Family-friendly events

Our events provide welcome relief and enrichment for children with special needs, their families, and caregivers

Our Events

Check out our annual family events & fundraisers below!

Families: please ask your Service Coordinator and/or Developmental Therapist for more information about these events.

Easter Egg Hunt

Held at Mane Support Horse Farm in Rockwood, TN, this accessible egg hunt is open to people of all ages (and their friends and family) in the special needs community.

Saturday, April 1, 2023 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Sponsored by:

Knoxville Zoo Day

Zoo Knoxville plays host to hundreds of families in the special needs community as they enjoy fellowship, animal watching, a picnic lunch in the pavilion, and more zoo fun!

Saturday, April 22, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sponsored by:

Chandler Farm Day

Specifically for people of all ages who are deaf or hard of hearing (and their friends and family), this day on the farm features train rides, farm animals, games, food and homemade ice cream.

Saturday, April 29, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sponsored by:

Tennessee Smokies Baseball

Take me out to the ballgame! We treat families to a night out at the ballpark to cheer on the Tennessee Smokies. Batter up!

Sunday, May 28, 2023 – Game begins at 2 p.m.

Sponsored by:


Parents’ Day Out

Parents can enjoy a time of respite while their children are entertained and cared for by a group of trained volunteers in a safe and welcoming environment.


Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Always a popular event, families can spend the day perusing all the marine wonders housed at this amazing facility in Gatlinburg.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Sponsored by:

Axle Logistics, Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, Palmetto Homes, Tennessee State Bank, Workshop Tools, and Performance Foods

A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

Deep Well Farm in Lenoir City plays host to this fall favorite, featuring hay ride, games, and spectacular playground!

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Sponsored by:

Rudolph’s Remix at Fantasy of Trees

Children with special needs can enjoy the holiday magic of Fantasy of Trees in a sensory-friendly setting before public hours.

Sunday, November 26, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Christmas Movie Experience

The annual screening of a Christmas movie classic is open to people of all ages (and their friends and family) in the special needs community. Wear your jammies and enjoy giveaways and refreshments with Santa.

Friday, December 15, 2023 from 6 to 9 p.m.

FUNDRAISER: Bill Williams Charity Fishing Tournament

Hosted by the Greater Knoxville Sertoma, this tournament sees anglers from near and far gather on area lakes to show their skill in landing the largest haul.

Saturday, April 1, 2023 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

FUNDRAISER: Mother’s Day Campaign

Purchase our specially commissioned Mother’s Day card for your mom and all the special women in your life. This year’s card was designed by Derrick Freeman, a local self-taught artist with autism. (Visit his website at All proceeds benefit the organization. Remember, Mother’s Day is May 14! See our brochure for more details.

April and May 2023

Send a message of love while supporting the babies – order our 2023 card today!

2nd ANNUAL! Family Encouragement Conference

Established by a generous gift from the Formall Company in honor of Karen Hollingsworth, this event will be a day when families will come away with a renewed sense of hope and with information to best help them to help their child with special needs. Encouragement is defined as “The act of giving someone support, confidence, and hope,” which embodies what Karen Hollingsworth’s life was all about.

Saturday, August 19, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

FUNDRAISER: Lindsey Nelson Golf Tournament

Sponsored by the Concord-Farragut Sertoma, this annual scramble is held at Dead Horse and honors the life of late local sports broadcaster Lindsey Nelson.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Dead Horse Lake Golf Course

FUNDRAISER: Celebrate Sound Walk

Held in conjunction with Greater Knoxville Sertoma, this event highlights preventable hearing loss and raises money for organizations that help the hearing impaired.

Sunday, September 17, 2023 from 2 to 5 p.m. at UT Gardens


Our signature fundraising event brings people together for a seated dinner and live auction set to mellow jazz tunes. Check out all the details coming soon.

Thursday, September 28, 2023 from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Foundry

How to Participate

If you are a family served by Tennessee’s Early Intervention System, simply enroll for any of our events directly through your TEIS Service Coordinator or Early Interventionist. All of our family events are provided at no cost to families. Please email us with questions and we hope to see you soon!

What Are Friends For?

Our organization exists to provide a bedrock of support to babies and young children with special needs, their families and caregivers, and the professionals who serve them. We work side by side with early intervention programs to fill in the gaps and provide assistance that a family with specific, urgent needs often just can’t get anywhere else. Family-focused events provide welcome relief and enrichment to children with special needs and those who love them.

Events need volunteers!

Whether the event is designed for family enjoyment or to raise much-needed funds to support our programs, all our events require volunteers to ensure they run smoothly.

A few hours of time can make a huge difference in the life of a special child. Email us to learn more or click the link below to volunteer for the events of your choice!