NASHtoday Events

Relive summer camp days at these 4 Nashville events

Summer camp isn’t just for kids, you know. Here’s how to relive the days of roasting marshmallows, stargazing, and making crafts.

A telescope set up in a field and a partly cloudy sky as dusk.

Don’t forget to pack a blanket or lawn chair for the star parties. | Photo via Tennessee State Parks + Barnard-Seyfert Astronomical Society of Nashville

If you find yourself longing for the carefree days of summer camp, we have a solution that doesn’t involve packing a bag or pitching a tent. Channel your inner camper and relive those nostalgic memories at the following local events.

Ernest Day | Saturday, June 8 | 2-10 p.m. | Montgomery Bell State Park | Free

  • Travel ~35 miles west of downtown for the state park’s annual celebration of the 1987 movie “Ernest Goes to Camp,” which was filmed onsite and starred the late Jim Varney. Expect camp-themed activities before the 8:30 p.m. screening, including archery, canoeing, turtle catapulting (don’t worry, no turtles will be harmed), a look-alike contest, and a Q+A with “Ernest” actors.

Camp Way Late | Friday, June 14 | 7-10 p.m. | Adventure Science Center, 800 Fort Negley Blvd. | $40+

  • The after-hours, 21+ event has a little of everything: campfire singalongs, stargazing in the planetarium, marshmallow roasting, camp crafts, improv shows, and more. Plus, enjoy local bites and themed sips from Rosemary & Beauty Queen, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, and Jay Roc’s Smokin Grill.

Public Star Parties | Saturday, June 15 + Saturday, June 22 | Times vary | Locations vary | Free

  • Enjoy a couple nights under twinkling lights as members of the Barnard-Seyfert Astronomical Society set up telescopes and other displays for up-close star viewing. Here’s what to know before heading out to Bell Bend Outdoor Center (June 15) and Montgomery Bell State Park (June 22).

Porter Flea | Friday, June 14-Saturday, June 15 | Times vary | The Fairgrounds Nashville, Expo 1, 401 Wingrove St. | Free+

  • The semi-annual market has a new theme — yep, you guessed it — Summer Camp. Get tickets to the Friday preview event for first dibs on handmade decor, clothing, fine art, jewelry, and more. We’re already eyeing these tinned fish candles and silk scarves. Pro tip: Parking is $10 cash both days.