While Nashville is well known for being Music City and boasting attractions that pay homage to the music history in the area, it is also a great destination for kids. With a variety of activities to check out, it makes Nashville a fantastic family vacation spot. From local zoos to fully immersive science attractions, you simply can’t go wrong with a trip to Nashville.
If you’re planning a trip, you’ve got a plethora of attractions that will provide fun for the whole family. Check out historic monuments, museums and more if you’re looking for an educational experience. Keep it light and fun at Nashville Zoo and Nashville Shores Theme Park.
There is something for everyone at this exciting music-revolved destination, all while including a little dose of Nashville culture in each attraction. This comprehensive list of things to do with kids in Nashville will help you to plan your dream family vacation, guaranteeing excitement and adventure for all ages!
1. Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Who doesn’t love a trip to the zoo when you’re on vacation? This family friendly activity is certain to provide fun and entertainment for all ages on your trip to Nashville. Enjoy the great outdoors as you embark on trails and trails of animal habitats.
Boasting over 350 species to marvel at, you will not only love the experience, but you might learn a thing or two about these incredible animals, brought in from all over the world.
Your children will love exploring the many habitats, checking out the Kangaroo Kickabout and Lorikeet Landing. Enjoy the carousel, zip line and jungle gym once you’ve finished adventuring the animal attractions. You can easily make this a whole day for the entire family!
2. Nashville Shores
If you’re looking for a bit of a thrill and a great way to cool down, Nashville Shores has got you covered. Enjoy some good old waterpark fun with the whole family when you head to Nashville!
Located outside of the city, this incredible attraction boasts something for all ages. Head to the waterslides for excitement or cruise the lazy river for rest and relaxation. Mimic a trip to the beach at the wave pool and just enjoy some fun in the sun.
Whether you’re 6 or 46, a waterpark never gets old. You can make it a whole daytrip and even eat on-site if you plan on spending most of your day there. Both the kids and the adults will thoroughly enjoy this thrill seekers dream.
Related Read: 20 BEST Black-Owned Restaurants in Nashville, TN
3. Grand Ole Opry
This historic landmark and attraction are the whole reason Nashville is the music city it is today. Famous for its longstanding country music performances, the Grand Ole Opry is a great destination for the whole family.
Get a real taste of Nashville and get a backstage tour of the place. This guided tour will talk about the history of the house, its rising stars and grand performances in the past. If you’re lucky they will be playing a show when you visit and you can experience the magic of this music attraction firsthand.
Ticket prices will vary. While it’s an all-ages attraction, ages six and up may appreciate the history part a bit more than the younger crowd.
4. Cumberland Park
Ready for a calm outdoor excursion? If you’re looking to tire the kids out and enjoy some fresh air, hit Cumberland Park, a popular attraction in downtown Nashville.
Adults can enjoy perfect water views while kids can hang out in the playground. From the mazes to the splash pad, kids can easily spend hours here enjoying all they have to offer.
Take a break from the busy city life and get some fun in the sun when you visit Cumberland Park. Take a stroll along the river or just hang out on a park bench enjoying the scenery. This all-ages attraction is sure to keep everyone busy and content.
Related Read: 42 Things to Do in Nashville
5. Centennial Park
Looking to get a worldly experience without leaving the states? Before Nashville became the music attraction of the world, it was known for being called the “Athens of the South.” This park proudly mimics a small trip to Greece.
This park boasts a life-size replica of the Parthenon and includes the golden statue of Athena as well. You will love the architectural beauty and the history of this lovely park. While the little kids might not appreciate the history, the park itself is a great place for kids to have fun.
Explore the park by hiking the trails or sitting by the lake. Sometimes you just need a little outdoor excursion to unwind. This one just happens to include a real “other world” feel to it.
6. Nashville Sounds Game
Take me out to the ball game! Grab the whole family and check out Nashville’s Minor League Baseball Team, The Nashville Sounds. This beloved team is well known for giving quite the show and plays at various arenas in the area.
No matter what age you are, everyone loves a good, old, classic baseball game! This activity is perfect for an afternoon of outdoor fun.
Check out the online schedule to see game times and various kid activities, before and after the game. This attraction is perfect for keeping kids excited and content when you head to Nashville. Plus, you get a taste of the community and how well loved and adored they are by their local fans!
7. Treetop Adventure Park
Families will love this outdoor adventure park if they are ready for a little thrill-seeking fun. This incredible attraction boasts an array of outdoor activities that will get your heart racing.
If you’re kids are over age 7, they can hit the junior course. These obstacle courses offer great challenges including ones that include heights and more. If you and the family love a bit of adventure thrown your way, Treetop Adventure Park is the place to go.
Make a whole day of it. Your kids will feel proud and strong as they overcome obstacle courses and challenges, they wouldn’t get anywhere else. If you’re up for the adventure, Treetop Adventure Park has got it ready and waiting!
Related Read: Best Time To Visit Nashville
8. Nashville Ghost Tours
Map It: Google Maps | Tickets: $23 adults, $15 children | Age Group: 8+ Recommended
Here’s another thrilling adventure to add to your itinerary. If you and the family love everything spooky and supernatural, Nashville Ghost Tours a great option.
These guided tours will take you on foot to some of the well-known paranormal hotspots in the area and you can learn about the creepy history and events that took place at those locations. While it’s family friendly, it may not be suitable for some children. 8 and up is the recommended age.
If you and your children are up for a scary tour that reveals a bit of Nashville’s history, the Nashville Ghost Tours will be the perfect activity.
9. Nashville Children’s Theatre
The title says it all! This family friendly attraction offers a variety of shows, appealing to all ages. With all the shows revolving around child actors and being enticing to mainly children, you and the kids are bound to love visiting this adorable, theatrical attraction.
Known in the area as one of the best family friendly destinations, you can pick and choose what suits your family best. The theatre is even known for its acting classes and drama camps where budding actors can brush up on their skills. This experience is fun for the whole family and one you won’t find in other states.
10. Frist Art Museum
While an art museum may sound a bit boring, the Frist Art Museum is unlike the others. They are well known for their hands-on exhibits, perfect for kids of all ages. Kids can make and take their own art when they head to this incredible museum.
Try your hand at drawing, animation, painting, printmaking more. This fully immersive museum is sure to provide fun for the whole family. Feel that artistic spark when you head down to Frist Art Museum. This all-ages museum is not only a great experience, but its free for children!
Related Read: 40 BEST Places To Visit In Tennessee
11. Gaylord Opryland Resort
This incredible, lavish resort is a great place to stay if you’re looking for an upscale accommodation. But whether you stay there or not, it’s a great place to check out with the whole family for the scenery alone.
Head inside the Gaylord Opryland Resort and explore the indoor gardens. With 9 acres of garden atriums, simply walking through is an activity in itself. If you do decide to stay, you will be able to check out the indoor water park, which is sure to pack on the fun for the whole family.
This lovely hotel is famously known for being one of the best experiences in the area, so if you’re ready to splurge, this resort is the perfect stay for the entire family.
12. Fannie Mae Dees Park
Map It: Google Maps | Hours: 24/7 | Age Group: All Ages
This amazing park attraction is famously known as Dragon, thanks to its huge mosaic dragon statute right in the center of the park. With this monumental landmark to enjoy and pose with, you can’t go wrong with checking the place out.
With a huge playground and splashpad, the kids are sure to stay happy and busy when they visit. With lots of green grass and trees surrounding, it’s a great place to picnic with the whole family.
Enjoy the great outdoors, take a load off and just be when you visit the famous Fannie Mae Dees Park in Nashville.
13. Wildhorse Saloon
What is a vacation without a good place to stop for food? Wildhorse Saloon is a great family friendly restaurant that all will enjoy. While its located downtown with a lot of the bars, this saloon remains a family staple.
They even tend to have live music on many nights in addition to line dancing. Both adults and kids will love the musical atmosphere and the great food. They even have a kid’s menu with classic American fare they will love!
You can even take an all-ages line dancing lesson in between music sets! This fun restaurant is the perfect place to get a feel for Nashville culture and music while enjoying a good dish!
14. Goo Goo Chocolate Co.
Who doesn’t love a good old sweet treat? If you and the family have a sweet tooth, head on down to Goo Goo Chocolate Co. in downtown Nashville for an incredible experience. `
First established in 1912, their beloved chocolate bar has been a staple in Nashville for over a century. If you’re in Nashville and want the ultimate tour of a chocolate factory, here is your chance!
From the storefront boasting a variety of chocolate to making your own chocolate bars, this amazingly sweet (literally!) experience is sure to be a hit for everyone in the family, no matter how old you are.
15. Adventure Science Center
Let the kids go wild in a fully immersive experience at the Adventure Science Center in downtown Nashville. This cool attraction has a hands-on approach to all things science and one that will be appreciated by the whole family.
From climbing your way through a giant heart replica to lifting a car singlehandedly, this center is full of intriguing and exciting activities you and your kids won’t soon forget. This unique center has a number of different activities, all boasting fun things for the kids to do to contribute to their experience as a whole. This is a must see if your kids love science and getting a little creative!
16. Country Music Hall of Fame
While your kids may not be passionate about country music, visiting the hall of fame is simply a must when you head to Nashville. Located downtown and boasting beautiful stage costumes, historic instruments and artifacts, there is so much to marvel at at Country Music Hall of Fame.
Kids can embark on a scavenger hunt adventure during their visit as adults enjoy the history of the music and all of its excitement. If you plan in advance, you can secure a Young Explorer Bag, designed for more hands-on fun for kiddos when they visit the museum. Though it’s an all-ages museum, kids 8 and older may appreciate it a bit more than the younger crowd.
17. Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway
Set out for a nature getaway at Shelby Bottoms Nature Center. This series of parks is the perfect place to visit when you’re looking for something to do outdoors.
From educational exhibits to a nature themed playground for children, there is so much to see and do. With miles of paved greenways to explore, this will quickly become the family’s favorite outdoor excursion. These highly accessible pathways allow for strollers, biking, rollerblading and more with total ease.
Let the kids run around as you enjoy the scenery at Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway.
18. Game Terminal
Map It: Google Maps | Phone: (615) 610-2460 | Website | Hours: 4pm-12am Monday-Thursday, 4pm – 1am Friday, 11am – 1am Saturday, 11am – 12am Sunday | Entrance: Adults FREE, Kids $8 | Age Group: 6+ Recommended
It’s all in the title! The Game Terminal is a beloved arcade located in the center of Nashville. It is not just any arcade though- it boasts on efo the largest collections of arcade games in the United States.
This budget friendly attraction will allow for hours of fun. Kids can play all day for only $8 while adults remain free. Pay only a dollar for the retro pinball games while all arcade games are included in your entry.
While it’s all ages, kids over six will be able to appreciate and successfully play arcade games more. Still, the lights and commotion are enough to keep any toddler busy! For some good old arcade fun, head to Game Terminal!
19. Nashville Farmers Market
Who doesn’t love a good, old fashioned farmers market? Head on down to the farmers market in Nashville. Boasting local vendors, a gorgeous garden center and plenty of food on-site, this is a great outing for the entire family.
Browse all the local talent and pick out some delicacies from the food hall to enjoy as you stroll through the farmer’s market. This is a great place to find unique souvenirs as well!
Just a short walk from the Tennessee State Museum, you can easily make a day out of it by visiting the farmers market and then heading over to the nearby monuments and attractions.
20. Five Daughters Bakery
This bakery chain is a well-loved staple in the area, known for its sweet concoctions and their family of seven. This husband-and-wife duo teamed up with their five daughters to create a bakery that everyone loves.
While you can choose from a plethora of sweets, the 100-layer donut is one that is highly recommended and beloved to the residents of Nashville. These donuts weigh as much as 5 donuts and take four whole days to create. They are definitely worth trying!
If you’re not feeling the donuts, you can try out their many varieties of biscuits and cookies. If you’re ready to indulge in a sweet treat, Five Daughters Bakery is the perfect place to visit!
21. Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
Cheekwood Estate is a great place for the whole family. Located on the grounds of a mansion from the early 1920’s, this attraction boasts numerous botanical gardens, a museum and an arboretum.
Check out the world-class art exhibits in addition to the outdoor gardens. Get a dose of the history of the estate and learn all about the greenery that surrounds the property. With 13 gardens to explore and over 250,000 flowers to discover, you can’t go wrong with this indoor/outdoor family excursion.
For a quiet afternoon to unwind, this is a great stop!
22. Radnor Lake Trail
This waterfront trail is well known in the area for beign family friendly and easy to hike. With flat grounds and beautiful scenery, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Radnor Lake Trail.
Embark on a little hiking adventure with the whole crew and discover incredible wildlife throughout the area. From bird watching to watching little critters near the stream, your little ones will love all of the views at this family trail.
This popular attraction is usually full of tourists and residents so there will never be a dull moment!
23. First Saturday Art Crawl
Map It: Website | Hours: 5 – 8pm First Saturday of Each Month | Entrance: Free | Age Group: All Ages
On the first Saturday of each month, you can head to the downtown art crawl, where all of the local artists have their best work on display. This free event is fun for all ages- walk through and discover incredible works of art as you take a stroll with the family.
In addition to local masterpieces, you may also come across some international galleries. You can even score some free refreshments at some of these displays, so you’re guaranteed to have a great time. Each month will feature different galleries so be sure to check out the website!
24. 12th Avenue South
Map It: 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN | Hours: Varies | Age Group: All Ages
Looking for a fun shopping excursion with the kids? This shopping attraction boasts some of the best shopping and dining in downtown Nashville. Get an idea of the culture and cuisine int eh heart of Music City when you head to 12th Avenue South.
From boutiques to cafes and gourmet restaurants, you and the family will find it all. Some of the fan favorites include Draper James Boutique, Imogene + Willie and more. Some famous restaurants in the area include Urban Grub or Josephine.
You have everything you need at 12th Avenue South- there is something for the whole family!
25. Tennesee State Capitol
The Tennessee State Capitol is one of the oldest working capitols in the United Sates. It is also one of the oldest landmarks in the area, dating back to 1859, well over a century ago. Take a guided tour and learn all about the history of Tennessee government or simply walk around the property and self-explore.
This family-friendly attraction is a sight to see- Its architecture is enticing, and the spot offers beautiful views of downtown Nashville. If you’re heading to Nashville, its simply something you must see as a family.
26. Tennessee State Museum
Head back into the history of Nashville when you visit the Tennessee State Museum. Boasting a plethora of exhibits that highlight the first people to ever roam Tennessee, this fun museum is certain to provide an interesting experience.
The Tennessee State Museum in Downtown Nashville guides visitors through the state’s history. The museum begins by highlighting the First Peoples of Tennessee. Exhibits continue through events like the Revolutionary War and Civil War and ends with present day events.
The museum has more than you could possibly take in on one visit. There’s something for everyone from history to music to sports.
27. Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
If your family is a big sports fan, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is the perfect place to go. Head to Bridgestone Arena in the heart of Nashville and ejoy a compendium of exhibits dedicated to statewide sports celebrities, history and more.
From hockey to the Olympics, this hall of fame boasts it all. You will find honorary exhibits for many athletes including a local favorite, Peyton Manning.
For kids, they can try on Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans gear in a fully immersive exhibit. They will adore feeling like a true athlete, all while learning about the history of sports in Nashville.
28. Biscuit Love
What started out as a simple food truck turned into one of the areas most beloved restaurants. They serve traditional southern fare so its the perfect place to get a dose of true Nashville cuisine at its finest.
From biscuits and gravy to shrimp and grits, Biscuit Love is the southern comfort you never knew you needed. Don’t forget to order a helping of “Bonuts” on the way out- the restaurants most loved dessert that consists of donuts served over blueberry sauce.
If you’re in the mood for breakfast, Biscuit Love serves a hearty brunch you won’t soon forget. This family friendly restaurant is sure to have you leaving with both your hearts and stomachs full!
29. Twin Falls at Rock Island State Park
Discover the beautiful waterfalls at Rock Island State Park. This amazing park offers a beautiful collection of waterfall hikes for all ages. If you’re looking for a spectacular view, head to Twin Falls and check out the amazing scenery with the whole family.
These hiking trails are easy and short- perfect for little feet! You can head down the Downstream Trail and view the water as you make your way to the breaktaking waterfalls. This outdoor excursion is simple but provides a lovely experience for all. You can’t see this at any old park.
Rock Island State Park boasts a plethora of streams and waterfalls for all of its tourists and residents to view. You can even fish, kayak or swim in the water!
30. Edley’s Bar-B-Q
You’re in Nashville so its time to start eating like the residents do! Head to Edleys Bar-B-Q for some unforgettable barbeque cuisine that will have your moth watering. This old fashioned barbecue joint offers a collection of southern comfort foods.
Fan favorites include cornbread, mac and cheese and their world-famous coleslaw. This family friendly restaurant is great for some authentic southern cuisine when you head to Nashville. Don’t forget to try the banana pudding!
31. Johnny Cash Museum
You simply can’t visit Nashville without pyaing homage to teh late, great Johnny Cash. Even if your little ones don’t understand the history, teh Johnny Cash Museum is one of Nashvilles best attractions and a total experience for all.
Kids will ge ta kick out of the flashy stage outfits, gold records and other historic memorabilia that is loved by so many. Even though its small, you will want to get a good look at everything.
The personal feel of this museum is an experience in itself. If you weren’t a fan of Johnny Cash before, you will be by the time you leave.
32. Nashville Evening Trolley Tour
Website | Price: Varies | Age Group: All Ages
This exciting nighttime event will provide so much fun for both kids and parents alike. Tour Music City on a trolley and enjoy a guided history of all it has to offer. Though the kids may not care about the educational part, they will adore the lights and sounds of Nashville at night.
Your tour guide is certain to provide you with some singing of his/her own. You will even stop at some sites and walk around to get a feel for the area. It’s a great way to start your vacation as well so that you get a glimpse of all the city has to offer.
33. Belle Meade Plantation
This historic plantation is a great sight to see. From the educational values to the appealing architectural structures, this attraction is the perfect visit.
Formerly a plantation and breeding farm, some of the most well-known racing horses trace back to this gorgeous farm. You can walk inside the house where you get a good glimpse into life in the 18th and 19th centuries. This historical site is great for all ages, though older kids may appreciate the history a bit more.
34. Tennessee Central Railway Museum
Kids who love trains will adore this experiecnce. The Tennessee Central Railway Museum offers a collection of rail transport items and boasts a beautiful history that you will love discovering.
In addition to the historic elements and the train rides themselves, you can also embark on even more adventure when you visit on an event day. For example, if you visit during the holidays, you can ride the Santa Express after you discover the museum and the history of the railway.
Ticket prices vary per event. Every family loves a good old train excursion!
35. Tito’s Playland
For an afternoon of good, old fashioned arcade fun, Titos’ Playland is a great option! You can find what feels like unlimited games at this cool attraction, perfect for all ages.
From old-school arcade games to modern, this playland is an arcade paradise. They even have on-site drinks and food if you want to make a whole day out of it. Located inside a plaza, this awesome arcade is certain to provide a whole bunch of fun for the entire family Not to mention, it’s a budget friendly activity!