With a wealth of mountains, tourist attractions and entertainment options, Tennessee offers a variety of fun things to do with youth groups. While traditional amusement parks and white-water rafting make great outings for young people, also check out alternatives to create memorable experiences for your group.
Give your young group the chance of engaging in community service activities, which can be entertaining in a different sense. Contact Volunteer Tennessee (volunteertennssee.net), Hands On Nashville (hon.org) or the United Way to connect your group with local volunteer activities. Consider partnering with Habitat for Humanity to help with local building projects or spend a week volunteering at Youth Villages (youthvillages.org) in west Tennessee. Young people will enjoy helping others and learn valuable life lessons.
Hold a youth retreat for a weekend during the school year or a week during the summer at one of Tennessee's many retreat or conference facilities. Mountain Lake Ranch (group resort.com), a Christian retreat and campground, offers lodges, cabins and camping options for groups. During the retreat, young people may choose to fish, play volleyball, enjoy Douglas Lake or build a campfire. Smoky Mountain Christian Village (tsmcv.org) offers chalets for youth groups to rent, a paintball course, a challenge course and nature trails. The retreat center sits across from Dollywood Amusement Park.
Tennessee offers a wealth of outdoor activities. Spend a day exploring nature at one of the numerous state parks or hiking at a local mountain. Plan a camping trip to spend more time bonding as a youth group. For a more adventurous activity, go white-water rafting. Quest Expeditions (questexpeditions.com) offers white-water rafting on the Ocoee River and has discounted rates for youth groups. Or spend a day at ZORB (zorb.com) in the Smoky Mountains, where young people can navigate in a "zorb," which is a large inflatable globe in which you roll downhill.
For a more traditional activity, visit a local amusement park. Dollywood (dollywood.com), named for the country singer Dolly Parton, offers roller coasters and other rides for all ages and a wide variety of live shows. Lake Winnepesaukah (lakewinnie.com) in Chattanooga offers a smaller, family-friendly amusement park with traditional rides, including an antique carousel. Nashville Shores Water Park (nashvilleshores.com) offers group rates and discounted park tickets as well as private picnic areas.