Out and About Tri-Cities – April 2018

Family Friendly Events In The Tri-Cities

Out and About Tri-Cities – April 2018

Family-Friendly Events in the Tri-Cities and Just Beyond

If you are looking for family-friendly events in the Tri-Cities, you have come to the right place. Our mission at Geez, Gwen is to encourage families to get out and explore and learn together as often as possible. Our collection for April is loaded with amazing opportunities to create some memorable moments together. This Spring is going to be beautiful!

Please note – This site does include affiliate links. If you purchase an item from one of these affiliates we do receive a small percentage at no additional charge to you.

Grab your calendar and let’s get planning!

This site does include affiliate links. If you purchase an item from one of these affiliates we do receive a small percentage at no additional charge to you.

Outdoor Survival Classes – Bays Mountain

The following survival classes will be held in the Discovery The­ater at Bays Mountain Park at 3:00 p.m.

· April 1 – “Snake Bites”

· April 8 – “What To Take Hiking?”

· April 15 – “Lost & Afraid”

· April 22 – “Outdoor Survival Basics”

· April 29 – “Bear Aware”

Each class in the series is $3/person and free for Bays Mountain Park members. Participants can complete as many classes as they would like, and those who attend all five classes will receive a certificate of completion. For more information please call 423-229-9447.

Enviro Fair and Wild and Scenic Film Fest

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Come check out local organizations who advocate for the environment through educational and volunteer service projects during the Enviro-Fair. Enjoy award-winning movies from the Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Build a Window Birdhouse at Home Depot

Saturday – April 7th, 2018 from 9 am to 12 pm

Encourage a love for nature and ornithology in our hands-on workshop where you and your child can build a window birdhouse. Your young birdwatcher can observe birds’ behaviors like building a nest and watching eggs hatch without the need for expensive equipment. Once your birdhouse is built, your child can decorate it with paint and stickers. All Kids Workshop attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Children must be present at the store to participate in the workshop and receive the kit, apron, and pin.

Register here!

Carter Mansion Celebration & Militia Muster

Saturday, April 7th, 2018 from 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday, April 8th, 2018 from 10 am to 3 pm

Join us for two days of history, traditional arts, and fun at the Carter Mansion, the oldest frame house in Tennessee. Travel back to the 1780’s…the American colonies struggle against Britain, and the Patriot frontiersmen gather together to celebrate Independence. See local craftsmen demonstrate traditional skills such as natural dyeing and colonial cooking.

Wildflower Hikes – Bays Mountain

Monday, April 9th, 2018 at 10 am and again on Friday, April 27th, 2018.

Come out, enjoy the spring weather, and get to know some of our local wildflowers! Bays Mountain Park will be hosting three wildflower hikes this spring.

Hikers can expect to see anywhere from 20-30 species of flowers in just a couple of hours on one of these naturalist-led hikes. Many of the wildflowers are showy and easy to find, including redbud, dogwood, pink azalea and wild geranium. The wildflower hikes are free and do not require registration. Hikes will begin at 10 a.m. Hikers should meet at the Nature Center.

Depending on weather and what is blooming, the hikes may take up to two hours and participants may walk 2-3 miles. The hikes will go rain or shine, so hikers should dress for the weather.

ERTH’S DINOSAUR ZOO LIVE at Niswonger Performing Arts Center

Friday, April 13th, 2018 t 7 pm

Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo LIVE guides your family on a breathtaking tour that begins in prehistoric Australia. You’ll observe, meet and interact with an eye-popping collection of amazingly life-like dinosaurs and other creatures presented in a theatrical performance that will thrill and entertain kids while stimulating their imaginations in ways that will forever connect them to their world.

Brought to life by a team of skilled performers and puppeteers, and designed with the help of professional paleontologists, Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo LIVE’s puppets are so extraordinarily realistic you may feel the urge to run and hide – but don’t! Because you won’t want to miss a minute of this fun, unique, entertaining, and educational live show created by Erth Visual & Physical of Sydney, Australia. While it may indeed have been 65 million years in the making, we think you’ll agree, it’s well worth the wait.

Ticket Prices range from $20 to $30.

Woolly Day 2018 at Rocky Mount

Saturday, April 14th, 2018 from 11 am to 5 pm

Visit us Saturday, April 14th from 11-5 for our annual Woolly Day event! Admission is $5 per person with children under 5 admitted free. Learn about our Cotswold sheep, pet a lamb, and learn how the wool is processed from sheep to shawl.

History Happy Hour: Freda Wilhoit a Local Rosie the Riveter at the Chester Inn in Jonesborough

Thursday – April 19th, 2018 from 6:30 to 7:30

The Heritage Alliance is proud to present the second season History Happy Hour at the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum! This monthly program will feature a wide range of topics, including 19th-century optical illusions, Sabine Hill, the Annals of Tennessee History, and much more! The region is full of history, and people who know about history, and History Happy Hour is a chance for them to share their exciting knowledge with the wider public. The program is a collaborative effort between local organizations, so audiences will have the chance to interact with multiple groups.

Come hear local researcher and writer Lynn Richardson talk about Freda Wilhoit, a woman from East Tennessee, and her experience working on the home front during World War II! She was a real-life Rosie the Riveter. The program will take place at 6:30 in the Chester Inn Boardroom.

39th Annual Spring Nature Festival – Warriors’ Path State Park

Friday – Sunday, April 20th, 2018 through April April 22nd, 2018

The schedule below is for Saturday. To view the entire schedule including Friday and Sunday events, click here.

7:30 AM BIRDLIFE SEMINAR – Gain new insights into the lives and habits of our common birds. Bill Grigsby and other members of Birding Kingsport will share their deep understanding of spring birds.

8:00 AM BIRD WALK – Bill Grigsby (and other members of Birding Kingsport) will help us understand and identify spring birds and bird behavior.

9:00 AM NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY SEMINAR – Richard Siggins and Jeff Sturgill, expert nature photographers, will give us tips for better photography outdoors.

10:00 AM PHOTOGRAPHY WALK – Try the skills you learned at the photo seminar, or just enjoy the spring scenery. Richard Siggins and Ranger Jane Switzer will be our guides on this hike.

11:30 AM PLANTS & POLLINATORS SEMINAR – Don Holt and Larry McDaniel, Naturalists from Steele Creek Park, will acquaint us with spring plants and the butterflies and other creatures that pollinate them.

12:30 PM PLANTS & POLLINATORS WALK – Our guides, Larry McDaniel and Don Holt, will bring us to a bright display of spring wildflowers and their amazing insect pollinators on this ramble through the Overlook.

1:00 PM STREAM ECOLOGY SEMINAR – Gary Barrigar and Cathy Landy of Boone Watershed Partnership will help us discover the incredible life of flowing waters.

1:30 PM CREEK WALK – Walk through the clear cool waters of Fall Creek, to experience a living community. Wear old clothes and sneakers, and meet Cathy Landy and Gary Barrigar.

3:00 PM GEOLOGY SEMINAR – Jeremy Stout of Steele Creek Park and Will Miller of TDEC will offer special insights into the importance of those rocks beneath the spring landscape.

4:00 PM GEOLOGY WALK – Take a walk along a stony river bank, and learn the dynamic stories of a changing land. Hike with Jeremy Stout andWill Miller.

5:00 PM PLANTS OF THE DOLOMITE CLIFFS – Come learn the spring trees and plants of this unique habitat. Enjoy a botanical expedition through the world of springtime green life. Guest leaders are Dr. Frosty Levy, ETSU Botanist, and Connie Deegan, Naturalist for JC Parks.

7:00 PM SUNSET WALK – There’s no better place to observe the land than in these old fields and forested ridges. Come watch the evening darken the spring landscape, in one of the richest wildlife habitats in our park. Our leaders will be Kevin Hamed of VA Highlands Community College, and Connie Deegan of Johnson City Parks.

9:00 PM SPRING NIGHT SKIES – Gather beneath the dark sky and learn the lore of the spring stars. Jason Dorfman of Bays Mountain Park will share his knowledge and his astronomical tools.

Earth Day Terrarium Pop-in Activity at Gray Fossil Site

Saturday – April 21st, 2018 from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm

Looking to brighten up your home or office this spring or for Earth Day?  Stop by anytime between 10:30-2:30 to make your own miniature Mason jar terrarium.  Materials fee of $5 for members, $7 for non-members, while supplies last.  Limited quantities available.  Children must be supervised at all times.  Due to small parts, this activity is recommended for ages 3-103.

Party for the Planet at Knoxville Zoo

Saturday, April 21st, 2018 from 10 am to 2 pm

Come out to the zoo and party for your planet! Party for the Planet will host local and regional environmental exhibitors to learn all about the fun ways we can save our world and wildlife together. Party for the Planet is included in zoo general admission.

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Smoky Mountains National Park

Tuesday, April 24th to Saturday, April 28th, 2018

Events at the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage range from wildflower, wildlife, and human history walks, to motorcades, photographic tours, and indoor seminars. The professionally guided walks go from moderately easy to very strenuous hikes. The majority of hikes are less than a mile, and the many indoor activities at Mills Conference Center in Gatlinburg include seminars, presentations during the day and special presentations in the evenings that explore the region’s rich natural and cultural resources.

All programs are held rain or shine. The Pilgrimage headquarters is at Mills Conference Center in Gatlinburg, Tennessee where participants pick up pre-registration packets, register on-site, attend evening programs, and meet for van departures.

Adults $50 for one day and $75 for two or more days. Students $15 for one or more days with verification at on-site registration. Children 15 and under free when accompanied by registered adult.

Registration is open now!

11th Annual Buffalo Tales – Milligan College

Thursday – April 26th, 2018 at 4 pm

An evening of storytelling featuring Milligan storytelling students as part of their final exam.

Superhero Science Day – Hands On! Regional Museum

Friday – April 27th, 2018 from 1 pm to 5 pm

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superhero Science Day! It’s your chance to come dressed as your favorite superhero and unmask the science behind some of your favorite superheroes and their superpowers! Test your superhuman strength and knowledge while exploring flight, magnetism, nanotechnology, and more!

Superhero Science day tickets are $3 per person ages 3+ for non-members (Museum admission is additional at regular rate), FREE for Hands On! members, and FREE for children under 3. Superhero Science ticket pricing includes themed activities, crafts, and experiments (while supplies last) as well as one ticket for a Tesla Experience show full of superhero songs. Stop by anytime between 1 pm and 5 pm, activities are on-going in our auxiliary space throughout the day with Tesla shows at the top of each hour.

Spring Naturalists’ Rally 2018 at Roan Mountain

Friday – April 28th, 2018 – Saturday – April 29th, 2018 and Sunday – April 30th, 2018

Sign up for dinner, lectures, hikes, bird watching, viewing the night sky, and more! Led by the Friends of Roan Mountain.  Pre-registration is required, please visit www.friendsofroanmtn.org for more information.

Spring Garden Fair – Exchange Place

Sunday – April 29th, 2018

The Exchange Place Spring Garden Fair is held in April at Exchange Place Living History Farm, 4812 Orebank Road in Kingsport. See Photos.The Fair focuses on springtime activities on an 1850s farm and the sale of thousands of plants, garden accessories, and related crafts, with an emphasis on herbs, native, and heirloom plants. Each year the Fair features garden walks and talks, children’s activities, traditional music, and baked goods. For more information, call 423-288-6071.

Summer Camps Fill Up Fast – Check out our collection of Summer Camps for Kids In the Tri-Cities

Tri-Cities Summer Camps


The Heritage Alliance is hosting its very first Homeschool Day all throughout Jonesborough on Friday, May 18. The cost is $7.00 per student, no matter the number of activities. Parents, guardians, and non-participating younger children are free of charge. However, due to space limitations, not all chaperones and non-participating children will be able to participate in every activity.

Activities that day include lessons in Oak Hill School, a one-room schoolhouse restored to the year 1892, Town Tours, Old Jonesborough Cemetery Tours, and hands-on activities with artifacts in the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum. In addition, students can participate in history hunts at the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum, listen to a Storyteller, and participate in train-based activities in the Chuckey Depot Railroad Museum. Archeological activities will be offered in the morning, and older students will have the opportunity to solve the mysteries surrounding the Cholera Epidemic of 1873 through various primary sources. It will be a day full of history and fun!

To register, please complete the registration form and email it to Anne Mason at amason@heritageall.org, or mail it to the Heritage Alliance 212 East Sabin Drive, Jonesborough TN 37659. You can also call and register by phone at 423-753-9580. A registration form is available by clicking HERE.

All Month Long at The Birthplace of Country Music :


During the period of 1916 through 1918, Cecil Sharp and his assistant Maud Karpeles, from England, spent 46 weeks traveling through the mountain regions of five Appalachian states in search of what Sharp believed to be surviving traditional English folk ballads. He had already collected these songs, as well as dances, in north and west England during the start of the folk-revival period. During this time, he collected 500 songs from 281 providers in America.

Sharp felt these traditions were fading away, and he sought to capture this piece of culture before it was gone or overtaken by modern influences. During his mountain travels, he documented many of his sources for ballads in photographs, visiting with these people many times, often staying at their homes and developing an appreciation and fondness for the mountain life in the process. The photographs were taken during these years – and on display in this exhibit – are a stunning record of the Appalachian people and the times.

This exhibit is on loan from the Country Dance and Song Society, with permission of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

Admission to the special exhibit is included in museum admission; tickets to the museum can be purchased below or on arrival.

Summer Is A Great Time To Get You Teens Involved with Volunteering!

Volunteer Opportunities for Teens

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