Chattanooga Staycation: Enjoying The Scenic City on The Cheap


Looking for enjoy the Scenic City on the Cheap this Summer? Below are a few family friendly ideas that will keep the family entertained without breaking the bank.


Historical Sites

Chattanooga and North Georgia feature some great Historic Parks and Battle Fields. The entry fee to these sites is typically free or very low.


Point Park
One of our favorites- Point Park is at the top of Lookout Mountain.
Point Park at Lookout Mountain Battlefield admission is $3.00 Per Person (Age 16 +) and Children 15 and under are FREE. Cravens House on historic Lookout Mountain does not charge an admission.
Chickamauga Battlefield does not charge an Entrance Fee.  Also be sure to check out Signal Point and Sunset Rock

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.


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.

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

Also check out River Front Nights and Pops on the River

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

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.

Chattanooga Market

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.

Fresh on Fridays

Fresh on Fridays runs April – October, hungry downtown workers and visitors have the opportunity to sample culinary delights, fresh produce and more from local vendors on Fridays from 11a.m. until 2p.m. in City Center at the ‘700 Block’, 728 Market St. You can get the details here.

Movies in the Park

Movie’s in the Park starts July 6th and running each Saturday evening thru July 27th head to Coolidge Park for a FREE Family movie!

The movie starts at sundown, so grab your blankets and lawn chairs and join in the fun! You can find out more details here.


Parks, Playgrounds & Pools

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

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

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

Admission: 2 and under FREE, 3-13 years $2.00, 14 and over $3.00

You can view the schedule get more info here.

Aquarium Plaza

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.

You can find out more about the Tennessee Riverwalk, Ross’s Landing, Walnut Street Bridge and more Chattanooga area parks here


Sports & Adventure

Chattanooga Lookouts

The Chattanooga Lookouts is Chattanooga’s Professional Minor League Basball 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.

Chattanooga Zoo

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.

The Chattanooga Zoo also features an Endangered Species Carousel!

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…

Rock City

Ruby Falls

Tennessee Aquarium


Raccoon Mountain

Tennessee Valley Railroad

Lookout Mountain Inclined Railway

Southern Belle Riverboat

Chattanooga Ducks

Chattanooga Double Decker Bus

more fun for the family…

Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park/SoakYa Waterpark

Sir Gooney’s Family Fun Center

Chucky Cheese

Pin Strikes

Pump it UP

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.


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