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Kid-friendly activities in Nashville

We’re highlighting the best kid-friendly activities that Nashville has to offer — complete with art projects, animal encounters, and outdoor fun.

A small wooden house with a metal model train track and a train moving into frame.

Cheekwood’s Trains exhibit is fun for the whole family. | Photo courtesy of Cheekwood

Table of Contents

We’re not kiddin’ around. From major attractions like the Adventure Science Center to hidden gems like the Middle Tennessee Museum of Natural History, there’s something in Nashville for children of all ages. You’ll have no trouble entertaining the under-18 crowd with this list of 45 kid-friendly activities.

All about the arts

Frist Art Museum, 919 Broadway | Family memberships available
Visit on the second Sunday of each month for family tours and multisensory gallery experiences. Kids will remember the Martin ArtQuest Gallery.

The Clay Lady’s Campus, 1416 Lebanon Pk.
Roll up your sleeves and make a clay project to take home. Kids will remember getting messy in the studio.

Nashville Children’s Theatre, 25 Middleton St.
Whether the kid in your life wishes to be a performer or audience member, NCT offers family-friendly performances year round. Kids will remember seeing their favorite characters on stage.

Hatch Show Print, 224 Rep. John Lewis Way S.
Experience the wonders of letterpress printing during this interactive tour. Kids will remember taking home their own print.

Nashville Public Library, Locations vary
Check out the library’s event page for kid and teen activities like story times, Studio NPL, puppet shows, and more. Kids will remember the possibilities that come with having a library card.

Animal encounters

Two clouded leopard cubs climbing along a tree in a habitat at the zoo.

Clouded Leopards at the Nashville Zoo. | Photo by Christian Sperka via the Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo, 3777 Nolensville Pk. | Family memberships available
Parents and children alike will be wowed by animal encounters, backstage tours, and special events. Kids will remember the 110-ft zipline.

Goat Yoga Nashville, 2626 York Rd., Nolensville
Yogis of all ages are welcome to stretch with the goats, though it’s not recommended for children under 8. Kids will remember petting goats between poses.

The Gentle Barn, 9295 Christiana Fosterville Rd., Christiana
Visit the animal sanctuary (~45 miles south of Nashville) for a peaceful day on the farm. Kids will remember hugging the cows and giving the pigs belly rubs.

Mill Creek Farms, 674 W. Whitehall Rd., Cookeville
This registered Scottish highland cattle farm (~90 miles southeast of Nashville) offers educational visits where you can feed and take photos with some of the friendlier furry friends. Kids will remember the chance to brush the animals.

Great outdoors

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, 1200 Forrest Park Dr. | Family memberships available
Cheekwood’s 55 acres offer history, art, culture, and other family fun. Kids will remember the TRAINS! exhibit, Storybook Trail, and the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden.

Watkins Park Pump Track, 616 17th Ave. N.
All ages are welcome to flex their cycling skills at Nashville’s first bike park. Kids will remember learning new tricks on varied terrains.

Nashville Sites, Locations vary
The 12-stop Family Fun walking tour begins at Union Station and ends at Cumberland Park. Kids will remember hunting down landmarks all over town.

Warner Park Nature Center, 7311 Hwy. 100
The Nature Center offers free weekly events that are both educational and hands-on for your little adventurer. Kids will remember exploring the grounds with naturalists and bird banding demonstrations.

Foodie families

The lobby of Goo Goo Chocolate Co.

Class is in session at Goo Goo Chocolate Co.

Photo by NASHtoday

Goo Goo Chocolate Co., 116 3rd Ave. S.
Chocolatiers of all ages will enjoy this hands-on candy making class — plus, take home your own apron. Kids will remember creating their own candy bar.

Nashville Farmers Market, 900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
With 20 restaurants under one roof, there’s surely something to suit everyone’s palate. Kids will remember running around at Bicentennial Park after lunch.

Underground Donut Tour, Downtown Nashville
Visit four popular donut shops on this two-hour walking tour. Kids will remember tasting donuts topped with sprinkles, cereal, and more.

The Curious Kitchen, 327 E. State St., Murfreesboro
View the monthly calendar for family-friendly and kid-focused cooking classes. Kids will remember the three-day baking camp offered throughout the year.

Kids eat free or low-cost, locations vary
In between activities, fill up at one of these seven area businesses that offer free or low-cost meals on select days. Kids will remember not being told, “We have food at home.”

Educational activities

Adventure Science Center, 800 Fort Negley Blvd. | Family memberships available
Discover what it’s like to be a scientist, astronaut, or beekeeper for the day. Kids will remember exploring all things music at the Soundbox exhibit.

Tennessee State Museum, 1000 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
Head to the Children’s Gallery to try on rock ‘n’ roll costumes, trace fossils, and play with trains. Kids will remember playing on the giant map of Tennessee.

The Parthenon, 2500 West End Ave. | Family memberships available
Children 12 and under can explore the Parthenon for free on most Saturdays (must register before 11:20 a.m.). Pro tip: Bookmark the Kidsville calendar for upcoming kid-friendly events. Kids will remember picking up art supplies at the Art Cart on select days.

Discovery Center, 502 SE Broad St., Murfreesboro | Family memberships available
Embark on a STEM-filled adventure with activities that engage all five senses. Kids will remember sliding down the multi-story slide.

Middle Tennessee Museum of Natural History, 816 Old Salem Rd., Murfreesboro
If your little one loves dinosaurs, fossils, and other archeological relics, they will dig this hands-on museum. Kids will remember the museum’s 38-ft long Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton.

Indoor adventures

The exterior of Plaza Mariachi, a maroon building with sign front and center.

Check Plaza Mariachi’s calendar for special events every week.

Photo by NASHtoday

Plaza Mariachi, 3955 Nolensville Pk.
Watch performances and be sure to bring the whole family out for the Kid’s Shows on the calendar. Kids will remember Tito’s Playground, an indoor playscape and arcade.

Lane Motor Museum, 702 Murfreesboro Pk. | Family memberships available
When you’re not browsing 150+ vintage cars, scope out the play area with toy cars, a train set, and other auto-themed fun. Kids will remember hopping inside the Citroën 2CV Saloon for a photo op.

Eastside Bowl, 1508A Gallatin Pk. S.
The retro feel of this bowling alley makes it a cool spot to hang with the family until 10 p.m. when the biz is only open to age 21 and up. Kids will remember the arcade with 20+ themed pinball machines (think: Batman, Star Wars, and Shrek).

Strike and Spare, multiple locations
Over 20 bowling lanes await families looking for hours of fun. Kids will remember the bumper cars at the Murfreesboro and Hendersonville locations.

Pins Mechanical Co., 1102 Grundy St.
Try your luck with duckpin bowling or challenge someone to a game of giant Jenga — kids are welcome anytime before 8 p.m. and bowl for free on Sundays. Kids will remember trying a different style of bowling.

Ford Ice Center, multiple locations
The ice rink facilities offer hockey, figure skating, and curling programs for children and adults. Kids will remember trying ice skating tricks.

Tee Line Nashville, 106 Duluth Ave.
Kids ages 10 and up are welcome to hit the ice for curling sessions or get in a couple rounds of bowling before calling it a day. Kids will remember learning a new sport.

Sensory-friendly playgrounds

A blue playground with slides, a bridge, and other interactive elements.

Nashville’s first BlueCross Healthy Place is located at the Northwest Family YMCA.

Photo by NASHtoday

BlueCross Healthy Place, 3700 Ashland City Hwy.
Amenities include a walking path, basketball and pickleball courts, a challenge course, inclusive play areas, and a splash zone. Kids will remember racing each other through the course.

Thisbe & Noah’s Promise Park, 3777 Nolensville Pk.
Located at the Nashville Zoo, head to this playground after visiting the animals. Kids will remember the interactive scavenger hunt.

Freedom Playground, 110 Sam Ridley Pkwy. E., Smyrna
This all-inclusive, Blue Angels-themed playground is located on the grounds of Lee Victory Park. Kids will remember playing around on aircraft-inspired equipment.

Gallatin Miracle Park, 240 Champion Dr., Gallatin
Explore just under six acres of ADA-compliant recreation, which includes a ball field. Kids will remember cruising around the pedal park.

Thrill-seeking fun

Treetop Adventure Park, Nashville Shores | Season passes available
Children ages 7 and up can swing through the trees, walk across suspended bridges, and navigate obstacles. Kids will remember the giant zipline.

Altitude Trampoline Park, 3432 Lebanon Pk. | Family memberships available
Bounce around with the family at this 45,000-sqft trampoline park. Kids will remember the foam pit, dodgeball, and six-lane “ninja course.”

SOAR Adventure Tower, 3794 Carothers Pkwy., Franklin
Spend hours exploring this four-level rope course with 100+ climbing elements. Kids will remember playing a round of mini golf after a day of climbing.

K1 Speed, 404 Davidson St.
Kids 48″ or taller can take a spin on junior go karts and reach speeds up to ~20 mph. Kids will remember hosting their next birthday party at the venue.

Movin’ and groovin’

The interior a museum exhibit with an electronic historic timeline on the wall.

The NMAAM has many interactive elements as you make your way through the museum.

Photo by NASHtoday

National Museum of African American Music, 510 Broadway | Family memberships available
Create your own beats, record yourself singing, and bust a move as you tour the museum. Kids will remember using the bracelet provided to save songs and playlists for later listening.

School of Rock, multiple locations
Let the kids rock out after school with programs designed for all skill levels, ages, and musical aspirations. Kids will remember playing in venues like the Ryman Auditorium.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 222 Rep. John Lewis Way S. | Family memberships available
Everyone from toddlers to teens to adults will enjoy learning about the past and present of country music. Kids will remember writing songs and playing instruments in the Taylor Swift Education Center.

Brooklyn Bowl Nashville, 925 3rd Ave. N.
The Rock and Roll Playhouse, a national kid-friendly concert series, makes regular stops at the Nashville venue. Kids will remember dancing to songs their parents love.

After-hours attractions

Dyer Observatory, 1000 Oman Dr.
Check the calendar for telescope nights, astronomer meet-and-greets, and concerts under the stars. Kids will remember observing the stars and planets from inside the telescope dome.

Stardust Drive-In Theatre, 310 Purple Tiger Dr., Watertown
Pack the blankets and drive ~40 minutes east of Nashville for a family-friendly double feature under the stars. Kids will remember stretching out with their favorite snacks.

Rivergate Skate Center, 119 Gleaves St.
The skating rink hosts Family Nights (Thursdays) and skate sessions for kids 8 and under (Saturday mornings). Kids will remember Friday night skate parties with friends.

Be prepared

Shop some of our favorite kid-friendly essentials to keep the whole family happy, hydrated, and ready to make memories.

Owala Kids Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler | This tumbler has a spill-resistant straw (yes, that’s a thing) and is top-rack dishwasher safe.

Bentgo Kids 5-Compartment Lunch Box | Pack snacks for kids in a popular Bentgo box that’s BPA-free and dishwasher safe.

Nintendo Switch | You just can’t beat a handheld gaming device for keepings kids quiet, happy, and entertained during car rides around town.

Hap Tim Travel Backpack | Keep everything in a backpack that’s got good padding on the straps, plenty of compartments, a wide mouth opening, and a rain-resistant exterior.

Kids sketch pad | Kids can sketch, take notes, and feel connected to your adventures with a sketchbook meant to inspire creativity.

Disposable cameras | Kids will have a ton of fun + stay entertained by taking their own pictures of what they see during your adventures.

KeepGoing Travel First Aid Kit for Kids | Be prepared for minor scrapes or bruises that could slow your day down — this kit contains 60 pieces of essential first aid supplies.

Sunscreen stick | Have a portable sunscreen stick handy for outdoor adventures.

Map out your adventure

Ready to visit these local attractions but don’t know where to start? We’ve created this handy map so you can find all of these featured activities.

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