Nashville, the capital of Tennessee, is a great place to visit, no matter what you like to do. Of course, Music City is the home of country music, and you'll never run out of live music and festivals that cater to a wide range of tastes. Peer beyond the legendary Grand Ole Opry, and you'll find that Nashville has lots to offer families, too.
Nashville is the cultural hub of Tennessee as well as being its capital, and one of the top cultural destinations in the south of the US. The best museums in Nashville explore country music (of course!), the history of Tennessee, and even the world of European sports cars. But if your kids aren't the type to enjoy a visit to a museum, don't worry. There are plenty more fun activities in and around the city that they are sure to like.
Traveling with the family usually means traveling heavy. You can make things easier on yourself by dropping off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Nashville. Traveling light will make it much easier to get around the city and explore all the fun family activities there are to do here.
Adventure Science Center
When you're looking for family-friendly things to do in Nashville with kids, you can't go wrong with this impressive science center. The Adventure Science Center occupies a three-story building that is packed with interactive exhibits that will explain the natural world and educate your kids in a fun and engaging way. Plus, chances are good you'll learn something yourself, making your trip to Music City an educational one as well as a fun one. Don't miss the astronomy show at the Sudekum Planetarium, or the flight simulator that lets you fly a plane without leaving the ground. Young kids will also be able to burn off some energy on the adventure tower, where they can climb through a beating heart.
If you're looking for outdoor fun on your trip to Nashville, Centennial Park is hard to beat. Home to a stunning replica of the Parthenon in Athens, the park is one of Nashville's top tourist attractions. It's also a great place to let the kids play and burn off some energy. There's a duck pond where you can feed friendly waterfowl and a bandshell that often hosts puppet shows, movies, and other family-friendly entertainment. You'll even find an arts activity center, and the expansive lawns of the park make a fantastic place for a picnic. You could even pick up some delicious food from the many food trucks nearby so you can enjoy some of the city's best cuisine, then let the kids burn off the energy playing in the park.
Old Town Trolley Tours
Nashville is a city rich in history, from its earliest founding to its role in the Civil War to its evolution into a city of music and culture that is a jewel of the South. You can learn more about this intriguing history in a fun way with Old Town Trolley Tours. You can stay on the trolley for the full 90 minutes as it whisks you through Music City, showing you the top sights, including Music Row, Broadway, and the Ryman Auditorium. Alternatively, you can hop off the trolley at any of its 14 stops to explore by yourself, then hop back on whenever you feel like it. It's a great way to get around the city, and you'll learn a lot about downtown Nashville and its history while still having fun.
Nashville Shores Waterpark and Treetop Adventure Park
Keeping the kids entertained can sometimes feel like a full-time job, but you'll have a much easier time of it if you take them to Nashville Shores. This waterpark is a great place to beat the heat of a Tennessee summer, and the treetop adventure park is an incredible place for kids of all ages to play. The waterpark offers a wave pool, a lazy river, and a sandy beach where you can relax no matter what the weather is doing outside. For more of a thrill, kids can take a banana boat ride on the lake. Meanwhile, the Treetop Adventure Park offers zip lines and rope courses through a forest of trees, and the suspended bridges and Tarzan swings will keep kids occupied for hours.
Country Music Hall of Fame
The Country Music Hall of Fame is located right in downtown Nashville and is one of the city's top attractions. For fans of country music, this is almost a site of pilgrimage, and even those with less of an interest in this art form will find the exhibits fascinating. It's also a good place to bring the kids, especially if they are fans of country. But even if they're not, the Hall of Fame offers lots of family-friendly programming to keep kids entertained. For example, kids can draw and decorate their own stage costumes in the Taylor Swift exhibit, and older kids can learn about songwriting to nurture their own musical talents.
Nashville Ghost Tour
Nashville has had a long and turbulent history, and you can learn more about this history in an exciting way on a Nashville ghost tour. Guides in historic costumes will lead you through the parts of Music City known for paranormal activity, and you'll hear blood-chilling tales from the city's past that will bring history to life in an unforgettable way. The tour may be a little scary for younger kids, but older children will no doubt get a thrill from the dark tales of the past, and you'll also get to see some of the city's top attractions such as the Tennessee State Capitol and the Ryman Auditorium. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the stories themselves are well worth the price of admission, making this one of the most fun ways to explore downtown Nashville and have some family fun.
No matter what city you go to, if you're looking for family-friendly attractions, the zoo is a reliable option. Nashville Zoo is no exception. Home to nearly 400 different species of animals, Nashville Zoo offers an encounter with the wild that will entertain kids of all ages. As well as getting to meet exotic animals, the zoo boasts a Wilderness Express Train that is great for young kids. DinoTrek allows you to wander through an enclosure of animatronic dinosaurs, making this the closest thing you're likely to get to a real Jurassic Park. There's also a petting zoo and an amazing playground, so the zoo is definitely worth the price of admission on a family vacation to Nashville.
See a Baseball Game
Nashville isn't known as Music City for nothing, and local baseball team the Nashville Sounds lean into the musical theme with their name and their guitar-shaped scoreboard. A baseball game is a great thing to do in Nashville with kids and is something the entire family can enjoy. Watch the Nashville Sounds take on visiting Minor League teams and enjoy some authentic ballpark hotdogs, and you'll be taking part in a classic American pastime and seeing the stars of tomorrow play their sport. It's also cheaper to see a Minor League baseball game than it is to watch local hockey team the Nashville Predators, for example. Then again, if that's what you or the kids are into, that's a good option for family fun too.
Nashville Children's Theater
Run by a nonprofit organization, Nashville Children's Theater runs acting classes and drama camps where kids can explore their creative side and develop new talents. They also stage family-friendly plays, which are a great way to spark an interest in the performing arts in your kids. Keep an eye on their website to see the schedule of programs and plays. There's bound to be something to keep your kids entertained, and there's a good chance you'll have a lot of fun yourself.
With a nickname like Music City, you would expect Nashville to be a great place to experience live music. And you'd be right. The city is absolutely full of music venues, and no matter when you visit, you'll be able to see live music from a variety of genres.
But one of the best ways to experience Nashville's rich cultural heritage is not by visiting the many music venues, but by experiencing one of Nashville's regular music festivals. Experience live music out in the open along with some of the city's best food trucks and other entertainment, and you'll be experiencing the best of Music City's cultural life.
One of the top Nashville music festivals to visit with kids is Musicians Corner, which takes place in Centennial Park every weekend through the summer. Along with music, you'll find local artisans and food trucks, and there's even Kidsville, an outdoor play area and learning center where kids can enjoy arts and crafts and burn off some energy. And best of all, Musicians Corner is completely free and is funded solely by donations, making it one of the best free things to do in Nashville.
Line Dancing Class
Nashville is the home of country music, after all. And what says country louder than line dancing? Line dancing lessons are a great way to have fun with the kids, and the regimented steps are relatively easy to follow for people of all ages. A line dancing class lets your kids stay active and enjoy Music City in a memorable way, and who knows? Maybe you'll discover a new love of country music yourself.
Gaylord Opryland Resort
This gigantic resort has a lot to recommend it to families looking for fun in Nashville. It features a river where you can take a boat ride past Delta Island, along with some stunning waterfalls and a garden conservatory. Of course, you'll also find live music here, and lots of quirky stores where you can wander and pick up some souvenirs. If you visit around Christmas time, this is also one of the best places in Nashville to see some stunning Christmas lights, when the resort turns into a festive village. But whenever you visit, you'll find plenty to do at this resort and convention center. And astonishingly, it's free to get in. You don't even need to be staying at the hotel, making this a fantastic way to stretch your budget on a family trip to Nashville.
The Frist Art Museum is the best place in Nashville to enjoy fine art. And while an art gallery may not sound like the best place to bring your kids, you may be surprised by how much the Frist Center offers. For start, admission is free for anyone under 18. More importantly, the Frist is home to the Martin Artquest Gallery. This is a child-friendly creative space that is all about interaction. Kids can try their hand at painting, animation, sculpture, and lots of other art forms. It's a fantastic way to spend some time being creative and getting a hands-on appreciation of art in Nashville. Don't miss the interactive exhibits that are sure to keep your kids entertained at this impressive attraction.
What are the best family activities in Nashville?
The best things to do in Nashville will depend on what you and your kids most enjoy doing. Nashville Shores Waterpark is an excellent way to beat the heat, and kids are bound to enjoy the water slides and rides here and at the attached Treetop Adventure Park. Alternatively, if you're looking to nurture your children's creativity, the Frist Center has an incredible interactive art gallery where they can explore their artistic side. And Musicians Corner in Centennial Park offers a free and fun way for both you and your children to enjoy Nashville's incredible music scene.
Ultimately, whatever you choose to do in Nashville, you'll find the options for family fun almost limitless. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage and get ready to enjoy a family vacation that neither you nor your children are likely to forget anytime soon.