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 historic mansion is the former home of William Blount, a signer of the US Constitution and former governor of the Southwest Territory. The mansion was built in 1792.
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.
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 elegant historical house was built in 1858 and served as headquarters for both Union and Confederate forces.
FREE/children under 18
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.
Take photos with all your favorite (wax) celebrities from past in present.
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.
This fun and quirky museum is the world’s only museum of its kind!
This museum features everyone’s childhood favorite: trains!
This historic log homestead is one of the oldest in East Tennessee.
This fun and interactive children’s museum features hand-on play-based learning opportunities in the areas of science and STEAM. The museum also boats story time, arts and crafts, camps and birthday parties!
This museum features artifacts and an audio tour detailing a variety of life events from Elvis and other Hollywood legends.
This wonderful museum ,located inside of the historic Beck Mansion, focuses on preserving African American history and culture.
This educational living history museum portrays Southern Appalachia life in the early 20th century.
This museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the early settlers of Cades Cove.
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 a variety of exhibits depicting the life of Christ.
This museum features a variety of rotating and permanent exhibits including fossils and dinosaurs! The museum also has a variety of specialty programs for kids and families planned every month.
This hands-on museum features a variety of exhibits chronicling the past, present, and future of women’s basketball.
This museum features historical artifacts detailing the rich history of Blount County.
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 interactive exhibits and artifacts from the actual Titanic. The museum itself is made to look just like the real ship, including the grand staircase!
Step back in time with a visit to this historic 1 room school house. The schoolhouse also hosts a variety of educational events throughout the year.
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.
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