Out and About Tri-Cities – November 2018

Family Friendly Events In The Tri-Cities

Out and About Tri-Cities – November 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 and couples to get out and explore and learn together as often as possible. We also strive to be a source of information for excellent volunteer opportunities that you can take part in to improve our community and the lives and well being of our neighbors. Welcome!

**This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**

October was awesome! We had so much fun! T and I enjoyed a lot of hiking! Check out our recent trips to Cade’s Cove and our Fall Hike Up Roan Mountain.  T enjoyed several events at The Johnson City Public Library such as The Literary Cake Contest which he won third place at for his depiction of Hoot. For volunteer work, he continues working at the stables and participating with the Teen Advisory Board and The Stories To Service Project. As a family, we have been enjoying late night bonfires and doing a lot of cooking and baking together. Our most recent favorite recipe find were these apple pie cupcakes! Amazing! It’s been a wonderful start to Fall.

November!?!? Say what? I can not believe we are almost done with 2018. It has been an amazing year but I am ready to squeeze as much fun as possible out of the rest of this year!

Grab your calendar and make some plans! Time passes too quickly, let’s grab some moments and have fun together with our friends and families.

Family Friendly Events

Fall Foliage Hike and Tree ID at Steele Creek Park

Friday – November 2nd, 2018 at 4 pm

Meet Don at the Nature Center for a moderate walk learning to identify trees by their leaves and branches. It’s also a great time for Fall color!

Putting In The Park At Sycamore Shoals

Friday – November 2nd, 2018 from 11 am to 12 noon

What is disc golf? Join Ranger Davis in a unique setting around Fort Watauga for an introduction to disc golf! Learn basic techniques for putt and approach, mid-range, and driving, with a “hands-on” opportunity using discs that will be provided. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring your own water.

Helicopter Project at The Home Depot in Johnson City

Saturday – November 3rd. 2018 from 9 am to 12 noon

Celebrate and honor all who have served our country in our hands-on Veteran’s Day focused workshop. You and your child can build a custom model military helicopter to spark a conversation with a Veteran about fighting large fires, moving troops, getting supplies to ships and transporting patients. Once the “helo” build is complete, your child can decorate it with paint and stickers. 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.

Autumn Heritage Celebration at Sycamore Shoals 

Saturday and Sunday, November 10 and 11
With cooling temperatures and signs of changing seasons about us, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park is readying for our annual Colonial Harvest Celebration, Militia Muster, and Fall Fiber Fair!
We welcome re-enactors from the Washington County Militia and fiber enthusiasts from across the Tri-Cities and beyond as we plan for an educational weekend filled with history, tradition, and fiber arts demonstrations, workshops, and sales.
The Fiber Fair will take place in the Sycamore Shoals Visitors Center. Both days will offer the opportunity to take in spinning, weaving, and hand carding demonstrations, in addition to visiting with a variety of vendors who will have handmade items for sale.
If you are interested in learning a skill, consider registering for one of our workshops
This year may be drawing to a close, but we aren’t going to let it pass without one more festive weekend at Fort Watauga! Events for the two days include……
Colonial Harvest Celebration 
Saturday, November 10 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday, November 11 10:00 am – 3:00 pm 
Join the festivities at Fort Watauga as the Washington County Militia gather to celebrate recent victories in the War for Independence and give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Enjoy demonstrations of 18th-century life and living history presentations.Fall Fiber Fair 
Saturday, November 10 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday, November 11 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Fall is the time we plan our winter projects and our handmade holiday gifts! Spend a day visiting our regions’ finest fiber producers and artists! The day will include workshops, vendors with handmade items for sale, raw fibers, and demonstrations of spinning, weaving, and more!


Star Watch at Bay’s Mountain

Saturday’s all month long (November 10th, 17th, and 24th at 6 pm)
StarWatch is a nighttime viewing of the evening sky using large telescopes for the entire family. The program is offered Saturday nights in March, April, October & November starting at dusk. Based on what is visible, typical celestial delights viewed include the Moon, star clusters, galaxies, globular clusters, double stars, nebulae and much more.
Free, family-friendly programs offered at Bays Mountain Park. During the viewing, Bays Mountain Astronomy Club members and BMP Planetarium staff will operate telescopes and provide a description of what that telescope is viewing.
Zoology 2

Book Tasting at The Johnson City Public Library

Thursday – November 8th, 2018 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Children eight to twelve years old are invited to the Jones Meeting Room on Thursday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m. to “taste” a sampling of books that they may be interested in reading. A smorgasbord of middle-grade titles will be provided from a variety of genres including fantasy, realistic fiction, and non-fiction, as well as many others. Children will be able to peruse and build a list of titles to add to their reading list. Snacks will be served. Registration is recommended for this free program and can be completed by calling 434-4458.

For more information and about this free program or other Youth Services programs, please call 423-434-4458. To learn more about this and other upcoming events, like the library’s Facebook page, or follow the library on Twitter or Instagram.

Annual Old Time Yule Celebration at The Miller Farmstead in Roan Mountain State Park

Saturday – November 10th, 2018 from 1 pm to 3 pm

Roan Mountain State Park ends the year’s events with an old-fashioned holiday celebration at the Miller Farmstead.

Step back in time and experience how Christmas was celebrated years ago, with traditional music and tasty treats.

Cinema Under The Stars – Beetlejuice – at Bays Mountain Outdoor Amphitheater

Saturday – November 10th, 2018 from 8 pm to 10:30 pm

Bays Mountain Park and Knoxville TVA Credit Union present: Cinema Under The Stars: which is a series of movies that are held in the outdoors at Bays Mountain Park. Come out and watch the movie in a wonderful outdoor setting with the beauty of Bays Mountain Park serving as the backdrop. Bring your blanket and enjoy a good movie with your family and friends. Oh yeah, and be ready to hear the chills of the wolf call as you enjoy the cinema. This is bleacher seating so no lawn chairs allowed but you can bring the stadium seats. Food and drinks are not allowed. Concessions will be available for purchase. The movie will show at 8:00 p.m. The gate will open at 7:00 p.m. The cost of the movie is $5 each for ages 6 and above. Ages 5 and under are free. All proceeds will go to benefit Bays Mountain Park.
For more information please call Mark Kilgore at 423-230-6357

Autumn Tree Keys at Warrior’s Path State Park

Monday – November 12th, 2018 from 4 pm to 5:30 pm

Trees are cool shade, fresh air, wildlife habitat and a colorful “feast” for our eyes! We can enjoy and appreciate trees without knowing their names. But it is nice to be able to identify “old friends” on our forest walks. We’ll practice using a few different botanical keys to learn the names of our native trees. Learn autumn trees by their leaves, bark, buds, and more. It’s a skill that can help us observe and better understand our “woody neighbors.” Besides gaining tree knowledge, each participant will get to take home a pamphlet-key to our local trees.

Come dressed for the weather, and wear footwear suitable for some outdoor wandering. (Meet at the pool parking lot.)

Annual Tree Lighting at The Mall At Johnson City

Monday – November 17th, 2018 from 4 pm to 7 pm
Join us as we kick-off the holiday season with food, and fun for the whole family! Inflatables and games for kids, food and entertainment for all!

Downtown Bristol’s Annual Christmas Open House

Monday – November 19th, 2018 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Ready or not, it’s time to GET INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT! Believe in Bristol will again sponsor the Annual Christmas Open House in Historic Downtown Bristol on Monday, November 19, 2018, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm.

Come to kick off the holiday season with merriment and good cheer! Santa Claus will be giving out candy canes, Bristol Ballet will have dancers in costume, there will be carolers amongst the early Christmas shoppers!

Last, but certainly not least, a holiday favorite has returned — Horse & Carriage Rides! Come to the Downtown Center (Farmer’s Market) to catch your ride through downtown, $5 each person, children 5 and under are free.

“We look forward each year to showcasing our beautiful downtown to the community and surrounding areas. Our Believe in Bristol Downtown Open House is the perfect way to ‘kick-off’ the holiday season. This event offers something to every age, and we hope the attendees will feel the warmth and hospitality of Bristol” said Maggie Bishop, Believe in Bristol Executive Director.

Be sure to keep a look out for your favorite decorated window as the downtown merchants will be participating in the Merry Merchants Window Decorating Contest.

The Open House has traditionally been a customer appreciation night when merchants stay open late, have special discounts, and refreshments are served at participating locations. Join us and support your downtown shops; it’s a great way to stimulate our local economy and find special one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your holiday list. Don’t miss an evening planned for the entire family’s enjoyment!

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at Bristol’s Paramount Theater

Saturday – November 24th, 2018 Showings at 2 pm and 6 pm

The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker casts a Christmas spell at Paramount Bristol on its “Dove of Peace” American tour. With the strength and classical skill of the Russian artists, hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens, and jubilant Nesting Dolls –Great Russian Nutcracker brings the Christmas spirit to life, delighting audiences of all ages. Buy tickets here.

Annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting in Bristol

Friday – November 26th, 2018

Bristol’s Annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting is set for Monday, November 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Cumberland Square Park in Historic Downtown Bristol. The event showcases the site’s nearly 50-foot Norwegian Spruce and its younger counterpart, a 25-foot Douglas Fir decorated with thousands of warm-white Christmas lights – about 30,000 of them – for a dramatic and joyous display.

Family Friendly Events – Day Trip Fun

The Island Tree Lighting in Pigeon Forge

Saturday – November 17th, 2018

Get into the Christmas spirit at the Island on Saturday, November 17th. Enjoy visits with Santa Claus, a DJ with games and giveaways and performances from singers and dancers starting at 6 pm. At 7:30 pm, watch Paula Deen help to light the Christmas tree for the season.

Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees in Gatlinburg

November 20th to 25th, 2018

The 2018 Gatlinburg Festival of Trees will kick off on November 20th, with the Candy Canes and Cocktails Reception in the evening. Beginning Wednesday, November 21st, the festival will be open from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM each day and additional activities will take place. There will be opportunities to eat breakfast and take photos with Santa Claus, and families are invited to enjoy Breakfast with Santa on November 24th.

The festival will also feature a children’s craft area, play area, entertainment throughout the week, photos with Santa and beautifully decorated Christmas trees and wreaths.

Proceeds from the Gatlinburg Festival of Trees 2018 will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains and the Gatlinburg Chamber Foundation.

Tweetsie Christmas

November 23-24, 30 -December 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, & 28-29

  • Meet Santa in his own house — made of gingerbread filled with candied furnishings. Imagine sitting on a chocolate truffle or resting on a piece of ribbon candy just before you meet Santa and have your picture taken with him on his Gingerbread bench.
  • Take a night-time train ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains on a crisp winter’s night, as you enjoy Christmas carols and the tracks dazzlingly lit for the holidays. Remember to dress warm, the cars have open windows!
  • Christmas Lights. Lots of them — thousands to be exact! Enjoy a winter wonderland of lights not only along the three-mile track but also throughout the open areas of the park. Look for the tunnel of lights and the 40’ LED interactive Christmas tree.
  • Enjoy the sounds of Christmas during a musical variety show in the Tweetsie Palace.
  • Step into a snow globe filled with swirling (synthetic) snow, peek through a Christmas present, feel dwarfed by nutcrackers, toy soldiers, candy canes, toy drums, and more.
  • Roast s’mores over an outdoor fire pit and enjoy freshly baked cookies, warm funnel cakes, and other handmade items from Tweetsie Railroad’s famous Fudge Shop.
  • Purchase a ticket for a specific night and train ride time. The train runs every half hour beginning at 5:30 p.m.
  • The live Christmas show performances are at 5:30, 6:15, 7:00, 7:45, and 8:30 pm.
  • Advance tickets required
  • Admission for adults and children: $38 per person BUY NOW
  • Children 2 and under enter FREE
  • A limited number of Guests admitted nightly

Volunteer Opportunities

This one is for the girls…

Habitat For Humanity Women’s Build: We are planning two Women Build weeks November 8-10 and November 15-17. If you, your group or your business would like to come out and Build Strong with us, please visit the Volunteer page at www.holstonhabitat.org to sign up online. We are also looking for folks to provide or sponsor meals for Women Build volunteers. If you would like more information about this opportunity, please contact Mandy Penz at 423-239-7689, ext. 801 or volunteer@holstonhabitat.org.

Check out my last Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build! So much fun!

Habitat for Humanity Build

Volunteer With Second Harvest Food Bank

Last year T and I helped pack a lot of boxes full of Thanksgiving meals for those in need. It was time well spent. We will be showing up again this year! Second Harvest also has opportunities to pack bags for income-eligible children in participating schools, providing them with meals over the weekends. And there are other opportunities to help as well. Click here to learn more!

If you would like to donate a Thanksgiving meal to a family in need this year:

WCQR is once again partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast TN to provide Thanksgiving meals.

For only $25 you will provide a complete Thanksgiving meal including a new Bible to a hungry family in our area.

Deadline to donate – November 11th
All money will go directly to Second Harvest Food Bank
Make all checks payable to Second Harvest Food Bank of NE TN
(Make sure to note Project Thanksgiving on the memo line)

To Mail a Donation:

Second Harvest Food Bank of NE TN
1020 Jericho Dr, Kingsport, TN 37663

To Donate Online Click Here

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