One of the biggest issues is and always will be: being able to afford to take your kids to do something fun. Especially in today's age when we struggle to pay our bills. Family time has a tendency to suffer because of finances, and my family is no different.
Luckily for us, we know where to look to find all the free stuff that happens around our beautiful city of Knoxville and if you happen to know where to look, I'm sure no matter where you are there is plenty to do in your town too. One such free treasure found in Knoxville that is great to take your kids to is Safety City.
What is Safety City? Freaking awesome, that's what. It's a miniature city, featuring highlights of Knoxville for kids to bring their scooters and bikes (and HELMETS) to ride around in safely and learn how to use the safety features and signs, such as streetlights and stopsigns and yields. It has a miniature Sunsphere, a replica of the big USPS distribution office, streetlights, and actual street signs. It's freaking adorable. It even has a drive-through 'car wash' that sprays out water for the kids to walk, run, or ride through on their bikes and scooters. A brilliant touch for a hot Tennessee summer event, to keep the kids cool (sunscreen is HIGHLY recommended by me).
This free fun safe haven for kids to ride their bikes and scooters is set up by the Knoxville Police Department. They have a good truck there, and booths by the landmark buildings where parents and kids can learn about safety, participate in exercises and drills around the mini-city, grab brochures, and be entered into drawings. The City of Knoxville website describes their purpose as follows:
The objective of Safety City is to provide an early educational program for elementary school children (kindergarten-fourth grades). The program will teach children about vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle and fire safety. The skills taught at Safety City will empower youngsters with the ability to avoid needless accidents and instill good safety habits at an early age.
While it kind of sounds boring - it's not. It's important to teach our kids these safety things at a young age so they understand how important it is to be aware of your surroundings while near roads, and what to do in a fire. There are tragic accidents where children get hurt or killed because of carelessness but if our children are taught how to be prepared and how to use safety and know how to react to a fire emergency - the odds are in their favor for not getting hurt. According to the City of Knoxville PD:
What Do You Do at Safety City?
During our structured programs, children learn skills they need to be safe citizens in their communities from police officers and fire fighters. Students then practice what they have been taught within the miniature city. They learn traffic safety by riding bicycles, miniature cars, and walking through the city as pedestrians. While riding bicycles, the children learn the rules of safe biking. And, as they drive the miniature cars, they see the importance of wearing a seat belt and why they need to be a good passenger. The students also learn how to utilize 9-1-1 properly from Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Communications District personnel. In addition, students receive fire safety instruction and learn how to escape a simulated non-toxic house fire, using a primary or secondary exit.
The best part is that children can bring their scooters and bikes (as long as they are NOT motorized) and their HELMETS and have fun playing with each other in this miniature city, riding around with their family and make new friends. And let's be honest here, what parent DOESN'T love when their kids get tuckered out and actually fall asleep at bedtime? This awesome free event ran by police department staff on volunteer time is available all summer to the public. During school months, however, it's only available for school field trips.
But let's be honest. Summer is really the only season that matters since there's no school and kids are complaining they are bored. Safety City is located at 165 S Concord St, Knoxville, TN 37919. For more information about this amazing program go to: https://www.knoxvilletn.gov/government/city_departments_offices/police_department/management_services_bureau/safety_city_knoxville
Summer Schedule for 2023:
Saturday, June 3 - 10am-2pm
June 6 - 10am-2pm
June 7 - 10am-2pm
June 8 - 10am-2pm
June 13 - 10am-2pm
June 14 - 10am-2pm
June 15 - 10am-2pm
June 20 - 10am-2pm
June 21 - 10am-2pm Kid A'Riffic Fun in the Park
June 22 - 10am-2pm
June 27 - 10am-2pm
June 28 - 10am-2pm
June 29 - 10am-2pm
July 5 - 10am-2pm
July 6 - 10am-2pm
July 11 - 10am-2pm
July 12 - 10am-2pm
July 13 - 10am- 2pm LAST DAY