Everybody deserves a little bit of fun on spring break. But with gas around $4 a gallon, a road trip to the beach might not be the best option. Here are some spring break ideas close to home:
1. Chattanooga: Want a getaway with lots of opportunities for fun? Just 90 minutes down Interstate 75, see Rock City and Ruby Falls. And the Tennessee Aquarium. The Creative Discovery Museum and an IMAX Theater. Not to mention the Chattanooga Choo Choo for a historic overnight stay. And lots of restaurants and shops along the riverfront. There’s history for your Civil War buff, the Tennessee Valley Railroad for your train maniac, and for the eccentric sightseer, The International Towing and Recovery Museum. Find out more here.
2. Sevier County: Dollywood may not yet have opened for the season, but there’s lots of fun to be had in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, from outlet shopping to go kart racing and laser tagging and miniature golfing. Want to have some water time without a trip to the beach? That’s there, too. Not to mention shows to enjoy and zip lines to conquer. Take a look at the options here.
3. North Carolina Gem Mining: When my kids were little, nothing made them happier than sifting through a bucket of mud — with the dream of finding a priceless gem hidden within. Though we never retired on the riches they uncovered, they did come away with enough stones — garnets and amethyst, primarily — to satisfy their desire for buried treasure. The mountains of Western North Carolina have mines that are easily affordable for a family adventure. More info here.
4. A day outside. You decide where. As long as the weather cooperates, there’s nothing better than a day in the park, be that the Great Smokies, or Norris Dam, or Cumberland Mountain, or Seven Islands, or Big Ridge, or Fort Loudoun… do you get the idea? We are so fortunate to have so much space to explore right in our own back yard. Pick a spot. Pack a picnic. Go.
5. Just stay home. You don’t have to go away to find fun things to do. Head to Zoo Knoxville and The Muse in the morning, grab some lunch, then go play at World’s Fair Park or Carl Cowan Park or any of the dozens of other playgrounds around town. Wrap up the day with a pizza and family movie time at home. You’ll have some happy spring break campers by the end of the day.