When you are look for things to do with kids in East Tennessee, these wonderful museums and science centers provide exciting hands-on learning opportunities for kids and adults of all ages. The museums and science centers on this list are located in Knoxville, Knox county, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevier County, Maryville, Alcoa, and Blount County.
Museums & Science Centers
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This museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the early settlers of Cades Cove.
In addition to hosting permanent and rotating art exhibits, this museum hosts hands-on,family-family art programs all throughout the year. The goal of the Knoxville Museum of Art is to celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, present new art and new ideas, and educate a diverse public.
This museum also offers a summer art academy designed to increase your child’s art skills, creativity, and self-confidence. Morning classes are offered for kids ages 3 – 12 and afternoon classes are offered for kids ages 13 and up.
General admission to this museum is completely FREE!
This museum features a variety of hands-on exhibits that detail the history of The Great Smoky Mountains, dating back to early Cherokee settlers. There are also a variety of historical buildings on site, educational programs, and concerts throughout the year.
Ripley’s aquarium offers a wide variety of sea life and includes hands-on experiences for all ages. They even have a live mermaid show! In addition to general admission experiences, this aquarium hosts educational programs, sleepovers, birthday parties and private events.
Ripley’s aquarium also offers a variety of educational day camps to keep your kids busy and learning throughout the summer.
This museum features of variety of permanent and rotating exhibits. Admission is free on Sundays and free for children 16 and under every day of the week.
This expansive crime museum features exhibits from a variety of historical and modern crimes. There are also a few interactive portions of the museum, which are geared towards older school aged children and adults.
Parking is at The Island.
This science-based indoor amusement park provides over 35,000 square feet of educational entertainment. The center also includes a ropes course, laser tag, and magic show. In addition to day passes, this facility hosts group events and birthday parties. The entire facility can also be rented for large events.
This museum features historical artifacts detailing the rich history of Blount County.
The children’s museum features a variety of educational classes and hands-on exhibits. Exhibits include a rain forest room, model trains, waterworks, a bird room, doll house, historical toys, nature room, Native American history and much more! The museum also has a birthday party room that can be rented for private events.
In addition to daily educational fun and birthday parties, the museum offers STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) based spring and summer day camps. The camps allow kids to experience hands-on learning in a variety of themes.
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