Things to Do in Knoxville When Family Comes to Town

location icon site icon
Things to Do in Knoxville When Family Comes to Town

# All Categories

# Entertainment

location icon site icon

It's Time to be the Host With the Most (adorable city of all time)😉

You are very cool and fun. We can just tell. When someone (such as yourself) is very cool and fun, people will inevitably want to visit Knoxville to hang with you. When people inevitably visit, they will probably want to do more than watch Netflix and eat food (I mean, maybe not much more… but still). We’re here to help!🙌

Here are some things to do in Knoxville when family comes to town (and for every kind of visitor!):

Things to Do in Knoxville When Family Comes to Town

1. FOR THE ART APPRECIATOR 

Have family visiting? Make sure you hit World’s Fair Park! Start off your excursion by browsing through all the displays at the art museum. The museum is free – which means no one can judge you for splurging at the gift shop!

In the warmer months, reward younger family members for sitting through an art museum by going to the splash pad and playing in the water! Then cap the whole experience off by taking the elevator up to the observation deck of the Sunsphere for a beautiful view of East Tennessee. If you ask us, that view is the best art yet 😉

2. FOR THE HISTORY BUFFS

Knoxville is full of rich history, and you don’t have to go far to find it! Book a Knoxville Walking Tour (like this haunted one!). Or head to the East Tennessee History Museum for an overview, and then enjoy tours of historic places like the Blount Mansion, James White Fort, and the Mabry Hazen House. 

Are you entertaining a large crowd? Go on Sunday when admission to the history museum is free!

Great Smoky Mountains

3. FOR THE FIRST TIMER

There are certain things you simply have to do when visiting East Tennessee for the first time. It’s a bit of a drive, but if any new visitors come into town, you must take them up to the mountains at least once! The Smoky Mountain National Park is consistently the most visited national park for good reason. Enjoy a drive through the mountains, go for a hike, and snap some pictures. Then head into Gatlinburg for a moonshine tasting or hit up Dollywood for some roller coasters!

Once you’re home, head to Market Square for dinner. Our darling square is always a hit when people experience Knoxville for the first time.

4. FOR THE FOODIE

Knoxville is full of delicious eateries. If parents are only in town for a few days, there’s absolutely no way to hit all the best ones. BUT you know we’ll still do our best 😂 Book a Knoxville Food Tour to hit a bunch in one swoop!

The entrance to Knox Brew Hub bar in downtown Knoxville

5. FOR THE BEER LOVER

Have a beer drinker in your midst? Grab the 21+ visitors, head to Knox Brew Hub, and book a Knox Brew Tour. You’ll get an overview of the local brewery scene and definitely leave the experience with stories to tell (and a list of breweries to go back to!).

6. FOR THE SPORTY SPICE

Knoxville is known far and wide as home of the UT Vols, but there’s more where that came from! Head out to the mountains to catch a Smokies minor league baseball game, or stay right downtown and check out a minor league hockey game a la the Ice Bears. Just past the Ice Bears stadium is the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame – open year round and great for all ages!

Things to Do in Knoxville When Family Comes to Town Multi Images
Things to Do in Knoxville When Family Comes to Town Multi Images

7. FOR THE SHOPPER

Money doesn’t count when you’re on vacation (right?😬😂) so we love to shop during our travels – and your visitors are probably no different! 

Mast General has stuff for the whole family to enjoy (my mother does not come to Knoxville without hitting Mast), the old fashioned toys at Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain are definitely a hit (though it’s imperative you also stick around for a larger than life sundae), Glitterville is an actual sparkly wonderland (another one my mom loves – she’s cheesin’ in that photo above😂💛), and places like Rala highlight local artists and makers. If you want to watch those makers in action, head to Pretentious Glass – they make their pieces on site, so you just might catch them in action if you stop by!

Live Music at Albright Grove Brewing Co. in Knoxville

8. FOR THE MUSIC LOVER

It doesn’t matter what day it is – if you’re in Knoxville, TN you can treat your visitors to some live music. (Seriously. We have 7 Days of Live Music listed right here and a whole stinkin Live Music Page here!)

The WDVX Blue Plate Special is a live performance radio show held almost daily at the Knoxville Visitors’ Center. Bands from all over come to play a free live show at noon Monday – Thursdays. Once the weekend hits, there are even more options for live music! The Tennessee Theatre and the Bijou are both historic, beautiful venues. Spots like Scruffy City Hall, Jig & Reel, and Ale Rae Gastropub all boast consistent line-ups of acts on weekends and throughout the week as well.

Meads Quarry Overlook at Ijams Nature Center in South Knoxville

9. FOR THE OUTDOORSMAN

During the warmer months, the options are endless for outdoor lovers. Ijams Nature Center has hiking trails, a quarry for swimming, and more – making it a great stop for people of all ages. Knoxville Adventure Collective will get you set up to paddle-board on the Tennessee River or help you explore all of Knoxville via e-bike. If you’re out west, the Cove at Concord Park has kayak rentals, a free swimming section, playgrounds, and trails, making it another gem for the whole fam.

If it’s winter weather, fear not! Your guests can enjoy ice skating on Market Square, indoor rock climbing at RiverSports Outfitters, try their hand at Craft Axe Throwing, hit up a class at Renegade Yoga, or enjoy some basement bowling at Maple Hall!

10. FOR THE RETURNER

Have your visitors lived in Knoxville before? Well, trust us when we say – she’s changed! Let them enjoy their favorite spots, of course, but make sure to highlight some of Knoxville’s up and coming areas. Explore all Sevier Ave has to offer in South Knoxville or be reintroduced to Happy Holler in North Knoxville. With breweries, thrift stores, a movie theater, and more – your visitors may be surprised to see how their lil Scruffy City has transformed!

Finally, make sure you’re following us at New2Knox on Instagram. We keep you up-to-date on events around town and the coolest businesses to check out. Whatever you decide to do, we know you’ll have an amazing time with your people in East Tennessee! Honestly, how could you not?😉

Only have your visitors for the day?? DISCOVER WHAT TO DO WITH ONE DAY IN KNOXVILLE HERE.

location icon site icon

Check Out Knox Brew Hub:

Address: 421 Union Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: (865) 454-9688
Website: knoxbrewhub.com

Publish date: 27 May.

Images by: Emilie Stooksbury

Share Title:

calendar

3 October, 2022

5 Must-Try Pizzas in Knoxville
Whether it’s game day chaos or a cozy night at home watching reruns of Gilmore Girls, if you’re anything like us... you’re hungry 😂 And in almost any scenario, what’s better than pizza? Luckily, Knoxville is home to some pretty stellar pizza spots. In no particular order, here are a…
calendar

17 August, 2022

5 Things to Do in Knoxville Before Summer Ends
With Taylor Swift’s “august” on repeat, the countdown to the end of our Scruffy City summer has begun! BUT SHE AIN'T OVER YET. While there’s plenty to be excited for in the coming months (cooler temps and pumpkin spice, to name just a couple 😉), we can’t forget to cross…
calendar

5 August, 2022

Knoxville: Before & After
If you ask us, Knoxville is basically Taylor Swift. She's reinvented herself a hundred times over, there are always new Easter eggs to uncover, every version rules, and she puts out some really great music. See? It checks out 😉 We're here to look through some of Knoxville's various versions…

calendar

29 July, 2022

6 Ways to Spend Rainy Days in Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee is an outdoor-lovers playground. There are endless options. We're talking mountain biking and paddle boarding and quarry swimming and patio eating. BUT Knoxville also has a tendency to, well, rain... a lot. (In my defense, I moved here after about 5 years of living in a Texan draught…
calendar

27 May, 2022

Things to Do in Knoxville When Family Comes to Town
You are very cool and fun. We can just tell. When someone (such as yourself) is very cool and fun, people will inevitably want to visit Knoxville to hang with you. When people inevitably visit, they will probably want to do more than watch Netflix and eat food (I mean,…
calendar

14 December, 2021

New Years Eve in the Scruffy City!
It happened again. Our eyes got dry, we finally caved and blinked, and 💥WHAM💥 it's already the end of 2021. If you're anything like us, you'll be too busy stuffing your face with cookies to form any plans the week after Christmas - SO we're giving you the NYE lowdown…

calendar

3 October, 2022

5 Must-Try Pizzas in Knoxville
Whether it’s game day chaos or a cozy night at home watching reruns of Gilmore Girls, if you’re anything like us... you’re hungry 😂 And in almost any scenario, what’s better than pizza? Luckily, Knoxville is home to some pretty stellar pizza spots. In no particular order, here are a…
calendar

15 July, 2022

10 Must-Try Summer Cocktails in Knoxville
We’ve been waiting for her all year, but now that she’s here, we desperately need to cool down 😳 Yes, we're talking about summer in Knoxville, Tennessee! And nothing says summer in Knoxville like cooling down with some summer cocktails in Knoxville 😉 It’s officially time for you to find…
calendar

9 May, 2022

5 Must-Try Vegan Meals in Knoxville
When you think of the South, vegan food isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. No, it’s more like biscuits and BBQ or bust. Needless to say, when moving to Knoxville from a very vegan-centric city, I was super nervous about the vegan and plant-based scene. But let…

calendar

9 December, 2021

The Ultimate Knoxville Gift Guide
If you have already finished your Christmas shopping, we are fundamentally not the same kind of person. I probably have a lot to learn from you and I’m frankly not sure why you clicked on this article at all. However, if you have been quietly muttering to yourself, “Everything will…
calendar

30 November, 2021

5 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Friend Who Has Everything
​It’s the time of year for ribbons, bobbles, and credit card debt (or however that Christmas song goes 😂). When it comes to gifts though (and credit card debt for that matter), we prefer experiences. You get to share it with your loved one, make lasting memories, and up your…

calendar

19 June, 2022

The Bottom: A Look Inside
Over in East Knoxville (at 2340 E. Magnolia Avenue to be specific) lies The Bottom - a magical place where you can listen to book talks, join in on discussions, celebrate community, or even find a book of your own. It was founded by Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin, a local sociologist…
calendar

19 March, 2021

Oglewood Avenue: A Look Inside
Jade Adams is the stylish, hilarious owner of Oglewood Avenue - and frankly, we’d like to be her new best friend. (It’s not weird, okay? Don’t make it weird.) Besides, considering the way she takes care of her plants, she’d be a good best friend to have. Let’s back up:…
calendar

5 January, 2021

5 Fave Black-Owned Businesses in Knoxville
If you’re anything like me (white… oh so very white), you may have realized you had a lot to learn last summer. You may have also been surprised to learn that COVID was hitting Black-owned businesses (even in Knoxville) disproportionately hard. My favorite part of 2020 life was ordering local…

calendar

29 July, 2022

6 Ways to Spend Rainy Days in Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee is an outdoor-lovers playground. There are endless options. We're talking mountain biking and paddle boarding and quarry swimming and patio eating. BUT Knoxville also has a tendency to, well, rain... a lot. (In my defense, I moved here after about 5 years of living in a Texan draught…
calendar

19 June, 2022

The Bottom: A Look Inside
Over in East Knoxville (at 2340 E. Magnolia Avenue to be specific) lies The Bottom - a magical place where you can listen to book talks, join in on discussions, celebrate community, or even find a book of your own. It was founded by Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin, a local sociologist…
calendar

11 June, 2022

Get To Know Knox Pride
If you’ve been on social media or have taken a trip down Chapman Highway in South Knoxville lately, you may have noticed a new resident in town - the Knox Pride Center! And if you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community in Knoxville and are looking for just that -…

calendar

6 April, 2022

How to Hike Fort Dickerson Loop
Fort Dickerson Park (home of Augusta Quarry, formerly known as Fort Dickerson Quarry) is a pleasant, easy hike just barely south of downtown Knoxville. You've got plenty of scenic overlooks, but also a lil bit of that ✨scruff✨ Knoxville holds so dear. It's also only 3-ish miles, so you can…
calendar

18 February, 2022

Top Places to Cozy Up by a Fire in Knoxville
If you’re new to Knoxville, there is something you need to know about Tennessee weather… it can be a little crazy. I’m not sure who originally said this, but the saying: “If you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it'll change,” definitely applies to our scruffy…
calendar

9 November, 2021

5 Spots for Fall Leaves in Knoxville!
Fall has finally hit Knoxville, Tennessee. Is she consistently a month late? Yes. Is she always gone too soon? Also yes. Because of this, we wanted to waste no time sharing our favorite local spots so you can go find them and throw colorful foliage in the air and spin…

calendar

16 November, 2021

Glitterville: A Look Inside
Stephen Brown is a rather unassuming name for one of the most vibrant human beings on the planet. Like many other Stephens, this one was born in East Tennessee and went to school at the University of Tennessee. But this is where the similarities end. See, from there, Stephen Brown…
calendar

19 March, 2021

Oglewood Avenue: A Look Inside
Jade Adams is the stylish, hilarious owner of Oglewood Avenue - and frankly, we’d like to be her new best friend. (It’s not weird, okay? Don’t make it weird.) Besides, considering the way she takes care of her plants, she’d be a good best friend to have. Let’s back up:…


location icon site icon

Search Bar

Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt
location icon site icon

Don’t Miss the News!

Subscribe to the New2Knox newsletter to get monthly updates on all things Knoxville.

Loading
location icon site icon

Upcoming Events

october, 2022

location icon site icon

Move2Knox?

Moving can be daunting, but we’re here to help it go as smoothly as possible.

location icon site icon

Want to Advertise?

Want to advertise your business or event? Let’s chat!

X