Safety City

Want a fun summer activity for both big and little kids? Check out Safety City in Knoxville! This miniature version of Knoxville allows kids to ride bikes and scooters around, cruising through stop lights and past smaller versions of local landmarks.

If you visit, make sure to bring a helmet, check their Facebook page for any updates, and pack some water. And this gem is only open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9-2 during summer months. The last day for 2021 is July 29th.

Loco drive-in

There’s a new drive-in movie theater in Loudon, Tennessee, and it’s definitely worth checking out! LoCo Drive-In is perfect for a night of family fun. The high quality screen means that they can start movies before dark, and there’s even a playground for kids that need to burn some energy or can’t quite sit still during a full movie.

When we were there, the food truck offerings were superb, and the portable potties were super clean. They typically have shows Thursday through Sunday, but you can check their website or Instagram account for current information on times and movies. Grab your popcorn and your picnic blanket and enjoy!

Spruce Flats Falls

For a challenging but do-able waterfall hike with kids, Spruce Flats Falls is a great choice. This hike in the Tremont area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a roughly 2 mile out-and-back to a gorgeous waterfall with some beautiful views along the way. There is a steep climb each way, but our 6-year-old managed with very little difficulty. The trail is well marked, but there are portions with natural terrain (stepping over rocks, crossing shallow creeks), so you need to wear sturdy shoes and be aware of your footing.

The falls has some areas that are safe to play in, so consider bringing water shoes or a change of clothes if your kids want to get wet. And don’t forget to pack water and snacks! With 4 kids hiking and one in a backpack, it took us about 45 minutes each way to complete this hike.

To get to Spruce Flats Falls, go towards Cades Cove at the Y just past Townsend, then turn left in .2 miles toward the Institute at Tremont. Drive 2 miles then turn left into the Institute. You’ll cross a narrow bridge then find parking and a portable potty. Park and head up the gravel road towards trails (you should see signs).

Blueberry season in east tennessee

We love picking all types of produce, and June through early July brings out some delicious blueberries! Of all the you-pick farms I’ve visited, our recent visit to Honey’s Blueberry Farm in Loundon, Tennessee had to be one of the easiest. The farm has no set hours (though they do update their Facebook page with ripeness reports). You can go whenever is convenient for your family, pick your berries (bring a bucket), weigh them yourself, then either leave cash in the cashbox or venmo the account posted at the pay station. So fun, so easy, and so delicious!

We’re also hoping to check out Blueberries and Blackberries on Bluegrass this year, which is right in West Knoxville and has an up-to-date Facebook page.

Happy blueberry season!

Knoxville Parent

Hi, friends! After 7 sweet years in Nashville, we made our home in Knoxville, Tennessee in July 2020. Our twins were born here and it has always felt like home. In our first year back, we’ve had countless adventures and are so excited about all East Tennessee has to offer.

One year after our return to this city, I launched @knoxvilleparent, an instagram account aimed at helping local families find fun family outings and experiences. My goal is to make getting out and making a memory with your child as easy as possible–by giving you details about things we try, we take some of the guess work out for you. Please feel free to follow along on instagram and/or on this site. I look forward to helping you create your own family fun!