Need Christmas gift ideas? Give these 10 Knoxville experiences, not items for the holidays


We all have at least one person on our Christmas list who has everything.

It can be hard to shop for these folks. They don’t seem to need anything and won’t offer up any ideas when you ask.

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If you’re tired of spending time finding the right gift for them, there is an alternative: Gift them with an experience — something they can go and do — instead of an item. 

East Tennessee is packed with attractions tailored to varying ages and interests. Here are 10 that could help you with the head-scratchers on your Christmas list.

Dollywood tickets, season passes

With its variety of thrill rides, shows and attractions, Dollywood appeals to several age groups and interests.

If you want to give the gift of a day or days at Dollywood, you’ve got options. The park offers several ticket and season pass options, according to its website. One-day tickets cost $69.95, two-day tickets cost $89.95. 

Season passes feature unlimited visits to Dollywood in one year. They start at $114. 

Info and tickets: dollywood.com/Tickets/Season-Passes

Knox Brew Tours gift cards

If you have a beer lover in you family, give them a behind-the-scenes craft beer tour in Knoxville.

Knox Brew Tours offers several tours of Knoxville breweries, which feature beer tastings, explanations of brewing from the different brewers, snacks, water and transportation. 

Knox Brew Tours has digital gift cards available for their public tours, private tours and party bus experiences. Prices range from $45-$595, according to Knox Brew Tours’ website.

Info and gift cards: knoxbrewtours.com

Massage gift certificates

We can all agree that life is stressful, and one way to ease tension is through a relaxing massage. Know someone in your life who needs to unwind? Gift them with a massage at a Knoxville spa.

Here’s a list of some Knoxville businesses that offer massage certificates. Prices vary depending on the business and type of massage.

  • Longevity Massage Specialists, 6626 Kingston Pike. Info: 865-253-7902.
  • Knoxville Massage Therapy Center, 2908 Tazewell Pike Suite K. Info: 865-548-9948.
  • Tennessee School of Therapeutic Massage, 4716 Western Ave. Info: 865-588-2324.
  • Belleza Salon and Spa, 11467 Parkside Drive and 6209 Kingston Pike. Info: 865-558-8424.
  • The Glowing Body Yoga Studio, 711 Irwin St. Info: 865-545-4088.

Ober Gatlinburg gift cards

A trip to Ober Gatlinburg is perfect for the adventurous members of your family. The resort offers skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snow tubing and other attractions.

Ober Gatlinburg offers gift cards, and they can be used at the resort’s attractions and retail shops. They range from $25-$100.

Info and gift cards: obergatlinburg.com/gift-cards

Zoo Knoxville tickets

Every family or friend group has an animal lover, so help them get up close to critters with Zoo Knoxville tickets.

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Tickets cost $19.95 for adults and $16.95 for children ages 4-12 and seniors. They can be purchased online and are valid through one year after the purchase date, according to Zoo Knoxville’s website.

Info and tickets: zooknoxville.org

Nail or hair salon certificates

Help a relative or friend get pampered this holiday season with a gift certificate to get their hair or nails styled. Here’s a list of some hair and nail salons in Knoxville that offer certificates. Prices on the certificates vary.

  • Salon Visage, 1701 Downtown West Blvd. Info: 865-694-4000.
  • Salon Azure, 5120 Kingston Pike. Info: 865-588-2954.
  • Diva Nail Salon, 5201 Kingston Pike. Info: 865-282-3482.
  • Knoxville Beauty Collective, 3501 Tazewell Pike. Info: 865-688-5152.

Tennessee basketball tickets

Give the gift of a basketball game at Thompson-Boling Arena for the University of Tennessee fans in your life.

The Tennessee men’s and Lady Vols basketball teams are doing well so far in their 2018-2019 seasons, and tickets for their upcoming home games are on sale.

Single game tickets and packages are available at allvols.com/Online.

Wilderness at the Smokies gift cards

For those in your family who love a good water slide, consider a gift card from Wilderness at the Smokies in Sevierville. The resort features an indoor water park and two outdoor water parks with a variety of rides, and offers gift cards ranging from $25-$1,000.

Info and gift cards: wildernessatthesmokies.com, 877-325-9453

Knoxville concert, comedy tickets

Knoxville concerts set for 2019 will cater to fans of several genres. Here’s a list of some upcoming concerts and comedy shows that still have tickets available, so you can get them for the music fans in your life.

  • Art Garfunkel, 8 p.m. Jan. 18, Bijou Theatre. Tickets: knoxbijou.org
  • Young The Giant, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6, Tennessee Theatre. Tickets: tennesseetheatre.com
  • James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7, Thompson-Boling Arena. Tickets: tbarena.com
  • Coheed and Cambria, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20, Mill & Mine. Tickets: themillandmine.com
  • Shinedown, 7 p.m. Feb. 23, Knoxville Civic Coliseum. Tickets: knoxvillecoliseum.com
  • Dropkick Murphys, 7 p.m. March 9, Mill & Mine. Tickets: themillandmine.com
  • Ron White, 7 p.m. March 30, Tennessee Theatre. Tickets: tennesseetheatre.com
  • Kelsea Ballerini, 7 p.m. April 18, Knoxville Civic Coliseum. Tickets: knoxvillecoliseum.com
  • David Sedaris, 8 p.m. April 18, Bijou Theatre. Tickets: knoxbijou.org

Navitat Knoxville gift certificates

Gift certificates for Navitat Knoxville, an outdoor zip-lining attraction, may appeal to the thrill seekers or outdoor lovers in your family.

Navitat Knoxville is located at Ijams Nature Center, 2915 Island Home Ave. It offers gift certificates, and prices range from $34.95-$44.95.

Info and gift certificates: navitat.com/knoxville-tn

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