Maybe you’d rather beat the crowds and skip the Black Friday shopping mayhem. Instead of running like mad for that on-trend sale item or waiting in long lines at the checkout, you could spend the day after Thanksgiving enjoying the fresh air of nature, literally bouncing off walls, or searching for magical elves. Here are a few things to do besides shop this Black Friday.
Start your list of vacation activities to try throughout East Tennessee through the end of the year.
Knoxville Gift Guide:Knoxville Gift Guide: Check out these local shops for gifts that won’t break the bank
Vacation activities in downtown Knoxville
While everyone else is chasing sales, hunt down elves instead. Embark on a holiday tradition and take part in the Elf on the Shelf Adventure in downtown Knoxville. Pick up a North Pole Pass at the Mast General Store or visit Knoxville and discover the Elf at participating stores.
There are tons of things to do in downtown Knoxville this holiday season.
Ice skate in Market Square, follow the Peppermint Trail for special treats with a festive flavor, send a letter to Santa from the Paris Woodhull-painted post box in Market Square. You can also do an “elf-ie” in front of decorated shop windows, local artist Megan Lingerfelt’s winter mural in Strong Alley or artwork at the ice rink.
day after the Thanksgiving hike
Avoid the crowds and enjoy the fresh air. Visitors from across the state can take a hike at one of Tennessee’s many state parks after Thanksgiving. With over a dozen state parks in East Tennessee, there are several options for both guided and self-guided peaceful walks or wild hikes. There are trails for all ages and abilities. Note, however, that there is about a 60% chance of rain on Friday. Visit tnstateparks.com for a guide to getting started.
Indoor activities for families in Knoxville
Why kick off those Thanksgiving pounds when you can jump off them? Take the family to a trampoline and adventure park and spend hours bouncing off floors, climbing walls, ziplining, navigating high ropes courses or playing dodgeball. Urban Air and DEFY have all of these exciting activities and more.
If you’re looking for something more laid-back, a place like Topgolf in Farragut might offer post-Thanksgiving fun. Play a selection of high-tech golf games with the gang or enjoy a treat from the restaurant and bar.
Locations: Urban Air: 9626 Kingston Pike; DEFY: 11284 Threadstone Lane; Top Golf: 11400 Outlet Drive
What’s on in Knoxville theaters?
You can stream a movie anytime, but the shared experience of enjoying a movie on the big screen with an audience while munching on buttered popcorn is a special occasion. Cinemas like Regal and AMC are showing big films like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Devotion, The Menu, Strange World, She Said, and Bones and All this Black Friday.
If you fancy a recap, Central Cinema at 1205 N. Central St. is showing The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Blood Rage on Fridays. Fandango.com can help you find out what’s playing in your area.
Visit the Knoxville Museum of Art
Cultivated felling? Support the next generation of great artists and visit the Knoxville Museum of Art. A select group of talented middle and high school artists from across East Tennessee will showcase their artwork for the 17th East Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition.
Ten artistic mediums will be exhibited, including ceramics, sculpture, digital imagery, mixed media, painting, computer graphics and photography. The exhibition starts on November 25th and runs until January 8th. Admission is free.
Location: 1050 World’s Fair Park Drive
Volunteering all over East Tennessee
Pass it on this holiday season and spend Black Friday as a volunteer. Serve food to those in need or help fill gift bags and packages. Volunteer East Tennessee has hundreds of community service opportunities. It’s a great resource for discovering new opportunities to volunteer at local organizations and events based on needs, interests, organization, date, distance, and other filters. Visit Volunteeretn.org for more information.
Devarrick Turner is a trending news reporter for Knox News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. Follow Devarrick on Twitter @dturner1208. Enjoy exclusive content and premium perks while supporting strong local journalism by subscribing to knoxnews.com/subscribe.