Things to Do with Kids in Nashville: Top 13 Fun Activities

Tons of Honky Tonk flavor, finger-licking good BBQ, and boatloads of live music have been enticing visitors to Nashville for generations. While Music City may be most closely associated with after-dark adventure, those in the know are well aware of the litany of fun things to do in Nashville with kids.

Follow along to uncover the 13 best things to do in Nashville TN with kids.

Older country connoisseurs will love guided tours of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry, while adrenaline chasers will appreciate the thrills of zip line courses.

Stroll through downtown Nashville and soak in the sounds of acoustic guitar and country ballads, or spend a day splashing around the city’s premier water park.

There’s no need to wonder what to do in Nashville with a family, or to endlessly google ‘kids activities in Nashville’ or ‘is Nashville child friendly?’ Our team of experts has done the dirty work, compiling the ultimate guide to what to do in Nashville with kids.

So grab a pair of miniature cowboy boots and prepare to conquer Music City with the kids!

Visiting Nashville with Kids

Hold up there partner! Before we can get started on all of the creative kids’ activities in Nashville you’ll need to secure some family-friendly lodgings. Fortunately, of all of the places to visit in Tennessee for families, Nashville rolls out the red carpet for kids.

Stay just minutes from attractions like Madame Tussauds and the Johnny Cash museum, or opt for modern luxury in the middle of downtown. No matter your family’s style and budget, we provide a wide array of options when it comes to Nashville Hotels.

Rest easy, when you book a family room or take advantage of amenities such as outdoor pools, onsite fitness centers, and a free buffet breakfast. As always make your reservation stress free, knowing you are always guaranteed our lowest rates online.

aerial drone view of the Cumberland River and downtown with sun setting in Nashville, Tennessee, USAThings to do in Nashville Tennessee with Kids

Roaring dinosaurs, cuddly red pandas, and laser shows in a state-of-the-art planetarium. While you may be in Tennessee, kid-friendly things to do in Nashville will have you traveling the globe. Dive into hours, afternoons, or even days of non-stop excitement, when you take on the best kid things to do in Nashville:

Nashville Zoo

Ditch the hot fried chicken and get even wilder, when you get up close and personal with over 6,000 animals at the Nashville Zoo. This progressive and dynamic institution has been inspiring youngsters for over 30 years. Located just six miles south of downtown Nashville, the zoo is one of the largest in the nation and is routinely named one of the top tourist attractions in Tennessee.

Animal lovers of all ages will be mesmerized by the wide variety of species featured here. From creepy crawly Arthropods to giant mammals such as the Andean Bear, you and your brood can spend hours exploring the Zoo’s acres of fauna. Travel to Central America when you spot the swinging Mexican Spider Monkey or admire the girth and length of the Green Anaconda.

Pint-sized visitors will also be pleased to take part in some non-animal-related activities, such as classic Carousel rides or playing on the Zoo’s super slides, swings, and jungle gym. Don’t forget to live out your Jurassic Park fantasies when you ogle the prehistoric creatures at DinoTrek.* From early March through the end of July watch in awe as 20 new animatronic beasts come to life.

*DinoTrek tickets are not included in General zoo admission and must be purchased separately.

park ranger and girl holding large snake in the Nashville Zoo in Nashville, Tennessee USAAdventure Science Center

Exploration, discovery, and science. Ignite the spark of learning in your little one’s mind with a trip to the Adventure Science Center in Nashville. For a quarter of a century, this edifice of education has been offering children, students, and teachers immersive experiences, exhibits, and programs.

Nothing is off limits, as you are whisked away to outer space, or find yourself facing the surge of a Tsunami. Try to locate the queen bee in the center’s glass-enclosed beehive, or finally figure out how birds take flight using Bernoulli’s principle. Hold on for dear life when you strap in for a rollicking Max Flight: Full Motion Simulator ride, or engage in interactive activities such as designing an aerodynamic car at Tinker 2.0.

Escape into inky blackness when you spot stars or listen to Pink Floyd at one of the Sudekum Planetarium shows. Wrap up your day of cerebral expansion with a celebratory frozen yogurt from the Vega Yogurt and Treats located on the second floor.

AdventureWorks Zipline Nashville

Zip a dee doo dah! Get ready to unleash your inner Tarzan when you escape the hustle and bustle of Nashville’s city streets for a day of high-flying forest fun at AdventureWorks Zipline. Immerse yourself in the verdant forests of Whites Creek Pike, as you take on 8 different ziplines.

Your entire zipline tour will take about 90 minutes and afford you breathtaking birds-eye views of the flora below. No matter what the season, you can zipline with your family, as AdventureWorks operates year-round. Sail through the air on steel cables while safely secured in your harness.

Build up your confidence, strength, and athleticism as you soar over green hills, unique rock formations, and a gurgling creek. Please note that while ziplining is a family-friendly event, AdventureWorks recommends the tour for children 8 years and older.

a teen participating in Harnest's Treetop Adventure
photo credit: Treetop Adventure Park via Facebook

Free Things to Do in Nashville with Kids

Centennial Park

Round up your gaggle of rugrats and embrace the free and simple pleasures of a park day. Centennial Park is the crown jewel of the Nashville park system and can be found at West End and 25th Avenue North. Everyone from tots to teens will find something to enjoy within the park’s sprawling 132 acres.

Pack up a picnic lunch, some sunblock, and maybe even a volleyball to take part in a pickup game on the sand court. Seek out the blue waters of Lake Watauga, or get some steps in on the 1 mile-walking trail. Traveling with the family dog in tow? Be sure to swing by the dog park before retiring to the vibrant Sunken Gardens to enjoy the crimson and golden blooms along with your picnic.

No Centennial Park excursion is complete without a few snapshots in front of the iconic Parthenon. This centerpiece of Nashville’s greek space is the only full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens and houses both an art museum and a 42-foot statue of Athena.

The park’s conservancy fund is continually putting on both educational and culturally enriching events. Be sure to check out their events schedule to see what kid-approved activities are on deck.

exterior view of grey stone at The Parthenon on a sunny day in Nashville, Tennessee, USA
photo credit: Sightseers’ Delight via Facebook

Nashville Farmers Market

Miniature master chefs will be in heaven as they stroll through rows of heirloom tomatoes, fresh sourdough bread, and Dill Pickle-flavored popcorn. The Nashville Farmers Market is an epicenter of locally grown produce, artisanal food, crafts, and more.

Year-round, the market works tirelessly to curate an inclusive environment and foster a real community connection between farmer and consumer. The market consists of two covered open-air sheds, a 24,000-square-foot garden center, a culinary incubation center, and an international food hall.

Please note that while the Market House is open daily, the gardens and outdoor farm sheds have varying schedules.

Hold your tot’s hands as you seek out sweet strawberries, peak-season peaches, corn, and more. Speak directly to ranchers, dairy farmers, and cheese-makers while sampling a cornucopia of home-crafted goods. After hours of browsing, head on over to the indoor market house to feast on filled crepes, tacos, or pizza before snagging a scoop (or two) of Jeni’s famous ice cream for the road.

close up of cherry tomatoes at farmers marketFrist Art Museum

Make the transition from observer to artist, when you visit the Frist Art Museum. This mecca of modern and contemporary art is regularly ranked as one of the most family-friendly museums in the United States. In addition, admission for visitors ages 18 and younger is always free.

Since the Frist’s exhibitions are constantly rotating throughout the year you are always guaranteed a fresh experience. Witness moving transmedia masterpieces that incorporate poetry and music, or become absorbed in the electrifying colors and imagery from indigenous art.

Let your child’s own creativity run wild when you scurry away to the upper level of the museum to the Martin ArtQuest® Gallery. This space serves as a stomping ground where young artists in training can participate in interactive artmaking. Three times a year ArtQuest offers exhibition-related activities. Keep abreast of the museum’s latest events and offerings for children and teens here.

Aerial view of First art museum at sunset in Nashville, Tennessee, USA
photo credit: First Art Museum via Facebook

Gaylord Opryland Resort

Not staying at the Gaylord Opryland Resort? No problem! Even non-resort guests are permitted to wander around the palacious resort’s expertly landscaped grounds. Tykes of all sizes will enjoy the fairytale-like atmosphere of Gaylord’s nine acres of indoor gardens, waterfalls, and curved pathways.

Willing to part with some coin? The resort loves to cater to kids and provides a bevy of family-friendly activities including scavenger hunts, craft options, and Delta Riverboat rides. If you happen to be visiting during summer you can even get your splash on when you slip and slide your way through SoundWaves, their unique aquatic attraction.

Family Things to Do in Nashville TN

Nashville Shores

Nashville summers may be no joke, but that doesn’t mean you should fear Music City in June and July. In fact, balmy temperatures provide the perfect excuse to dive into the towering water slides and refreshing pools of Nashville Shores. This beloved waterpark is revving up for the upcoming season and will be debuting the brand-new Riptide Racer.

Over five stories tall, this behemoth slide is the longest 4-lane RallyRACER in the world. Hold tight, as you prime yourself for an avalanche of steep drops, hairpin curves, and sections of side-by-side racing. For some more leisurely fun in the sun, relax in the Suntan Lagoon. Or try your hand at the aquatic playground located on sparkling Percy Priest Lake.

Got a hankering for some dry land thrills? Slide on by the Treetop Adventure Park to show off your balance and hand-eye coordination. You’ll complete a series of obstacles including suspended bridges, giant zip lines, cargo nets, and Tarzan swings.

a front view of water slides in the pool, and are children enjoying it.
photo credit: Nashville Shores via Facebook

Nashville Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour

Music is the lifeblood of Nashville. There’s no better way to get acquainted with the sounds, sights, and history of the city than a Nashville Hop on Hop Off Trolley Tour. Take in Music City at your own pace as you hit up every notable landmark, sight, and attraction from the

Grand Ole Opry to the Ryman Auditorium. Uncover the unique history of this Southern metropolis as your guide regales you with live onboard commentary. See the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Parthenon and Bicentennial Capitol Mall, and more.

tourists aboard bus for Nashville Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour with Johnny Cash Museum in background on sunny day in Nashville, Tennessee, USA
photo credit: USA Bucket List Tours via Facebook

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Do your heartstrings get pulled every time you hear the twang of a banjo or the notes of a fiddle? Pay homage to the country legends of past and present. Take in the significance of over 2 million artifacts, recordings, films, and more at the  Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Gaze upon costumes from Dolly Parton, June Cash, and Taylor Swift. Or snap photos of Hank Williams’s cherished Martin guitar. Fans of the King can peak at his custom Cadillac, or follow country music’s journey from folk roots to the present day.

Madame Tussauds Nashville

Lights, camera, action! Start practicing those poses because you and your brood are about to become Grammy-level famous. Madame Tussaud’s Nashville is dedicated to the musical icons of country, rock, and pop. Watch Miley swing away on her wrecking ball, snap a selfie with Taylor Swift, or blow a kiss to Elvis.

This thoroughly immersive multi-sensory adventure lets you become the star of the show. Record a ditty in their Nashville Studios, or break out those dance moves for a music video. From Carrie Underwood to Kid Rock you never know who you’ll encounter on this tour through music history.

a candid shot of a girl
photo credit: John Fryer via Facebook

Things to Do in Nashville with Teens

Worried you are way out of your depth when it comes to entertaining the Tik Tok generation? Score some major mom or dad cool points, when you surprise your sullen teen with any of the best things to do with teens in Nashville.

From educating them on Johnny Cash’s protest song, The Man in Black. To insider looks at the famed RCA studios. Every music-obsessed youth will be blown away by l Nashville’s incredible past.

Private Walking Tour of Nashville with Entrance to the Johnny Cash Museum

Does your baby dream of performing at the Bluebird Cafe? Bless your not-so-little angel with tickets to one of the most comprehensive things for teens to do in Nashville. Unearth the city’s unique history and heritage when you complete a Private Walking Tour of Nashville with an Entrance to the Johnny Cash Museum.

Spend three hours exploring every inch of the “Songwriting Capital of the World, as you stroll through the Bicentennial Capitol Mall and the Tennessee State Capitol. Listen up as your guide delves into the larger-than-life stories of the country icons and divas who call Nashville home, such as Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and Taylor Swift.

Pause by the Music City Walk of Fame, or perhaps hear the next big country music performer as you revel in live music at one of the music bars on Broadway. Conclude your jam-packed tour with entry into the Johnny Cash Museum, and ‘walk the line’ with this especially talented singer and musician.

people viewing exhibit inside Johnny Cash Museum Nashville, Tennessee, USA
photo credit: The Johnny Cash Museum via Facebook

RCA Studio B & Country Music Hall of Fame Combo

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene! Walk in the company of country music greats, when you squeeze in a ‘double feature’ of both RCA Studio B & Country Music Hall of Fame. Clap along to iconic ballads and ditties and discover the stories that go with them, as you embark on a guided tour of RCA Studio B.

This renowned studio is the birthplace of over 35,000 songs and 1,000 hits. In fact, RCA is the studio that gave grand masters like Dolly Parton and Elvis their first big breaks.

Known for creating that ubiquitous ‘Nashville Sound’ it was at Studio B that Roy Orbison crooned ‘Only the Lonely’ and Chet Atkins laid down Freight Train. After your immersion in Nashville’s oldest surviving recording studio, relish a self-guided tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum.

crowd sitting in Grand Ole Opry taking tour in Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Grand Ole Opry / Facebook

Kid-Friendly Nashville Awaits

‘Wanderlust and city dust’ may be Music City’s slogan, and it’s not hard to see why. One visit to this hotbed of country, bluegrass, and rock and you’ll be signing up for guitar lessons.

Everyone in your family, from songstresses to foodies, will love the offerings of the capital.

Bear in mind that, Nashville is more than meets the eye. Things to do in Nashville for kids go way beyond peeking at Mother Maybelle Carter’s Gibson L-5 guitar at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Admire the kooky meerkats at the Nashville Zoo. Or crawl through an oversized replica of the human heart at the city’s premier science center.

Take it easy when you sprawl out for a picnic among the flowers in Centennial Park. Or break out your inner pop star to belt out some tunes at Madame Tussauds.

From contemporary art to country music royalty, every minute of a Nashville getaway is full of heritage, history, and art.

So, What Are You Waiting For? Reserve Your Nashville Vacation Today.

Did we miss any of the best things to do with kids in Nashville?

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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