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Attractions in Tennessee for Kids

Updated on September 6, 2012

Map of Tennessee

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A markerNashville -
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B markerMemphis -
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C markerChattanooga -
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D markerKnoxville -
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E markerGatlinburg -
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Planning a family vacation can be a real challenging experience. Kids love activities geared to them and tend to become antsy when doing adult related activities. Tennessee is a great place to plan a family vacation, because there are so many things that kids will enjoy.

Things to do in Nashville with Kids

Adventure Science Center

The Adventure Science Center is a great place to take kids to so that they can explore over 150 exhibits. Kids can climb up seven different interactive levels to the top of Adventure Tower. On the way up they will crawl through a beating heart, lift a car without even breaking a sweat, and more. The BodyQuest exhibit allows kids to explore happens in the body every day. The newest exhibit is the Space Chase exhibit. It allows kids to explore the wonders of the universe using a hand on approach. The Adventure Science Center also features the Sudekum Planetarium, where kids will have a chance to learn more about the universe.

Tennessee Central Railroad Museum

The Tennessee Central Railroad Museum is a place kids of all ages will love. They offer different train ride excursions throughout the year including the famous “Day out with Thomas.” I took my kids to “Day out with Thomas” at the Illinois Railroad Museum and they love it. The museum is an all-volunteer staff that is committed to preserving and educating their guests about trains. They also run a hobby shop that offers HO and N scale model railroad items.

LP Field - Home of the Tennessee Titans
LP Field - Home of the Tennessee Titans | Source

Tennessee Titans

The NFL is a great attraction for families with kids. Nashville is home to the Tennessee Titans. They play at LP Field, which they share with Tennessee State University. It is a beautiful place to watch a football game. The Titans are an up and coming team.

Tiger laying down at the Memphis Zoo
Tiger laying down at the Memphis Zoo | Source

Things to do in Memphis with Kids

Memphis Zoo

The Memphis Zoo is over 100 years old and features over 3,500 animals. One of the feature exhibits is the Teton Trek, which features some of the most famous features of Yellowstone National Park including a replica of Old Faithful Geyser. It also features wildlife found in Yellowstone including grizzly bears, grey wolves, and elk. The zoo also features exhibits that represent different areas of the world. One of the other unique features of the Memphis Zoo is an exhibit called “Once Upon a Farm” that has many different farms animals, vegetable garden, a mini cornfield.


Children’s Museum of Memphis

The Children’s Museum of Memphis is a fun place for kids to visit with 26 permanent exhibits. Kids will love the earthquake simulator exhibit. They are give wooden blocks to build a structure with and then test it out to see how it holds up against an earthquake. The garage is an exhibit that most boys will love. They get to make their own car, change a tire, and see how a car works. Other cool exhibits include neighborhood friends, going places, tornado generator, and creative construction.

Looking west from Lookout Mountain
Looking west from Lookout Mountain | Source

Things to do in Chattanooga with Kids

Lookout Mountain

Lookout Mountain is a great place to take kids. It is a few miles from downtown Chattanooga. Lookout Mountain is home to three huge attractions: Rock City, Ruby Falls, and the Incline Railway. Rock City is made up of beautiful rock formations that are 1,700 feet above sea level. On a clear day, you can see into seven different states from the Lover’s Leap area, which all features a climbing wall. Ruby Falls is a unique place to visit. It boasts a 145-foot waterfall inside of a cave. It is a highlight for anyone visiting the Chattanooga area. The Incline Railway virtually climbs straight up to the top of Lookout Mountain with a maximum grade of almost 73%! In comparison, the Pikes Peak Cog Railroad in Manitou Springs, CO climbs roughly 8,000 feet at a maximum grade of 25%. The Incline Railway is three times as steep!

Creative Discovery Museum

The Creative Discovery Museum is a great place for kids up to the age of ten to explore exhibits hands on. The museum has a dozen permanent exhibits and others that rotate in and out. Kids will love the Inventors’ Clubhouse, which allows kids to send messages to their friends using pneumatic tubes and more. Other fun exhibits include the Rooftop Fun Factory, Excavation Station, and Lookout Tower.

Things to do in Knoxville with Kids

Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge

The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge’s motto is “Please Touch.” That is a kid’s dream. The museum offers an Appalachian Heritage exhibit that teaches kids about life in Appalachia. It consists of three log homes from the mid 1800s. They also have a Model Train exhibit that features HO scale model trains, full-size caboose, and a garden railroad. Other exhibits include an Amazon rainforest, Bird Room, Dollhouse, Nature Walk, and more. Kids will enjoy all of the activities here.

Smokies Park - Home of the Tennessee Smokies - AA Afiliate of the Chicago Cubs
Smokies Park - Home of the Tennessee Smokies - AA Afiliate of the Chicago Cubs | Source

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies is a minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. They play at Smokies Park located in Kodak, Tennessee. The great thing about taking kids to minor league baseball games is that there are activities between every inning to keep kids entertained. In addition, the price of admission is much lower than Major League baseball parks.

Things to do in Gatlinburg with Kids

The Gatlinburg area has so many things for kids to do. Along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, there are multiple go-cart riding opportunities along with other amusement rides. Gatlinburg has Ripley’s Believe it or not and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies among many other attractions.

Beautiful Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Beautiful Great Smoky Mountain National Park | Source

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a great and affordable place to take kids because there is no admission charge for entering the park. It offers them the chance to see wildlife in their natural habitat such as white-tailed deer, black bears, snakes, and more. Kids will enjoy hiking through the woods in search of waterfalls and colored leaves in the fall. A great idea that my wife had when we went to Great Smoky Mountain National Park was to pack each kid a backpack with binoculars and a lantern. My kids loved it!

Tennessee has many activities to do with children. These are the regional highlights. We loved our visit to Tennessee. I hope that we get to go back again someday.


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    • ercramer36 profile image

      Eric Cramer 5 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thanks! Tennessee is a great place to take kids.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Highlighting these attractions for kids in Tennessee is a good idea. They provide memory-making opportunities for families!