Looking for things to do in Nashville with kids?
Music City can be very drinking and dancing oriented, so if you are looking for a more family-friendly (or sober!) day in Tennessee’s Capital, here’s what you can do:
3 Things To Do in Nashville with Kids
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Take a Tour of the Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole’ Opry, the show that made country famous! Even if you aren’t a big country music fan, it’s one of the top things to do in Nashville with kids, even if you are just passing through, because of the immense cultural mark it’s left on the city.
The Opry is also the place to work for those looking to break into the country music scene. Think about it: does your day job give you access to your creative industry’s greats?
Be sure to share a smile with everyone: the ticket sellers, the tour guides, and even the security guards, because you never know, you might be singing along to their music soon.
The security guard who checked my purse had the smoothest, radio-perfect DJ voice I’ve ever heard. Turns out, he spins for a local station at night! Dierks Bentley also used to work on the grounds, but got kicked out for crashing too many parties! He got the last laugh though, when he was inducted into the Opry in 2005.
Your best bet is to take the daytime tour, which begins with a video introduction from Opry-member and hitmaker Blake Shelton. The video started when I was still around the corner, so I definitly felt disappointed when I saw that it wasn’t really him.
Our tour lasted just under an hour and took us through the ornate dressing rooms, the loading docks, recording studios, and even onto the stage itself. As we walked around the corner and out onto the Famous Ryman Circle, I closed my eyes for a moment and tried to imagine what it would be like as an artist experiencing this hallowed stage for the very first time.
I teared up as I stood where Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Elvis, and even Carrie Underwood have performed…and I can’t even sing! I imagine it to be an even more special experience for aspiring musicians.
- You can reserve tours up four weeks in advance. Book ASAP as they tend to sell out — especially during the summer.
- The website for Grand Ole Opry Tour Reservations is here.
- Tickets are $27 for 12+ and $22 for 4-11. Children under 4 are free.
Explore the Parthenon and Centennial Park
Can’t make it to Greece? No problem! Nashville has a full-size model of the Parthenon. Having been to both, I can confidently say that the one in Nashville is actually quite a bit cooler because it’s not in ruins.
While the Parthenon in Athens is cool because it’s where the history actually happened, the Parthenon in Nashville is one of the best things to do in Nashville with kids because it allows you to step into history and really get an idea of just how amazing the original was in all of its glory.
In addition to all the splendor of the Greek temple, the Parthenon in Nashville offers visitors a look into the history of Nashville and the 1897 Centennial Exposition for which it was constructed. The building also serves as Nashville’s art museum.
After you visit, be sure to wander around Centennial Park, as there’s great landscaping and places to sit and relax. You also never know who you might meet! My group ran into WWII vet. When one of my students noticed the man’s Air Force cap and thanked him for his service, he told us the riveting story of how he cheated death.
He had been working around the clock training pilots on an aircraft carrier and was essentially a dead man walking due to exhaustion. His commander broke protocol and had mercy on him, sending him to rest instead of fly the next drill. The plane he would have been on was shot down. He was so emotional when he told the story that I cried, my student cried, and pretty much everyone standing in the lobby of the Parthenon cried.
- Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 9AM to 4:30PM, Sunday, 12:30PM to 4:30PM, Closed Monday.
- Tickets are $4 for 4 – 17 & 62+ and $6 for 18-61. Children under 4 are free.
- Plan to spend about 60 – 90 minutes exploring the Parthenon and the park.
Relax with an Orange Soda at the Pharmacy
I honestly still dream about the orange soda I got at the Pharmacy. It was like drinking a creamsicle cloud.
If you want to grab a tasty burger, sausage, or sandwich at a cute shop with a fun outdoor eating area, don’t miss the Pharmacy while you’re in Nashville!
- Located at 731 McFerrin Avenue Nashville, Tennessee 37206
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11AM to 10PM and Friday through Saturday, 11AM to 11PM.
Bonus: Spend the Day Volunteering
- Volunteering in Nashville: The Best Places To Give Back
- All Hail the King: Why Touring Graceland Made Me So Sad
The reason for my trip to Nashville was on a week-long service trip with some teenagers from my church. We spent a week pouring love and acts of service into the city of Nashville.
Although Nashville is a fun, upbeat place, there are still overwhelming amounts of unmeet needs throughout the city. Volunteering as a family is great one of the best things to do in Nashville with kids because it’s a way to make a small impact in the lives of Nashville’s vulnerable populations as well as your own.
Emily’s all over the place. She’s an expert on working holidays, studying abroad, and turning your #GapYear into a #GapLife. Learn how here.
I have to go and see if the Nashville Parthenon is really “better” than the one in Athens!
It totally is! But only because you can actually go inside….
Would be pretty cool if there was a recreation somewhere in Athens too.