Top Summer 2019 Weekend Activities – Knoxville, TN
Are you looking for fun things to do on the weekends this summer? I have said it before, and I’ll say it again – There is so much to do in Knoxville, TN! Consider checking out Knoxville if you’re looking for some fun activities to do this summer 2019.
The best part about living in Knoxville is it has a small city feel, with big city activities. No matter what you are interested in or what your budget is, there is a great activity for you this summer in Knoxville and the surrounding area. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Ijams Nature Center
If you are an outdoor lover head no further than South Knoxville to 300+ acres of Knoxville’s protected natural habitat. Ijams has something to offer all ages! There are 10 miles of trails to hike and bike. If it’s mid-summer and you need to cool down, take a swim or rent a kayak at Mead’s Quarry Lake. If you have kids, check out the different camps and programs Ijams has to offer.
If you are feeling extra adventurous, head to Navitat by Ijams, a tree-based adventure and climbing park. For a special date night, check out Navitat at Night and climb around in the canopy under the stars. Ijams is open every day from 8 am – dusk and has free parking. It’s the perfect outdoor adventure without the long drive to the Smokies!
Market Square Farmer’s Market
Running from May through November, check out the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 9 am – 2 pm. You can purchase delicious, fresh food from one of the many food trucks, buy fresh produce, local crafts, furniture, or soaps. Ladies, try to leave without buying a beautiful handmade fresh flower bouquet (it’s impossible for me).
There are also several live musicians that play around the square, and the upbeat melodies carry through the streets of downtown Knoxville. It’s the perfect excuse to explore downtown Knoxville. If it’s a hot day, stop for some ice cream at Cruz Farms on Gay Street or grab a cocktail on Hyatt’s luxurious rooftop bar.
Bonus: Downtown Knoxville has FREE PARKING on nights and weekends at meters and several different parking garages. Find parking here – https://www.downtownknoxville.org/explore/free-parking-nightsweekends/?t=96)
Animal lovers and parents alike– Zoo Knoxville is a must do! This is one of the best zoos I have been to hands down. You’ll be enchanted by the elephants, taken aback by the Tigers, and mesmerized by the monkey exhibits. You can even ride a camel or feed a giraffe. Bring your walking shoes though, this zoo is no joke. Covering 53-acres, you will be sure to get in some exercise. There is also an annual pass option available. If you go to the zoo at least twice this summer, it will pay for itself. If you are looking for a unique present for the special kid in your life, check out the zoo’s adopt an animal program!
Knoxville Ale Trail
For all the craft beer lovers, the Knoxville Ale Trail should be top of the list. The Ale Trail consists of 18 different craft brewers in Knoxville and the surrounding area. Most of the breweries are nearby, so if you are feeling determined, you could complete this in a weekend. You will find many unique beers and ciders along the trail, and you’ll even get to meet some of the local brewers. Once you complete the trail, redeem your Knoxville Ale Trail ‘passport’ for a free t-shirt!
[Driving while under the influence is NEVER ok. Uber and Lyft options are cheap and readily available in Knoxville and the surrounding areas. Another great way to achieve stamp status is to check out the Knox Brew Tours Bus. It will shuttle you to several of the breweries located around downtown Knoxville.]
‘Tis the season – the festival season! Knoxville has some amazing festivals happening during the summer time. You can find a list of all of the festivals here, but these are a few to be sure to check out:
May 17-19 Rhythm ‘N’ Blooms Music Festival
Come out to see a variety of bands and artists, both national and local, throughout venues in downtown Knoxville. Day and weekend passes are available. Festival passes can be expensive, so volunteer some time working at the festival in exchange for a pass!
May 18 Children’s Festival of Reading
Take your kid to meet their favorite storybook character or enjoy some arts and crafts. There’s a ton of great kids activities at this festival, so bring the whole family. This free event will definitely wear your kids out and help them sleep well at night.
June 1 Bike, Boat, Brew & Bark
Outdoor Adventures – Check.
Beer – Check.
Dogs – Check.
Come watch the powerboat Knoxville Grand Prix, dogs dock diving, take a guided urban bike ride, walk the river with a local historian, or paddle the Tennessee River with the beautiful Knoxville skyline in the background at night! This festival truly has it all!
June 22 Pridefest
Come out to support equality and the inclusion of all people with Knoxville’s Pridefest. Be sure to hang around for the parade where you will feel the love!
June 28 Kumba Festival
This is a great alternative to Dollywood’s Festival of Nations (without the ticket prices)! The African American Appalachian Arts, Inc. (AAAA) organization showcases rich culture and art through education to the Knoxville community.
July 1-31 Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt
Bring your kids, or make it a date night! You can pick up your Waldo Passport at Union Avenue Books. Waldo is hiding in 3 dozen places across downtown Knoxville. Happy hunting!
July 4 Festival on the Fourth
This patriotic festival delivers fun and entertainment for the whole family. Free music, games, food, and fireworks, what better way to spend the fourth!
July 27 Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival
If the special guy in your life has a summer birthday, get him tickets to this event! It’s a great way to spend a summer day under the beautiful Sunsphere in World’s Fair Park!
August 17 East Tennessee History Fair
If you haven’t actually read up on our local history, or if reading isn’t your thing, this is the festival to learn about the local heritage. This free festival will be sure to make history fun for all ages!
August 25 Asian Festival
Have you ever just craved Asian food? This festival will be sure to scratch that itch and some! Another great alternative to Dollywood’s Festival of Nations, this festival is a great way to learn about Asian culture while enjoying some amazing food!
September 6 -15 Tennessee Valley Fair
Be sure to finish out your summer with the TN Valley Fair. You can find famous faces performing at night, win a stuffed animal, fly high on rides, or enjoy great fair food! It will finish out your summer with a bang!
September 28-29 HoLa Festival
While this one is technically in the fall, it cannot go unmentioned! Come out to celebrate the rich Hispanic culture with fun activities, performances on the Market Square stage, and fresh tamales! Muy Divertido!
Written by Jessica Winspear of New Again Houses® Knoxville