I don’t know about you, but when we go out of town for a weekend, we usually end up spending way more than we would at home. We eat out every meal and hit up every child-friendly attraction even if it costs $20+ per person, and many times, it ends up being a bust with the kids. 

These are my kiddos’ favorite things to do in Chattanooga, and they are entirely free. So, if you’re in town for a weekend and have paid for Rock City, the Tennessee Aquarium, and Creative Discovery Museum and need a break from hemorrhaging money, here are some excellent options that are all in walking proximity minus the Sculpture Fields and market. You could walk to Stringers Ridge–but it would be a hike to get there 🙂

  1. Go sledding any time of year and slide down “Cardboard Hill” in Renaissance Park. This hill is littered with boxes most of the year. When I first saw it, I thought it was trash, but I quickly learned many hours pass sliding down the hill on these boxes.
  1. Play in the fountains at Coolidge Park and then play music on the steel drum art exhibit. The vintage carousel is wonderful and only $1. I like to keep a few quarters in my stroller when we are heading downtown, just in case we end up on the carousel.
  1. Take a walk across the Walnut Street Bridge—it connects North Chattanooga to downtown. Often there are musicians playing, plus there’s always great people watching.
  1. Once downtown, have more water fun in the water and fountains in front of the Tennessee Aquarium. (I hope you see a pattern for the spring and summer months–bring clothes your kids can get wet in!)
  1. Take a bike ride or stroll along the Chattanooga Riverfront. If you didn’t bring bikes, you could rent bikes at one of the more than 40 stations around Chattanooga. A day pass to ride with Bike Chattanooga is $8.
  1. Visit the Sculpture Fields at Montague Park. There are more than 40 sculptures in this park from artists all around the world. Every time I’m here I feel like I’ve left Chattanooga–but I haven’t. This is such a unique and peaceful place to bring a picnic lunch or fly a kite. The 33-acre park was once a construction landfill, then abandoned until sculpture John Henry brought the Sculpture Fields to life. You can see his large-scale steel pieces all over Chattanooga. Learn more about him here.
  1. Hike Stringers Ridge or try one of these local trails that are easy with kids.
  1. Visit the Chattanooga Market. It is open Sundays from 11 am-4 pm at the First Horizon Pavilion. Each week has a different theme—like the Strawberry Festival or Red, White, and Blueberries.   
  2. Explore the alleyways–including Food Truck Alley where there’s a constant rotation of six food truck vendors.

There are a few books about Tennessee to prepare your little ones for a visit to Chattanooga!

**As an Amazon Associate I earn a teeny-weeny bit from qualifying purchases 🙂 .

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