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10 Things to do in Nashville with Kids

Nashville is a city to visit with the family and besides the festivals and music concerts it also has many attractions to enjoy with the kids. Here are the best things to do with the kids.

Matías Rodríguez

Matías Rodríguez

9 min read

10 Things to do in Nashville with Kids

Children in Nashville | ©Michael Rivera

Nashville is a multicultural city that you can discover at any time of the year, whether during the hot summer in the southern United States or the cold winter that bathes the capital of Tennessee in snow, but it is also an ideal destination to tour with the family, especially because there are many attractions that you can enjoy with children.

Among the best things to do in Nashville if you plan to tour the city with kids are touring the Science and Art Museums, experiencing zip lining, participating in marshmallow walks on Owl's Hill, visiting the Mammoth Cave caves and touring the huge Nashville Zoo.

1. Enjoy the Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo| ©Stephen Yeargin
Nashville Zoo| ©Stephen Yeargin

The Nashville Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the southern United States and is characterized by the variety of animals you can find there, as it is home to almost 400 species in the 76 acres of countryside surrounding the 200-year-old house that serves as the center of the zoo and also as a reception area for visitors.

In the zoo you can find giraffes, tigers, kangaroos, a huge aviary, a butterfly house and many other animals, making it an ideal plan if you plan to tour the city with children. Also, if you plan to visit Nashville in April, you can enjoy family week, where you will get discounts for the whole family, who can enter the zoo for the price of one member.

Some zoo activities, such as the train ride or the butterfly garden tour, cost extra, and you can also opt for a guided tour of the walking trails on the grounds to learn about the history of the farm, which until the 18th century was a slave farm outside Nashville.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the zoo is approximately 16 euros.
  • Location... 3777 Nolensville Pk, Nashville.
  • How to get there... 52 bus or the Nashville Sightseeing Bus, which includes a stop at the Zoo.

Reserve skip the line tickets for the Nashville Zoo

2. Experience the Whites Creek Valley zip line experience

Ziplining| ©Nadiia Ganzhyi
Ziplining| ©Nadiia Ganzhyi

If you want to get to know Nashville beyond the city center, music festivals and concerts, museums and halls of fame, you can visit Whites Creek Valley, a region surrounded by forests that is a 15-minute drive from downtown and is one of the main green lungs of Tennessee. There you can admire the views of the valley and also enjoy the Fontanel zip line with the kids.

The Fontanel zip line crosses the valley from end to end and adds a dose of adrenaline to your visit to the city, which is usually characterized by urban activities, away from the adventure circuit. This experience can be done whether you visit Nashville in winter or summer, as it is always available, although in both cases you should be sure to bring the right clothing to take shelter from the cold and heat.

The zip line experience will also give you the opportunity to enjoy the sweeping views of the forest and to contemplate the natural blanket that covers the outskirts of Nashville. You can reach the valley by car or on the 14 and 22 buses.

Details of interest

  • Price... The initial cost of the zip line experience is about $54 per person for adults.
  • Location... Whites Creek Valley, Nashville.
  • How to get there... By car or buses 14 and 22.

Book a zip line experience in Nashville

3. Visit Nashville Shores Water Park

Nashville Shores| ©Dipesh Joshi
Nashville Shores| ©Dipesh Joshi

Nashville Shores is one of the most famous water parks in the southern United States, but it is also an amusement park that includes a dozen water slides, a huge wave pool, a man-made lazy river and Kowabunga Beach, which is a reproduction of a Caribbean island with a tree house and a playground.

This water park which is located on the shores of Percy Priest Lake also includes an adventure park with zip lines, river boat rentals and lodging, so you can also stay at the Nashville Shores hotel. The park is open from March through November and the water attractions are fully operational between May and August, which is the city's peak season.

Nashville Shores is located on the outskirts of the city, so you can get there by public transportation with the Line 6 bus, by car via I-40 E or on the Nashville tour bus, which includes a stop in the Percy Priest area.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the water park has a starting cost of approximately €49 per person.
  • Location... 4001 Bell Rd, Hermitage.
  • Directions... By car, bus #6 or city tour bus.

Book a tour on the Nashville Sightseeing Bus

4. Tour the Nashville Museum of Science

Nashville Museum of Science| ©Tom
Nashville Museum of Science| ©Tom

In downtown Nashville, which is the epicenter of the city's main activities, you will find the Science Museum, which is a research site geared towards children, with themed exhibits and displays and a wide range of activities for the little ones.

At the Science Museum you will find simulators, projections and experiments where children can learn about the human body, outer space and science in general. There are also special exhibits that include videos in the museum's audio theater and other activities that defy gravity or take you on a journey back in time to the age of the dinosaurs.

Interactive exhibits feature biology, astronomy, physics, geology and energy themes, so kids will be amazed by the wide variety of activities. In addition, the museum offers a quick tour, so you can also visit if you are planning a short stay in the city. If that is your case, here is a list of activities so you can discover Nashville in 3 days.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the museum has an approximate initial cost of 18 euros for adults and 12 euros for children up to 12 years old.
  • Location... 800 Fort Negley Blvd, Nashville.
  • How to get there... Buses 8, 52 and 55 or the Nashville Tour Bus.

5. Enjoy traditional movie nights under the stars

Open Air Cinema| ©Nashville Film Festival
Open Air Cinema| ©Nashville Film Festival

If you are planning to visit Nashville in June or during the summer months you can enjoy movie nights under the stars, a very popular tradition in the city that is also part of the U.S. Southern folklore and consists of the projection of movies in different neighborhoods.

You can enjoy the movies under the stars from the car or in the seats located in front of the giant screen and usually cult movies are shown, although there are also some places where children's movies or movies of a particular genre are shown. These shows are ideal for the whole family because they usually also have food and beverage stands and trucks.

You can buy tickets for each of the movies or for a cycle of shows, since during the summer the screenings are repeated every day except during rainy days, which you will have to take into account because during the summer the weather in Nashville is hot but it is also humid and rains are frequent.

Details of interest

  • Price... The initial cost of tickets for each film is 10 euros per person.
  • When... Every year during the summer and in some places also during the spring.
  • Where... In different locations in the city.

6. Participate in the Marshmallow Walks at Owl's Hill

On Owl's Hill| ©David Badke
On Owl's Hill| ©David Badke

Winter is usually very cold in Nashville and most of the activities are indoors, but the winter season also offers the possibility of adventure experiences, such as the Owl's Hill Marshmallow Hike, which seeks to make the most of the natural environment surrounding the city and is an excellent activity to do with the family.

These walks consist of a tour through the trails of the Owl 's Hill Nature Sanctuary, an ecological reserve that contains more than 2000 species of local flora and fauna, and aim to promote the care of the environment and the green spaces of the city. The Marshmallow Walks are so named because at the end they include a bonfire, hot chocolate for participants and marshmallows.

This activity is ideal if you plan to visit Nashville with children and also want to see Owl's Hill. You can also check out the activities offered by the nature preserve in the summer and spring.

Details of interest

  • Price... The entrance fee to participate in the Marshmallow Walk is approximately 10 euros if you book in advance online and 12 euros if you buy tickets on the day of the event.
  • Location... 545 Beech Creek Rd S, Brentwood, Tennessee.
  • How to get there... You can arrive by car or private transportation.

7. Visit the Mammoth Cave Caves on a family tour

Mammoth Cave Caves| ©todd Bostwick
Mammoth Cave Caves| ©todd Bostwick

Mammoth Cave National Park holds the largest cave system ever discovered in the United States and the world and also one of the largest natural attractions in the southern part of the country. You can visit these caves as a family or with children, as the trails are safe and easily walkable.

At Mammoth Cave you can experience rolling hills and deep river valleys, making it also an ecosystem of plant and animal life and an international biosphere reserve. In addition, the national park also offers canoeing, kayaking, boating, horseback riding, bicycle tours and fishing trips.

Mammoth Cave National Park is located in Kentucky, a state bordering Tennessee, about an hour and a half from Nashville by car, so you should be aware that the entire tour can take almost a full day, which may not be advisable if you plan a short stay in the city.

Details of interest

  • Price... Entrance to the park has an initial cost of approximately 25 euros per person.
  • Location... Mammoth Cave, Kentucky.
  • How to get there... You can get there by car or private transportation.

8. Family fun with the Schermerhorn Treasure Hunt

Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville.| ©Michael Li
Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville.| ©Michael Li

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center is home to the Nashville Symphony and each year hosts a fundraising scavenger hunt event where groups have to follow clues to find the treasure hidden in the building.

This activity, which is organized several times a year, especially during the winter and fall, also includes other interactive games in escape rooms and board games, as well as a live musical performance by the Nashville Symphony and members of the Crescendo Club.

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center, which is housed in one of the city's most beautiful buildings, is located downtown, so you can also combine this activity with a visit to some of Nashville's best museums, which are located in the area.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the event has an initial cost of approximately 25 euros per person.
  • Location... Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville.
  • How to get there... Buses 18, 52 and 55 or the Nashville Tour Bus.

9. Attend Nashville Children's Theatre

Nashville Children's Theatre| ©Steve Green
Nashville Children's Theatre| ©Steve Green

One of the best things to do with children in the city is to visit the Nashville Children's Theatre, which each season offers acting classes, puppet shows, premiere performances of children's plays and lecture series.

The Children's Theatre is one of Nashville's main attractions and offers activities throughout the year, always appropriate to the age group and at different times of the day, so you can choose shows at whatever time you visit.

Nashville Children's Theatre is also a non-profit organization, so it actively collaborates in the city's charitable events, organizes donations and also donates a portion of its income to charity.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the children's shows has an initial cost of approximately 10 euros per person.
  • Location... 25 Middleton St, Nashville.
  • How to get there... Buses 18, 52 and 55.

Book tickets for Opry Mills Escape Rooms

10. Visit the Frist Art Museum

Frist Art Museum| ©taigatrommelchen
Frist Art Museum| ©taigatrommelchen

The Frist Art Museum is one of the most famous museums in the city and with its temporary exhibitions it is in charge of presenting in the city the works of Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, René Magritte and many other outstanding artists. This museum also organizes activities such as Family Mondays, which you can visit if you plan to visit Nashville in February

During Family Mondays in February, all members of the family can enter the museum for the cost of a single ticket, so it is ideal if you plan to visit Nashville with children. In addition, this event includes special programming for the little ones, such as theater series, storytelling and interactive guided tours.

Interactive guided tours of the museum's rooms for children are available year-round, so you can enjoy the Frist as a family no matter what time of year you visit.

Interesting details

  • Price... Admission to the museum has an initial cost of approximately 15 euros for adults. During Mondays in January the whole family can enter for the cost of a single ticket.
  • Location... 919 Broadway, Nashville.
  • How to get there... Buses 3, 7 and 8 and the Nashville Tour Bus.