Here are two things you quickly learn after having kids: first, it is imperative you find kid-friendly places you also enjoy (good news: we’re here with the scoop on kid-friendly spots in Knoxville. You’re in the right spot😂); and second, the questions buzzing through your head never stop. Things you never considered fixating on now enter your brain space and multiply daily.
In fact, if you’re not careful, you’ll almost certainly find yourself holding a baby at 2am, red-eyed and sleep deprived, scrolling through fifteen different diaper bags you are now convinced will change the game for you. They won’t, most likely — but that’s okay because what that new bag might attract is one of the greatest things you could ever hope for: a mom friend.
Here’s how easily it can happen:
You’re at the park with your new bag. You’re feeling great, feeling organized; and a kindred spirit who is a few days behind you on the bag search sees that sweet beacon of sanity and says, “How do you like that bag? Tell me everything!” That convo, if you’re lucky, turns to shared struggles and belly laughs, and ultimately a camaraderie unlike any other.
Mom friends are vulnerable, empathetic, and wildly honest – but getting mom friends together with their kids in tow can be challenging no matter how great that tote is. We want to celebrate these budding tribes and raise a glass not only to the women who gave us life, but also to the fellow travelers alongside us just trying to figure it all out. Cheers to you, mamas! Without further ado:
Here are 10 Kid-Friendly Spots in Knoxville (You’ll Actually Enjoy!)
1.) Hey Bear Cafe
This place has it all: a variety of drinks, frequent food trucks, and a playground! You really don’t even have to like bubble tea to be a regular here (though it’s definitely worth a shot). Their create-your-own menu lets you customize basically any coffee or tea drink you can dream up, but they also have a few bottled and canned beer options too. You can find out more about their weekly events on Instagram and their food truck schedule is available on their website.
2.) Jacks of Knoxville N. Central and Central Filling Station
I paired these neighbors up because with their forces combined you’ve got everything covered. You want amazing coffee and an indoor vibe? Check out Jacks! Let the kiddos color while you try not to adopt all the house plants. For weekday evenings and weekends, Central Filling Station is one of our favorite spots. They have kid-focused areas with chalk and adorable tiny picnic tables only kids can fit in. Hang out, eat food, even watch live music sometimes. There are always new and different food truck options to try, BUT BE WARNED: (*cue scary music*) Your Sugar Therapy is the most adorable van selling sweets and you will give them all your money. Chocolate covered key lime pie on a stick?? Are you serious?? How are you supposed to not get two of those?
3.) Steamboat and ELST
The shared outdoor patio behind Steamboat and ELST Brewing Company is a hidden gem of Knoxville. Grab a sandwich at Steamboat before they close at 3pm Wednesday-Saturday and then head over to ELST for your drinks. Their blondes are light and refreshing and the perfect pair with a sub. The patio out back is fenced in, half graveled, and even pet-friendly. My kids love the picnic tables!