Virtual Experiences You Can Have in Tennessee
Explore all the Volunteer State has to offer from the comfort of your couch.
This story first appeared on tnvacation.com. To see the original story, and dozens of other ways to have fun, please visit here.
Spring is in the air and you wish you could travel and experience the scenic beauty, music, history and culture, cuisine and family fun across Tennessee. We wish you could, too.
As we’re following guidelines to stay home and practice social distancing as recommended by the CDC and health professionals due to COVID-19, world-class museums, attractions and exhibits are getting creative to connect you with virtual tours, concerts, digital offerings and live web cams. See what’s available for you and your family to experience from the comfort of your home.
In This Article
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum
The museum is sharing a series of behind-the-scenes videos with stories told throughout the museum as well as a closer look at the unique instruments on display. Students can participate in several activities from songwriting to learning about important figures from the 1927 Bristol Sessions. Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival hosts a Bristol Quarantine Sessions. Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time is now airing on Blue Ridge PBS.
Paramount Center for the Arts
Need a creative outlet? Download, print and color this Paramount Bristol coloring sheet. Add an artist or show you’d like to see at Paramount Bristol in the marquee. Post your artwork to social media and tag using the hashtag #PBColoring Challenge. One lucky winner will win a pair of tickets to a show of their choice in the fall.
Creative Discovery Museum
Access online activities from the Creative Discovery Museum, like Distance Learning and Biofuels Lessons Online. Join Facebook Live broadcasts including story time, Culinary Corner kitchen lessons and other hands-on, play-based activities to do at home.
Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center
Explore the exhibits at the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center virtually and complete an Online Scavenger Hunt. Aimed to inspire the next generation of heroes, the Heritage Center’s “Adventures in Valorâ€ virtual learning environment includes an online scavenger hunt to better understand the history of the Medal of Honor, an essay contest and a list of 10 discussion questions.
Go behind the scenes with Facebook Live tours to see Ruby Falls, the largest underground waterfall in America.
President James K. Polk Home & Museum
Step into the halls of the James K. Polk home in historic Columbia, the only remaining home of the nation’s 11th president on part one and part two of a virtual tour.
Sycamore Shoals State Park
Virtually tour the historically-rich Sycamore Shoals State Park to see pioneer artifacts, historic homes and more. The tours are led by history experts at 12:30 p.m. ET every day on Facebook.
Take a virtual tour of the diverse art gallery in downtown Franklin with an array of artistic styles and mediums including paintings, antiques, glass, jewelry, pottery and sculpture.
Studio Tenn launched its first ever Virtual Musical Theatre Contest. Participants are asked to video themselves singing any musical theater song.There are three categories – Youth (under 13), Teen (13-18), and Family (siblings, parents, groups within your household) – with prizes awarded to the top two entries in each category.
Gatlinburg Sky Lift Park
The SkyLift Park and SkyBridge would like to bring you joy and a smile during these times of solitude. Check the Facebook page of views from the SkyBridge, North America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
When you need a little moment in nature, check out these great webcams operated by the national park. Watch the park’s many species of wildlife living in their natural habitat in real-time, check in on the weather or catch a beautiful Smoky Mountain sunset at the end of the day. Follow the latest updates from the park service.
Ole Smoky Distillery
Ole Smoky Distillery’s Jams & Jars concert series has been a staple in live music entertainment for years. To keep the tradition alive, Ole Smoky will host a live stream concert every Friday on Facebook with a different band weekly. Grammy-nominated bluegrass band The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys will perform 8 p.m. ET April 17; alternative rock bluegrass band Monroeville will perform 8 p.m. ET April 24; and bluegrass band Seth Mulder & Midnight Run will perform 8 p.m. ET May 1. Each concert will support a different nonprofit each week as well.
International Storytelling Center
The International Storytelling Center serves as the vanguard of the storytelling movement, helping preserve and enhance the world’s oldest art form. Hear stories, listen to the StoryVault podcast, watch Youtube videos from past festivals.
The Heritage Alliance has created fun videos, including a series on Youtube and Facebook of what social distancing looked like in the Victorian era. The McKinney Center hosts a craft and story time on Facebook. And, StoryTown Radio Show, formally known as Jonesborough Yarn Exchange, have released podcasts for your listening pleasure.
Dogwood Arts Festival
The beloved arts festival is going virtual after having to postpone the public event. Dogwood Arts Festival showcases 109 artists online from around the U.S. who were juried in to participate this year. Browse and support the arts from the comfort of your home.
Ijams Nature Center
Ijams Nature Center has launched a new Ijams E-Learning Station on its website with a variety of scavenger hunts for kids, tips on composting or creating pollinator gardens and more. You can also find engaging posts about fungi, frogs, flowers and more on Ijams’ Facebook and Instagram.
Follow Zoo Knoxville on Facebook and Instagram for virtual experiences, zoo encounters and more.
Elvis Presley’s Graceland
You may not be able to physically be at Elvis Presley’s Graceland, but special content is coming to you. Make sure to follow Graceland on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter for a look through Elvis’ record collection, a tutorial on how to make the best peanut butter and banana sandwich, videos from inside the secret Graceland Archives and so much more.
Pink Palace Museum
Learn about physics, science and nature with Museum to Go. There are “Activities at Home,â€ “Curator’s Choiceâ€ highlighting the museum curator’s favorite artifacts, a free streaming movie link to the documentary America’s Musical Journey that has scenes shot in Memphis on Beale Street and the Arcade Restaurant downtown and a free streaming of The Sun, Our Living Star planetarium show. The Pink Palace Museum will add more shows, coloring books, fun educational activities, podcasts and more.
Discovery Center at Murfree Spring
Have fun and keep learning from home with activities, videos and more provided by Discovery Center at Murfree Spring. Tune into SPARK Live on Facebook 9 a.m. each Tuesday to engage your family’s and your curious minds. More resources can be found on Discovery Center’s website.
Earth Experience, the Middle Tennessee Museum of Natural History
Take a virtual tour of the museum with displays from all over the world. See dinosaurs, fossils, gems, minerals, rocks and archaeological relics and a rare, 38-foot T-Rex.
Adventure Science Center
Browse the Adventure Science Center’s expansive online collection of do-it-yourself science projects.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has created Words & Music at Home, an online extension of their music education program – Words & Music. The virtual program has hands-on songwriting resources and guidance along with live, interactive songwriting workshops hosted 2 p.m. CT every Thursday on Instagram. A museum educator and guest songwriter will explore the creative process and encourage viewers to write their own lyrics using the step-by-step guide. Additionally, enjoy the video collection, including pre-recorded live performances, interviews, songwriter sessions and podcasts. Also, explore the Digital Archives which includes photos, sound recordings, printed materials, and objects of their collection. There’s also an Oral History and a Photography Collection.
Tennessee State Museum
The “Search the Collectionâ€ online portal at the Tennessee State Museum lets visitors search and read about artifacts. Check out the video archives from the museum’s lectures, panel discussion and Lunch and Learn events. The “Stories” blog contains articles featuring topics on Tennessee history. Download and print #ColorOurCollection sheets that feature artifacts.
From their homes to yours, Nashville artists and local music venues are livestreaming concerts so you can still feel the music – safely at home. Hear what’s playing.
Virtual Backgrounds, Wine Trail and More
Stay inspired to travel to Sevierville with loads of activities, fun coloring sheets, quick facts and more. Kids and adults wanting to destress will love the coloring pages of the Dolly Parton Statue in downtown Sevierville and the Jackson Magnolia Blossom that has a deep history. Download virtual backgrounds for your next video conference with friends, family and coworkers. Learn the history of the Central Hotel in downtown Sevierville and things you should know about the town’s famous native, Dolly Parton. For those 21-years-old and older, you can take a Virtual Wine Trail tour along the Rocky Top Wine Trail. Buy wine from three participating wineries and you’ll receive two commemorative glasses for free. Buy from five or more participating wineries, and you’ll receive complimentary earbuds. The Trail experts are also offering virtual classes on wine and food pairings, cooking classes and more on Facebook.
For more virtual activities and inspiration for planning a trip to Tennessee, please visit tnvacation.com.