As a Johnson City orthodontist, Dr. Sturgill and his team chat with a lot of families, so we tend to get the scoop on all of the fun stuff to do in the area. We know with winter underway, it can be hard to keep the kids entertained, especially on days when the weather isn’t great. Well, Sturgill Orthodontics is here to help. We’ve rounded up some of the best winter activities for kids in the Tri-Cities. Without further ado, here’s our guide to what to do with kids in Johnson City and the surrounding area.
1. Quantum Leap – 117 E. King Street, Johnson City, TN
Kids can burn off all of their excess energy at Quantum Leap trampoline park and grown-ups can get in a great workout too while having a blast. There are foam pits, dunk zones, a 50-foot trampoline run, a battle beam pit and an inflatables area for the tiny tots. The cost is $12 for one hour of jumping, $18 for one and a half hours and $20 for two hours. However, Quantum Leap will match competitor pricing and there are frequently Groupons available that will give you a deep discount on admission.
2. Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium – 853 Bays Mountain Park Road, Kingsport, TN
Visiting Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium is one of the most fun winter activities for kids in the Tri-Cities. Well, actually it’s fun year-round. Go on a winter hike when the weather is a bit milder (call ahead at (423) 229-9447 if it’s snowy because the park is closed if the conditions are hazardous) and enjoy regular nature programs. After the hike or program, warm up by taking in a show at the planetarium. The main feature running from January 2 through April 28, 2019 is “The Dark Matter Mystery – Exploring a Cosmic Secret” and the alternate feature, which will show from January 5 through February 24, is “Appalachian Skies – Winter.” Check out the winter hours here. Park admission is $5 per vehicle and planetarium shows are $5 per person for ages six and up and free for kids five and under.
3. Wallabies – 3102 Hanover Road, Johnson City, TN
Wallabies is another of the awesome Johnson City indoor play places. It features over 10,000 square feet of inflatables, slides and obstacle courses for children up to 12-years-old. There is even an enclosed area just for crawlers and toddlers. It’s a great, safe way for kids to stay active in the winter. Play along with your kids, or, thanks to video monitors and safety features, you can also opt to take a break and enjoy the free Wi-Fi, televisions, magazines and snacks while they explore. Unlike many other play places, once you pay for admission, you can stay and play as long as Wallabies is open. The cost is $9.99 per child ages three to 12 and $6.99 per child two and under Monday through Thursday and a dollar more on Fridays and Saturdays.
4. Hands On! Discovery Center and Gray Fossil Site – 1212 Suncrest Drive, Gray, TN
Another of our favorite things to do with kids in the Tri-Cities is Hands On! Discovery Center. The all-ages science center has interactive exhibits and programs that combine learning with fun. You can get up close at an active prehistoric fossil dig site too. Admission is $10 per person for adults and children ages four and up and free for kids aged three and under. In addition to exhibits galore, you can also take part in regular programs, ranging from art projects to science experiments.
5. Johnson City Public Library – 100 West Millard Street, Johnson City, TN
The library is a wealth of free Johnson City kids’ activities. Check out the regular storytimes or programs like the Teen Book Club or take part in special events (note: registration is required for some programs). Coming up this winter:
- Family Lego Day – On Saturday, January 12 or Saturday, February 9 from 10:30am to 12n, the whole family can build with Legos.
- Magic Tree House Program – Kids ages five to 12-years-old will celebrate the popular book series with crafts, games and snacks.
- Anti-Valentine’s Day Party – Teens 12 to 18 who don’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day can enjoy snacks and take part in games and crafts that aren’t mushy. The program will be held on Tuesday, February 12 at 6pm.
- Realistic Wilderness Survival for Kids – On Saturday, February 23 from 10:30 to 11:30am, Connie Deegan, a Nature Program Coordinator, will give kids age-appropriate information about how to survive in the wilderness. While the event is geared towards children ages eight through 12, parents, caregivers and older and younger siblings are welcome to join in.
6. George L. Carter Railroad Museum – East Tennessee State University, 113 Campus Center Building, Johnson City, TN
Last, but not least, of our winter activities for kids in the Tri-Cities is another freebie! The George L. Carter Railroad Museum is open every Saturday from 10am to 3pm. In the 5,000 square feet of exhibit space, you will find historic railroad memorabilia, toy trains, a “little engineers’ room” for kids ages three to eight, and various model railroads. There is no admission fee but donations are welcome.
If getting a healthy, beautiful smile is also on your child’s agenda this winter, book a free consultation with our Johnson City orthodontist Dr. Sturgill!