Out and About Tri-Cities April 2017

Out and About Tri-Cities April 2017

Family Friendly Events in the Tri-Cities

Every month as we plan our schedule, we gather the best events in the Tri-Cities and share them with you! As a homeschooling family we are especially interested in anything educational but as long as it is family-friendly fun we are game!  Check out this months collection of outstanding family-friendly events you and your family can enjoy!

DeerSlayer Jr. at Winged Deer Park

Saturday – April 1st, 2017 at 8 am

This is a 1K Obstacle Course race over hilly terrain with 7 to 12 obstacles and will be for ages 7 to 14. The course will have progressively difficult obstacles based on age groupings and will be a timed event. Age groups are 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, 13/14 and groups will start in flights of 15 to 30 depending on the number of individuals registered. All participants will receive a t-shirt and a Medal for finishing. Best costume prize will be awarded. This is to be a FUN event that will challenge those involved and participants will have the option to go around and skip an obstacle if is too challenging. Event Location Winged Deer Park, Johnson City Tennessee. Photo ID’s required at packet pick up this includes parental ID for children under 15 who are participating in the race. The race will start approximately at 8 am and check in will start at 7:15 am. No spikes or cleats are to be used in this event. Parents will be required to be present at the finish to pick up their child. *All admission costs are for a great cause! Enter soon!*

Vintage Baseball Game at Rocky Mount

Saturday – April 1st from 12 pm to 3 pm

Just in case you are not up for the Deerslayer Competition, here is some fun you can enjoy from the sidelines.  Rocky Mount is partnering with the Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball to host the Knoxville Holstons and the Emmett Machinists of Knoxville as they play “base ball” by 1864 rules. Admission is free. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit in to watch the game. The gate opens at 11 a.m. and the game starts at noon!

The Search for Life in the Universe at the Harry D. Powell Observatory at ETSU

Saturday – April 1st, 2017 from 8 pm to 10 pm

Free public Observatory Open Houses will be held at the ETSU campus Observatory once a month during the school year when the weather permits. The dates and times are listed below. During these open houses, the telescopes will be set up and available for visitors to view celestial objects, and ETSU astronomers will be available to answer questions. During each open house, one of the ETSU astronomers or physicists will give a short talk on a popular astronomical topic. All programs are open to the public and free of charge. Note that Observatory Open Houses are canceled if the sky is cloudy. If you are uncertain as to the weather conditions, call the observatory before traveling up there to make sure the Open House will be held. For more information, contact    or . The phone number at the Observatory is 423-929-3382.

Jr. Geologist Workshop at Gray Fossil Site

Friday – April 7th, 2017 from 9:30 am to 12 pm

You will find out why geology “rocks” in this workshop all about the wonders of the science of geology. Formulate your own ooey-gooey quicksand and make a sinkhole in a cup. Explore the differences between rocks and minerals, then try out a rock and mineral hardness test while learning about Mohs Hardness Scale! A healthy snack is included. Cost $12 for members, $15 for non-members. Ages 5-13. Payment is required with registration by Wednesday, March 29th. To register, please call 423-434-4263 ext. 800, Tues-Fri 9-5 or email reservations@handsonmuseum.org.

ETSU Arboretum Arbor Day Celebration and Tree Give-Away!

Friday – April 7th, 2017 from 11 am to 2 pm

The ETSU Arboretum and ETSU Department of Sustainability will give away tree seedlings in celebration of Arbor Day. This event is co-sponsored by Bartlett Tree Experts. In keeping with the theme “Food Plants for People and Wildlife”, the free trees will be of the following species: Pecan, Pawpaw, Persimmon, Serviceberry, Elderberry and White Oak. Individuals may take up to four trees (per household), and quantities of the various species are limited. The trees will be distributed from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM at two locations on the ETSU campus: Borchuck Plaza (in front of Sherrod Library), and in parking lot 22, opposite to the ETSU Soccer Stadium, on “Go Bucs Trail”, located behind the Earth Fare supermarket. “Go Bucs Trail” is accessed from South Greenwood Drive or from the traffic circle beside the west entrance to the ETSU Parking Garage. A half-hour walking tour of the ETSU Arboretum will be conducted after the tree give-away. The tour will begin at Borchuck Plaza at 2:00 PM. It will feature the early spring flowers and emerging leaves of the Arboretum’s diverse native and exotic trees and shrubs. These events are free and open to the public. For more information regarding these events please contact Dr. Tim McDowell at mcdowelt@etsu.edu (423 439-8635) or Travis Watson at watsont@etsu.edu (423 439-7759).

Stargazing at Bay’s Mountain Park

Saturday – April 8th, 2017 from 8:30 to 9:30 pm

Enjoy an evening of stargazing! View the night sky with many large telescopes at our observatories. Typically our telescopes can show you star clusters, nebulous gas clouds, colorful multiple star systems and distant galaxies. Seeing features of the bright planets and our nearest neighbor, the Moon, is remarkable. The instruments at Bays Mountain reveal thousands of craters, mountains and lava plains. Be sure to bring warm clothes for the Nighttime Observing. Though the day may be sunny and warm, the temperature can drop after the Sun goes down. Having the proper clothing will make your experience much more enjoyable. If there is inclement weather, a free alternate live tour of the night sky in the planetarium theater will be available.

Edible Book Festival at Milligan College

Monday – April 10th, 2017 from 10 am to 4:30 pm

Check out how Milligan students, faculty and staff whip up an edible treat with a book theme! Past entries include everything from creative concoctions based on book titles to depictions of famous literary characters. Entries will be showcased in the Welshimer Room of the library on April 10, and everyone is invited to view and vote on the entries. On April 11, prizes will be awarded and the entries can be eaten! The International Edible Book Festival is being held annually around the globe in April. More than 20 countries have participated in the event, which is often shared on the internet through websites and social media.

Bunny Hop 5K – Kid’s Dash at Founder’s Park

Saturday – April 15th, 2017 starting at 8:30 am

State of Franklin Healthcare Associates and LIFEWTR will host the BunnyHop 5K on Saturday, April 15, at Founders Park beginning at 8:30 a.m. The event is powered by the Blue Plum Organization and will be followed by a Community Easter Egg Hunt, also at Founders Park, sponsored by Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church. The 5K event includes the run, a kids’ dash immediately following the race as well as health and wellness activities. Underground Fitness will lead warm-up activities prior to the race. The entry fee for the 5K is $20 per person in advance and $25 on the day of the race. Kids 12 and under can participate in all events at no cost, and the first 50 kids at the race will receive bunny ears. Participants who are 13 years and older and pre-register will receive a T-shirt while supplies last. Awards will be given to the top overall winners (male and female), top masters (over 40) male and female, and top three male and female in the following age brackets: 10 and under; 11-14; 15-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69; and 70 and over. The Easter egg hunt is free and open to the community and will also occur at Founders Park beginning at the amphitheater at 10:30 a.m. Children 12 and under are invited to bring their baskets to use to collect eggs. The egg hunt will be divided into age groups. Online 5K registration, closes April 13. Public parking is available in the Pavillion lot and at Munsey Church. Click here for more information.

38th Annual Spring Nature Festival at Warrior’s Path State Park

April 21st through 23rd

19 wonderful opportunities to learn about nature await. The complete schedule is available here! The list includes Animal Tracking, Night Habitats Walk, Nature Photography Seminar, Geology Seminar, Spring Night Skies, and many more!

Spring Friends of the Library Book Sale at Johnson City Public Library

Saturday – April 22nd, 2017 from 10 am to 5 pm

The annual Spring Friends of the Library Book Sale has extended hours this year! The sale will be open to the general public in the library’s Jones Meeting Room on Saturday, April 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Friday, April 21, Friends of the Library are invited to a special preview sale from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Paperbacks cost $1 and hardcovers cost $3; children’s hardback books are $1.00 and paperbacks are $0.25 each. The Friends of the Library all-you-can-carry book bags are $20.00. This year’s sale features a great selection of vintage books. All proceeds will support the Johnson City Public Library. If you are not currently a member of the library’s Friends group but would like to join, you can register at the Friends’ information table on Friday evening. To learn more about this and other upcoming events, visit the library’s events calendar at www.jcpl.net, like the library’s Facebook page, or follow the library on Twitter or Instagram.  For more information call 423-434-4450.

Classic Car Show for March of Dimes at KMart

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 from 10 am to 5 pm

This is an event with Johnson City KMart, Johnson City classic car club and the food truck junction.There will be many independent distributer’s selling all there wonder merchandise. Proceeds will go to the local March of Dimes for babies campaign. It will be a fun day of classic cars, great food, and great merchandise.

Fossil and Artifact ID Night at Gray Fossil Site

Tuesday – April 25th, 2017 from 4 pm to 6 pm

You don’t have to be a paleontologist to find fossils. Identifying them is a different story.  Bring any kind of rock, fossil, artifact, or mineral to Fossil & Artifact ID Night, and scientists at the museum will provide space for the study of these finds. There will be an archaeologist, paleontologist, and geologist on site. The event is free and open to the public but does not include admission to exhibits.

Homeschool Project Fair at Johnson City Public Library

Saturday – April 29th, 2017 from 10 am to noon

Homeschool families are invited to the Johnson City Public Library Jones Meeting Room on Saturday, April 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to display children’s end-of-year-projects and share with others. Registration is required to show your project at this free program and can be completed by calling Youth Services at 434-4458 or by clicking the ticket link above. Viewing is open to the public.


All Month Long

Every Tuesday all month long take part in Warrior’s Path W.O.W.W. Walks! We love this adventures and attend as many as our schedule allows. Meet at the swimming pool parking lot at 3 pm! Check out these posts about previous WOWW Walks to learn what to expect! Warrior’s Path State Park Programs – WOWW Walk Review and WOWW Walk Review – Bird Discovery Walk

Great Events Outside of the Tri-Cities

Great Smoky Mountain Association’s 67th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage


From April 11-15, everyone from the serious botanist to the weekend gardener can experience unprecedented access to some of the nation’s leading botanical experts as well as Appalachian wildlife authorities.

“It is a rare opportunity for those with a personal love of flowers to have the same access to leaders in the field as researchers,” said Ken McFarland, a botanist, and professor at the University of Tennessee.  “Through seminars and intimate guided tours, each participant will expand his or her skills and knowledge of the unmatched flora and fauna of the Smokies.”

The Wildflower Pilgrimage, which dates to 1951, offers over 150 programs including an array of instructional walks and guided hiking tours tailored to meet individual walking skill and ability, along with demonstrations and guest lecturers.  These tours showcase the abundant varieties of wildflowers, plants, ferns, mosses, trees and shrubs, as well as birds, reptiles and amphibians, all native to the Great Smoky Mountains. Click here to view the brochure. Here is a video from the 2011 Pilgrimage to give you an idea of what they have to offer!

Zoo Knoxville Welcomes Arya the Malayan Tiger to the Tiger Forest

There are fewer than 400 Malayan tigers left worldwide. They are being hunted to meet the demand for tiger body parts in Asia and the forests where they live are being destroyed by unsustainable farming.  This amazing species’ best chance of survival is conservation programs like the one at Zoo Knoxville. Arya will be joining our two Malayan tiger brothers, Bashir and Tanvir, on the recommendation of the Malayan Tiger Species Survival Plan, which is a collaborative effort of all zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to save them from extinction. When she’s ready, we’ll introduce her to the boys. Hopefully, she’ll think one is the “cat’s meow,” and Tiger Forest will be home to a litter of Malayan tiger cubs: another step in the journey to preserving this species.

Thank you so much for visiting our blog today! We welcome questions and comments below. Also, please sign up for our monthly newsletter for more family friendly posts. We hope you have an amazing April and find plenty of time to create lasting memories with your family!

Be blessed,





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