Visiting Nashville: Unique Family Activities in Nashville
Maybe the food and music (and drinking) scene in Nashville has you thinking it’s a travel destination best suited for a girls trip or bachelor party. But in our experience, Nashville is very family friendly. True, you won’t be honky tonking until bar time (unless you get a sitter), but there is still loads of food and music to experience with kids when visiting Nashville. Plus, with 178 parks and 99 miles of greenway, there are plenty of outdoor spaces to explore as a family.
We asked BabyQuip Quality Providers to share their favorite family-friendly, off-the-beaten path spots. We’ve highlighted the parks, restaurants, and music venues that real Nashville families love. Keep scrolling to learn more about these unique, family-friendly activities in the Music City!
Best parks in Nashville for families.
1. Cumberland Park
Located along Nashville’s riverfront, Cumberland Park is an innovative, outdoor playspace. Kids of all ages will squeal with delight at the splash pad. Other features include a see-saw for kids and adults, climbing wall, and Corian slide that stays cool in hot weather. This one-of-a-kind park also offers great views of Downtown Nashville. You can easily spend a couple of hours exploring this park and burning off some energy.
2. Stones River Greenway
Explore the scenic Stones River by bike or foot on this multi-use trail. BabyQuip Quality Provider Caitlin Newman and her son love getting out on the Greenway because, simply put, “It’s really beautiful!” The trail will take you across bike and pedestrian-only bridges and through meadows as it follows the river. This mostly flat trail offers plenty of shade and is easy to navigate.
It’s easy to rent a bike from Bike the Greenway, where they’ll set you up for the 8-mile, one-way journey. A two-seat kid trailer is available at no additional charge. Reservations are strongly recommended—especially if you need a trailer. The fee is also fully refundable if bad weather strikes when you’re visiting Nashville!
3. Fannie Mae Dees Park (aka Dragon Park)
Known locally as Dragon Park, this playground is located in the West End neighborhood about three miles from downtown Nashville. It offers several play spaces with a sand feature, water sprayer in the summer months, and plenty of shade trees. For kids with disabilities, there are accessible swings and a wheelchair accessible playscape. The park gets its name from the large dragon sculpture that kids are free to climb on. If parking isn’t available in the small lot, you can park on 26th Ave and 24th Ave.
Best family-friendly restaurants to eat at while visiting Nashville.
1. Coco’s Italian Market & Restaurant
Authentic Italian cuisine in Nashville? Why not? BabyQuip Quality Provider Allie McGrath suggests Coco’s. Kids can amuse themselves at the play kitchen while the adults sip on a glass of wine. For an adventurous main course, the Timpano is unique. And as a souvenir, you can take home a jar of Lucia’s Marinara Sauce.
2. BoomBozz Craft Pizza & Taphouse
BoomBozz is the perfect pizza choice for families with busy toddlers and kids. The East Nashville location boasts a fenced-in outdoor playground where your little can run around while you relax. From the menu, we recommend the delicious and kid pleasing pretzel sticks with cheese dip. Allie McGrath loves the Chicken Bacon Avocado pizza. And if you happen to be visiting Nashville on a Tuesday, kids eat free!
3. Hugh-Baby’s BBQ & Burger Shop
Hugh-Baby’s offers diners a taste of southern burgers and BBQ. The simple but complete menu features beef that’s ground fresh in house. On Fridays, you can order the depression-era Slugburger. It’s made with ground pork and soy meal and topped with pickles, onions, and mustard. The Charlotte Ave location has a small play area located within the covered patio.
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Best family-friendly music venues to experience while visiting Nashville.
1. Plaza Mariachi
At Plaza Mariachi, you’ll experience Latin culture, art, music, entertainment, and food in a family-friendly atmosphere. Daytime shows are usually free, including the popular Beyond Wings. The kids will love this circus style variety show with acrobats, fire dancers, snake charmers, and contortionists. If you’re looking for table service, check out the Tex-Mex offerings at Madera Cafe. For casual, counter service tacos, there’s Taqueria Hidalgo. Get your game on at Tito’s Playland—an arcade and indoor playground with slides, tunnels, and climbing structures. Tito’s is best suited for kids 3–10, but any arcade loving human will enjoy this experience.
2. Robert’s Western World
Just because you’re doing Nashville with a toddler, doesn’t mean you have to skip the live music venues. Your honky toddler can break in the dance floor at Robert’s Western World. Get there early…the traditional country music starts at 11 a.m. When you get hungry, order lunch from the Honky Tonk Grill. The $6 Recession Special includes a fried bologna sandwich, side of chips, Moon Pie and PBR.
3. Musicians Corner
Located in Centennial Park in the heart of Nashville, Musicians Corner is a live, outdoor music series. It hosts events on Saturdays in May and June and on Thursdays in September. In addition to entertainment, there are food trucks on site and a pub serving beer, wine and cocktails. The event includes a special kids space which is appropriately named Kidsville. Your little one can learn about music, get crafty, and participate in some fitness fun. Be sure to bring lawn chairs or a picnic blanket. Food and non-alcoholic beverage carry-ins are allowed.
Ready to start planning your family trip to Nashville? BabyQuip Quality Providers can help you pack light and travel happy. They rent full-size cribs, strollers, car seats, high chairs, toys and more!
Kathy is a freelance writer, an Independent Quality Provider with BabyQuip and the mother of a very active one-year-old boy. When she’s not changing diapers, developing engaging content for clients, or helping families travel with little ones, she enjoys reading, gardening, yoga, and naps.