Nashville: come for the music, stay for the hot chicken.
Contrary to urban legend, you do not have to step foot in a honky tonk to say you’ve really been to Nashville. The infamous Music City boasts a list of things to do, places to go and barbecue to eat that stretches over a country mile. Having kids in tow feels seamless in this family-friendly city, and the options for outings are as plentiful as the Southern hospitality.
When it comes to weather, Nashville has some of the best! The seasons are mild, making wandering the hills of the city and its borders enjoyable all year long. Grown-ups and kids alike will love the charm this guide has to offer as it takes you off the beaten path and deep into an authentic local Nashvillian experience. Looking for some things to do with kids in Nashville? Look no further…
1. Cheekwood Art & Gardens. Home to 12 distinct gardens – including a sculpture trail – Cheekwood merges the vibrance of botanical gardens with a diverse collection of art and exhibits. This is a great place to get some killer photos of your kids surrounded by dozens of fresh blooms. You can grab a bite at their on-site restaurant, Pineapple Room, or order a box lunch to enjoy picnic style on the grounds. (Adults: $14, Children: $7, Kids 2 and under: Free)
2. The Parthenon. A bit of ancient Greece in the middle of the South, The Parthenon sits in the middle of Centennial Park. A replica of the Athenian original, this unique attraction houses 63 permanent paintings in addition to hosting various other shows and exhibits. Running through the large fields of the park and climbing the stairs of The Parthenon will have your kids ready for a good night of hotel sleepin’. (Park: Free; Museum: Adults: $7, Children: $5)
3. Arrington Vineyards. Only a stone’s throw from the city’s southern boarder lies every parent’s dream: a kid-friendly winery. Aside from the delicious wine, Arrington Vineyards offers stunning views, free music (April – November) and plenty of picturesque spots to enjoy your vino while your kids roll down the grassy hills. (Free)
4. Put On The Feed Bag. Nashville’s food scene is exploding with options for your family to try. No way your picky eater is trying chicken so hot it’s called Shut The Cluck Up? Well, at Hattie B’s you can have your hot chicken and plain nuggets too. Next you can cool off your throbbing tongue by grabbing handmade popsicles at Las Paletas. Settle in for a burger and old fashioned sodas at The Pharmacy or authentic Memphis-style BBQ at Peg Leg Porker. DeSano’s pizza is so mind-blowing, you will think your Italian grandmother made it. And you can’t leave town without scarfing down a world famous biscuit – or five – from Loveless Cafe.
5. Radnor Lake. Hiking Lake Radnor is a great way to balance out all the delicious food you have been chowing on around town. Follow one of the trails around the lake or up through the hills and don’t be surprised if a deer or a turtle crosses your path. (Free)
6. The Dirt Pits. The Nature Center at Percy Warner Park is a great place to learn and discover cool facts about the natural environment. It is also home to what locals affectionately refer to as “The Dirt Pits.” There is a special section in the back of the park dedicated to getting dirty. Shovels, toy trucks, buckets, a man-made creek and mounds and mounds of dirt make for hours of mud pie making bliss. (Free)
7. Horseback Riding. Over the creek and through the woods to Natchez Trace you go. Let the friendly horses of Natchez Stables take you on a two-hour trek through the scenic Tennessee countryside. (Call for pricing: 931-682-3706 )
8. The Downtown Riverfront. You will have just as much fun strolling Downtown Nashville with your kids as all those ladies stumbling out of bars with their bachelorette crew. You can hear the live music pumping down Broadway without ever stepping foot in a bar. For a bird’s eye view of the Cumberland River and the downtown skyline, venture across the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. (Free)
9. Cumberland Park. Aside from the great views, the Pedestrian Bridge drops you off at Cumberland Park. Play sets, secret paths, sand boxes and a sprayground will keep you and the kids happy for hours. Note: Sprayground is open May 24-September 1. (Free)
10. Sounds Game. Cheer for the home team while enjoying the Nashville Sounds‘ brand new baseball stadium. Offering Military discounts and Peanut Free Nights, a Sounds game makes for a great afternoon of family fun. (Ticket prices vary, so visit their website for pricing.)
Hope to see y’all soon!