Located in the eastern part of Tennessee, the city of Knoxville has a population of 180,761, according to the 2011 U.S. Census estimate. It is one of the largest cities in the Appalachian region of the country providing numerous places for toddlers to play. Whether you are just coming for a visit or are considering a move to Knoxville, your toddler will benefit from the many choices for fun and play.
Indoor Play Places
Chuck E. Cheese (chuckecheese.com) is a great place for toddler fun. In addition to a full pizza menu, it also has kiddie rides, multilevel tubes and slides, arcade games suitable for toddlers and other games and prizes. Your little one may even get to visit with the Chuck E. Cheese mascot. Pump It Up (pumpitupparty.com) provides toddlers with giant inflatables for sliding, jumping and climbing. They offer pop-in playtime for ages 2 to 12, family jump times and also host special events like birthday parties.
Nature and Wildlife
The East Tennessee Discovery Center (etdiscovery.org) is an interactive science education center for kids. Here, you'll find a variety of exhibits featuring insects, aquariums and reptiles, as well as a planetarium. Toddlers will especially enjoy the "Kid Space" area, which has building games, shapes and sorting games, Lego fun and magnets. The Knoxville Zoo (knoxville-zoo.org) provides many play opportunities for your toddler. Not only will you find the elephants, monkeys, meerkats, lizards and bears here, but the zoo also offers "Wee Play Zoo," a program with toddlers in mind that allows them to dress up as a worker at the zoo and experience what it's like to be a veterinarian or zookeeper.
Parks and Playgrounds
The city of Knoxville (cityofknoxville.org) provides the community with dozens of parks perfect for little ones to play. Adair Park (no website; 1807 Adair Drive; 865-215-4311) features a playground, open space and butterfly gardens on 39 acres. World's Fair Park (worldsfairpark.org) is a fun place to play on a hot day, featuring a large splash area with fountains and other water toys sure to please the tots. The park also has walking paths and lots of open green space. Morningside Park (no website; 1600 Dandridge Avenue; 865-215-4311) provides two playgrounds, paved trails and picnic areas.
Dance and Gym Fun
For more structured play, a dance or gymnastics class is always fun. Knox Dance Worx (knoxdanceworx.com) has a program for toddlers called "Wee Dance" in which they learn the basics of dance such as dancing in a line, moving to the beat of the music and all of the key terminology for dancers. Gym Bugs (gymbugs.com) offers gymnastics programs for 2- to 3-year-olds including a parent-child class called, "Bouncin Bumblebees," which involves musical games and teaches introductory gymnastics skills. Gym Bugs also offers open gym times when you can stop by with your toddler just to have fun.