I also love to keep my kids learning when on vacation and with Tennessee being one of our favorite states to visit we have a lot of great Tennessee Field Trips to share on our list.
Over 45 Amazing Tennessee Field Trips
Make sure to check out the rest of our Tennessee Unit Study perfect for getting kids excited for any Tennessee trip and the perfect addition to any road school lesson plan!
Related: 189 Free Things to do in Tennessee
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Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Field Trips
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – Located in Gatlinburg Tennessee the aquarium is one of the best I’ve seen. They are known for their Penguin exhibit but also have a great shark exhibit too. They keep everything fun and educational. Admission to the Aquarium is included in the Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Pass.
Great Smoky Mountain National Park – I love taking the kids the National Parks. Every visitor center has so much you can learn with their museums. Several of the visitor centers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park had open-air museums, Cades Cove is a large open-air museum too.
Don’t forget to stop at any visitor center and get your Junior Ranger Books to have the kids to complete. They are very educational and the kids will earn the Junior Ranger badge for that park.
When you enter you re handed a card of a person on the Titanic you can see what their living quarters would be and then at the end find out if they lived or died. There are so many artifacts from the ship as well as a recreation of the grand staircase. Tickets are included in the Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Pass.
Tuckaleechee Caverns – These caverns are under the Smoky Mountains and make a great geology lesson!
Alcatraz East Crime Museum – Located in Pigeon Forge this museum follows the history of crime from the early pirates to the wild west and Wyatt Earp and the OK Corral down to Bonnie and Clyde all the way to drive history up to a year ago. They have a hands-on forensics lab where adults and kids can see how police solve the crimes.
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad – Learn the history and legends of the Smoky Mountains while riding though the mountain and taking in the amazing nature views.
Related: Top 10 Things to do in Gatlinburg TN
Knoxville Field Trips
American Museum of Science and Energy – Take a day and get your kids hands-on with science with all sorts of experiments they will love.
Norris Dam State Park – Located just north of Knoxville this state park has the beautiful views of the dam and history of the dam. There are also several places with local history including an old mill and Civil War museum.
Ijams Nature Center – Get outdoors at the Nature Center this is a great place for nature walks, wildlife sightings and nature programs. They even have a nature preschool program.
Coal Creek Miners Museum and Memorial – The coal creek mine disaster happened just outside Knoxville. This was one of the worst mining disasters in our country and killed all but 3 males in town. The museum tells their story and the memorial down the road pays tribute to them.
Zoo Knoxville – So many ways to learn about animals here its a great way to learn about them and how to protect them.
James White Fort – This is the pioneer home of Knoxville founder. Learn how the city was established.
Chattanooga Tennessee Field Trips
Reflection Riding Arboretum – A great place to learn about science and nature all hands on. They have lots of programs for kids of all ages, nature trails, wildlife viewings, and more.
Chatanooga Zoo – Visiting any zoo always makes a great field trip. Learning about the animals, their habitat and how to protect them.
Ruby Falls – Another great cavern under a mountain to check out and this one has a waterfall!
Chickamauga National Battlefield – Checking out the battlefield and learning the history is free, the views it offers of the city are breathtaking! This is a National Park site so make sure to get your National Park Passport stamped and take your kids to get their Junior Ranger badges as well!
Point Park Battlefield – Part of the above Chickamauga Battlefield was the site of what is now known as “The Battle Above the Clouds”. The visitors center with history is free but the battlefield tour costs $3 for adults.
Tennessee Aquarium – One of the largest aquariums around with over 9,000 animals. They also have some great animal programs!
Brainerd Mission Cemetary – This is a relatively small graveyard of 60 graves. But they are graves of Cherokee Indians that once lived in Chattanooga. This is an official stop on the Trail of Tears.
The National Medal of Honor Museum – this free museum is a must for any history or military buff!
Nashville Tennessee Field Trips
Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Museum – This is 7,200 square foot interactive facility with virtual games, and many interactive video games and training equipment.
Johnny Cash Museum – This museum holds so much music history. From who he knew, his time in the service, and his rise to fame.
Liveminds Adventure – This is a great family escape challenge which will make you used all your logic skills. A renowned archeologist has gone missing looking for the staff of Moses and you have to find him while avoiding booby traps and more.
The Hermitage, Home of Andrew Jackson – The home of President Andrew Jackson is right in the Nashville area and you can take a tour of the house and the grounds. The grounds host some of the slave quarters’ foundations, and his gardens where Andrew Jackson and his wife are buried.
Stones River National Battlefield – This was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Civil War and lots of history on this battlefield.
The Carter House – Carter House was the location of part of the battle that let to the Stones River Battlefield and the house tour has some much history even if it is a bit gorry. You can still see where many of the musket balls hit buildings. Then take a walk in downtown Franklin for some historical markers.
Want to learn more about the Civil War? Check out these 12 Civil War Places to Visit When Studying the Civil War.
Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park – There is a lot of Native American history here along with a great museum.
The Belmont Mansion – This mansion is famous because it was run by a woman of wealth in a time when woman wasn’t really allowed to own anything. Learn how this came to be and how she started the all-girls school we now know as Belmont University.
Grand Ole Opry – You can take a tour of the Grand Ole Opry and learn the history of the building, and the people who have walked it. See some of the dressing rooms, learn about the flood that affected the building and even stand on stage.
Sam Davis House – Sam Davis is one of the unsung heroes of the Civil War and his house is now a museum to not just the Civil War but also the building itself with things like footprints in the brick!
Adventure Science Center – This is an amazing hands-on science center for kids and adults. This was one of the first things we did with the kids and the loved it.
Cannonsburgh Village -This this a free attraction and a whole area filled with historical buildings from around the area. Everything from an old mill, homes, churches, barns, and so much more!
Memphis Tennessee Field Trips
Fort Pillow State Historic Park -This for located along the Mississippi River just north of Memphis. This is another Civil War fort and you can learn why its location was so important.
Pink Palace Museum – Every Tuesday from 1 pm to close this museum is free. This museum got its name from the pink marble mansion that it is housed in. This is the house of Clarence Saunders, founder of the Piggly Wiggle grocery store chain. The museum has many of Clarence’s personal collections and many local exhibits as well.
National Civil Rights Museum – Lorraine Motel – The civil rights movement had a large part in Memphis history and you can learn all about it here.
Graceland – Elvis was another huge influence in music and his start from being such a poor family to his rise in fame is a great lesson for kids about working hard.
Center for Southern Folklore – Memphis is all about great music, great food and great fun which makes the Center for Southern Folklore one of my favorite things on my list of free things to do in Memphis!
The center is dedicated to “celebrating the arts, music, and heritage of the South from the cultural crossroads of Memphis” which means they often have live music, storytelling and of course, soul-food! Even better? They’re always open for free!
Other Tennessee Field Trips
McMinn County Living Heritage Museum – See how life was for everyone from the Cherokee to the early Tennessee settlers. They have over 30 permanent exhibits and over 10,000 artifacts.
Gray Fossil Museum – If you are talking about dinosaurs or you just have a budding paleontologist as I do then they will love this dig site! They have any hands-on science thing to do and you can tour the dig site and watch the paleontologists at work!
Jack Daniel’s Distillery Tour – There is a lot of history on how Jack Daniel’s basically built the town of Lynchburg and how to built his company. The tour takes you on the grounds and shows you the process of how they make whiskey and also the water source for their whiskey.
Backyard Terror’s Dinosaur Park – If you are learning about the dinosaurs this is a great way to get hands-on. The best part is this attraction is free!
Andrew Johnson National Historic Site – Another President’s homestead you can visit. Andrew Johnson was the 17th president and known as the Defender of the Constitution for his work after the Civil War.
Old Moore County Jail – Located in Lynchburg this is the old jail where the sheriff used to live in the building with his family and the two jail rooms, one for males and one for females, were attached to the home.
The museum has kept the building intact and now holds exhibits dedicated to the local sheriffs, artifacts from the sheriffs who lived in this house and the original jail cells including where Jessie James carved his name into the wall.
Johnny Cash has visited this museum and said the jail cells are some of the worst he’s ever seen. There is a small exhibit dedicated to his visit.
Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park – With a log cabin, true to period gardens, and museum on the 55-acre park that holds over 1,500 books!
Shiloh National Military Park and Cemetary – Another battle of the Civil War it was a very bloody battle where over 23,000 died. Lots of Civil War history here and it’s an NPS site so make sure to get your Junior Ranger Badge!
Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House – This is now a family dining restaurant but while you are dining on recipes the boarding house is known for you are treated to some amazing history on Miss Mary Bobo and the work she did in town.
Fort Donelson National Battlefield and Cemetary – The surrender of Fort Donelson was the North’s first major victory in the Civil War. The cemetery was started for many of the Union Soldiers who were buried in the area and now hold many US Veterans.
What are some of your favorite Tennessee field trips spots? Id love to add to my list!