Heading to Nashville with kids? This amazing city is known for its country music scene, delicious food, and rich history, and it’s also surprisingly kid friendly.
With so many attractions, parks, and restaurants to explore, you’ll never be bored on your Nashville family vacation. Here are our suggestions for fun things to do in Nashville with kids.
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Nashville TN Family Attractions
It’s hard to do the city of Nashville justice in a few days. Whether you’re in town for a weekend or a longer vacation, these are some must-see Nashville kids attractions. And if you’re traveling with older kids, don’t miss our favorite things to do in Nashville with teens.
The Grand Ole Opry
Country music is king in Nashville, and there’s no better place to immerse kids in the country music scene than at the Grand Ole Opry.
I took my kids to an evening performance (there’s usually two per night) and they had no idea what to expect. There were six performers scheduled throughout the evening including Academy of Country Music award winner, Lauren Alaina. It was one of the most amazing experiences, and the kids loved it!
We also had an opportunity to take a VIP backstage tour during one of the performances. Did you know the musicians have mailboxes at the Opry?
We took a peek in all of the dressing rooms (each one is differently themed) and even went on stage during one of the performances. It’s mind blowing to stand on stage and look out at the audience. I don’t know how musicians do it all the time!
It was definitely a night to remember and you can see a peak of Chris Janson’s performance below.
While your whole family will love the Opry, this is one of the best things to do in Nashville with teens!
Country Music Hall of Fame Museum
The Country Music Hall of Fame has a little bit of everything, from Elvis Presley’s custom Cadillac to Loretta Lynn’s ball gown, to a Taylor Swift tour bus.
Kids will love the interactive stations allowing them to design their own “country style” and watch famous country singers on television shows (think “The Simpsons” with Dolly Parton or Johnny Cash).
In the Taylor Swift Education Center families can belt out tunes in a private recording studio and create their own album covers on computers.
*The Nashville Sightseeing Day Pass can be used for entrance to over 20 attractions. Click here to see what’s included!
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
Located just outside downtown Nashville, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is a 1930s era mansion with spectacular gardens for exploring.
While it may not sound entirely kid-friendly, it certainly is, as children can run through the grass, see model trains, take a sculpture tour, and even try a scavenger hunt provided by the gardens. There are seasonal exhibits and festivals making it a delightful destination any time of year.
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
Andrew Jackson was known as “The People’s President” and made his home just outside Nashville in a beautiful mansion surrounded by over 400 acres of farmland.
The main exhibit area tells the story of this humble man who rose to lead a nation. Take a stroll through the gardens, or an organized tour with one of the guides.
The Hermitage also shares the story of the slaves who lived on the property through personal narratives because their stories need to be heard. It is extremely well done and worth a visit for kids of all ages.
Belle Meade Plantation
Not far from Cheekwood Estate is Belle Meade Plantation. It was once a 5,400 acre thoroughbred horse farm complete with a Greek Revival Mansion, deer park, train station and rock quarry.
Today, tours are led by guides in period costumes and finish with a wine tasting from the Belle Meade winery. Kids can purchase a plantation backpack filled with a treasure map and key to keep them engaged throughout the tour. The plantation is a beautiful, kid-friendly Nashville property everyone can enjoy.
Adventure Science Center
The Adventure Science Center is a super fun place to visit in Nashville with kids and will easily entertain them for several hours. Start at the enormous multi-story Adventure Tower in the main hall and head off from there to explore.
The Bodyquest area will have kids learning about body functions in a way that’s entertaining and educational. Space Chase is all about the solar system and includes a moon walk experience where kids are fitted with harnesses and lifted up in the air to feel like they’re walking on the moon!
There are endless nooks and crannies at the Adventure Science Center so get ready to spend some time learning and having fun!
Nashville Street Art Scavenger Hunt
Nashville is one of my favorite spots to find street art. There are some great murals in The Gulch (What Lifts You – Wings) and 12 South.
For a complete guide to some awesome Nashville street art, we love this post from Camels & Chocolate – A Work of Street Art: The Best Murals in Nashville. Seeking out these murals is a great thing to do in downtown Nashville with kids!
Centennial Park / Greek Parthenon
Did you know there is a full size replica of the Greek Parthenon in the middle of Nashville? You will blow your kids’ minds with this attraction!
Located in Centennial Park, the Parthenon is definitely one of the best Nashville kids activities because they can run around the building and admire its sheer size. Inside is a small art museum and a 42 foot golden Athena statue.
Afterward, children can explore the lake and gardens by taking a walk around the beautiful park.
Is Downtown Nashville Kid-Friendly?
Downtown Nashville is very kid friendly, especially during the day. Families can stroll down Broadway and listen to music coming from the local bars and restaurants. Take a Segway tour, duck into the Johnny Cash Museum, or grab delicious samples at the Goo Goo Cluster shop. Kids will not be bored exploring the downtown area in Nashville.
Where to Eat in Nashville With Kids
Pancake Pantry – near Vanderbilt, go for their delicious pancakes. Arrive early, or expect a line. Thankfully, the line moves pretty fast.
Frothy Monkey – this coffeehouse has several locations and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We tried breakfast and were not disappointed by the sausage and gravy or customized oatmeal. Everything on the menu looks delicious!
Pinewood Social – this restaurant has it all from a bowling alley to bocce ball and a dipping pools! It’s the perfect spot for anything from hot chicken to lobster mac and cheese.
The Pharmacy – The Pharmacy calls themselves a burger parlor and beer garden, and how can you go wrong with that? There’s plates for the kids and plenty of satisfying burger, chicken, and sausage options to choose from.
Acme Feed & Seed – this multi-level restaurant maintains a lot of its original charm from its days as a feed store. There are several levels to the building, but most people go for the rooftop view of Nashville.
Enter on the first floor and place your order, then take a seat and wait for it to be delivered. In the meantime, enjoy the live music or take a peak upstairs at the sushi bar as it feels completely different from the main level.
There’s a lot to see here and good music to entertain the kids, but expect it to be loud (quieter on the second floor). Oh, and the food is killer of course. Try the ahi tuna sandwich or pulled pork nachos.
Butchertown Hall – located in the Germantown neighborhood of Nashville, this restaurant is all about smoked meats and tacos. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either one. Great vibe with indoor and outdoor seating, kids will love the chips and guacamole and for kids who aren’t so daring, a burger is always an option.
Best Desserts in Nashville
Goo Goo Shop & Dessert Bar – Just steps from Broadway is the home of the Goo Goo Cluster. This delicious confection is made of marshmallow, chocolate, caramel, and peanuts.
At the shop, you can try different Goo Goo flavors (highly recommend the Supreme), order sundaes and milkshakes from the dessert bar, or even try a chocolate class. You’ll be tempted to try all the flavors, so make sure to go in with an empty stomach or take some home.
Jeni’s Ice Cream – With several locations around Nashville, this is the one ice cream shop my kids ask to return to again and again. This is not your typical ice cream. Try the salted honey pie, the gooey butter cake, or the salted peanut butter with chocolate. It just melts in your mouth.
Las Paletas – The perfect treat for a hot summer day, paletas are gourmet popsicles in whimsical flavors. There’s creamy, fruit, and mini options, but try the Nutella, pineapple raspberry, and mango. They’re so refreshing!
Where to Stay in Nashville With Kids
For a convenient location near Vanderbilt University, we would recommend the Kimpton Aertson. There’s a rooftop pool, it’s walking distance to many restaurants, and the rooms are beautiful and spacious.
Another idea is the Gaylord Opryland Resort. The property is a bit outside the city next to the Grand Ole Opry, but it is a massive hotel with a river cruise, shopping, dining, and multiple swimming pools. Kids will love the constant activity at the resort.
If your family prefers to stay in vacation rentals, check out these family vacation rentals in Nashville.
Book Your Flights
You can find discounted fares using sites like Momondo or Skyscanner. If you want to keep an eye on discount fares, we suggest signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights, a daily newsletter with flight sales around the world.
If you travel frequently, consider investing in a Priority Pass for airport lounge access. It’s nice to have a space where you can relax before your flight.
Book Your Accommodation
We regularly use Hotels.com and Expedia.com to find lodging when we travel. It’s a great way to compare vacation rentals, hotels, and resorts.
If your family knows they want to stay in a vacation rental, we recommend looking at VRBO and Plum Guide.
Book Your Transportation
For rental car agencies, try Rentalcars.com. We tend to use Hertz simply for the quality of service.
Book Your Tours and Travel Photos
We regularly used companies like Viator and GetYourGuide to book tours when we travel. Both have great communication and a large variety of activities that work for all ages.
If you’re visiting a city with multiple attractions, be sure to check out a discount pass, such as CityPASS or Go City. Tiqets is another place to purchase tickets for attractions.
Context Travel is another option and they offer more educational based activities. The former teacher in me loves their tours.
One of our favorite things to do annually is take photos with Flytographer. They have photographers around the world and we’ve used them on four separate occasions. This is our favorite travel souvenir.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
With the state of travel these days, it’s important to have some type of travel insurance to cover any unforeseen accidents, illnesses, threat or cancellations. We always travel with insurance and would recommend SquareMouth, Travelex, or Medjet as good options. And if you want to compare different insurance options, use Travel Insurance Master to find the best policy for your group.