Winter Family Fun in Northeast Tennessee

It may be cold and snowy, but that doesn’t stop the fun in Northeast Tennessee. We’ve put together a list of activities and events going on this winter that are sure to keep the kids busy and maybe even you too!

Niswonger Performing Arts Center

Catch a show just for the kids at NPAC this winter including Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey on Jan. 13. at 6:30 p.m. Flying to the moon is an idea that has captivated both children and adults for ages. The musical score will include a wide variety of styles from pop to classical as well as original compositions. Adults will enjoy such classics as Elton John’s “Rocket Man” and David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” Lightwire Theater creates and delivers innovative theatrical experiences through its signature brand of electroluminescent artistry, poignant storytelling and evocative music scores to audiences across the globe.

Nearing the end of the winter season, NPAC brings Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Other Treasured Stories to life on April 1 at 10 a.m. This hour long performance by Eric Carle features with old favorites and new friends with evocative music, stunning visual effects and innovative puppetry. The triple-bill highlights three of Eric Carle’s most beloved tales.


Hands On! Regional Museum and Gray Fossil Site 
With a special do-it-yourself space open every Saturday and Sunday in January, children can Make It. Take It. creating pieces that represent their imagination or ideas. Showcasing exhibits like Stellar Static running through Jan. 29  and for the Love of Science beginning Jan. 31, Hands On! Regional Museum continues to bring activities just for kids throughout the year. February also features Can You Hear Me Now?, where children can play a song on palm pipes, listen to singing crystal water glasses and even try out Boomwhackers. Then, welcome spring with fun and silly science experiments beginning March 14 with the Springtime Science program.

At Gray Fossil Site, children can celebrate Miner’s Day by learning about the link between coal and fossils during Curious Coal that runs through Jan. 15.  Be Miocene! features fossils found locally beginning Jan. 17 though Feb. 19. Then, then try out the footprint tracks and mold fossil impressions during Without A Trace Feb. 21 through March 5. March is dedicated to the mastodons, mammoths and elephants as folks discover fun facts about their past and what makes these animals so interesting.


Art Classes at McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington Schoolpottery-studio_02_sm
Do you have a child that is interested in art, music, dance, drama or writing? Join the McKinneyCenter and Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts in their art series for children and adults. With classes for children as young as three years of age, the little ones can get involved with clay, pottery, dance ballet or jazz and even learn to twirl a baton. For older children and even adults, classes are offered in art, creative construction, potter’s wheel, watercolors, charcoal portraits, drawing, printmaking, drama creative writing, hip hop and the ever popular bucket drums.  Most classes begin January 30 and a special sneak preview open house is schedule for January 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Family Contra Dances in Jonesborough
Grab your dancing shoes and head to the Oldest Town in Tennessee for a night of community fun that the entire family can partake in.  The Historic Jonesborough Dance Society will host Contra Dances on Jan. 21, Feb. 4, March 4 and 14 beginning at 7:30 p.m. this winter. Contra Dancing is folk style made up of long lines of people and has mixed origins from English country, Scottish and French dance styles in the 17th Century, with a strong African influence from Appalachia.


Bays Mountain Planetarium
“The Hot and Energetic Universe” exhibit  takes visitors on a cosmic journey that uses astronomical observatories throughout the world and those above the Earth’s atmosphere. All types of celestial phenomena are studied, but a focus is set upon those of high energy. These objects are part of the very hot and violent Universe. The Planetarium programs are shown Tuesday through Friday at 4 p.m. and on the weekends at 1 and 4 p.m. with an alternate showing of “Appalachian Skies-Winter” at 2 p.m.
Exhibit is best suited for children in third grade and up.


Go for a Hikeroanmountainhike
Tired of being stuck indoors?  Take the family out for a day hike in Kingsport at Bays Mountain Park or Warriors’ Path State Park, in the Elizabethton/Carter County areas at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area or Roan Mountain State Park, in the Greeneville/Jonesborough areas at David Crockett Birthplace State Park, Persimmon Ridge Park or in the Erwin/Unicoi County areas at Rocky Fork State Park.


For more family friendly winter ideas, visit our calendar of daily things to do in Northeast Tennessee.