Amber is a stay-at-home mom to two girls and wife of a medical school student. They recently moved to Eastern Tennessee for school and are having a blast discovering Knoxville and surrounding areas. She also blogs at Because Babies Grow Up talking about play, literacy, and music for the under-five crowd.

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Discovering Eastern Tennessee in 2010

My family and I moved to Eastern Tennessee in July 2009. I finally feel like we have our feet under us. We have enjoyed exploring Knoxville and surrounding areas. Our 2009 favorite destination was the Knoxville Zoo. Now, with 2010 beginning, I am looking forward to exploring more of Eastern Tennessee. I’ve put together a list of museums, events and parks we’d like to hit this year. I’ve chosen one for each month. There were many more that I found that will probably be tossed into our adventures, but these are top on my priority list for 2010!

January: Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlingburg. I’ve heard great things about this aquarium and look forward to sharing it with our two little girls, ages 3 and 1. {Already done! Look for a review of this aquarium this week!}

February: Came and went before I even knew it!

March: American Museum of Science and Energy. Science museums are my favorite of all museums so I’m super excited to check this out and hope it’s got lots of fun things for our little ones, too!

April: Bearden Village Festival of Art. I love to see my little ones engaging in art projects and discovering this form of creativity. I’m also excited about this festival because there will also be storytelling, which always steals my heart and attention.

May: Ijams Nature Center. As the weather warms, I’m excited to head outdoors with the girls and discover this wildlife sanctuary and environmental learning center.

June: Tennessee Museum of Aviation in Sevierville. Since we fly a lot to visit family, I thought this museum would be great for our little ones who asked all kinds of questions about aviation on our flight back to Tennessee after our Christmas trip.

July: Festival on the Fourth. I’ve heard this is a must-do in Knoxville. We love a good fireworks show and celebrating our nation’s birth.

August: Davy Crockett’s Birthday Party and the Museum of East Tennessee History. We’ve loved seeing Davy Crockett landmarks around where we live. We’ve even taken to singing “Born on the mountaintops of Tennessee, Greenest state in the land of the free…” as we hike around the mountaintops.

September: Cumberland Gap National Park. This is in our backyard, so to say. I’m excited to delve a little deeper into all the CGNP has to offer. We’ve hiked to Tri-State Pinnacle and I’m looking forward to another adventure in these beautiful mountains.

October: Jonesborough Storytelling Festival. The girls and I attended this festival last year. It is a definite must-do again! I’m already excited for this storytelling heaven to return.

November: Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. We really loved the children’s museum in Utah and look forward to discovering this one close to our new home.

December: Three Rivers Rambler Christmas Express. This is a 90-min train ride around Knoxville complete with cookies and Santa. I was so sad we weren’t able to go this last Christmas, but I’m scheduling way in advance this year so we don’t miss it!

Now you know what we’ll be up to in 2010. We’d love to have you join us. I’ll post at the beginning of each month the date we’ll be attending the museum, park or event and you’re free to come find us. Afterwards, I’ll write up our experiences and thoughts so that if you are unable to attend, you can still decide if it’s a good fit for your family.

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Comments (2)

  1. Pingback: American Museum of Science and Energy « Knoxville Mama

  2. Tina Rolen 03/23/2010 at 2:04 pm

    Amber, we're thrilled to hear that you enjoyed visiting the zoo in 2009. Thank you for the kind words. I hope you will be able to come back again this spring and check out the new and improved Wee Play Zoo, and our very exciting new exhibit that will be opening in late spring, Animal Encounter Village. Sounds like you've got a busy schedule already!
    Best regards,
    Tina Rolen
    Assistant Director of Marketing
    Knoxville Zoo