Fun Things To DoTravel

8 Fun Activities To Do With Kids In Nashville

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By Jenn


This list of fun things to do with kids in Nashville is not in any particular order.

I have done quite a few of these activities with my kids, but not all of them… yet!

We have only lived in Nashville for 2 years. We plan on doing some of these ourselves in the next few weeks.

If you are a newbie like me — and you have kids — this list may be very helpful. I also have some friends who have lived in Nashville for quite awhile and have not done any of these activities, so this list may be helpful to longtime residents as well.

I encourage you to get out and explore this wonderful city!

  1. Parthenon at Centennial Park

I have 3 kids with 3 very different personalities and I truly didn’t know which (if any) would enjoy a trip to the Parthenon, but we went anyway.

I’m so very glad to report that they all enjoyed it!

My oldest son loved learning about the building of the Parthenon, my youngest son enjoyed the Athena statue, and my daughter enjoyed the art galleries. I am pleased that they have all agreed to future visits.

What I liked was that it is so unexpected to see a Greek replica in downtown Nashville. It is an awesome sight.

This is a great indoor activity, plus it’s highly affordable.

Good To Know Before You Go:

  • Address: 2600 West End Avenue, Nashville TN 37203 (at West End Avenue and 25th Avenue — in Centennial Park)
  • Phone: (615) 862-8431
  • Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday 9 AM – 4:30 PM; Sunday 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM; closed Mondays (except Memorial Day)
  • Admission: Adults $10; Children ages 4 to 17 $8; Seniors 62+ $8; Yearly membership is available which includes FREE admission all year
  • Parking: FREE
  • TIP: They charge a 2.65% fee for processing credit cards, so if you don’t want to pay that, bring cash.

Here’s my family’s review of the Parthenon.

  1. Frist Center for the Visual Arts

The Frist Center has art exhibits that are ever changing (every 6-8 weeks), so you can visit every couple of months and always see something new.

They also offer hands-on crafts and classes (not to mention summer art camp).

There are certain areas of the Frist Center specifically for children. For example, the Martin ArtQuest Gallery is a hands-on, interactive area offering more than 30 stations where kids can examine and experiment with different “artistic materials and methods”.

Artful Tales is a listening and interacting area where “art related stories come to life”.

A trip to the Frist Center is perfect anytime, but especially on a rainy day or a hot day.

Good To Know Before You Go:

  • Address: 919 Broadway Street, Nashville TN 37203
  • Phone: (615) 244-3340
  • Hours: CLOSED: Tuesday & Wednesday; Monday, Friday and Saturday 10 AM – 5:30 PM; Thursday 10 AM – 8 PM (Martin ArtQuest closes at 5:30 PM); Sunday 1 PM – 5:30 PM (Café opens at noon)
  • Admission: Adults $15; 18 & under FREE; College students (w/ID) 10$, Military (w/ID) $8; and Seniors (65+) $10; Become a Frist Center member and admission is FREE
  • Parking (on Demonbreun Street — 9th & 10th Avenue entrances): First 1/2 hour is $0.50; Second 1/2 hour is $1.50; Additional hours: $1 (maximum: $8)
  • TIP: To get the Frist parking rates, you must bring your parking ticket to the Frist Center to be validated

  1. Adventure Science Center

This is a great place to bring the kids, especially if you want to do something indoors. The Adventure Science Center is an interactive learning experience for the whole family.

Not only will the kids (and adults) have so much fun there; they will be learning at the same time!

Plan on spending the day. You may also want to pack a picnic lunch (to store in your car) and enjoy the provided tables located just outside. If you leave the facility, you may return — just remember to get your hand stamped. They also have Subway in their cafe.

Good To Know Before You Go:

  • Address: 800 Fort Negley Blvd, Nashville TN 37203
  • Phone: (615) 862-5160
  • Hours: Monday thru Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM; Sunday 12:30 PM – 5:30 PM
  • Admission: Adults/Teens $22; Kids (ages 2 to 12) $18; Season passes are available
  • Parking: FREE
  • TIP: To avoid summer camp crowds, arrive after 1PM

Here’s my family’s review of the Adventure Science Center.

  1. Wave Country

If you are on a budget, Wave Country is an affordable water park in Nashville.

This facility is owned and maintained by the Nashville Parks and Recreation Department.

It offers water slides, a kiddie area and a wave pool.

There’s FREE water slide/lazy river tube usage, but quantities are limited.

You can bring your own food. They also have an “extensive” snack bar.

Good To Know Before You Go:

  • Address: 2320 Two Rivers Parkway, Nashville TN 37214
  • Phone: (615) 885-1052
  • Hours: Monday thru Thursday 11 AM – 5 PM; Friday and Saturday 10 AM – 6 PM; Sunday 11 AM – 6 PM
  • Admission: Adult (13 & over) $12; Child (3 – 12) $10; Child (2 & under) FREE; Season passes are available
  • Parking: FREE
  • TIP: Be sure to check the website. There is almost always a money saving coupon!

  1. Picnic at Bicentennial Capitol Mall Park

If you have not visited Bicentennial Park in downtown Nashville yet, what are you waiting for?

It is a beautiful park, rich in historical facts, with an incredible outdoor Greek-inspired amphitheater (not to mention the Carillons & the Court of 3 Stars with 95 bells tolling throughout the day).

Not only will the kids enjoy the amphitheater (it’s really cool), but adjacent to it is a wide open grassy area. That’s the perfect picnic place! When I visited Bicentennial Park, that is exactly what people were doing there.

Bring a picnic lunch and also lots of fun things for kids to do together — like throwing toys & catching toys. The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Good To Know Before You Go:

Here’s my family’s review of Bicentennial Capitol Mall Park.

  1. Ice Skating at at the Centennial Sportsplex

Ice skating is one of the many activities offered at the Sportsplex.

This is a great indoor activity to keep you cool during the hot summer months and also a great activity to keep you moving during the cold months.

The Sportsplex offers “sessions” and they vary day to day & month to month. So go to the website for the most recent session times.

It’s easy to remember to dress for ice skating during the cold months, but it is recommended that you dress warmly during the hot months too.

Good To Know Before You Go:

  1. Game Galaxy Arcade

If you love video games as much as your kids do, then Game Galaxy Arcade will be fun for all of you.

This arcade has over 100 retro 80’s style games (Galaga, Ms. Pac Man etc.), plus pinball machines and a “pay to play” console area featuring recent XBox, Playstation and Nintendo games.

The cost to play is reasonable too!

This place can provide hours of indoor fun for the video gamer in your family.

Many of the vintage games are also for sale!

Good To Know Before You Go:

  • Address: 3 S. Lowery Street Smyrna, TN 37167
  • Phone: (615) 751-7660
  • Admission: Free-standing arcade games range in price from $0.25 to $0.50 per game; Console games are $2 for 1/2 hour, $3 for 1 hour, or $6 for all day
  • TIP: This arcade holds bi-weekly tournaments.
  1. Tennessee State Museum

This is one of the largest museums in the nation. It educates us on the history of the state of Tennessee and its role in our nation’s history.

The museum also houses art as well as textiles, crafts and cultural displays. It’s 3 levels of Tennessee history!

The museum has Civil War artifacts that are the “finest in the nation”. If you have a history buff in your family (or you are one yourself), this is worth the time and possible parking fee.

They’re closed on Mondays.

Good To Know Before You Go:

  • Address: 1000 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., Nashville TN 37208
  • Phone: (615) 741-2692
  • Admission: FREE
  • Parking: Expect to pay for parking parking during normal work hours, but after hours & weekends parking downtown is FREE
  • TIP: If you bring a large bag or purse, you will have to place it in a locker.

Of course, these are not the only things to do with kids in Nashville, but I just thought I’d share a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities that kids of all ages could enjoy.

Have fun and share with us your favorite thing to do with kids in Nashville (even if it’s on the list).