‘Staycation’ ideas for spring break

Mary Pom ClaiborneOur Town Youth

This Friday, when the bell rings at the end of the day, there may be an exodus to the beaches of Florida, state and national parks or points south. But for the rest of us who can’t get away or don’t have traveling in our budget, we’ve got you covered. Staycations can keep your family entertained AND you might just learn something along the way.

Here are a few ways we can help:

Look into our Explorer Pass

With a Knox County Public Library card, you can check out free or reduced admission to many museums and cultural attractions such as Zoo Knoxville. The Historic Homes offer up a trip into another time. From the pioneer days at James White’s Fort and Marble Springs to the golden age at Historic Westwood, you can make a tour of the centuries. Try dressing up in costumes from the era as you explore. Once you’ve visited a few homes, you might want to print out our Historic Homes printable kit and construct your own version of Blount Mansion or Ramsey House. A trip to the Museum of East Tennessee History will bring the years together in one place. Each visit to a museum or cultural attraction counts as one hour toward the Read City challenge.

Visit a Storybook Trail

There’s nothing like a little sunshine, exercise and a good story. With the help of some great sponsors and partners, we’ve installed three Storybook Trails across the county. Up in north Knox County, explore the Collier Preserve next to the Powell Branch Library. On the banks of Beaver Creek, you’re likely to see some beautiful birds and wildlife on this quarter acre trail through the woods. But we know you’ll be able to read a book. Down in South Knoxville, on the banks of the Tennessee River, you can explore a new story at Ijams Nature Center on the Universal Trail. In close-in West Knoxville, it’s an easy access to Westview Park. You might even pack a picnic to complete the adventure.

Movies and Readalongs for kids

Some of the subscription streaming services can break the budget, but you don’t have to go without movies and television. Love Mo Willems? His pigeon can drive this bus: Kanopy Kids has the adventures of Pigeon as well as some Knuffle Bunny tales. There are also movies, readalongs, science and math programs, learning languages and history. The Kids programming is unlimited, so you can watch all you want. If you can’t find it on Kanopy, take a look at Hoopla, Tumblebooks or Tumblebooks in Spanish.

Visit the Library

We have 19 facilities across Knox County. It’s always worth a trip to the library. Pick up a pile of books, CDs or DVDs. We even have pre-loaded tablets and video players for the road. You don’t need a Staycation to drop in but having a little extra time to browse the shelves, get to know your librarian or just sit and have some quiet time can be much more pleasant than a day at Disneyworld. At least, it’ll be a less exhausting and expensive. We’d love to see you.

Mary Pom Claiborne is assistant director for marketing, communications and development for Knox County Public Library


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