 free things to do in Knoxville.

So, I think we’ve given you enough activity ideas to keep you occupied for more than a few days. We also have some great recommendations of places to eat when you’re hungry. Enjoy Knoxville no matter the occasion for your visit!