Join Us Downtown to Make Your Winter Warmer.
It may be tempting to hibernate this time of year, but Downtown Knoxville has your ticket to a gratifying winter with plenty to do and see.
Come on out to explore art galleries and museums, chill out in an igloo, and get competitive with indoor activities, all to make the most of the season.
Let Downtown Knoxville warm you right up!
Local Beer at Its Best
You can grab a craft beer at every corner of downtown! For a truly unique winter experience, visit Balter Beerworks to watch beer making in action. Then cozy up with friends in their igloo village to enjoy warm winter flavors like orange peel, ginger, and juniper berries. Make a trip to the iconic Downtown Grill & Brewery to order one of their beers tapped directly from their serving tanks, located beneath the main floor. A couple of doors down, order up a craft brew at Blackhorse Pub & Brewery where they carry year-round and seasonal flavors. Pretentious Beer Co is your next stop for beer made on sight and served up in a hand-blown glass made right next door.
Visit one of downtown's theatres for an entertaining performance sure to leave a lasting impression. The historic Tennessee Theatre has a full lineup of shows, including musical “Miss Saigon,” opera “Romeo & Juliet,” and Broadway Musical “Waitress.” The recently opened Old City Performing Arts Center will put on “Constellations,” a two-person romcom exploring all the mundane, beautiful, and heartbreaking ways that a simple story can end. And Theatre Knoxville will have two shows this winter, a soul-searching play “Death of a Salesman” and a romantic comedy “Barefoot in the Park.” Lastly, the Bijou Theatre will have many intimate concerts, including shows from artists Erick Baker, Drew and Ellie Holcomb, and Wynonna.
You’ll find an indoor activity for literally everyone and every age downtown! Try your luck at Maple Hall, a fun bowling experience in an historic setting, and then head upstairs for life-size board games on the wall, drinks, and live music. Bring out your inner artist while you paint and laugh the night away at Painting with a Twist. You can also flee from the cold at Escape Game Knoxville, where you and your team have to figure the puzzles out before you run out of time! Then head next door to Battlefield Knoxville for an ultimate multiplayer VR gaming experience. Speaking of VR, show off your inner golfer at Top Golf in the brand new Embassy Suites. And you can’t miss ending the night at Harrogate’s, a barcade complete with pinball, Pacman, darts, craft beer and warm-your-soul-up ramen.
New Year's Resolutions
We know you set them. Now, start your resolutions strong downtown! There are 3 gyms within the downtown area, Downtown Gym Inc, Fitness Studio 111, and the Old City Athletic Club. You can team up with a personal trainer or work at your own pace. You can also join the Lindsay Young YMCA downtown giving you access to a gym, pool, basketball courts, exercise classes, plus, yoga classes on the roof! Lastly, team up with others for fun runs with Eddie’s Health Shoppe and Old City Athletic Club ending for drafts at The Casual Pint and Merchants of Beer.
Make Your Way Through a Museum
With free admission all year long, you must begin your journey at Knoxville Museum of Art, whose mission is to celebrate the art of East Tennessee. They often host free events and art activities, including Winter Family Fun Day on February 8. Another must-see is the Museum of East Tennessee History located right on Gay Street. Their must-see exhibit, "It'll Tickle Yore Innards!" A (Hillbilly) History of Mountain Dew, runs through January 20. Take an educational trip to one of downtown's historical homes, Blount Mansion and James White’s Fort. And for the sports enthusiasts, visit the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame!
Cozy Up Your Home
Yes, it’s cold outside! So cozy up your home with winter candles and soaps, like Sweet Almond, Spearmint & Oatmeal, Peppermint, and Orange from Knoxville Soap Candle & Gifts, an artisan gift shop on Gay Street. Snuggle up with a good book from Union Ave Books, while wrapped in a chunky blanket from Mast General Store sipping hot tea from Jackson Ave Tea Company. Update your home with art, homegoods, and gourmet food from a variety of gift shops, like Tree & Vine and Jacks of Knoxville. If you’re in the market for a complete home makeover, stop by OP Jenkins, a full-service interior design store since 1907. Finally, get major inspiration for your home at the Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show February 14-16 at the Knoxville Convention Center.
Cheer on Knoxville’s Hockey Team
The Ice Bears are our very own professional hockey team who have won the most titles in their league. When you go to a game, you’re sure to be entertained! You’ll laugh, gasp, and be in wonder at the competition on the ice, plus they create a family-friendly atmosphere. They have a variety of themed nights from Ladies Night to Country Night, and two of the most popular themed-nights are coming up: Disney Night on January 17 and Star Wars Night on February 15.
Take a Distillery Tour
Bundle up and enjoy a craft cocktail tour on foot through the Old City! Chase the cold away with a distillery tour of Knox Whiskey Works, a small-batch, craft distillery on Jackson Ave. You can go behind the scenes to experience their distillation process of liquors like Jackson Ave Gin, Tennessee Valley Whiskey, and Old City Heirloom Corn Whiskey. Finish the KWW tour with a flight of cocktails in their tasting room. Next, make a stop at PostModern Spirits, another craft distillery in the Old City. They say, “Forget what you know about spirits!” Taste and see spirits designed for the cocktail culture: from experienced bartenders to home enthusiasts. Then, order up a PoMo picture-perfect cocktail made with one of their unique spirits ranging from whiskey distilled from local craft beer to bitter orange amaro.
Peruse Local Art Galleries
Within .67 square miles, you’ll find numerous galleries, each with their own unique offerings. The Art Market Gallery currently exhibits the work of over 60 area painters, photographers, weavers, printmakers, woodworkers, potters, jewelers, fiber and glass artists. The UT Downtown Gallery is a contemporary art gallery supported by the University of Tennessee, with a variety of upcoming exhibits and lectures. In addition to hosting some of our city's favorite festivals, you can drop by the home of Dogwood Arts where they host a special exhibit each month featuring some of their favorite local artists. Next on the list, the Emporium Center is a fine arts center that houses multiple art galleries showcasing local and regional artists, and it’s a show-stopper during First Friday ArtWalk, a can’t-miss event the first Friday of every month. Downtown businesses stay open late for a night of art, music, and community.
As winter transitions into spring, Downtown Knoxville has back-to-back weekend parades that you'll want to get on your calendar! The Mardi Growl Parade & Party is an annual parade that's "for the dogs" ending with prizes, pet party, costume contest, plus all kinds of pet vendors in Market Square on March 7. Then the following weekend, the St. Patrick's Parade heads down Gay Street bringing along a Cel-O'braugh-tion after-party with live music, games, and much more on March 14.