This Week's Tennessee Tourism Round Up

Thursday, February 8, 2018 - by Jill Kilgore

Whether it’s chocolate, cheese, wine, theatre, science experiments, waterfall tour by lantern or dining with dinosaurs, there’s something unique for everyone to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Here’s what’s going on across Tennessee this week. For a complete list, visit tnvacation.



Johnson City – You’re in for fun experiments to celebrate Valentine’s Day. See the optical illusion heart; create a Sharpie tie dye valentine and other fun experiments at For the Love of Science at Hands On! Regional Museum.

Pulaski – Schedule a fudge tour at Milky Way Farm. See the 1930s home of candy legend Frank Mars for a hot cup of coffee, a fudge brownie and ice cream to enjoy at the historic table.

Nashville – Visit Nashville Ballet to view portraits and stories from “Living On,” a documentary project presenting stories of Holocaust survivors now living in Tennessee. The exhibit is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m Monday-Friday.

Knoxville – The exhibit In the Footsteps of Sergeant York at the Museum of East Tennessee History showcases the groundbreaking research and allows visitors to retrace the steps of one of America’s best-known military heroes.

Cookeville – Geared toward preschool-age, bring the little ones to the Cookeville Depot Museum for the free event Train Tales, a train story that talks about  railroad friends 10:30-11 a.m. every Friday.

Chattanooga – Creative Discovery Museum hosts the traveling exhibit America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far, showcasing the cultural expressions of various Muslim communities around the world.

Feb. 8

Bristol - Radio Bristol presents the Farm & Fun Time variety show live 7-9 p.m. at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum with modern folk artist Willie Watson, Larry Sigmon and Martha Spencer.

Nashville – Gumshoes unite! Old school detective methods go up against new school spy tactics for Adventure Science Center’s Way Late Play Date: Sherlock vs. Bond.

Nashville – Pop trio East Side Story charms listeners with an eclectic mix of tunes 6-8 p.m. at Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Admission is free.

Nashville – Treat your sweetheart to a tour of Italy at City Winery. The guided wine tasting experience will have a flight of four different wines, antipasti plate with cheese, crackers and charcuterie. Tickets are $40.

Murfreesboro – Walk through a pioneer village and enjoy the Valentine Tea 4 p.m. in Cannonsburgh Village. Admission is $2.50.

Knoxville – Dancing with the Stars: Live! Light Up the Night sizzles at Knoxville Civic Auditorium from salsas to elegant waltzes and high energy group numbers.

Memphis – Dine where the stars perform. The $75 ticket for Orpheum Theatre’s Valentine’s-themed Dinner on Stage includes a cocktail reception, theatre and backstage tour, a three-course meal, wine, trivia and the performance.

Feb. 9

Murfreesboro – To celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Boro Art Crawl will have a special dragon dance performance downtown. The event will have pet rescues and pet-related artists to mark the year of the dog.

Murfreesboro – Need a night out? Drop the kids off at Discovery Center 5:30-9:30 p.m. for Parents’ Night Out which includes supper, museum exploration time, hands-on activities and games for the kids.

Murfreesboro – Wear your favorite princess costume for the “Wedding Dresses through the Decades” exhibit 4-7 p.m. at Oaklands Mansion. Tickets include admission, photos with princesses, princess crafts and snacks.

Nashville – Join Tennessee State University’s College of Liberal Arts for a celebration of the contributions of African Americans to Nashville and Tennessee history and culture.

Feb. 9-10

Nashville – Witness bulls, broncs and edge-of-your-seat action as the gates swing open for the 2018 Cinch World’s Toughest Rodeo at Bridgestone Arena.

Feb. 9 -11

Nashville - The Nashville Ballet performs Light / The Holocaust and Humanity Project, a groundbreaking exploration of devastating loss, resiliency and triumph of the human spirit atTennessee Performing Arts Center.

South Pittsburg – Things may go bump in the night at the overnight Ghost Hunt at the Old South Pittsburg Hospital. The event includes indoor style camping, light snacks and drinks and a fully guided tour.

Feb. 9-16

Knoxville – Climb aboard the Volunteer Princess for a Valentine Starlight Dinner Cruise 6:30-9 p.m. Indulge on a four-course meal while you and your sweetheart cruise around Knoxville.

Feb. 9-17

Chattanooga – Experience an intimate tour of Ruby Falls with Romance at Ruby. This romantic lantern tour of the cave and waterfall and view from Lookout Mountain Tower comes with a souvenir photo and gift.

Feb. 10

Pigeon Forge – Make your Valentine’s Day special with a romantic first-class dinner aboard the Titanic Museum.

Townsend – Grab vino and toast your love this Valentine’s Day at the Sweetheart Market at Cades Cove Cellars, offering award-winning, locally-made wines.

Sweetwater – If you’re looking for something different for your Valentine, renew your vows at The Lost Sea. Space is limited, so reserve your spot at 423-337-6616.

Covington – Take a Chocolate Tour around Covington’s Historic Square while sampling delicious chocolate candies and desserts from local shops.

Jonesborough – Spend Valentine’s weekend in downtown Jonesborough’s third annual Chocolate Fest, tasting delicious chocolate treats like barks, fudges, chocolate covered strawberries and more 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Murfreesboro – Whiskey and Wine Valentine’s Date Night at Quinn’s Mercantile includes drinks and catered bites from Five Senses Murfreesboro. You can also enjoy 15% off shopping during the private event.

Union City – The Diamonds & Dinosaurs Bridal Expo at Discovery Park of America helps future brides find the perfect dress, caterer, florist and planner. There will be door prizes and a chance to win 50% off a bridal package.

Cookeville – Explore Cookeville’s historic WestSide cultural district using your phone or digital camera for a WestSide Scavenger Hunt. Entry forms are available 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at theCookeville Depot Museum.

Cookeville – Get ready for a battle of the best, as the “Fittest on Earth” gear up for the 2018 Mayhem Showdown at CrossFit Mayhem, home box/gym of 4x “Fittest Man on Earth” Rich Froning and the CrossFit Mayhem Freedom team.

Henning – Celebrate Black History Month with a special program 4 p.m. at the Alex Haley Museum.

Spring City – Take a stroll down memory lane as you listen to music of the 1950s and 1960s as the Sock Hops take the stage 7:30 p.m. at Tennessee Valley Theatre. Tickets are $12.

Nashville – Music and Magic: A Family Concert with the Nashville Symphony starts at 10 a.m. at Schermerhorn Symphony Center with crafts, an instrument petting zoo, music from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and more.

Nashville – Explore the history of spiritual African-American music and its evolution as an American art form 1 p.m. in the Avon Williams Center at Tennessee State University or 4 downtown Nashville’s First Lutheran Church.

Nashville – A cooking class is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Saturday Cooking with Cousin Maria at Coco’s Banquet & Event Center features a full four-course meal including desserts, wine and cookbook with all the recipes.

Greeneville – The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra brings timeless classics like “Chattanooga Choo Choo” back to the stage at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

Memphis – Temple Israel Presents: An Evening of Laughter & Music with comedy legend Robert Klein, takes place 8 p.m. at the Halloran Centre. Klein is considered a major influence on Jerry Seinfield, Billy Crystal and Jon Stewart.

Memphis – Experience the beloved classic E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in Concert, the award-winning score performed live by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra at the Orpheum Theatre.

Knoxville – Stand-up comedian and New York Times bestselling author Eddie Izzard drums up laughs at the historic Tennessee Theatre.

Knoxville – Bill and the Belles breathe new life into the sounds of early country music 8 p.m. at the Laurel Theater.

Knoxville – Celebrate Darwin Day 1-4 p.m. at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture. The program will offer tours of the Human Origins gallery, guided craft activities, cake and punch, music and scavenger hunts.

Chattanooga – Experience Valentine’s Day at the Chattanooga Zoo with snow leopards, Chinese alligators, emperor and golden lion tamarins and sand cats 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Smithville – Celebrate Valentine’s Day with “Snookum’s Delight” at Evins Mill. Guests will be treated to hors d’oeuvres, a five-course dinner, single stem rose in a ribbon-wrapped vase and dessert. Packages vary.

Feb. 10-11

Nashville – Enjoy a bottle of wine and music at Natchez Hills Winery at Fontanel. The free Rhythm and Vine concert series is every Saturday and Sunday night in the tasting room or on the patio if weather permits.

Feb. 11

Knoxville –The lecture The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America begins at noon at East Tennessee Historical Society. Dr. Michael Neiberg will talk about America’s response to the war and how it’s shaped America’s relationship to the world since.

Feb. 11+14

Nashville – Celebrate Valentine’s Day listening to tales of forbidden love at Romance in the Stars at Adventure Science Center’s Sudekum Planetarium. Tickets are $10 and include the planetarium show and box of chocolates, custom made by Paul’s Chocolate Gallery in Franklin.

Feb. 12

Bristol – Singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer performs a free concert 7 p.m. at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

Feb. 13

Nashville – Celebrate Fat Tuesday at Party Fowl, where Executive Chef and New Orleans native Bart Pickens will be cooking up a special “Party Gras” menu with gumbo, jambalaya, beignets and King Cake.

Feb. 13-18

Memphis – With a musical score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, The Color Purple gives new spirit to the Pulitzer Prize-winning story, performed at the Orpheum Theatre.

Feb. 13-14

Nashville, Franklin and Chattanooga – A bargain Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart is a $50 three-course dinner at Frothy Monkey locations. Add a bottle of wine for $20. Reservations are not required, call ahead seating is available.

Feb. 14

Union City – Couples can dine with the dinosaurs at Discovery Park of America. Treat your honey to a romantic dinner in the Tower. Tickets are $15 per couple and include a dinner, open bar, delicious chocolates and a rose.

Murfreesboro – Celebrate Valentine’s Day and the First Anniversary of Puckett’s in Murfreesboro with dinner, a sweet surprise at every table and 90s country love songs with Matt Marinchick. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Nashville – In the beautiful Natchez Hills Winery at Fontanel, you and your Valentine will enjoy an event of romance set to the live musical backdrop of jazz vocalist Jaimee Paul, an elegant dinner and dessert menu.

Nashville – Bring a date or a friend to Valentine’s Day Wine & Dine at Nashville Farmers’ Market. City Farm Co. and Natchez Hill Winery will host the four-course dinner served with wine pairings.

Nashville – Take in a show at Puckett’s for Valentine’s Day with a performance by The Young Fables. Singer and songwriters Laurel Wright & Wesley Lunsford take the stage at 7:30 p.m.

Nashville – No reservations? No problem. Swing by the nostalgic burger and barbecue joint Hugh-Baby’s for a burger, fries and milkshake with two straws.

Nashville – City Winery will have live jazz music and a four-course dinner with wine pairings. After dinner, dance with your sweetheart or friends with a live jazz trio in the cozy upstairs lounge.

Feb. 15

Nashville – Bring out the artist in you as you learn different skills and techniques, inspired by the artworks in the galleries at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts as Drop-In Drawingturns five-years-old.

Nashville – Joe Russo’s Almost Dead takes over War Memorial Auditorium covering tunes by The Grateful Dead.

Nashville – Historians will speak and perform music of African American Tennesseans that transformed music, including spirituals, jazz, blues, rock n’ roll and soul 12:15 p.m. atTennessee State Museum’s Lunch & Learn.

Maryville – The mind-blowing spectacular The Illusionists: Live from Broadway brings the jaw-dropping talents of five illusionists to Clayton Center for the Arts.

Feb. 15-17

Nashville – Don’t stop believing in love as you watch the Music of Journey at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center with conductor Brent Havens, a rock band and the Nashville Symphony.

Feb. 15-25

Franklin – Join Studio Tenn at The Factory at Franklin as the Tony Award-winning drama Doubt: The Parable raises questions of uncertainties and causes the audience to explore who they are.

Feb. 16

Columbia – Learn how to swing dance with your sweetheart 6-9 p.m. at Puckett’s in Columbia. Tickets are $20 per person and include champagne, spinach dip, pico de gallo, chips and Southern slider favorites.

Greeneville – A famous scientist with magic powers brings a friendly dinosaur to life at Dino Light: A Glow-in-the-Dark Adventure at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

Bristol – The Birthplace of Country Music Museum presents the Listening Room Concert Series with Lauren and Jason Morrow of The Whiskey Gentry – a favorite act of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. The show starts at 7 p.m.

Feb. 17

Roan Mountain – Escape into nature at the 11th annual Winter Naturalists’ Rally at Roan Mountain State Park Conference Center with guided hikes, area scientists, lectures and activities for kids.

Johnson City – Help gather sap from the trees and watch it boiled down to maple syrup at the Maple Syrup Festival & Pancake Breakfast 8 a.m. to 3 Tipton-Haynes Historic Site.

Memphis – Say Goodnight Gracie brings the heart-warming, fascinating story of centenarian George Burns to life with a stunning solo performance by Alan Safier as Burns at theHalloran Centre.

Feb. 18

Elizabethton – Step back in time with An Early 19th Century Formal Sweetheart Tea at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park Visitor Center 2-4 p.m. Tickets are $12 and include finger foods, appetizers, pastries, coffee and tea.

Feb. 19

Nashville – Spend your Valentine’s with Nashville native and singer-songwriter KEM in a one-night-only performance at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. 

Tennessee Aquarium Leaping Into World Lemur Day On Oct. 20 With Special Programs, Activities

Never mind their captivating charisma and seemingly endless abundance of energy, being a lemur is a pretty tough gig.   Thanks to a host of ecological challenges in their native Madagascar, all of the more than 100 species of these acrobatic animals are endangered to one degree or another. As a group, they are the world’s most-imperiled class of mammal.   ... (click for more)

Parades, Planes, Playgrounds, And More At The 2018 Wings Over North Georgia Air Show

The seventh annual  Wings Over North Georgia Air Show  is guaranteed to have something for everyone. Air show performances will include 70-year old warbirds, a fifth-generation fighter jet, skydivers, jet cars, world-renowned aerobatic performers, and a 45-minute reenactment of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. The air show will be Oct. 13-14, in Rome, Ga. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Airport Has Biggest Month Yet; Work May Start Next Year On Parking Deck With 1,300 Spaces

The Chattanooga Airport set a record in September with 44,000 enplanements, the highest ever for one month. This was an increase of nine percent over September 2017, and deplanements were in line, said Terry Hart president and CEO. He said that more parking is needed near the terminal to keep up with the growth. The 20-year master plan includes a parking deck with around 1,300 ... (click for more)

Firefighters Climb 150 Feet To Extinguish Fire At Ardent Mills

Chattanooga firefighters had to climb 150 feet to extinguish a fire at a flour mill off Amnicola Highway on Monday morning. A call came in at  7:35 a.m. for the  fire at 1 Riverside Lane. Ardent Mills reported smoke in the building and all employees were evacuated. Fire crews arriving on the scene could see light smoke coming from a vent on the upper half ... (click for more)

Why Are Joda Thongnopnua And Phil Bredesen Downplaying Their Democratic Values?

For the past several months, the Democratic Party has reached a tipping point. “Their Resistance” is to oppose anything and everything Republicans are doing to deliver a stronger economy and better economic opportunities for all Americans.  Yet, I find it very interesting that the public outcry we are seeing from the Democrats on a national level is nowhere to be found when ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s ‘Tennessee Week’

For over 50 years I have heard the line, “There are two things you must never do on ‘The Third Saturday of October.’ You mustn’t ever marry and try not to die because, in either case, the preacher won’t show up.” He’ll be watching “The Game.” Ever since Oct 18, 1901, Tennessee and Alabama have been going at it and that inaugural game set the tone as well as the standard for all ... (click for more)