Staff picks: Free/cheap fun around Knoxville

From going downtown to walk around the Farmers’ Market to enjoying a UT football tailgate, Knoxville is an interesting city filled with cheap and free activities that The Bark staff enjoys. Each of the staff’s picks provide plenty of ideas for fun that won’t break the bank. So, if you’re free sometime soon, check out one of the staff’s favorite activities.

A popular, free thing to do in Knoxville that I especially enjoy is going to Market Square for an outdoor concert. In the summer and fall especially, the weather in the evening is super nice. It’s generally a fun activity to go with friends and catch dinner before the concert at any of the several restaurants that are in close proximity. Specific dates for these events are available on the City of Knoxville website. [Maggie Kimber]

The Knoxville Museum of Art in downtown Knoxville is the perfect location to just hide out and chill in a place with beautiful pieces of art, and not to mention air conditioning. It features pieces and exhibits on visual art over the centuries to modern and contemporary pieces ranging in mediums and genres. All art lovers hear my cry, KMA is one of the coolest hangs in Knoxville, and the best part is, it’s totally free. [Madison Tenney]

Ijams Nature Center is probably one of the best free things in Knoxville. You could go there every day and probably always see something new. Being a photographer, Ijams is one of my favorite places. My favorite place to run away to would be the Keyhole, also known as the John M. Ross Quarry. If you need a fun idea for your day off head over to Ijams to explore! [Cassidy Bailey]

Other than hiking, which I was told I could not choose (it will be its own category in a few weeks), one of my favorite things to do for fun is going to the Cove. It may sound childish and dumb that I would still go to a park that I went to when I little, but the Cove still has a lot to offer. The short walking path is fantastic and it is always nice to sit down and take pictures of the lake throughout the year. In addition, during the winter, there is a show with Christmas lights. [Tyler Hotz]

When the weather’s nice, the Farmers’ Market in Market Square is a bright way to enjoy your Saturday morning and get to know people from Knoxville that you might not normally meet. I know it’s not exactly “cheap” fun, but just walking around is free.  [Allie Gruszkiewicz]

The best thing about Knoxville is unquestionably University of Tennessee athletics: football specifically. While going to the games is not free, the tailgating before kickoff is. On Saturdays in the fall leading up to Tennessee football games, the UT campus is packed with tailgaters, and most of them are happy to welcome fellow Vol fans into their tents. Even if you aren’t into tailgating, just being part of a crowd of 100,000+ Tennessee fans is pretty awesome. [Wyeth Wilson]

No matter my age, I will always be a fan of Fort Kid located downtown. It is an amazing wooden structure that is related to my best childhood memories of exploring and innovative thinking. Though I now realize how wasp and bee infested it is, as a child, it was a place to make adventures and let loose. I still frequently visit Fort Kid and you should too because you’re never too old to play on the playground. [Katie Matthews]