Free Things to Do in Knoxville

March 8, 2023

While Knoxville is known for its diverse nightlife and a wealth of outdoor recreation, the city also offers a variety of free things to do.

The city has plenty to offer for families, including a world-class zoo, which is home to over 800 animals from around the globe. It also features award-winning exhibits and activities for children.

1. Visit the Knoxville Museum of Art

The Knoxville Museum of Art, located on the World’s Fair site in 1982, houses a variety of different galleries and exhibits. It’s known for displaying both historical and contemporary pieces from East Tennessee artists.

One of the newer additions is the Cycle of Life, a permanent installation by Richard Jolley. It’s one of the largest figurative glass-and-steel assemblages in the world, and it’s definitely worth a look!

2. Take a Self-Guided Tour of Marble Springs State Historic Site

If you’re looking for a fun place to take your family on a free day, consider taking the Self-Guided Tour of Marble Springs State Historic Site. The site features a tavern, kitchen, cabin, loom house, and spring house that will give you a glimpse into late 18th-century life.

You can visit the site anytime, but it’s best to plan ahead. The site is a member of the Historic Homes of Knoxville and offers tours throughout the year.

3. Visit Ijams Nature Center

Ijams Nature Center is a great place for families to spend time in the great outdoors. It’s located minutes from downtown and is part of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness.

Ijams offers 12 miles of trails that are free to explore. You can also visit their visitor center to learn more about the park.

4. Take a Hike in the Urban Wilderness

With more than 300 acres, Ijams Nature Center offers a unique glimpse into Knoxville’s wildlife and flora. You’ll find a diverse habitat and plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

It’s part of the Knoxville Urban Wilderness, a 1,000-acre greenway developed by The Appalachian Mountain Bike Club (AMBC), Legacy Parks Foundation, city of Knoxville, Knox County and private landowners.

5. Visit Blount Mansion

Blount Mansion is one of the most intriguing historical sites in Knoxville. It’s a museum and a historic preserve that helps you learn about the city’s past in engaging ways.

It’s also an excellent place to relax and unwind after a busy day of exploring. With lots of nature and wildlife to see, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained for hours!

6. Visit James White’s Fort

James White’s Fort is a historic site that teaches visitors about the history of the city. It is located in downtown Knoxville.

The site was founded in 1786 by Revolutionary War officer James White. It is now a state historical site.

7. Visit Blount Mansion Museum

One of the many free things to do in Knoxville is visit the stunning Blount Mansion Museum. It is a must see for any history buff and one of the best places to learn about the city’s past.

Located on the University of Tennessee campus, this museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing historical artifacts from all over the world. You’ll find everything from dinosaur fossils and bones to Civil War, ancient civilizations, and diverse finds in the period-based exhibitions.

8. Visit Blount Mansion Museum

The Blount Mansion Museum is a must see for history lovers. The former home of U.S. Constitution signer William Blount, it is a historic building that has been preserved and restored to its original state.

Located on the University of Tennessee campus, this museum is free to enter and is one of the most highly educational attractions in Knoxville. It features everything from dinosaur fossils and bones to Civil War, ancient civilizations, and diverse finds from around the world.

9. Visit Blount Mansion Museum

The Blount Mansion Museum is a must-visit if you’re looking for things to do in Knoxville. The museum is a great place to learn more about the history of Knoxville and is free to get into!

The Mansion was built in 1792 by William Blount, the first Territorial Governor of the Southwest Territory (now Tennessee). He and his wife Mary lived here until his death.

10. Visit Blount Mansion Museum

Knoxville is a vibrant city with plenty of things to do for all ages and budgets. Its historic streets showcase a long and storied history while surrounded by natural beauty.

Blount Mansion Museum is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Part history museum and part historical preserve, it teaches visitors about the city in engaging ways.


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