Heading to Nashville any time soon? You’re in luck! It’s my hometown, and there’s lots I’d love to show y’all!
Nashville is a pretty special city; rich in musical legacy, brimming with cultural heritage, and certainly not lacking in everyday fun stuff to do with the kids!
I’ve culled the best of the best for y’all visitors to Nashville; you’re certain to find plenty of destinations you and the kids in your life will love.
1. Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry isn’t just the longest-running radio show in the United States; it is also a destination. In fact, it’s an entire entertainment compound honoring country music traditions, both old and new. Since 1925 the Opry has been an American phenomenon; no trip to Nashville is complete without a visit to “country’s most famous stage.” Read more about the Grand Ole Opry.
2. General Jackson Showboat
Climb aboard this 19-century 300-foot riverboat and take in concerts and shows, feast in one of the multiple dining rooms, ramble around the four decks…all while taking in the lovely Cumberland River scenery. There are daytime cruises that might be more suitable for younger kids timing-wise, plus there are often comedic puppet shows to delight little ones. Older kids will likely enjoy it any of the grand shows. Click here to read more about General Jackson Showboat.
3. Jacks Bar B Que
No trip to Nashville is complete without some slow-cooked BBQ. Jack’s tagline is “A Taste of Nashville since 1976” and The New York Times says its, “served by the friendliest folks in town.” It’s a favorite amongst locals, and is sure to make any BBQ lover, young or old, leave with a full and happy belly. Click here to read more about Jack’s Bar-B-Que.
4. Nashville Children’s Theater
Formed in 1931, the Nashville Children’s Theatre has undergone many incarnations. Today it is a professional theatre company serving the community and providing theatrical performances and experiences for people of all ages. The oldest professional theatre company in the US, and a non-profit to boot, this is a wonderful family destination. Click here to read more about Nashville Children’s Theatre.
5. Adventure Science Center
Creating opportunities for children to learn and have fun is the focus of the Adventure Science Center. The rotating schedule of exhibits mix a child’s natural love of play and their inquisitive natures with familiar characters and real-world experiences. Read more about the Adventure Science Center.
6. Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Nashville Zoo isn’t just interactive habitats, instructional keeper talks, and educational animal shows…although it does have all of these, to the delight of it’s visitors. The grounds also have the Historic Croft Home, which are available for guided tours, a 66,000 square foot playground, a festive carousel, and the beloved Wilderness Express train to take you on a journey throughout the zoo. Better yet, the Nashville Zoo is committed to conservation and species survival.Read more about the Nashville Zoo here.
7. Country Music Hall of Fame
Nashville is a city which is proud of it’s musical foundations. From the fiddle tunes of the 1700’s, to today’s high profile country artists and production studios, Nashville has been in the center of the scene. The Country Music tells the story of the past two centuries, and the experience starts as you walk up to the building’s magnificent and dramatic facade. It’s sure to please any music lover. Click here to read more about the Country Music Hall of Fame.
8. Frist Center for the Visual Arts
Kids 18 and under are always FREE! This family friendly art museum isn’t your average museum. Not only is it a hub for Nashville’s art scene, it also has interactive stations that allow visitors to learn and explore art through activity. People of all ages can create prints, paint in watercolors, make collages, and a host of other activities in the 30 stations. Click here to read more about Frist Center for the Arts.
9. Franklin on Foot
About half an hour from Nashville, these guided tours give you a glimpse into the the history of Franklin’s beautiful buildings, and the people who lived in them. Interested in something more entertaining? Look into their themed offerings, such as Haunted Franklin, or- for the kids- I Spy Downtown Franklin. Click here to read more about Franklin on Foot.
10. Belle Meade Plantation
Want to see a true antebellum plantation, and learn about the history of the time and the lives of its inhabitants…both the wealthy landowners and the many laboring slaves? Belle Meade Plantation is 30 acres full of rich historical facts, brought to life by guides in costumes. Read more about the Belle Meade Plantation.
11. The Parthenon
Yes, the Parthenon. To scale. Goosebumps, right? Built in 1897 for Tennessee’s Centennial Expo, this building has some historical humph of its own. And lucky visitors are allowed to step inside THIS Parthenon, as it houses the City of Nashville’s art museum. Take that, Athens. Click here to read more about Nashville’s Parthenon.
12. Nashville Music City
Nashville Music City isn’t a physical destination in and of itself, but instead a unique resource for anyone visiting (or, really, living in or near) Nashville. Offering up-to-date attractions and events, its the go-to site to find out what is happening. Read more about Nashville Music City.