It’s summer, the sunshine is here and Downtown Knoxville is packed with things to do for locals and visitors of all ages. Here's your guide to enjoy every bit of it! Take advantage of the daylight until 9pm with this list of summer fun activities.
Waldo Scavenger Hunt
What’s become a yearly tradition for many families is back and better than ever! Join us in an epic scavenger hunt in 34 local stores downtown during the whole month of July. Diligent seekers collecting 20+ stamps will be entered to win a deluxe set of Waldo books. Plus, you'll find fun, treats, and prizes along the way. Share where you find Waldo at #FoundWaldoKnox.
Kid-A-Rific Fun on the Square
We have a new summer event downtown! Kid-A-Rific Fun on the Square is a great family-friendly event where your kids can make new friends, cool down in the fountains, and enjoy crafts and games! The Muse Knoxville, Knoxville Arts & Fine Craft Center, YMCA, Home Depot, and the Knoxville Fire Department all host fun activities for the kids every Tuesday in July from 10am-1pm on Market Square.
Old City Market
The Old City Market transforms Jackson Avenue into a curated, outdoor market showcasing artists, crafters, and creative makers. From colorful dog art to Knoxville specific maps and tea towels, you’ll find a little bit of everything here. If you like local, handmade goods, trust us: you don’t want to miss out on this! The summer markets are July 13, August 10, and September 14.
Patios + Rooftops
We love that it’s light outside until 9pm, that way we can soak up the setting sun over dinner and drinks. If you’re like us and want to do the same, check out one of these patios for dinner and rooftops for drinks: The Tomato Head, Tupelo Honey, Cafe 4, Oliver Royale, Babalu, Preservation Pub, Hyatt Place Rooftop Bar, Pour Taproom, PostModern Spirits, and so many more!
Volunteer Landing is an awesome urban park for the whole fam! Stretching along the Tennessee River, you can leisurely walk as you take in the view, go for a run down Neyland Greenway, fish off the pier, rock on the porch swings, and the kids can cool off in the splash pads! It’s a great park nestled in between the hustle and bustle of the city and the peaceful river.
Shakespeare on the Square
“Though she be but little, she is fierce!” Shakespeare on the Square features two magnificent William Shakespeare's plays, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Comedy of Errors,” rotated nightly Thursday-Sunday from mid-July to mid-August. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy a play on the Square!
Enjoy a Festival
Summer is bringing the heat with a huge variety of can’t-miss festivals! There’s something for everyone: the beer lover, the culture enthusiast, and the family-friendly. The 30th Annual KUUMBA Festival brings an African street parade with music, dance, and costumes! Taste all the best things in life at the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival, and bring the kids to the East TN History Fair. Find more on our event calendar.
Catch a Classic Film
Summer Movie Magic is giving us all the nostalgic feels! Travel back in time watching classics at The Tennessee Theatre with a side of popcorn and a cold drink. Friday and Sunday showings include Jaws, The Little Mermaid, Ghostbusters, and many more favorites on the Big Screen!
Concerts on the Square
From singer-songwriters and orchestras to Square Dancing and Rock ‘n Roll, you can catch a variety of live music (and dancing!) every Thursday night on Market Square with Concerts on the Square. And there’s more! Every Tuesday night, stop by for relaxing live jazz. You can catch all of these concerts until the end of August.
Market Square Farmers' Market
We have a special place in our hearts for the Market Square Farmers’ Market! And what’s not to love? Every Wednesday and Saturday, local farmers, bakers, and makers bring their homegrown produce, eggs, honey, breads, coffee, artisan crafts, and so much more! Everything is grown or made in East Tennessee, and that’s the way we like it.
Every sunny, summer day is the perfect day to enjoy all the downtown Splash Pads! Kids love to cool down and make friends as they splish-splash in the water play fountains at World’s Fair Park, Market Square, Volunteer Landing, and the Krutch Park Extension on Gay Street. Don’t forget a towel! And maybe even a picnic.
Knoxville Outdoor Adventure Center
The Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center, located right on the Tennessee River, is a perfect place to bring out the adventurer in you! Outdoor enthusiasts of all levels can rent paddle boards, bikes, and kayaks, and enjoy the river with their friends, family, and pets!