Summer is just around the corner. If you live in the Chattanooga area (or thinking of visiting), there are so many wonderful Chattanooga attractions to choose from. The Scenic City offers a wide variety of family friendly events and attractions,- many of which are FREE of charge.
Art, Music & Cultural
Bluff View Art District
Bluff View Art District is a historic neighborhood filled of gardens, courtyards, restaurants, a coffee house, an art gallery, and more.
The Bluff View Art District also features the River Gallery Sculpture Garden. The Garden is open to the public every day from 9 a.m. until dusk, year-round. There is no admission charge.
Hunter Art Museum Free First Sundays
The Hunter Museum focuses on American art from the Colonial period to the present day. The museum is located in an historical mansion and a sleek contemporary building on the bluffs overlooking the Tennessee River.
FREE FIRST SUNDAYS- Admission to the Hunter Museum is free on the first Sunday of every month. Hours are noon to 5 p.m., with the last admission at 4:30 p.m. Otherwise admission is $9.95 per adult and $4.95 for children 3 and up.
NEW! The Grasshopper Concerts is a new concert series offers live music for kids of all ages. It will run mid-May thru Mid-June. Each of the four concerts will be held on a rotating schedule in different Chattanooga neighborhood parks. In addition to the headline talent, the event will open with a local artist or band. Surrounding activities will include activities from the Creative Discovery Museum’s mobile classroom, hula-hooping, bubbles, and a stand where kids can design their own t-shirts. Vendors with ice cream, hot dogs, fresh fruit and drinks will round out the offerings. Admission is Free. You can get the schedule and more details here
Nightfall Outdoor Concert Series
Nightfall is a FREE concert series is held every Friday Evening downtown at Miller Plaza from 7pm-10pm. It is family friendly and Runs Fridays May 3rd- August 30th. Schedule Details here and Concert rules and info here
Chattanooga Public Library
The Chattanooga Library has some great Summer Activities Scheduled- Adventure Club, Lego Club, Saturday Story time and more. Programs are age specific and most are Free to Chattanooga residents. Schedules and Activities vary by branch location. You can find out how to get your Library Card here
Collegedale Library also offers some great Summer programs and non-residents can get a 3 month library card for only $10. You can find out more here. They will also be featuring First Thursday Free Family Film at 4! Details here.
The Chattanooga River Market is held weekly on Ross’s Landing in the Tennessee Aquarium plaza. This new market includes live music, fresh produce, a variety of artistic vendors and more. You can get the schedule and find out more here.
Parks, Playgrounds & Pools
The Jump Park
New! The Jump Park Trampoline Center features Chattanooga’s first Indoor Trampoline Park including Foam Pits, Trampoline Dodgeball Court, Rope Swings and more. They offer a summer day camp, personal fitness classes, and event space. You can find out more (including rates) here
The Pumpkin Patch Playground
The Pumpkin Patch is located on Signal Mountain and features an expansive play beautifully built into the natural landscape which gives it an almost treehouse feel. There are options for older and young children. Every type of play equipment is represented from slides, bridges and zip lines to swings and forts. You can view some great photos over here
Imagination Station is located in Collegedale and is a full-scale community playground featuring swing and slides. Old train cars and wooden forts encourage children to explore for hours. The Pavilion is available for rental for birthday parties or special events.
Coolidge Park is located downtown on the Northshore waterfront and features a beautifully restored 100 year old carousel, a pavilion, an interactive play fountain, the Outdoor Chattanooga Center, and lots of open space. The park itself along with the playground and interactive play fountain are free.
The Carousel SUMMER HOURS (starting the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend): Monday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 to 6:30 p.m. General Admission: $1.00 for adults, Under 2 Free.
Warner Park Pool and Splash and Play!
Warner Park Pool features both an 1 50 meter outdoor pool , 2 wading pools and a “SPRAY & PLAY” Sprayground Water Area…25 features that spray, splash, bubble, and squirt and 2-covered areas and grassy areas.
Aquarium Plaza in downtown Chattanooga is the beautifully landscaped area that is a part of the Tennessee Aquarium Complex. The plaza features an interactive system of wading pools, elevated walkways with native plants, great river overlooks, and historic markings throughout.
New! The Block has a 11,000 square foot public art piece with 5,000 square feet of functional climbing space on the face of the building along with Funtopia at High Point, a dynamic kid’s only climbing gym opening in late 2014. You can find out more here *
Sanctuary Skate Park
Sanctuary Skate Park ESPN regulation skatepark and outdoor in-line hockey arena on the Southside. The park features an on-site Pro Shoptoo. Sanctuary provides a controlled venue for skate and BMX bike enthusiasts of all ages. Summer Months the park is open 12pm-10pm daily Members – $2 daily Non-members – $8 daily. *
Montague Park (Southside)
New! The Sculpture Fields at Montague Park is open from dawn til dusk and free of charge. The park’s aim is to encourage a creative and culturally attuned environment in and around Chattanooga. *
Main Terrain Art Park
New! Main Terrain Art Park (Southside) offers interactive art pieces that double as a fitness alternative.
You can find out more about the Tennessee Riverwalk, Ross’s Landing, Walnut Street Bridge, Center Park and more Chattanooga area parks here
Chattanooga and North Georgia feature some great Historic Parks and Battle Fields. The entry fee to these sites is typically free or very low.
Sports & Adventure
The Chattanooga Lookouts is Chattanooga’s Professional Minor League Baseball Team. Ticket prices ranging from just $3 – $9.
Museums & Zoos
Creative Discovery Museum Free Family Fun Nights
Creative Discovery Museum is located downtown and offers a Free Family Night typically once a month. You can check the event calendar over here Free Family Night is the second Thursday of most months. Creative Discovery Museum offers a lots of hands-on, interactive art and science exhibits for children ages 2-10.
The Chattanooga Zoo isn’t free, but a great value. The zoo opens daily hours are 9:00am – 5:00pm. Open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Admission Prices are $8.95 for Adults, $6.95 for Seniors 65+, Kids ages 3+ are $5.95. Seniors 75+ and children under 2 are free.
New! The Zoo Choo! The train runs daily during (weather permitting) during normal Zoo operating hours. Each ride costs 1 token ($3) per ride and is about a 5 minute ride that takes passengers on a ride around the Chattanooga Zoo.
The Zoo is the new home for over thirty hand-carved animals representing rare and endangered species from around the world.
All carousel passes include unlimited carousel rides for that day at the Zoo. Passes are $3 per person ages 2+. Details here.
Below are activities that are not Free or Cheap….but are local and tourist favorites if you want to splurge a bit…
more fun for the family…
Within Driving Distance
Apple Valley Orchard (Closed May & June)
Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics (2 Saturdays a month, FREE, register online)
Home Depot Kids Workshops (1 Saturday a month, FREE, register)
Please note: The information stated above is subject to change at any time without notice. Please confirm schedule and admission prices before planning a trip.
Did I miss something? If you have a Chattanooga Staycation idea not mentioned, you can contact me here.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to the Disclosure Policy for more details. Photo Credit: LCOTC