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How to Have Fun in Nashville

How to Have Fun in Nashville

It’s the country music capital of the world, rich in culture and fun, and it’s only a quick hour and a half away from the Rocket City. This week, we’ll highlight how to enjoy Nashville with your family, and host a giveaway you won’t want to miss below! Click on the orange titles for each feature’s hours and admission rates.

Nashville Zoo

First stop: the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is a must-see for kids of all ages. It has the biggest Jungle Gym my boys have ever seen, very thoughtfully laid-out grounds, and a new DinoTrek feature ($3 extra zoo admission).

Frist Center’s ArtQuest Gallery

This interactive space of the renowned Frist Center art museum is perfect for kids, and boasts 30 hands-on activities in the Martin ArtQuest Gallery, often called the heart & soul of the Center. Visitors are invited to sketch, paint, create prints, and learn about artistic elements such as texture, color, pattern, and dimension. Kids 18 and under are always FREE! The museum cafe has as election of kid-friendly items on the menu, and there is cool kid’s mementos in the gift shop.

Adventure Science Center

Nashville’s children’s science museum almost needs a full day to enjoy it completely. From the signature Adventure Tower to their latest exhibit, Space Chase, a spectacular two-story high astronaut training and technology center where kids can experiment with space exploration tools and experience 1/6 gravity! The new exhibit, “Science in Toyland”, will be there through September and will delight young and old alike. At night, there are Cosmic Concerts in the Sudekum Planetarium that little ones, older siblings, AND mom & dad will think are “far out”.

Picnic at the Parthenon

If you’ve never seen this full-size replica of the Grecian Parthenon, it stands proudly as the centerpiece of Centennial Park, and includes a recreation of the 42-foot statue of the goddess Athena. There is a small admission, and includes a permanent art collection of 19th and 20th century American artists. Older kids will love that this building was used as the backdrop for the 2010 movie (and popular book series), Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and there are summertime productions of classic Greek plays by local theatre groups.

(Photo by Serge Melki c/o Flickr Creative Commons)

Where to Eat

There is no loss for great food in Nashville, but this post is about travelling with the kids, so we’ll keep our suggestions family-friendly. (However, if you find yourself in a Date Night situation, try Suzy Wong’s House of Yum and order the Asian Wonton Nachos!)

If you’re staying the weekend, you’re likely to see a celebrity or two at the Pancake Pantry for breakfast. Kids love the Rain Forest Cafe and the Aquarium Restaurant at Opry Mills; if you bribe them with it, you might just get some shopping done. Dave & Buster’s downtown is great for families with older kids and/or sports fans. Cheer on the home team (GO DORES!) and grab the best burger of your life at local hole-in-the-wall, Rotier’s. No matter where you go for lunch or dinner, be sure to head to Las Paletas for a once-in-a-lifetime gourmet popsicle dessert.

Other Notable Nashville Destinations

Nashville Shores Waterpark
Grand Ole Opry tours
Catch a show at The Ryman
Antique Archaeology (aka American Pickers)
NashTrash Tours with Sheri Lynn and Brenda Kay

You Might Also Like…

14 Daytrips to Take with Kids From Huntsville
Travelling with Kids series


View Comments (78)
  • Great info! Can’t wait to take the kiddos up and check out some new spots!

  • I am a huge fan of Cheekwood Botanical garden. They have a reciprocal membership program with our botanical garden and many others around the country. Every year they have an amazing installation of some kind. This year they have storybook treehouses designed and built by area architects, last year miniature trains, the year before Dale Chihuly glass sculptures, which was absolutely stunning.

  • I would love to visit Nashville. Haven’t been there in probably 2 years or more.

  • Oh I haven’t been to the Nashville zoo in years! We are huge Nashville lovers and would love to take my 2 little ones to the zoo.

  • Wow! We drive through nashville all the time but never stop. Perhaps we should.

  • Thank you for the info!! Will be hopefully planning a trip before school starts

  • Science Center and Parthenon are great. Haven’t been to the zoo; perhaps a road trip soon before school starts… if the weather cools.

  • We love Nashville Zoo! Thanks for the info! We’ll have to try some new spots on our next trek to Nashville.

  • We took refuge in Nashville during the April 2011 storm aftermath. There was always something to do and plenty of good places to eat. We didn’t get to visit the zoo, that would be a great time!

  • Love going to Nashville! The science center is one of our favorites. Also, Fido’s, just up the street from the pancake pantry, is one of our favorite places to eat.

  • We would love a trip to the Nashville Zoo. We have never taken our 5 & 3 year olds to a zoo before and I think they would LOVE it!!!
    We love Nashville too, it has so many things to offer!!

  • I love Nashville! I have really been wanting to take my 3 year old to the zoo there. I just know she would have a blast!

  • Our kids LOVE the Nashville Zoo, and would love to see the baby giraffe! Thanks so much for all the other info, we have not tried many other attractions in Nashville and these all look like lots of fun!

  • I love Nashville. I have been there several times. However, I have never been to the Zoo. I also wanted to try Pancake Pantry but the line was too far down the street so we walked to a Diner called Noshville which was absolutely just as yummy.

  • Love that you also have some male contributors! Andrew Meyer’s article was fabulous.

  • This is a great list! I’m looking forward to checking out the Science Center.

    • We love the Nashville Zoo, and winning tickets would be awesome! This is a great list you’ve compiled on things to do up there :D.

  • Oops. Didn’t mean to put that as a reply to another comment :P. We love the Nashville Zoo, and winning tickets would be awesome! This is a great list you’ve compiled on things to do up there. “

  • We’ve never been to the Nashville Zoo, so this would be perfect for us!

  • We are huge fans of the Nashville Zoo! This is a great list of other things to do in Nashville!

  • Would love to win tickets for the zoo. My daughter is 6 and doesn’t remember going!

  • I have wanted to take the Grandchildren to the Zoo in Nashville for awhile now. This would be wonderful!!

  • Love, the article! Nashville is my favorite place to visit that’s so close by.

  • This article has some great info about Nashville. Thank you! I’d love to check out the Nashville Zoo with my kids!

  • This Rocket City Dad loves Rocket City Mom (even though a lot of things are geared towards moms! Lol!) and loves the weekend roundups and relevant info including child friendly restaurants! And of course, I love the giveaways!

  • RAfflecopt is not working well with my iPad I have entered by logging into Facebook above and also leaving a comment on the blog, but raffle copter is not registering that I did so…I have also left comment with the error part of the app. Thanks.

  • Great article! We moved here from Nashville, last year…you are making me miss it! LOL I did not know about baby Camilla…so adorable 🙂 Thanks for the eatery ideas-I have never heard of some of those places you mantioned 😉

  • Thanks for the great info on family friendly things to do in Nashville! We love Nashville.

  • Thanks for all of the information! Our family loves to visit Nashville, but we’ve never been to the Nashville Zoo. Looks like we’ll have to take a trip before summer ends!

  • I love giraffes 🙂 We are new to the area and hope to check out the zoo soon!

  • Great article !! Would love to take my kids so we could meet up and visit within cousins who live in Franklin,TN 🙂

  • Great blog post. We love Nashville and look forward to checking into some of these places that we haven’t previously been to before.

  • We love visiting Nashville! Thanks for giving us ideas for a few new things to do.

  • Just entered the giveaway for Nashville zoo tickets!!!! This would be so great for My kids 🙂

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