Family Living

Top 10 Things to Do with Young Kids in Nashville

Family Living | August 20, 2018

Nashville has always been known as a friendly, music-loving town. But lately, it’s become known as one of the best cities in America to live and raise a family. Whether you are looking for a great adventure or a hands-on educational experience, Music City provides a symphony of options.

Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in Nashville

If you’re looking to spend a day exploring Nashville with your little ones, here are ten family-friendly places we’d recommend:

  1. Run, Jump, and Play at Nashville’s Beautiful ParksNashville has a lot of great parks and greenspaces for families, but Fannie Mae Dees Dragon Park is by far the most popular for young kids. Your kids will get a kick out of playing on and running under the tiled mosaic dragon sculpture rising from the ground. There’s a picnic shed and other playground equipment as well. Kids will also enjoy Cumberland Park along Nashville’s riverfront, with unique play structures and water features. Other popular, family-friendly parks are Bicentennial Mall and Centennial Park.
  2. Ignite Your Imagination at The Adventure Science CenterNashville’s Adventure Science Center is all about one thing: igniting your little ones curiosity. With exhibits and content geared to engage kids between the ages of 3 and 11, your little ones will love the interactive experience of learning more about Earth Science, Creativity, and Innovation, Sound and Light, Air and Space, Health, and Energy.
  3. Get Lost in a Good Story at Parnassus BooksMcKay’s Books, or a Public LibraryIf you’re looking to ignite your little one’s imagination through reading, there are a lot of great options for you in Nashville. Each branch of the Nashville Public Library hosts reading programs throughout the week that are designed for specific age ranges. Located in Green Hills, Parnassus Books hosts a weekly story time for young minds. At McKay’s Books, you can go on a treasure hunt for inexpensive, gently-used books, movies, music, and even board games and puzzles.
  4. Dance and Dine at Plaza MariachiIf you’re looking for a great place to spend an early evening with friends over dinner, look no further than Plaza Mariachi. The food court provides a great space for kids to eat and play. There’s live music and entertainment almost every night. There’s also an indoor play place and game room for your little ones to explore.
  5. Play Ball (or Golf) at a Nashville Sounds GameFirst Tennessee Park is one of the most popular minor league stadiums in the country—in large part because of the family friendly activities they provide. Enjoy the game while sitting on the Berm, a grassy area perfect for families, or play putt-putt during the game. There’s a free fireworks show during Friday games, and kids can run the bases during Sunday home games.
  6. Get Up Close and Personal with Animals at the Nashville Zoo at GrassmereThe Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is a great place to spend the afternoon with your little ones. Not only can you see over 339 different species of animals, but the zoo provides interactive opportunities for your kids to brush a goat at Critter Encounters, walk with the turtles, and pet a kangaroo at Kangaroo Kickabout. Kids can also explore the Wilderness Express Train, Wild Animal Carousel, and Jungle Gym, which is the nation’s largest community-built playground. Bonus: A zoo membership has lots of great perks, and you’ll quickly learn that it is well worth the value.
  7. Experience a New World at Nashville Children’s TheaterNashville Children’s Theatre provides a season of plays for kids and families by professional adult actors. The theatre was ranked as one of the Top 5 children’s theatres in the U.S. by TIMEmagazine and has specific performances designed for newborns through age five.
  8. Spend a Rainy Day at Opryland Hotel and Opry Mills Mall. Opryland Hotel and Opry Mills Mall are both great places to spend a rainy day with the family. Toddlers will enjoy exploring the hotel’s garden conservatory or boat ride on the delta river. Head over to the Opry Mills next door to shop or enjoy a unique family-friendly dinner experience at The Aquarium or Rainforest Cafe.
  9. Experience Everything Fall has to Offer at Gentry’s FarmConnect your kids with the beauty and importance of farming by visiting the farm during its “open” season every fall. Gentry’s opens to the public every weekend during the fall to celebrate autumn’s bounty with pumpkins, a four-acre corn field maze, hayrides, a pretend farmers market, farm animal petting zoo, tire swings, and much more.
  10.  Spend a Sunday Afternoon at “Music In the Vines” at Arrington VineyardsAny Nashville activity list is incomplete without a little bit of music. We obviously wouldn’t recommend taking your toddlers to the downtown Nashville Honky Tonks, however, Music in the Vines is a great alternative. Enjoy live music every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May through November. Parents can sip on some Arrington Vineyard wines while kids dance to the music and enjoy a picnic on the vineyard’s hillside lawn.

These ten attractions are just a few of the reasons Nashville is an amazing place to raise a family. If you’re a young family in the Nashville area, be sure to like the Facebook pages of our four Nashville-area schools—The Gardner School of Nashville-MidtownThe Gardner School of NashvilleThe Gardner School of Brentwood, and The Gardner School of Franklin—for new and exciting activities for your kids. You can also learn more about the specific enrichment programs and summer programs at each of our Nashville campuses here.