You could spend some quality time with a few million of your closest friends elbowing for space at Turkey Creek. But really, haven’t you had enough turkey for now? Why not drive into downtown and enjoy the amazing fun, make memories with your family and even get that shopping done that you’ve been told must be done this weekend, or else the entire U.S. economy will implode?
So, here are some quick hits of what to do when you hit downtown:
This fine Knoxville tradition goes back decades and as only gotten better with the years. My family has gone almost every year for probably a quarter century. Held in the wonderful Knoxville Convention Center, it opened its doors Tuesday and runs through Sunday. It includes an amazing array of beautiful trees, a very large carousel, beautiful items for purchase, crafts for children to make gifts, food and entertainment. It really is an indoor wonderland and children are mesmerized.
Knoxville’s largest Christmas tree is located in Krutch Park at the center of Gay Street. It will be lighted at 6:15 tonight in a special ceremony that includes Christmas music, Santa and the mayor. Fireworks start as soon as the tree is lighted, so warn the little ones to cover their ears. Also for your pleasure, Krutch Park is lighted throughout making a magical space for children of all ages to wander about.
Free music sponsored by WDVX on the Market Square Stage. This year’s show features everything from Blue Grass to King Super and the Excellents. The music starts at 6:30 and runs until 9:00.
Ice Skating Returns!
The Ice Skating Rink is open and waiting for you and the family. Shoes are provided and the ice is ready, so what are you waiting for?
Shop (or stop off for a meal or beverage)
Many of the fine shops you’ve enjoyed downtown for years are still available, but many more have opened since last Christmas. Taverns such as Suttree’s on Gay Street or The Casual Pint on Union are mixed in with new restaurants such as Cru Bistro on the 100 Block of Gay and Tupelo Honey at 1 Market Square. New shops include Rococo at 2 Market Square, The Tree and Vine and Nothing Fancy (both on Union Avenue) as well as River Sports Outfitters at 31 Market Square. Vendors will be scattered throughout the area serving up hot chocolate and other delights.
Bonus: Art in the Alley
Be sure to step into Strong Alley, between Market Square and Gay Street and prepare to be delighted by what you find. Some of Knoxville’s finest artists are putting the final touches on wonderful works that enhance this cool, urban space. Don’t be afraid, just step on in!
So, it’s really a no-brainer, isn’t it? Get in the car, come park for free and enjoy everything the city has to offer.