6 Things To Do In Nashville With And Without Kids
From great food to nonstop live music and world-famous attractions, Nashville, Tennessee has it all. There is so much to do in Nashville that planning a trip can be overwhelming. Here are 6 things to do in Nashville with and without kids to help narrow down your activity choices!
Things To Do In Nashville With Kids
1. Visit The Adventure Science Center
Come discover science as a whole family at Middle Tennessee’s premier learning center. This 44,000 square foot Science Center has more than 175 hands-on exhibits and a Planetarium. There are traveling and 17 permanent exhibits, including an Adventure Tower (more than 75 feet tall with an observation deck at the top providing beautiful views of the city), Body Quest (learn how your organs work), and Space Chase (with a Star Walk).
Tickets: General Admission is $15.95 for adults/teens and $11.95 for children.
Hours of Operation: 10 AM-5 PM
2. Go To The Nashville Zoo
Animals, nature, and fun converge at the Nashville Zoo. It is home to 365 types of animals including a Red Kangaroo, Two-Toed Sloth, Caribbean Flamingo, Snowy Owl, White-Blotched River Stingray, and two Red Panda cubs. Best of all, you can get up close to some of these animals at the Zoo’s “Critter Encounters”!
Tickets: Adults and teens are $16, children are $11, and children under 2 get in free. Military members receive $1 off admission for everyone in their party. Parking is $5 per vehicle.
Hours of Operation: 9 AM-4 PM (October 13-March 9), 9 AM-6 PM (March 10-October 11)
3. Shop At Opry Mills
Opry Mills is home to more than 200 stores including Bass Pro Shops, Boot Barn, Bose, Disney Outlet, J.Crew Factory, kate spade new york, Michael Kors Outlet, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, and Vera Bradley. A few dining options at Opry Mills are the Aquarium Restaurant, Rain Forest Cafe, Chuy’s, and Macaroni Grill. Finish your day at Opry Mills by visiting Madame Tussauds Wax attraction, playing games at Dave and Buster’s, or seeing a movie at the Regal theater.
Hours of Operation: 10 AM-9 PM
4. Walk Around Centennial Park
132 acres in Nashville’s West End neighborhood make up Centennial Park. This premier park is home to the Parthenon, a walking trail, dog park, historical monuments, and more. Lots of free events are held here every year. Take this opportunity to eat at a local food truck, often parked here on the weekends.
Hours of Operation: 7 AM-11 PM
5. Tour The Country Music Hall Of Fame And Museum
Dive into the world of Country Music starting with the genre’s origins spanning to today. Referred to as the “Smithsonian of Country Music”, it is home to 350,000 square feet of artifacts. This is a must do for all Country Music fans!
Read about our visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame here.
Tickets: General Admission is $24.95 for adults, $14.95 for children 6 to 12, free for children 5 and under, $21.50 for the military, and $22.50 for seniors, students, and AAA members.
Hours of Operation: 9 AM-5 PM
6. Explore Opryland
The Gaylord Opryland Resort is one of the largest hotels in the world, with more than 2800 rooms. Although staying at Opryland is a vacation within itself, Nashville visitors should check out this massive complex. There are four areas to explore full of shopping and dining options plus nine acres of indoor gardens complete with a waterfall and two water fountain shows (taking place from 6 to 9 PM). Make the most of your visit by taking the Riverboat Tour where you will learn about Opryland’s history and some fun facts about the hotel.
Tip: Don’t pay Opryland’s high parking fees. Park outside of the movie theater at Opry Mills and follow the green awnings across the parking lot to the hotel. It’s free!
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Things To Do In Nashville Without Kids
1. Attend A Titans, Sounds, or Predators Game
There is no shortage of sporting events in Nashville! The Tennessee Titans are the city’s NFL pro football team playing at Nissan Stadium from August to December. See Nashville’s minor league baseball team, the Nashville Sounds (Triple-A Affiliate of the Oakland Athletics), play in April to September at First Tennessee Park. From October to April, Bridgestone Arena is home to the NHL pro ice hockey team, the Nashville Predators. During the 2016-2017 hockey season, the Predators went to the Stanley Cup Finals for the very first time.
Are you a fan of Major League Soccer? Nashville is getting an MLS team soon!
2. Explore 12South
You can find it all in the 12South neighborhood: restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. Have a margarita at bartaco, a burger from Burger Up, “Jack’s Best Chicken” at The Flipside, or coffee at Frothy Monkey. Be sure to stop in Draper James (Reese Witherspoon’s store) and take a picture with the I Believe In Nashville Mural.
3. Have A Delicious Seafood Dinner At Fin & Pearl
Fin & Pearl is “Nashville’s first fresh seafood restaurant committed to sustainable and traceable sourcing, Earth-friendly operations, and providing an approachable dining experience served with Southern hospitality.” The menu includes a little bit of everything (oysters, tuna, shrimp, lobster, caviar, octopus, jambalaya, pasta, scallops, beef tenderloin, and pork chops) while the drink menu features wine, craft beer, and cocktails. Best of all, your food is served super fast; you will not tie up your whole evening at dinner.
Read about our visit to Fin & Pearl here.
4. Bar Hop In Midtown
The most popular bars in Nashville are on lower Broadway, in the heart of downtown Nashville. They are also the most crowded. Opt for bars in Midtown, just a few minutes from Downtown, with far fewer people. Most popular spots are along Division Street: Winners, Losers, Rebar, Kung Fu Saloon, and Whiskey Rhythm.
Tip: Take a taxi, Lyft, or Uber. Parking is pricey.
5. See A Show At The Ryman Auditorium
The Ryman Auditorium is “where bluegrass was born, where Johnny Cash met June Carter, where souls were saved and a slice of history was nearly lost.” It is a US National Historic Landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places, and the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. Today, the “Mother Church of Country Music” hosts Grand Ole Opry shows from November through January. What better way to experience the Ryman than by being part of what put it on the map: live Country Music.
Tickets: Prices vary by performance. Click here for the performance schedule.
6. Stop By The Music Row Happy Hour
On Fridays, head to Nashville’s Margaritaville from 3 to 7 PM when Buzz Brainard hosts a live SiriusXM broadcast on “The Highway” (channel 56) known as the Music Row Happy Hour. You will be immersed in a sea of Country Music fans and may be picked to talk on the air with Buzz. Plus, Country Music stars regularly stop by; you never know who you will see!
Tip: Get there early. People generally start lining up outside an hour before.
Nashville Is A Great Vacation Destination
I hope these 6 things to do in Nashville with and without kids help you plan your visit. Whether you are coming to Nashville for a whole week or only 48 hours, you are sure to have a great time!
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Taylor Pittman Hardy wrote this article.
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