Looking for things to do with your kids in Kingsport without leaving the city limits? Here are ten things you and your children – from tot to teen – will enjoy. And you may find more to do along the way.
- The Kingsport Carousel and Park, 350 Clinchfield St, Kingsport, TN 37660
The Kingsport Carousel is a beautifully restored 1956 carousel located inside a temperature-controlled roundhouse. Children of all ages (teens and adults included) will enjoy riding the hand-carved, hand-painted whimsical animals. There’s a flying pig, unicorn, frog prince, ballerina cat, horses and more. The calliope music is sure to bring back memories for grandparents, and parents, as they make new ones with the children in their lives. The carousel is adjacent to a small green space with a playground for children up to 12 years old and is open Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Rides are $1.
- Exchange Place, 4812 Orebank Rd, Kingsport, TN, 37660
Take your children on a trip back in time. Exchange Place is a living history museum where visitors can experience farm life in the 1800s. There are period buildings, a blacksmith forge, a garden, and farm animals. Exchange Place also hosts many festivals throughout the year so check their website for special events and attractions. Exchange Place is open Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- The Castle Playground, 1001 Ormond Dr, Kingsport, TN 37664
Located on the grounds of Andrew Johnson Elementary School, The Castle playground is a wonder to behold. The playground’s large wooden structure resembles a castle and has plenty of slides and climbing structures for an afternoon of fun. Visit The Castle on weekends and after the school day is completed.
- Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium, 853 Bays Mountain Park Rd, Kingsport, TN 37660
There’s so much to do at this 3500-acre nature preserve. We could list each thing and quickly fill our “ten fun things to do” list, but that would be cheating. Suffice it to say, you can find many engaging activities to do with kids here. Here are a few: fly through the forest canopy on the The Flying Squirrel Zipline, go to a Sun Watch or Star Watch event at the observatory, visit the wolves and other wildlife in the animal habitats, visit the nature center and planetarium, fish for catfish and more. There’s so much to do at Bays Mountain that we wrote a blog post about it. Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. The entrance fee is $5 per vehicle or $15 per bus (school bus or larger). Check their website for attraction details and hours.
- Gazebo Party & Gift Shop, 225 E Market St, Kingsport, TN 37660
Gazebo Party & Gift Shop offers cake decorating, candy making, and custom sugar cookie workshops for kids and adults. Participants can also make peppermint patties, bonbons, and peanut butter cookies. Now, and through the holidays, you can make gingerbread houses and Christmas cookies as well. Gazebo’s owner Jo-Rita Clayton tells us that all classes offered at Gazebo Party & Gift Shop are hands-on and participants get to take home what they make. Now that’s some yummy fun! Gazebo Party & Gift Shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check their Facebook page for the workshop schedule.
- Kingsport Greenbelt, Kingsport, TN 37664
The Kingsport Greenbelt is an 18-mile linear walking path among some of the most gorgeous scenery you will ever see. If you traverse the entire path, you will walk along a creek and a river and through a forest and may be greeted by a few ducks along the way. The path is bike-friendly so it’s perfect for a family bike ride. Dogs are allowed so Fido can come, too! Along the portion of the path near Netherland Inn, there are tables and shelters and a small playground. It’s the perfect place for a picnic with a view of the Holston River. Download a map from the Kingsport Greenbelt website to find the best entry point to the Greenbelt for you.
- Go Crafting
Learn a new craft or perfect and old one. There are many crafting classes and events in town for children and adults to do together – everything from painting to pottery to sewing to woodworking to jewelry making and more. Check out this post for a list of great places to let your children’s creativity shine.
- Scott Adams Memorial Skate Park, 717 W Center St, Kingsport, TN 37660
The Scott Adams Memorial Skate Park has approximately 10,000 square feet of concrete for skateboarding and bike riding. There are two bowls, a streetscape course with a grinding rail and steps, and dirt moguls (those tiny hills in succession that dirt bike riders like to conquer). The park is only for kids, but there’s a spectator section. Kids can ollie, fakie, nollie and heelflip to their hearts content and you can take pictures. You’ll be the coolest after taking your kid to this park. Scott Adams Memorial Skate Park is open every day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Warriors’ Path State Park, 490 Hemlock Rd, Kingsport, TN 37663
There’s plenty for families to do at this 8500-acre state park. Like Bays Mountain, we could list them all and complete our list. But we won’t do that. Here are a few things to do with kids at Warriors’ Path State Park: fishing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, horseback riding, boating, and swimming. Warriors’ Path is also the only state park in the country with a boundless playground. The Warriors’ State Park Boundless Playground features age-specific and developmentally appropriate play equipment for children and adults of all abilities. Another key attraction is the Lions’ Narnia Braille Trail, an environmental maze with interactive exhibits including a wildflower walk, herb garden, rain gardens and the Palmer Center Foundation Amphitheater. Attractions and activities at Warriors’ Path State Park are seasonal so make sure to check their website or call before you head out to the park. The park is open every day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Sports, of course!
Have an athlete in the family? Here are a few activities to try together. Call ahead for schedule and availability.
Putt-Putt Fun Center, 346 W Stone Dr, Kingsport, TN 37660, (423) 247-3531
Ocean Quest Mini Golf, 2000 Stonebrook Pl, Kingsport, TN 37660, (423) 765-1441
Swimming & Splashing Around:
Kingsport Aquatic Center, 820 Meadowview Pkwy, Kingsport, TN 37660, (423) 343-9758
Riverview Splash Pad, 1101 Martin Luther King Bl, Kingsport, TN 37660, (423) 224-2489 (Open Memorial Day to Labor Day)
Warpath Lanes, 2449 Memorial Bl, Kingsport, TN 37664 (423) 245-2695
Disc Golf (a.k.a. Frisbee Golf):
Borden Park’s Eagles Nest, an 18-hole novice disc golf course; 901 Lamont St, Kingsport, TN 37664. (423) 343-9723 or (423) 224-2489.
Warriors’ Path Disc Golf Course, 22 challenging holes, maintained by the local disc golf association. 490 Hemlock Rd, Kingsport, TN 37663, (423) 323-4990
Well, that’s our list . . . ten ideas that are just the tip of the iceberg for Kingsport fun with kids. We know you will find the right activity for your family. Enjoy!