The eastern Tennessee city of Knoxville -- the state's first capital -- is one of the state’s largest metropolitan areas. The city’s roots date to Colonial days, but it’s the modern mix of well-protected natural beauty, active business and educational institutions, and culture that appeals to Knoxville’s young families. If you’re looking to escape the weather with your toddler in Knoxville, you’ll find a number of options for indoor fun.
Visit a Museum
The East Tennessee Discovery Center includes 10 tanks of fish from around the world, a collection of reptiles and amphibians, and several hands-on science exhibits. The Kidspace play area is designed just for toddlers and preschoolers. The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture hosts free stroller tours every month for parents who want to expose their toddlers to art without worrying about disrupting the museum’s other patrons.
Soak Up Some Culture
Introduce your child to a taste of Knoxville’s history and get views of the city when you take the elevator to the top of the Sunsphere. This sparkling structure was built for the 1982 World’s Fair, and the elevator ride to the Observation Deck is a thrill for many kids. If you’re in the mood for a story, the Knoxville Public Library hosts regular story times for toddlers. Check the online calendar for the current schedule. Kids can learn Spanish, enjoy music lessons, create art and enjoy story time at Smart Toys and Books -- stop by the store for the calendar. See what’s playing at the Children’s Theatre of Knoxville because many of the productions are appropriate for toddlers.
Burn Some Energy
You can bounce with your toddler on soft inflatables during Pump It Up’s Family Jump Time or Pop-In Playtime. Kids as young as 2 years old are welcome to participate with their parents. Check the online calendar for upcoming bounce sessions. Little kids can play to their hearts’ content in the toddler playground at Bounce USA. The ball pit, play area and inflatable slide are reserved for the youngest kids.
Learn Something New
Tots as young as 10 months can boost strength and coordination, develop independence and learn to be around other kids at the Little Gym’s parent-and-child classes. Kids are grouped by age, so younger toddlers don’t have to worry about getting knocked over by bigger kids. Kids can start parent-and-child swimming lessons at 3 months at Adventure Swim School. The class schedule is on the school’s website. Toddlers can play musical games and learn the skills they need for gymnastics lessons with the parent-child classes at Gym Bugs.