National Parks / Natural World in KNOXVILLE with kids

The world has some incredible natural wonders, and luckily for you, Knoxville has some incredible places to visit with kids right on your doorstep….and you won’t want to forget your camera!

The national and state parks in and around Knoxville, Tennessee offer an incredible variety of experiences for children.  Some parks protect a unique and diverse wilderness, teeming with wildlife which is always a thrill for kids!

Some parks protect incredible fascinating and significant historical sites, where the family can go back in time through American history…who says the learning as to stop on a family day out!

Even the city of Knoxville itself has smaller parks perfect for a quick trip into nature.  You don’t even need to leave the city to have that park experience - and kids LOVE them!

Shut those televisions off and put those computer games away….the great outdoors is calling and it’s calling YOU!

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  • Ijams Nature Center

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    (3 miles) Knoxville

    Ijams Nature Center is a 275-acre wildlife sanctuary and environmental learning center, providing community-wide connections and experiences through education, conservation, recreation and ...

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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    (28 miles) Gatlinburg

    Explore that beautiful feat of nature that lies between the border of Tennessee and North Carolina - the Great Smoky Mountains! True family adventure out in the most visited national park in the ...

  • Obed Wild And Scenic River

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    (39 miles) Wartburg

    The Obed Wild and Scenic River looks much the same today as it did when the first white settlers strolled its banks in the late 1700s. While meagerly populated due to poor farming soil, the river was ...

  • Big South Fork

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    (53 miles) Oneida

    Encompassing 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The area ...

  • North Carolina Arboretum

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    (80 miles) Asheville

    One of the most beautiful natural settings in the United States - also offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages. Stop by the Information Desk at the Baker Exhibit Center to pick up ...

  • Table Rock State Park

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    (95 miles) Pickens

    Great Country Park with the stunning Table Rock Mountain providing an unforgetable backdrop. The park has a visitors center near the main gate along S.C. 11, the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic ...

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  • Knoxville Museum of Art

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    Knoxville

    Kids can immerse themselves in art and culture at the Knoxville Museum of Art - a creative, educational and FUN way to spend your family day out!

  • McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture

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    (1 miles) Knoxville

    A fascinating museum for kids and families, with educational programs, exhibits, events for families and lots of fun things for kids to learn - all about natural history and culture!

  • The Muse Knoxville

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    (3 miles) Knoxville

    A fun kids museum that features interactive exhibits all about science and art! Hands-on learning and fun with the ONLY public access Planetarium in Knoxville!

  • Children's Museum Of Oak Ridge

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    (20 miles) Oak Ridge

    A children's museum dedicated to learning through play with interactive exhibits, for those children of East Tennessee!

  • Titanic Museum Attraction

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    (21 miles) Pigeon Forge

    Kids can learn, explore, and experience history all aboard this amazing ship-shaped classroom called Titanic. That's only the tip of the iceberg!

  • Dinosaur Walk Museum

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    (22 miles) Pigeon Forge

    Come face-to-face with a Tyrannosaurus Rex! Count the spikes on a Stegosaurus tail. Stand next to one of the most common predators, the Allosaurus. Learn to spell “Parasaurolophus,” the largest ...

  • Hollywood Wax Museum Pigeon Forge

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    (22 miles) Pigeon Forge

    Come face to face with your favorite A-ist celebrities at this fun Hollywood Wax Museum...it's Hollywood in the heart of Tennessee!

  • Hollywood Star Cars Museum

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    (28 miles) Gatlinburg

    A tour through Star Cars Museum is a trip through some of the most famous movies and TV shows of the last 50 years. Featuring the best Hollywood movie & TV cars in recreated settings displayed with ...

  • The Guinness World of Records

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    (28 miles) Gatlinburg

    There is an incredible line-up of feats, facts and records in an amazing display of unparalleled fun. Dramatic recreations come to life at the all new and expanded edition of Guinness World of ...

  • Abraham Lincoln Museum

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    (45 miles) Harrogate

    Located on the beautiful campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum houses one of the most diverse Lincoln and Civil War collections in the ...

  • Wheels Through Time Museum

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    (56 miles) Maggie Valley

    A consummate collection of over 250 rare antique American Motorcycles and Automobiles.

  • Natural History Museum and Gray Fossil Site

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    (85 miles) Gray

    Prehistoric museum fun in Tennessee with interactive exhibits, discovery carts, and a dig pit offering something for all ages!

  • Hands On Regional Museum

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    (91 miles) Johnson City

    Offers over 20 permanent, interactive exhibits which provide fun and learning for all ages. Facilities include equipped roleplay settings, creative and constructive zones, physical play areas and ...

  • Hands On Museum

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    (93 miles) Hendersonville

    Features include mountain landscape indoor play, equipped roleplay settings, theatre, music room, arts and crafts, art studio and baby doll area.

  • Rocky Mount Living HIstory Museum

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    (93 miles) Piney Flats

    Tour and explore recreated buildings with costumed characters and authentic contents, plus museum, heirloom garden, crafts demonstrations and regular events.

  • Hunter Museum of American Art

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    (100 miles) Chattanooga

    Kids can understand American history in more detail through the art that was created through the centuries. Great inspiration in Tennessee

  • Knoxville Zoo

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    (3 miles) Knoxville

    Experience wildlife up close at Knoxville’s largest attraction as you come face to face with more than 800 of the Earth’s most fascinating animals.

  • Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo

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    (21 miles) Sevierville

    Over 600 animals from over 130 species are waiting for you to visit them at this unique Rainforest Zoo - with plenty of family fun to be had in Tennessee!

  • Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies

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    (29 miles) Gatlinburg

    Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies is literally teaming with life – our 10,000 exotic sea creatures comprise more than 350 individual species.

  • Western North Carolina Nature Center

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    (84 miles) Asheville

    The WNC Nature Center is Asheville's Zoo and Wildlife Park! Providing a one-of-a-kind adventure where guests can experience animals & plants native to the Southern Appalachian region. Featuring over ...

  • Chattanooga Zoo

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    (99 miles) Chattanooga

    Known as the best little zoo in the USA - this animal fun family attraction in Chattanooga will educate, excite and offer lots of fun animal encounters!

  • Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

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    (45 miles) Bryson City

    Upward of 200,000 passengers enjoy the scenery each year aboard the excursion trains. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is truly spectacular with 53 miles of track, two tunnels and 25 bridges.

  • Big South Fork Scenic Railway

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    (60 miles) Stearns

    The K&T Special Ride the 16 mile round trip upon the 100 year old, Kentucky & Tennessee Railway. One of many fun family places to go if you're looking for things to do with kids in Kentucky

  • Tennessee Valley Railroad

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    (95 miles) Chattanooga

    The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is proud to offer a wide variety of rides to suit your needs. For a quick trip, our Missionary Ridge Local takes only 55 minutes but packs all sorts of ...

  • Dollywood

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    (25 miles) Pigeon Forge

    With a theme park, water park and resort, this one of a kind day out in the Smoky Mountains makes for a great family adventure! On it's 125 you won't find the Hollywood sign - just Dollywood!

  • Dollywood's Splash Country

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    (25 miles) Pigeon Forge

    Over 23 water slides, thrills and adventures to be had at Dollywood's Splash Country! Family fun with a SPLASH for all!

  • Kentucky Splash Waterpark

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    (55 miles) Williamsburg

    18,000sq ft of family water fun in Kentucky with wave pools, lazy river, kiddie pool, slides, and even go-karts and mini golf! Campground too!

  • Wetlands Water Park

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    (83 miles) Jonesborough

    Offers an interactive kids' leisure pool with loads of fun features and a zero depth wading area for babies, plus lazy river and 3 flume slides at 80, 100 and 200 feet high!

  • Gray Line Trolley Tours of Asheville

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    (80 miles) Asheville

    Discover what Asheville’s has to offer on a Gray Line RED Trolley Tour! Locals and visitors alike are sure to enjoy the fully narrated journey, highlighting the history, homes, and hot-spots of the ...