Knoxville is a destination that can please every member of the family. There are activities for both the old and young, and all ages in between. One of the top family destinations in Knoxville is the Knoxville Zoological Park. In addition to the normal animal exhibits, this zoo also features the Clayton Family Kids Cove, an area specifically designed for active children. The Cove features a wild animal carousel, petting zoo, and oversized displays that children can climb through. The zoo is open daily except for Christmas day. Zoo hours vary throughout the year, though the core hours open are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors that enter the park after 3 p.m. can visit the next day for free. Cost of admission is $16.95 for adults, $12.95 for children 3-12 years of age and seniors over the age of 62, and free for children under the age of free. There  is an additional $4 fee for parking.

The East Tennessee Discovery Center is a hands-on educational museum celebrating the sciences. The Life Science area of the museum features displays of live animals such as amphibians, a colony of bees, and arthropods such as giant hissing cockroaches.  Physical Science displays teach visitors about the transmission of sound, how simple machines work, and how energy is created. Earth Science displays include exhibits on rocks and minerals as well as a mock-up of the inside of the space shuttle. Kidspace is an area within the museum dedicated to hands-on learning by children. Within Kidspace is Lego Land, where children use legos to build creations that are limited only by their own imagination. The Discovery Center is open throughout the year and closed on major holidays. Daily hours of operation are Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost of admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and children ages 5 and up, $2 for children ages 3-4, and free to children 2 and under.

Located 25 miles from Knoxville is the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge. Displays within the museum include an Amazon rain forest to be explored, a two-story dollhouse that children can walk through, and exhibits on pioneer life and what it was like to life in Knoxville in times past. Unlike most museums, the motto of the Chidren's Museum is "please touch," offering children a hands-on learning experience that is fun at the same time. The museum is open Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round, Sa-Su 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept to May, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June-Aug. Price of admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for children 3-18 years of age, and free to children 3 and under. Also located in Oak Ridge is the American Museum of Science and Energy, which has exhibits that explore the history of atomic energy and outlines new  energy-related technologies in development today. The museum is open daily aside from Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.  Hours of operation are Mon-Sat 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Price of admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children 6-17 years of age, and free for children 5 and under.