50 Epic Summer Activities in Chattanooga TN

Plan the summer of your dreams with our big list of summer activities in Chattanooga TN.

The ideas below are totally family-friendly. They include options for both outdoor and indoor fun, so even the rain can’t get you down.

Towards the bottom of the page, you’ll also be able to sign up for a printable summer bucket list. It’s a great way to help you keep track of all your Chattanooga adventures this season.

happy family flying kite in field representing things to do in chattanooga this summer

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Summer Activities in Chattanooga TN

1. Blueberry Picking

Summer is prime blueberry picking season. Farms will have berries from mid-June through late July.

2. Local Swimming Holes and Sandy Beaches

From Chickamauga Dam to Greeter Falls, Chattanooga is bursting at the seams with fun swimming holes.

For a quieter location, try splashing in the stream at one of our local state parks. They offer tons of wooded shorelines that are tucked away from the crowds.

Keep in mind these types of natural swim areas don’t have lifeguards. Swimming is done at your own risk.

3. Public Pools

If you’re the kind of person that prefers clear water, check out these local public pools. They typically open around Memorial Day and close around Labor Day.

4. Indoor Activities

If you are trying to beat the heat or avoid the rain, check out some of these great indoor activities in Chattanooga:

5. Ocean Beach Vacations Near Chattanooga

Is the ocean calling your name? Check out this list of the most fantastic beach vacation destinations near Chattanooga.

6. Free Outdoor Concerts

Chattanooga offers great options for free concert series throughout the summer.

7. Cheap Summer Movie Deals

Check out the $2-$3 daytime movie ticket deals at Regal and AMC.

8. Sunflower Fields

The Chattanooga area has several gorgeous sunflower fields which are great locations for viewing pollinators or snapping photos.

9. Splash Pads

The splash pads in Chattanooga are filled with fun water features and fantastic extras like picnic areas and playgrounds. They are great spots to spend the day.

To beat the heat, visit before noon. And of course, don’t forget your camp chairs.

10. Lavender Farms

We have several adorable u-pick lavender farms nearby. Most also have quaint farm stores with lavender products and decor.

11. Kayaking

Rentals are available in too many places to list including L2 Outside, Chattanooga Guided Adventures, and Harrison Bay State Park.

12. Camping

One of the most popular regional campgrounds is Cloudland Canyon State Park in Georgia. The scenic beauty of the small canyon is the main draw, but the park also has several waterfalls, caving experiences, and more.

Another fan favorite is Chattanooga’s Raccoon Mountain, which offers cave tours, a swimming pool, and gem panning.

Though it’s a little further out, Falls Creek Falls is the most activity-packed campground in the state. It’s also the most visited.

13. Fireworks & July 4th Events

Would it even be summer without funnel cakes and fireworks?

14. U-Pick Flower Farms

Lorenzen Flower Farm is just a short drive away in Dayton and offers a wide variety of u-pick flowers all season.

15. Downtown Chattanooga

From the Bluff View Arts District to Coolidge Park, Downtown Chattanooga is full of quirky things to see and do. Many of them are totally free.

As you’re exploring you’ll encounter various open-air art installations, parks, playgrounds, and often, live music. For added fun, check out this selfie scavenger hunt from Let’s Roam.

16. Chattanooga Zoo

The Chattanooga Zoo has a lot to offer. In addition to animal viewing, you can feed giraffes, have a meet and greet with a red panda, explore the nature playground, and so much more.

17. Personal Petting Zoo

Pitch in with some friends and book a petting zoo experience with Noah’s Little Ark.

Happy granfather and grandson eat ice pops in pool represeting summer activities in Chattanooga

Relate Read: 40 Free Things to Do in Chattanooga


More Things to Do in Chattanooga This Summer

18. Cardboard Hill

If you’re new in town and just visiting, check out this awesome video of cardboard hill in action. You’ll find this nifty attraction in Renaissance Park.

19. Soakya Water Park

At Soakya visitors can enjoy a variety of water slides, a flume ride, a lazy river, an over-water obstacle course, and a fun splash zone for the kids.

20. Visit The Smokies

With so many free things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there’s never a bad time to visit.

21. Explore a State Park

Harrison Bay State Park is just 30 minutes outside of Chattanooga. Its activities include kayaking, fishing, birdwatching, boating, golf, hiking, and more.

22. Date Night

Summer isn’t just for the kids. You deserve to have a little fun too! Check out these awesome date ideas in and around Chattanooga.

23. Glow Worm Encounter

If you can even believe it, East TN is home to one of the most notable glow worm caves in the world.

At 2 hours and 36 minutes away, this animal encounter is a bit of a drive. The experience is super unique, so it’s worth making the trek at least once.

The glow worms can be seen at Pickett Memorial State Park in May and June, but their glow can only be seen at night. This means it’s best to plan a camping trip around your visit.

24. Free Fishing Day

While you can fish any time of year with a license. You can fish without a license on the Saturday of the first full week in June. This is an excellent opportunity for people who are new to fishing or don’t like to go that often.

The TWRA even has a free printable “first fish” award that you can print for your littles.

25. DIY Ice Cream Tasting

DIY your own tasting experience by visiting a few different Chattanooga ice cream shops throughout the summer.

26. Summer Reading Programs

Of all the free summer activities in Chattanooga, this one is probably the most loved. That’s because it involves fun prizes.

Sign up for your local library’s summer reading program and your kids can win cool stuff after reading a certain amount of books.

27. Search For Nocturnal Creatures

Outshine Adventures offers periodic full moon hikes right in town at Stringer’s Ridge Park. This is a great opportunity to look for adorable nocturnal animals like owls, bats, and raccoons.

28. Synchronous Fireflies

Just a short drive away in Great Smoky Mountains National Park the Synchronous Firefly event is a spectacular natural light show that attracts visitors from across the world.

At the event, many thousands of fireflies all light in unison as they try to attract a mate. It’s truly an unforgettable experience.

29. Parent-and-Me Cooking Classes

Check out the Sweet and Savory Classroom’s parent-and-me cooking classes where you can make delicious burgers, calzones, steaks, cookie cakes, and so much more.

30. Extended Hours at Lake Winnie

Throughout the summer, Lake Winnie will be open an extra day each week, Monday. This will give you even more opportunities for roller coaster fun!

31. Picnic

Grab your lunchbox and hit any local park for a leisurely lunch with a cool breeze.

32. Summer Make-and-Takes

Try your hand at a summer-themed painting project at Painting with a Twist. They even have easy options designed specifically for kids.

33. River Day

For more sophisticated fun, head to the Tennessee River for a pontoon boat or jet ski rental.

34. Mini Golf

Head to Top Golf for a leisurely outdoor adventure. If it’s raining you can try out the all-weather covered driving range.

35. Rock Climbing

If you are looking for an outdoor climb, you can see tons of great options here. For an indoor option on a hot day, High Point Climbing Center is a better choice.

36. Discover a New Board Game

For your next family game night, why not try a brand-new game? You may just find your next favorite.

37. Epic Backyard Fun

Sometimes, you just don’t want to leave the house. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with tons of ideas for family fun in your own backyard.

happy parents and children playing in scenic creek representing Chattanooga summer

More Cheap and Free Summer Activities in Chattanooga

38. Discgolf

If you’ve never played Disc Golf, there’s no better time to try it. There are tons of courses peppered throughout the region. Check out a video of how to play here.

39. Back-to-School Events

Score some free school supplies at these awesome back-to-school events. Your kiddos can get backpacks, haircuts, basic supplies, and more.

If you don’t need the freebies, please consider donating to one of these events.

40. Chattown Skate Park

The Chattown Skate Park is completely free. Whether your kiddo is brand new to skateboarding or has years of experience, this attraction is a great place to let them hone their skills.

41. Pump Tracks

Take a ride on the wild side at the Spears Avenue pump track. Have no idea what a pump track is? Check it out here.

42. Fly a Kite

Head to one of our local parks with a large open field, like the Sculpture Fields at Montague Park, to fly a kite this season. If you don’t have your own, they sell cheapies at local dollar stores.

43. Sunday Studio Art

At the Hunter Museum of American Art’s Sunday Studio program, kids can participate in free hands-on art activities. This event takes place once a month.

While kids always get free museum admission, adults usually have to pay. For this event, any adult with a Chattanooga Public Library card can get in for free.

44. Take a Day Trip

There are so many great day trip destinations near Chattanooga. For a close pick, check out these fun things to do in Knoxville with kids.

45. River Tubing

Less than an hour outside of Chattanooga, Outdoor Adventure Rafting is a popular attraction that has tubing and white water rafting excursions. The tubing float route allows you to spend 2 full hours on the water.

This location is convenient to Hiwassee Ocoee State Park which means you can extend the fun with hiking trails, a playground, and a variety of educational nature programs.

46. Kids Bowl Free

Guess what? Chattanooga has several locations where Kids can bowl 2 free games every day throughout the summer. Shoe rental is not included.

47. Hiking

Stringer’s Ridge is a 92-acres urban wilderness area located in North Chattanooga. If offers unpaved hiking and biking trails convenient to downtown.

This makes it easy to take the kids for a nice lunch or ice cream after your hike.

Of course, there are many other state and national parks that offer hiking nearby. The largest is Cherokee National Forest.

48. Tennis

Tennis rackets are pretty cheap, so buy your own and have fun all summer long.

49. DIY Nature Crafts

Take simple finds collected on your latest nature walk and turn them into something awesome.

50. Bike the Greenway Trail

Our local greenway trails meander throughout Chattanooga’s downtown and suburban areas. They are completely free to access, which makes them affordable options for your next family bike ride.

sample of summer bucket list in checklist format with birds, sun, swimming, camping clipart
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51. Guided Snorkeling

Just a short drive away in the Cherokee National Forest, visitors can enjoy an awesome guided snorkeling excursion. Snorkels, masks, and wetsuits are provided.

It’s typical to see 15-20 different types of fish during your adventure. Other aquatic life like salamanders may also be present.

52. Roller Skating

On Tuesday and Thursday evenings, kids under 12 skate free at Hamilton Skate Place. This is a summer special and requires pre-registration.

53. Indoor Movement Activities

Has the heat got you down? Keep your kids active indoors with these free indoor movement activities you can stream at home.

54. Star Parties

The Barnard Astronomical Society of Chattanooga hosts fun, FREE, and educational astronomy events throughout the greater Chattanooga area.

At the events, BAS will bring telescopes and help guests locate a variety of celestial bodies. They will also teach you a variety of fun ways to explore the sky at home.

55. Movies Under the Stars

Head to The Wilderness Theater for a fun drive-in movie experience that is sure to delight the kiddos. The best part is you get to see 2 movies for 1 low price.

56. Junior Ranger Program

Our Tennessee State Parks offer awesome Junior Ranger programs throughout the summer. At these ranger-led events, kids can learn about a variety of topics including outdoor safety, astronomy, animal tracking, reptiles, and so much more!

57. Free Days at the Creative Discovery Museum

If your budget is tight, you can still treat your kids to a fun night at our local children’s museum. Once every month, admission is free during evening hours.

58. Garden Tours

Head to Reflection Riding Arboretum to explore scenic wildflower gardens.

For more manicured landscapes, check out the garden tours hosted by the Master Gardeners of Hamilton County.

59. Chattanooga Market

This popular downtown farmers’ market hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the summer. Each week, you can also enjoy live music as you shop from local produce and craft vendors.

60. Festivals

If you are looking for fun summer festivals, you can view monthly events in the articles below:

Did we miss one of your favorite summer activities in Chattanooga TN? Please send us the info so we can add it to the list.

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