Renowned as the heart of country music, Nashville, Tennessee exudes a fun, exuberant vibe that delights kids of all ages. From thrilling live music shows to kid-focused museums, this exciting city is packed with activities to keep your little ones engaged and entertained. Book your Nashville vacation rental today. Whether you’re in town for a quick overnight trip or a week-long vacation, start your planning with these popular attractions.
1. Visit the Zoo
Bring the whole family to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, a stunning facility that features beautiful outdoor habitats. Ride the Wilderness Express Train, watch giraffes and rhinos moving through expansive spaces, and check out the colorful birds in the Flamingo Lagoon. Little ones love the Wild Animal Carousel and the enormous onsite playground, while older kids can go for a heart-pounding ride on the Soaring Eagle zip line. If you want to get up close and personal, pet a kangaroo or feed a tortoise at the zoo’s hands-on stations.
2. See Music Stars at Madame Tussauds Nashville
Delight your music-loving family with a trip to Madame Tussauds Nashville. This museum, which features lifelike wax statues of famous people, focuses on the industry’s most iconic stars. Start with a walk through the 1950s-themed Preshow exhibit to see stars such as Hank Williams at home, and move to the Radio Station section to see Patsy Cline in action. Other themed exhibits recreate venues such as the Bluebird Cafe and the Grand Ole Opry, where you can check out statues of performers including Carrie Underwood, Katy Perry, and Johnny Cash.
3. Attend Children’s Story Hour
When the weather turns, or if you need to get out of the summer humidity, head indoors to the Nashville Public Library system’s Story Time events. Each story hour takes place on a weekday morning or evening, making it a great cool-down activity before a nap or dinner. Story Time happens at many of library’s main and branch locations, so it’s easy to find one near your vacation rental. Check out the library’s website to see the theme, time, and recommended age range for upcoming sessions.
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4. Get Hands-On With Science
Bring together education and entertainment at the Adventure Science Center. Touch the plasma ball in the Fourth State of Matter exhibit, witness the power of hurricanes and tornadoes in Nature Unleashed, and take a 3-D journey through the human body at Bodyquest. Plan plenty of time for Space Quest, where kids can experience an immersive deep-space simulation, see their body’s heat signature, and experience space walks or 1/6 gravity.
5. Experience Country Music
Experience Nashville’s great country music scene at one of the city’s popular venues. Visit the Bluebird Cafe to hear up-and-coming performers or head to the Grand Ole Opry for concerts by the industry’s most well-known musicians. If you want to check out the history of music in Nashville, look no further than the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. For teenagers, a great choice is Rocketown, which hosts a variety of concerts and features an onsite skate park.
6. See the Stars
If you happen to be in Nashville on the second Friday of the month, explore the heavens at the Dyer Observatory’s Second Friday Telescope Night. With a ticket purchase, you can look through the observatory’s sophisticated telescopes to check out nearby and far-off stars. During each evening, professional astronomers are on hand to answer questions, explain different phenomena, and provide telescope guidance. Events fill up fast, so be sure to reserve your tickets online starting one month in advance.
7. Wander Through the Cheekwood Estate and Gardens
Marvel at the architecture and natural beauty of the Cheekwood Estate and Gardens. Explore the art museum, walk through the sculpture trail, or watch the artists-in-residence at work. Outside, the spectacular botanical gardens offer a unique up-close look at local and exotic plants. Be sure to stop by the Trains! The exhibit, which features a massive electric railway that winds through a large garden. In the summer, the facility hosts scavenger hunts and tree houses; in the winter, visit after dark to see the gardens lit up with more than one million Christmas lights.
8. Step Back in Time at the Belle Meade Plantation
Learn how Nashville residents lived during the 1800s at the stunning Belle Meade Plantation. Book a tour of the mansion to check out the Greek Revival architecture, and explore the palatial grounds with a self-guided walk. If your kids are 16 or older, you can tour the grounds by Segway. For little ones, the Adventure Backpacks program provides a selection of fun activities and treasure hunts to keep kids busy and engaged during a visit to the mansion.
9. Catch a Baseball Game
Get the whole family outside with a trip to a Nashville Sounds baseball game. The team plays at the First Tennessee Park near downtown Nashville, so it’s a breeze to get there from your vacation rental. With a packed schedule of games on weekends and weekdays, you can find great ticket prices any time of the week; for the best deals, go on a Monday for Family Night.
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