Outdoor Things to Do in Knoxville and the Smoky Mountains

When it comes to outdoor summer adventure, you can’t find a better place than East Tennessee. Our region has a wealth of wonderful outdoor attractions to help you take your family outings to the next level. Whether you enjoy the relaxed setting of planned gardens and aviaries or the wild worlds of kayaking, go-karts, and mini golf, we have all the best ideas right here! Our outdoor attractions are located in Knoxville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Maryville, The Smoky Mountains and more! Happy exploring y’all!

Best Outdoor Attractions in the Smoky Mountains

Outdoor Things to do in Knoxville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Maryville, the Smoky Mountains and More

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This fun center has both indoor and outdoor activities to meet all your needs. Activities include laser tag, mini golf, go karts, and an arcade. Birthday parties are available.

FREE outdoor splash pad in Knoxville.

For kids, Knox County Parks and Rec offers a variety of hands-on educational classes for both kids and adults. The department also offers a variety of sports leagues including, football, soccer, basketball, and baseball. Parks and Rec also offers summer camps and maintains local playgrounds, which offer pavilion rentals for birthday parties.

This members only tennis club offers indoor courts, outdoor courts, a pro shop, and an exercise room.

This facility also offers 4 day Summer Fun Tennis Camps geared towards kids in 1st – 8th grades.

General Info: Ijams nature center offers a variety of educational programs and nature-based activities including, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, live animal presentations, and nature and conservation education. There is also an amazing ropes course on-site. Field trips and nature-themed birthday parties are also available.

Summer Camps: In addition to their year round educational programs, this facility also offers a variety of week-long summer camps with various themes. Camp activities include hiking, caving, canoeing, arts and crafts, games, songs, educational programs, and much more!

Ijams’ Preschool Camp serves children ages 3-5.

Ijams’ Nature Adventure Camp serves children ages 6-12 years old.

This center features a large swimming pool as well as a feature filled splash pad. Daily and 25 visit passes can be purchased for a nominal fee.

This all-in-one entertainment stop features amusement rides, mini-golf, go karts, and an arcade. Group rates are available.

This location features both indoor and outdoor water attractions, including a lazy river, indoor and outdoor water slides and a toddler zone. The water park is reserved for resort guests only. If you’re local, there’s no reason why you can’t treat yourself to a little 1 night stay.

This wonderful aviary and botanical garden features hundreds and hundreds of exotic birds, many of which you can feed, touch, and interact with. Bird species include a variety of parrots, toucans, magpies, horn bills and much more! As you walk the the scenic pathways throughout the grounds, you can also enjoy the tens of thousands of gorgeous plants and flowers on site.

FREE outdoor splash pad in Knoxville, open spring through fall.

As Tennessee’s largest water park, this outdoor attraction has something for everyone. Daily and season passes are available. Combo passes are also available with the Dollywood Amusement park.

This multi-functional entertainment facility offers indoor golf, outdoor golf, laser tag, gem mining, bumper cars, a motion ride, an arcade, and escape rooms. Group rates are also available.

This popular attraction features both indoor and outdoor fun, including skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, year-round indoor ice skating, a mountain coaster, wildlife encounter, alpine slide, arcade, mini golf, and amusement rides. This is also the home of an annual month-long October fest, complete with German food and beer.

This fast-paced attraction features go karts and an indoor arcade, where you can play games to win prizes.

For kids, Blount County Parks and Rec offers gymnastics and tumbling classes, dance classes, karate classes, swim team, ballet classes, sewing classes, art classes, and pottery classes. The department also offers a variety of sports leagues including, football, soccer, basketball, and baseball. This department also offers summer camps and maintains local playgrounds, which offer pavilion rentals for birthday parties. A variety of classes are also offered for adults and seniors.

FREE outdoor splash pad in Knoxville.

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Things to Do Outside in the Smoky Mountains