Zoos in KNOXVILLE with kids

It’s animal time in Knoxville, Tennessee and they are calling YOU!

For those families who LOVE those animal encounters, look no further than Knoxville because this The Volunteer State city has plenty of them!

We have to start with zoos. These are the most iconic way to experience wildlife, and great to visit with children. They offer animal encounters, and kids can experience creatures from all across the globe.  

Farms are a great alternative for a more hands-on experience with petting zoos and barnyard fun. Wildlife sanctuaries offer kids an invaluable lesson in conservation, and animal-specific attractions let kids really immerse themselves in their favorite creatures!

Whatever wildlife experience you choose with children, you know they will walk away filled with memories and knowledge that can’t be replaced. They’ll have a ROAR-ing time! 

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  • 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!

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • Mountain Play Lodge

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    (85 miles) Arden

    Kids can play, imagine, climb and stay active at this fun and colorful indoor play center.

  • Leaping Lizards Family Entertainment Center

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    (85 miles) Kingsport

    Indoor fun in Tennessee, with fun inflatables, obstacle course, party rooms and much more for those active, bouncing kids!

  • 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 ...

  • 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

    The Hal Rogers Family Entertainment Center is home to the Kentucky Splash Water Park. The center includes an 18,000 square ft. wave pool, a drift river, a kiddy activity pool, a triple slide complex, ...

  • 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!

  • La Zoom ComedyTours

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    (81 miles) Asheville

    A Comedy Show on Wheels! A side-splitting odyssey to the city's favourite neighborhoods and landmarks spells quirky fun for both first-time visitors and long time residents.

  • Hannah's Maze of Mirrors Pigeon Forge

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    (22 miles) Pigeon Forge

    Transport into a modern day fairytale and try and make your way out of a challenging mirror maze!

  • Castle of Chaos

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    (22 miles) Pigeon Forge

    A scary, fun adventure awaits at this combination of a ride, 3D film and video game all in one!

  • The Gatlinburg Space Needle

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    (28 miles) Gatlinburg

    The Gatlinburg Space Needle is an all steel observation tower served by two elevators with a capacity of 20 persons each. Ride our safe and comfortable glass elevators over 400’ to observation ...

  • Adventure Ranch

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    (31 miles) Morristown

    Seasonal family fun with corn mazes, pumpkins, jumping pillows, pony rides, petting zoo, fire trucks, and SO much more!

  • Cherokee Fun Park

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    (48 miles) Cherokee

    If you fancy blazing around the corners of one of our state-of-the-art go-cart tracks, splashing and bumping friends in our gigantic playboat pool, or picking a slower pace by playing through one of ...

  • Ghost Town In The Sky

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    (55 miles) Maggie Valley

    A unique amusement park in North Carolina great for the family! With staged gunfights, shows, live music, food, and rides fit for the youngest buckaroo to the bravest outlaw!

  • Gold City Gem Mine

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    (59 miles) Franklin

    Gem mining and gold panning fun for the whole family in North Carolina - a ROCK solid family day out idea!

  • Baker Mountain Farm

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    (92 miles) Spencer

    We are an Seasonal Agritourism Farm with lots of hands-on learning and fun for the entire family. We have farmer play areas, petting farm and mini donkey rides, food concessions, gift shop, covered ...

  • 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!

  • 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 ...

  • 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!

  • 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 ...