How to Have the Best Summer Ever in Knoxville, TN
Summer is finally upon us and Knoxvillians are ready to live it up! We’ve waited all year for long, warm days, refreshing drinks, and get-togethers with friends and family. Knoxville is an incredible city during any season, but a Knoxville summer is unlike any other. The city hosts several events, festivals, and other activities that embrace what summer is all about: sunshine, community, and fun. If you’ve been dreaming of the perfect Tennessee summer, then don’t miss any of these seasonal offerings. Read on for what’s going on in Knox this summer. Trust us, you’ll want to add it all to your summer calendar.
Knoxville Summer Events
If there’s one thing we love about this city, it’s that it knows how to have a good time. With so many summertime get-togethers planned, you’re sure to have a great summer in Knoxville.
Concerts on the Square
Bring your lawn chairs and love of live music, because Concerts on the Square will keep you entertained all summer long. With Jazz Tuesdays every week and variety shows every third Thursday, this Downtown Knoxville staple event is the perfect way to enjoy a warm summer evening in Market Square. Bring the kiddos, the pets, and your friends. The concerts begin at 7 pm.
Speaking of Market Square, the farmer’s market is open for business every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the summer. Find all your favorite home-grown products, from fresh produce to freshly cut flowers. (Not to mention it’s a great place to catch up with everyone in town.) The farmer’s market is open until 1 pm.
Summer Movie Magic is back at the Tennessee Theatre! During summer weekends, enjoy classic movies like Shrek, Dirty Dancing, Star Wars, The Princess Bride, and more. View the full line-up and get your tickets as early as June 3rd!
This summer, Downtown Knox is putting a new twist on the classic pub crawl with a Rooftop Hop! Knoxville’s four rooftop bars, Five Thirty Lounge, Preservation Pub, Bernadette’s Crystal Gardens, and Radius Rooftop Lounge will be serving up seasonal cocktails and breathtaking views of the city.
Knoxville has a thriving art community, and that is never more apparent than during First Friday ArtWalks in Downtown Knox. Art, music, and incredible food take over the streets as Knoxvillians browse galleries filled with work from local and nearby artists. The ArtWalk happens the first Friday of every month and exhibits move in and out frequently. Make sure to check the ArtWalk schedule so you don’t miss anything!
1982 World’s Fair Anniversary
This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the 1982 World’s Fair and Knoxville businesses are celebrating in style! All throughout the city, locals can find 80s-inspired discounts and specials at restaurants, bars, shops, and museums. Try the “Little Red Corvette” at Brother Wolf, find retro toys at Mast General Store, and indulge in the classic Frito-chili combo at Petro’s Chili & Chips. But that barely scratches the surface! All of Knox is getting in on the action, and you’ll be feeling the 80s vibes all summer long.
Summer Coffee Fix
K Brew is keeping the warm weather vibes going with these seasonal drink specials until July 1st, and a new lineup after that! Get your caffeine fix with their fruity Summer Berry Cold Brew, mixed with a blueberry and blackberry syrup and topped with a sweet berry foam, or indulge in their Spring Fruit Sparkler. Made with a syrup that combines strawberries, peaches, pineapples, and mango and topped with a bubbly tonic, the Spring Fruit Sparkler will keep you in summertime spirits. Be on the lookout in July for our new feature drinks as well! Visit any of our four Knoxville locations and our world-class baristas will fix you up.
Family-Friendly Summer Activities
Although there’s plenty of fun to be had for the 21+ crowd, Knoxville has got the young families covered as well. From exciting zoo encounters to the best snow cones in town, there are plenty of ways to keep the kiddos entertained.
Kids’ Summer Movies
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer, Regal Cinemas offers family-friendly movies for only $2. Take the kids to see their favorite films and some they haven’t seen before. This summer’s line-up includes The Lego Movie, The Lorax, Despicable Me, Trolls World Tour, Sing 2, plus loads more! Tickets are available at the box office.
Even if the family has already visited the Knoxville Zoo, this summer calls for another trip to meet its newest residents and exhibits. Otters Clayton and Pascal have moved into Clayton Otter Creek and are finally ready for visitors! The Clayton Safari Splash Pad is also open for business to cool your kids off on these hot summer days. Families can also plan to spend a whole day at the zoo, taking advantage of the summer After Hours on Thursdays.
Summer Snow Cones
Kayaking, paddle-boarding, biking…it’s all on offer at Adventure Outdoor Center. With kayaks and other water sports gear available to rent, the family can spend the whole day on the water. Or grab some bikes and explore the local trails. Downtown Knox is fun, but sometimes you’ve just got to get out of the city and embrace the great outdoors.
Spend a day out in the sunshine at one of Knoxville’s Pick-Your-Own-Farms! Let the kiddos peruse the fresh produce and fill their buckets with ripe strawberries, blackberries, broccoli, cauliflower, peaches, and more. Most of the farms require cash payments, so come prepared!
Molly Branch Fireflies
Nothing says a Tennessee summer like fireflies. Every season, the owners of Molly Branch open their property for guests to witness the stunning natural phenomenon: synchronized fireflies. Bring lawn chairs and prepare for an evening of anticipation. As the stars come out, so do the fireflies. It’s a sight so mesmerizing that even National Geographic stopped by for a photo shoot. Learn more and buy your tickets here.
Your Summer in Knoxville
From barhops to paddleboarding, jazz concerts to kids’ movies, Knoxville has it all this summer. Pick your favorites and prepare for the best summer ever. And don’t forget to stop at K Brew for some much-needed caffeine to get you through your buzzing summer social calendar.