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Best Knoxville Museums for Kids

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[Knoxville Citizen] Best Knoxville Museums for Kids

Are you tired of frequenting the movie theaters or parks so that the kids can keep entertained? Are you looking for something that will provide a little education along with a lot of fun?

Knoxville Museums are a great option for a Saturday or school holiday. The older kids might enjoy some of the many art museums and galleries in Knoxville, but there are several museums that are fun for the entire family. So if you find yourself with a free day and no plans for the little ones, check out these great choices.

The Muse Knoxville on 516 N Beaman Street is filled to the brim with fun and entertaining exhibits for children. Using the power of play, these exhibits are interactive and exciting ways for children to learn about science and the world around them.

The Strong Alley has phosphorescent walls that you can write on with laser writers or your phone flashlight. The Perform and Play and Sound Play areas let children explore music through playing on laser harps and slap organs, and even provide puppet displays and costumes so that they can act out a concert.

The Make Space room provides a large assortment of materials and tools that children and parents can tinker with, and even has a giant rocket you can paint. Amazing Airways teaches all about air flow and the circulatory system with large air tubes and diverter boxes, and the Live Smart and Stay Well is a fun place for small children to explore all about healthy eating and shopping.

This fun-filled museum also contains Knoxville’s only public Planetarium, along with a U.S.S. Muse exhibit, so children and grownups can learn all about space and the stars.

The Stem Station for slightly older children is an obstacle course for the mind, and the Science Garden and Outdoor Playground provides a fresh-air approach to the science of gardening (and plain old play). With countless opportunities for events, like birthday parties and field trips, it is no wonder this Knoxville museum is a top choice for families.

Are you looking for an Edmontosaurus Annectens? If so, the McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture at 1327 Circle Park Drive is the place to be!

This neat little fellow is on display in front of the museum, and inside can be found many other intriguing creatures, like a life-sized replica of a Cretaceous Mosasaur, Ice Age fossils, and displays about earthquakes, volcanoes, and minerals.

You can also find an extensive history of artistic expression and an archaeological exhibit of artifacts from the Native American heritage of Tennessee.The museum also displays special exhibitions, like Poisonous Plants and Animals and Science in Motion, so be sure to check the website regularly to catch all the amazing displays. And one of the best parts—admission and parking are free!

Take a trip to 1567 Downtown West Boulevard for a unique experience at the Girl Scout Museum at Daisy’s Place. Located inside the Knoxville Service Center, the museum hours are the same as the service center, and admission is free. You can find hands-on exhibits, a detailed history of Girl Scout uniforms, and fun memorabilia, like a one-of-a-kind Girl Scout doll.

There is even a Girl Scout Shop where you can purchase museum badges. Although this one is admittedly more interesting to girls, it’s a fun place to learn about the history of the Girl Scouts.

Just a 25-minute drive from Knoxville, the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge is a must-see, whether you are a permanent resident or just traveling through. Located at 461 West Outer Drive in Oak Ridge, this exciting museum has a motto of “please touch” and just may have too much to see in just one day!

Take a tour through the rainforest, complete with the sounds of the jungle, a waterfall, a railed walkway, and an observation deck in the forest. The budding train enthusiast, young and old alike, will love the model trains exhibit, complete with a full-size Norfolk Southern caboose.

The Waterworks Exhibit has a new Tugboat, and children can learn what it’s like to run a tugboat on the river with a hands-on flume demonstrating the lock system of the Tennessee River.

From the Bird Room complete with a marsh to a large Dollhouse that children can fit into and a toy exhibit and nature walk that is filled with displays of the animal kingdom, this is truly a magical place that will not disappoint, no matter what the kids and adults are interested in.

Museums can offer an adventure into other worlds for a more economical price than going to the movies, and can leave lasting memories and fill inquisitive minds with dreams for the future. Even if you aren’t normally museum goers, these fun museums are definitely worth checking out. You won’t be disappointed!

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Hannah Vaughan

Hannah Vaughan is a freelance writer & editor who has written for Apartments.com, Best Western, Writers Weekly, and numerous other businesses. Email her at www.StripesEditing.com.

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