Out and About Tri-Cities – January 2018

Family Friendly Events In The Tri-Cities

Out and About Tri-Cities – January 2018

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

Welcome to 2018! I took an entire month away from blogging! It was super relaxing but I missed it a lot too. I am back now fully recharged with so many amazing memories to take with me into 2018. I hope your Christmas was spectacular also. Let’s start the New Year off right by spending our time with our families! I couldn’t find much this month right here in the Tri-Cities so I am highlighting more day trips than usual. But what a great way to the start the New Year than to get out there and have some big adventures!

“Out There – The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds” at Bay’s Mountain Planetarium

Starting January 2nd, 2018 and running through April 29th, 2018

With the world’s most powerful telescopes, we are able to explore the Universe surrounding us and start looking for planets around other stars. For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe. Thanks to our curiosity, imagination, and urge to explore, we now know that planets like our Earth are nothing special in the cosmos. The Sun is just one ordinary star among hundreds of billions in our galaxy, the Milky Way. With the world’s most powerful telescopes, we are able to explore more and more of the Universe. What we have found so far has surpassed even the wildest expectations of scientists as well as authors of science fiction. Most stars have planets — it turns out they are more common than we thought. A huge diversity of different worlds is out there, just waiting to be discovered. Show length ~35 min.

Old Christmas at Fort Watauga

Saturday and Sunday – January 6th and 7th, 2018 from 10 am to 3 pm

As you walk through the gates of Fort Watauga you will travel back in time to an 18thcentury Old Christmas “Jollification”. Each cabin in the fort will be the setting of Christmas, New Year, and 12th Night traditions as celebrated by the settlers of different cultures on the colonial frontier. Many of our modern Christmas customs are taken from centuries-old practices such as English Christmas Guns, the Irish Holly Wreath, the German Tannenbaum, Scottish First Footing, and the Dutch Sinterklaas. See how our Christmas practices of today are steeped in these old world traditions. Get the most out of the Holiday Season and visit Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park for a fun, entertaining, and educational family outing. Arrive ready to be filled with the spirit of Christmas. It’s an event that is sure to become a tradition with your family year after year.

Winter Garden Seminar – A Home For Butterflies at Warrior’s Path State Park

Saturday – January 6th, 2018 from 10 am to 12 pm

“A Home for Butterflies” is our 29th annual Winter Garden Seminar. Rita Venable will share her wisdom and knowledge of our native butterflies, their habits, and habitats. Rita is a writer, photographer, and speaker, and is the author of Butterflies of Tennessee (published in 2014). She has served as a State Biologist, an editor of Butterfly Gardener magazine, and a guest speaker at numerous garden seminars, scientific symposia, and landscaping workshops. At the seminar, Rita will help us see how butterflies view our gardens at “real estate.” She will focus on what to think about when planning a natural area or a butterfly garden. We’ll learn what butterflies need to survive, what gardeners need to know about the butterfly garden, and what problems some gardeners experience when planting a butterfly garden. This event is free, but we do ask you to preregister. Meet at the Recreation building.

Let’s Glow Swimming at Kingsport Aquatic Center

Saturday – January 6th, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Swim in the New Year at the Kingsport Aquatic Center’s Let’s Glow Swimming Party! On Saturday, January 6th, the lights will be dimmed, and the indoor pools will be filled with glow sticks of all shapes and sizes! All 9 to 15-year-olds are invited to party with their friends before heading back to school. There will be music, inflatables and swimming in the glow pools! Bring your own glowsticks if you like! Pre-registration admission is $5, and admission at the door is $7. Supervision will be provided by the Kingsport Aquatic Center staff, and parents will need to sign a code of conduct/waiver form when they pre-register or when they pay at the door.

MLK Day of Service Wall Building Event at The Holston Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Monday – January 15th, 2018 from 9 am to 4 pm

Dr. King once said, “Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.” Come volunteer with us this #MLKDay. We will be hosting a wall building event at the Holston Habitat for Humanity ReStore Johnson City. The walls will be used in a home built for a Holston Habitat family later this Spring. Morning and afternoon shifts are available and lunch will be provided for registered volunteers. If you or someone you know are interested in volunteering, please click the link below to register online here.

Book End Painting at The Johnson City Public Library

Tuesday – January 23rd, 2018 at 6 pm

Teens ages 12-18 are invited to help brighten up the new teen space at the library by painting their own designs on plain metal bookends. Interested participants must submit a design template to be approved by library staff before coming to the event. Templates may be picked up at the Youth Services desk beginning Wednesday, January 3. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, January 17. Designs must include either a literary-inspired theme (quotes, scenes, characters, or cover art) or a solid colorful design and may not include foul language or inappropriate content. Library staff reserve the right to decline a submission if it does not meet the requirements listed. Interested participants whose designs have been approved will be notified by Friday, January 19 so that they may come to paint book ends at our event on Tuesday, January 23 at 6:00 p.m. Registration and design approval are required for this free event. All materials needed will be supplied by the library.

Covenant Kids Run Kick-Off at Zoo Knoxville

Saturday – January 27th, 2018 – Registration at 10 am Run begins at noon

Admission to the zoo on January 27th is free for each child who registers for the fun run and one accompanying guest. Additional guests get half-price admission to the zoo. Each child receives a log book for those who want to complete a full marathon by running or walking a total of 25 miles between January 27, 2018, and the official Covenant Kids Run on March 24, 2018. Registration for the Covenant Kids One Mile Run at the Zoo is $20.oo per child and this feel also covers the child’s registration for the official March 24, 2018 Covenant Kids Run. Register Here.

Chocolatefest 2018 in Knoxville

Saturday – January 27th, 2018 from 10 am to 5 pm

Get your tasting pass for Chocolatefest 2018 coming up January 27th at Knoxville Convention Center to enjoy delicious chocolate from some of East Tennessee’s best bakers, chocolatiers, and restaurants! Tasting Passes are limited and we are introducing timed ticketing so you don’t have to wait in long lines to get your chocolate. Purchase your tasting time for 10 am, 11 am, Noon, 1 pm, or 2 pm. Enjoy the chocolate festival until it is time to enter the tasting area. Chocolate, entertainment, shopping and more! Tasting Tickets are $20 and General Admission is $5. Learn more here.

Winterfest at Brahm: Hands-on Ice Carving at Blowing Rock

Saturday – January 27th, 2018 from 10:30 am to 2 pm

Help carver Cathleen Gallagher create an ice sculpture! Children will be allowed to help assist Cathleen as she creates a penguin ice sculpture. Hand chisels and safety goggles will be provided.Free and open to the public! More information here.


We have a lot of goal setting happen in our homeschool. We start our homeschool day by writing down three things we are grateful for and three things we would like to accomplish that day. It makes for a good start. That, however, is daily goal setting. So every year when we return to our desks from a long and cozy Winter Break we spend a little bit of time setting goals for the coming year. When we are done we hang them up in a place we can see them every day and as we complete one of them we mark it with a bright and cheerful check mark. It’s fun and it inspires us. Get your free printable 2018 Student Goal Setting Worksheet here.

Thank you for visiting our blog today! It is our mission to bring families together by offering family-friendly events that they can attend. Making memories together matters. These are the things we take into adulthood and the examples we follow when raising our own families. Family time is precious. Geez, Gwen also explores East Tennessee and we even travel beyond our borders checking out the best places to visit to make beautiful memories together. We share our traditions and we seek to inspire you by sharing what inspires us. You can receive free monthly Out and About posts as well as other family-friendly posts by subscribing above to our email list. Thank you again and have a blessed 2018!

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