A mother taking photo of her kids in Nashville Zoo, one of the best things to do in Nashville with kids

17 Things to Do in Nashville with Kids in 2022 (By a Local)

Nashville’s reputation as Music City might lead you to think all the best things to do in Nashville are just for all adults. But, Nashville has plenty of family friendly attractions.

From amazing parks to sporting events and performing arts, there are a ton of fun things to do in Nashville with kids. 

As a Nashville local, I can guide you to all the best activities for kids of all ages. No matter what your family likes to do, you’ll find a lot of experiences to enjoy together.

Get ready to have fun!

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17 Things to Do in Nashville with Kids

Cumberland Park

Keep it cool at the splash pad

Aerial view of people wandering in Cumberland Park
(photo: 4kclips / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 862-8400 | Website | Hours: dawn – 11 pm daily

When it’s time to get outdoors, make your way to Cumberland Park in downtown Nashville. Adults will enjoy the riverfront views of the Cumberland. Kids will enjoy all the fun areas in the park. They can scale the climbing wall, get wet in the splash pad, navigate a maze, or play on the cloud bridge. 

The park is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of downtown and have some family fun. Especially if kids need a place to let off some excess energy from travel days. 

Nashville Zoo

See animals from around the world

Pair of purple macaws in Nashville Zoo
Macaws at the Nashville Zoo

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 833-1534 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 6 pm daily | Entrance: $16-25, adults and teens, $12-21 under 13, Free under 2 

For an outdoor adventure (along with some learning), stop by the Nashville Zoo. The zoo has over 350 species in habitats designed to mimic the animals’ natural environment as closely as possible.

Visiting the zoo is a mini-adventure around the world. Kids absolutely love the Lorikeet Landing and the Kangaroo Kickabout. There’s also a huge jungle gym, a carousel, and a zip line. Young kids especially love riding the Wilderness Express Train. The zoo is a great place to spend several hours with kids of all ages.

The zoo is extremely popular on the weekends, so it can be worth it to get skip-the-line tickets in advance

👉 Pro Tip: Pack your own snacks and drinks to save a few dollars. The food at the zoo is on the pricey side.

Nashville Shores

Beat the heat on a summer afternoon 

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 889-7050 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm daily | Entrance: $49.99 adults, $29.99 children 

Sometimes a trip to the waterpark is the only way to deal with the summer heat. Nashville Shores is located on Percy Priest Lake about 15 minutes outside of the city.

Kids will love the wave pool, water slides, and lazy river. The park recently added a slide called Mega Mayhem. It’s over 6-stories tall and is perfect for thrill-seeking kids (and adults).

Nashville Shores is an awesome place for a day full of action or for a day of lounging by the water. The property also has an RV park on-site, so it’s great if you’re traveling by RV.

📚 Related Reading: Nashville’s weather can be somewhat unpredictable. Read more about what to expect in Nashville by season.

Grand Ole Opry

See where country stars are made

View of the entrance to Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville
(photo: Hendrickson Photograph / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 871-6779 | Website | Hours: Varies daily, Open Sunday-Saturday | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

The Grand Ole Opry is part of the reason Nashville became Music City. The radio broadcast (which is the longest-running broadcast in the world) introduced people all over the US to country music.

The show launched the careers of notable music legends and continues to be a platform for rising stars and country greats today. Kids who love music will enjoy getting a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry House. A guided tour lets you see how the magic happens.

You can also get tickets to see a show. Watching the Grand Ole Opry is a great way to experience live music in Nashville.

Nashville Sounds

Catch a baseball game at First Horizon Park

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 690-4487 | Website  | Entrance: Tickets range from $10-40

If you’re in Nashville from March to September, be sure to plan a trip to the baseball field. The Nashville Sounds is Nashville’s Minor League Baseball team. Seeing a baseball game is a classic summer activity that every kid should experience at least once. 

The park regularly has special activities planned for kids to participate in during and after the game. Check the schedule online to see what’s happening during your family vacation.

Centennial Park

Explore a replica of the Parthenon

People outside the Nashville Parthenon

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 862-8400 | Website 

For a trip to Greece without an expensive plane ticket, head to Centennial Park. Before Nashville got the nickname Music City, it was known as the Athens of the South. The park is home to a life-size replica of the Parthenon, including a golden statue of Athena inside. 

The park, located right between Midtown and West End, also has a walking trail and a lake, making it a perfect place to get kids outdoors on a beautiful day.

👉 Pro Tip: Old Town Trolley Tours is a hop-on double decker bus that will take you from downtown to sites all around Nashville, including Centennial Park. The Old Town Trolley is an easy way to see sites in Nashville without having to park each time. Book tickets in advance to make getting around easier.

Treetop Adventure Park

Swing through the treetops

Close up view of a kid's shoe crossing a course in Treetop Adventure Park

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 889-7806 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 2 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: $49.99 adults, $24.99 children ages 7-9 

Get ready to channel your inner Tarzan at Treetop Adventure Park. The park, which is set on the same property as Nashville Shores, has all kinds of thrilling activities and outdoor fun.

There are three courses, an adult course, a junior course, and a kid course depending on age and height. Children must be at least 7 years old to do the kid course. The courses are not for the faint of heart (or those scared of heights), but for everyone else, it’s an unforgettable adventure of overcoming challenges and obstacles.

Nashville Ghost Tour

Discover Nashville’s spookiest spots

An angel statue in Nashville

📍 Google Maps | Tickets: $23 adults, $15 children | 👉 Browse Tours on Get Your Guide

If your family loves the spooky and supernatural, then you’ll love the Nashville Ghost Tour. Your host will take you on a walk around Nashville’s paranormal hotspots and reveal the dark history of some of Nashville’s iconic locations.

The family-friendly tour begins in downtown Nashville. Besides the sinister aspects of Nashville, you’ll also learn a bit about Nashville’s rich history as well. It’s the perfect family outing for brave kids.

Nashville Children’s Theatre

See a children’s play

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 254-9103 | Website 

Seeing a show at the Nashville Children’s Theater is one of the best family friendly things to do in Nashville. The shows change each season, and the programs appeal to a range of ages.

The non-profit organization also has lots of options for kids interested in the performing arts. Throughout the year different acting classes and summer camps are available. It’s worth looking at the online schedule if you have a budding performer in your family.

Frist Art Museum

Create and appreciate art together

View of the Frist Art Museum building in Nashville

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 244-3340 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5:30 pm Monday-Saturday, 1:00-5:30 Sunday, Closed Wednesday | Entrance: $15, adults, Free under 18

Normally an art museum wouldn’t necessarily be the best place to bring kids, but the Frist Center has an excellent hands-on area for all ages. The Martin ArtQuest allows visitors to rotate through a variety of art-making stations.

The whole family can try out drawing, animation, printmaking, painting, and other interactive art forms. The other exhibits at the Frist in downtown Nashville rotate regularly and may or may not be interesting for all children. But, visiting the museum is sure to spark artistic creativity for all visitors. Plus, entrance is free for anyone under 18.

📚 Related Reading: The Frist Center is also on my list of the 37 Best Things to Do in Nashville.

Fannie Mae Dees Park

Discover Nashville’s dragon park

📍 Google Maps 

Thanks to the gigantic mosaic dragon featured at the park, Fannie Mae Dees Park is better known as Music City’s “Dragon Park.” 

While this feature makes the park unique, there are plenty of other cool things to enjoy. There’s a playground and a splash pad for kids to enjoy. It’s the perfect place to bring a picnic and spend a while relaxing while kids play.

Gaylord Opryland Resort

See Nashville’s one-of-a-kind resort

View inside the Gaylord Opryland Resort
(photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 889-1000 | Website

Staying at Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort is an amazing experience, but you can visit the resort completely free even if your Nashville itinerary has you staying elsewhere. The resort is in Music Valley right near the Grand Ole Opry House, so it’s easy to get to if you’re already visiting the Opry.

You can spend a long time wandering through all there is to see in the resort, including the 9 acres of indoor garden atriums. If you’re looking to splurge on accommodations in Nashville, the Opryland Resort is a great choice. Especially since the resort’s water park is only open for guests.

Wildhorse Saloon

Listen to live music and learn to line dance

View of stores and bars in Broadway Street in Nashville
Honky tonk highway in downtown (photo: Rachael Martin / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 902-8200 | Website | Hours: 4 – 10 pm Wednesday-Thursday, 12 pm – 12 am Friday and Saturday, Closes at 10 pm on Sunday 

If you’re looking for family friendly restaurants near Broadway, the Wildhorse Saloon is a great option. I wouldn’t recommend bringing kids to most of the bars downtown, but the Wildhorse Saloon is an exception.

The Wildhorse Saloon even has a kids’ menu. You and the kids can have the classic Nashville live music experience while keeping everyone happy. There are also line dancing lessons between sets, which is fun and also keeps kids from getting bored.

Check the website to make sure you aren’t going on a day with a ticketed event scheduled.

🎸 Read Next: How to Do Nashville on a Budget

Goo Goo Chocolate Co.

Make your own chocolate candy

View of the Goo Goo Chocolate Co signage
(photo: melissamn / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 490-6685 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm daily 

Head to the Goo Goo Chocolate Co. in downtown Nashville for a little bit of a Willy Wonka experience. The beloved candy bar was first produced in 1912 and has remained a Southern staple since.

Just looking at all the Goo Goo products in the storefront is an experience in itself. Kids will love getting to make their own candy bars on-site. Older kids may enjoy signing up for a candy-making class.

📚 Related Reading: You’ll need more than chocolate to keep you full. Check out our guide to the best restaurants in Nashville.

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center and Greenway

Enjoy the outdoors without leaving the city

Relaxing view from Shelby Bottoms Nature Center

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 862-8539 | Website 

Nashville has an incredible series of parks and greenways for visitors and locals to enjoy. Shelby Bottoms Nature Center is located in East Nashville. It’s one of the best parks for the entire family.

The Nature Center has a variety of educational exhibits and programs for all ages. Shelby Park has an awesome nature playground for children. Plus, there are miles of paved greenways that are easily accessible. Visitors can push strollers, ride bikes, and rollerblade along the pathway without issue. It’s one of my favorite places to take an easy hike in Nashville.

Adventure Science Center

Get up close and hands-on with science

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 862-5160 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 3 pm Thursday – Monday, until 6 pm Saturday, Closed Tuesday and Wednesday | Entrance: $18, adults, $14 under 13, Free under 3 

The Adventure Science Center allows kids to have a hands-on, fun experience while learning about science. In my opinion, it’s one of the coolest places to take kids in Nashville. In fact, there are even night events at the museum just for adults who want to get in on the fun.

Kids get to enjoy exciting activities like climbing through a giant replica of a heart, going through an enormous guitar, and even trying to lift a car single-handed. Kids will want to stay for hours to try all the different exhibits. There’s something for all age groups to enjoy.

📚 Related Reading: For more fun Nashville spots for adults, check out the best things to do in Nashville.

Country Music Hall of Fame

Experience music history together

guitars displayed inside Country Music Hall of Fame
(photo: Brenda Kean / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 416-2001 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm Sunday-Thursday, Open until 6 pm Friday-Saturday | Entrance: $27.95 adults, $17.95 youth | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

Visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame while in Nashville is one of the top things to do and not just for adults. The museum in downtown has a huge collection of over eight hundred stage costumes, six hundred instruments, and countless other artifacts related to country music history.

Adults will love the well-designed exhibits.  While kids can complete a scavenger hunt while going through the museum. Families can also check out a Young Explorer Bag for additional fun activities for kids ages 2-7. The bags need to be reserved in advance, so plan ahead.

👉 Love country music? You can get a ticket combo that lets you into the museum and RCA Studio B, Nashville’s famous recording studio.

***

Hopefully, you’ve found family friendly things that are just right for your family on this list. Many of Nashville’s attractions are great for making memories together.

As you work on planning, be sure to check out our other Nashville guides. Find out the best things to do in Nashville and where to stay in Nashville.

I hope I’ve helped you find some fun things to do in Nashville with kids!

(Cover Photo Credits: Stan DaMan / Shutterstock)

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