World-famous as the Music City that produced country music legends like Dolly Parton and Taylor Swift, Nashville is packed with fun. Nevertheless, Tennessee’s capital offers much more than soulful music and live entertainment. This family-friendly destination delights culture enthusiasts, history buffs, food lovers, and outdoorsy travelers with abundant attractions and activities.
Parents can pack up their itineraries with exciting things to do in Nashville with teens, combining unpretentious fun with educational activities. Are you wondering what to do in Nashville with kids, especially teenagers who find everything “uncool”?
Families can hike through state parks, attend live music shows, and visit historical plantations. Nashville has an intriguing cultural fabric, and teenagers are bound to enjoy interactive exhibitions and guided historical tours. Traditional Southern cuisine is Nashville’s most tempting attraction, for one can never tire of fluffy biscuits, rich multi-layer dips, and fried chicken.
40 Things to Do in Nashville with Teens
Read on to explore 40 entertaining things to do in Nashville with teens without boring them to death.
1. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame
Your family vacation in Nashville is incomplete without diving deep into the city’s rich history of country music. Taylor Swift fans will love visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame, a museum with exceptionally curated exhibitions. Teenagers can explore the Taylor Swift Education Center – a fun, interactive space dedicated to the iconic idol. The museum is also home to the Hatch Show Print, featuring a letterpress dating back to 1879.
2 .Get Up Close with Animals at the Nashville Zoo
Interacting with red pandas, tigers, and platypuses at the zoo is one of the best activities for unpretentious family fun in Nashville. The Nashville Zoo is a world-class facility, home to over 1,700 animals that are nurtured and protected by dedicated volunteers. This venue is ideal for educating teens about animal species native to the Southeast forests and Tennessee.
3. A Guided Tour of Ryman Auditorium
Dubbed the Mother Church of Country Music for its iconic legacy, Ryman Auditorium allows travelers to connect with Nashville’s musical soul. This celebrated venue first opened in 1892, and a guided tour is ideal for exploring its historical nooks and crannies. The onsite museum is an expertly curated collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and tech-savvy exhibitions to captivate young minds.
4. Devour Nashville-Style Hot Fried Chicken
Do you know how Nashville’s world-famous spicy fried chicken originated? A woman decided to punish her cheating husband by loading his chicken with pepper. But much to her disappointment, the peppery chicken turned out delicious, and the recipe became unimaginably popular. If you only have one day in Nashville, you simply cannot leave the city without devouring Hattie B’s Hot Chicken.
5. Attend Live Music Shows
A Nashville family vacation is incomplete without an authentic southern live music experience. You have a wealth of music venues to choose from, for Nashville offers dedicated spaces to enjoy various music genres. You can enjoy live country music, bluegrass, rock, and pop, among others. If you want a stellar combination of history and music, we recommend getting tickets for 3rd & Lindsley or The Ryman.
6. A Train Ride at the Tennessee Central Railway Museum
Parents eager to find educational things to do in Nashville for teenagers must consider visiting the Tennessee Central Railway Museum. This volunteer-run space is a fascinating treasure trove of historic railway components and lovingly preserved artefacts.
The exhibitions focus on the Silver Age of streamliners developed in the 1940s and 1950s. Suppose you’re visiting Nashville during the holiday season, like Easter or Christmas. In that case, you can attend the museum’s festive-themed events, including moonshine tours and fancy wine tastings.
7. Catch a Live Music Performance at the Grand Ole Opry
Travelers find themselves attending live music shows at multiple venues across Nashville, but this one is special and truly magical. The Grand Ole Opry is not your average show. It’s an iconic event first introduced to music lovers in 1925, hosted by the Ryman Auditorium before relocating to its own venue.
The Grand Ole Opry is an hour-long performance featuring country music artists from Nashville and throughout the country. There’s only one performance each week, so be sure to book your tickets in advance.
8. Tour the Belle Meade Plantation
Here’s an exciting venue to dive deep into the traditional Southern world of Scarlett O’Hara: the Belle Meade Plantation. A guided tour of this historic plantation is among the best things to do in Nashville with teens.
Children and teens can walk through horse stables, run through the beautifully manicured 30-acre grounds, and hear gripping stories of African-American immigrants. This 45-minute tour ends with a wine tasting at the onsite winery – a special treat for adults and parents!
9. Embark on a Mural-Spotting Street Adventure
Nashville has a glorious street art scene, and the walkable streets are filled with breathtaking public art displays and murals. Are you hunting for kid-friendly things to do in Nashville without spending much? You’re going to love this idea!
So, the idea is to challenge yourselves to a mural-spotting street adventure. You can either visit the city’s most iconic murals, like Wish for Peace on Charlotte Pike or What Lifts You in the Gulch. Or you can discover lesser-known and new murals around the city. These remarkable public art displays are bound to fill your Insta feed with swoon-worthy clicks.
10. Hop Aboard the Vintage-style Trolley
The Trolley Tour is one of the best family activities to experience Nashville’s history, with a 90-minute ride through the city. This vintage-style vehicle was introduced in the late 1800s, and today, it serves as a well-preserved historical remnant. This activity is perfect for experiencing public transportation from the late 19th century and saving up on commuting expenses.
These green and red trolleys are quite adorable, and the tour covers more than 100 attractions on its route. Some points of interest covered by the tour include Broadway, the Hermitage, the Gulch, State Capitol, and Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.
11. Unravel Historical Legacies at the Tennessee State Museum
Attending interactive exhibitions at the Tennessee State Museum ranks among the most insightful things to do in Nashville for teenagers. This museum is home to the city’s finest multimedia exhibits and vintage artifacts, depicting the state’s pre-colonial legacy and modern history.
Teenagers can unravel the legacies of Tennessee’s theatrical past with gripping exhibitions focusing on the Civil War and post-war reconstruction. We strongly recommend the Tennessee Transforms exhibit to witness how the state has transformed since World War II.
12. Fall in Love with Cinema at the Nashville Schermerhorn Symphony Center
Nashville is brimming with celebrated art and music venues, and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center is truly a class apart. This incredible venue allows cinema lovers to experience their favorite movies with live musical scores. The movies are shown on a high-definition 70-feet screen while an 84-piece orchestra performs the film’s music score and soundtracks.
The multi-sensory experience is enrapturing, to say the least, and an opportunity to experience Nashville’s biggest band. This season’s schedule includes Harry Potter, Disney’s Encanto, and Marvel’s Black Panther in concert. Even if your kids have watched these movies, they will adore rewatching them in a live concert-like setting.
13. Channel Your Inner Hulk in a Smash Room
Long-distance traveling and commuting make us all cranky, and here’s a fun idea to blow off some steam. Taking your teens to a stress-busting rage at smash room Nashville is bound to transform you into a cool parent. Nashville is home to multiple smash rooms, and the best venues include Smash City Rage Room and TN Axe and Smash.
Consider this an opportunity to tap into your primal instincts and go wild as you take out all your frustration. You can smash anything you like however you like, perfect for angsty teens looking to unwind.
14. Treat Your Teens to Retail Therapy
Nashville is one of the best retail therapy destinations in the US, home to innumerable trendy boutiques, thrift stores, and designer labels. You can explore multiple shopping districts that feature boutiques, street food joints, and hip cafes to recharge between your retail hunts.
The Gulch is Nashville’s most vibrant neighborhood, tempting shopaholics with an assortment of local and international brands. The district is brimming with diverse culinary delights and multiple shops selling artisanal fares. Lower Broadway, locally famous as the Honky Tonky Highway, is Nashville’s premier shopping destination.
15. Chilling at Pinewood Social
Pinewood Social is a multi-service venue featuring a bowling alley, a coworking space, a coffee shop, a restaurant, and an outdoor oasis. It’s the perfect spot to catch up with work while your teens challenge themselves to an exciting game of ten-pin bowling.
Bowling is one of the best family activities in Nashville Tennessee, and Pinewood Social offers state-of-the-art recreational amenities. The space is truly ingenious and ideally suited for digital nomads and remote professionals struggling to meet deadlines. You can tune into your remote workplace without feeling guilty about boring your children on a family vacation.
16. Visit the Historic RCA Studio B
Country music enthusiasts wouldn’t want to exclude the RCA Studio B from their Nashville itinerary. This historic recording studio has a venerated position, ranking among the earliest studios that promoted local artists.
The RCA Studio has served some of America’s most talented artists, including Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, and Dolly Parton. It is revered as the birthplace of the soulful Nashville Sound produced by maestros Chet Atkins and Owen Bradley.
A guided tour will lead you through the antiquated halls, offering an enriching behind-the-scenes insight into the music recording business.
17. Combine Fun & Learning at the Adventure Science Center
Visiting the Adventure Science Center is one of the most enjoyable family activities in Nashville Tennessee, featuring over 175 immersive exhibits. Sprawling over 4000-square-foot, the Adventure Science Center offers interactive exhibits on multiple themes, including biology, air and space, earth, and physics.
The exhibits are just as enjoyable and insightful for adults as they are for children and adolescents. One can easily spend an entire day at this nonprofit science museum, learning fascinating details about the mind and environment.
18. Play Forbidden Treasures at the Escape Game
Escape rooms are always a riotous affair and an excellent activity for families to bond by testing their instincts and survival skills. The Escape Game is a true pioneer in the US, and this nationwide chain began its journey in Nashville. You can choose from 3 different locations, but we advise visiting the Escape Game outlet on Berry Hill.
The flagship venue on Berry Hill offers the most spectacular sets to play Forbidden Treasures. The sets are stunningly elaborate, fit to rival any Hollywood thriller with their special effects and immersive themes. All locations offer 11 different rooms, but Forbidden Treasures takes the crown with its action-packed themes and mind-boggling mysteries.
This 60-minute adventure is one of the most exciting things to do in Nashville for teenagers.
19. Stroll through the Sculpture Gardens of Belmont Mansion
Nashville is home to some of the most beautiful historic residences in the US, and Belmont Mansion is utterly magnificent. This grand 18000-square-foot mansion features 36 rooms adorned with precious antiques, rare artwork, and period-style furnishing. Architecture enthusiasts will fall in love with the Italian-style façade and beautifully manicured sculpture gardens.
The Belmont Mansion served as the summer residence of wealthy southern couple, Adelicia and Joseph Acklen. Today, it serves as a museum that tells gripping stories from the pre-Civil War era. Walking through the opulent interiors of Adelicia’s Bedroom and the French-style drawing rooms is like stepping back in time.
20. Enjoy Goo Clusters from Goo Chocolate Co
Local delicacies and Southern-style cuisine are major themes of a well-rounded family vacation in Nashville. Travelers cannot truly experience Nashville without treating their tastebuds to the city’s official candy: Goo Clusters.
First introduced by Howell Campbell in 1912, these sugary treats are a concoction of caramel, marshmallows, milk chocolate, and peanuts.
21. Embark on a Family Boating Adventure
River cruises are one of the most delightful family things to do in Nashville, but these tours often lack privacy. Families with considerable boating experience might prefer the autonomy and independence of renting a private pontoon boat.
Nashville is the perfect destination for a boating adventure, and you can explore multiple destinations. Cumberland River is a great spot to enjoy scenic views and indulge in water sports like tubing, waterskiing, and wakeboarding. Those who prefer the tranquility of the lake can check out Old Hickory Lake, Percey Priest Lake, or Radnor Lake.
22. Witness 19th and 20th-Century art at the Parthenon
The Parthenon is a glorious architectural gem, a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon, constructed in 1897. Nestled in the heart of Centennial Park, this majestic building exudes old-world charm with its Greek Revival-style architecture.
This art museum ranks among the most insightful kid friendly things to do in Nashville, combining learning with endless charm. The museum offers a series of permanent and rotating exhibitions featuring artwork from the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum’s 42-foot statue of Athena is a magnificent sight to behold.
Families visiting Nashville in the summer can attend the local productions hosted by the Parthenon in Centennial Park.
23. A Family Picnic at Cheekwood Estate and Gardens
A stunning venue sprawling over 55 acres of 12 diversely beautiful landscapes, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens is a treat for nature lovers. The estate is a wondrous amalgamation of art and nature, featuring over 7,000 artworks and enchanting wooded pathways.
Families can access innumerable picnic tables scattered in picturesque settings throughout the estate and its vast grounds. The best time to visit the estate is during seasonal festivities, like the Cheekwood Light Festival or Spring Flower Festival.
24. Automotive Musings at the Lane Motor Museum
Here’s one of the most captivating things to do in Nashville with teens obsessed with cars: tour the Lane Motor Museum. A paradise for automotive enthusiasts and gearheads, the museum features over 150 vintage vehicles.
The themed exhibits feature microcars, military trucks, motorcycles, and vehicles from the pre-1960s. You can spot a few modern vehicles, but the majority of the exhibits focus on early 20th-century automotive innovations. This museum offers the most extensive collection of American and European vehicles, including a quirky exhibit on propeller cars.
25. Inspire a Love for Astronomy at the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory
Visiting the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory is a great choice for parents seeking informative things for kids to do in Nashville. Vanderbilt University built this astronomical observatory in 1953 to educate people on astronomy, science, and engineering.
Adults and children can watch the starry nighttime sky, map out the milk way and learn about celestial bodies. Viewers learn about every celestial body in the galaxy to learn about their role and significance in the solar system.
26. Spend a Day at Marathon Village
Marathon Village offers a whirlwind of exciting Nashville activities for families, bringing the best of the city into one place. This contemporary village offers a well-rounded Nashville experience with scrumptious food, thematic performances, antique shops, thrift stores, and abundant art.
We recommend spending an entire day in this creative space to experience everything. One needs time to explore the attractions, from the performances and art studios to the street food and historical architecture.
27. Feast on Authentic Southern Cuisine at Loveless Café
People line up outside Loveless Café every single day to enjoy Nashville’s fluffiest and flakiest biscuits. These heavenly clouds of flaky goodness are certainly worth driving outside town, paired with an assortment of southern-style treats.
Loveless Café is the ultimate spot to feast on authentic southern cuisine. Suppose you only have one day in Nashville and want to experience the goodness of famed local staples. In that case, Loveless Café is an experience you shouldn’t miss out on under any circumstances.
The menu is brimming with decadent delicacies, including country-style ham, Nashville fried chicken, and scintillating gravies.
28. Ziplining Adventures at Fontanel Mansion
The Fontanel Mansion is a much-needed getaway from the hustle and bustle of downtown Nashville. This breathtaking estate, the former residence of Barbara Mandrell, features lush greenery, vineyards, and walking trails set against the rolling hills.
One of the most exciting outdoor family activities in Nashville Tennessee, ziplining through the estate is incredibly thrilling. Fontanel offers nine ziplines, ranging from 700 feet to 85 feet high, spread across more than 1.5 miles of unfiltered beauty. The mansion is home to one of Tennessee’s oldest forests; visitors can step inside to explore the celebrity residence.
29. Splashy Fun at the Nashville Shores Water Park
The ultimate summertime adventure, Nashville Shores Water Park offers the most exhilarating family things to do in Nashville. The world-class park offers ten water slides, a lakeside Aqua Park, a beach, a lazy river, a wave pool, and multiple outdoor pools. The entire premises is filled with innumerable attractions enjoyable for all age groups, including adults and teens.
Adventures can fly through the breathtaking forest canopy with three adrenalin-packed courses. The treetop adventures are packed with action with their hanging bridges, rope swings, and challenging obstacle courses. The park offers well-appointed lakeside cabins and camping grounds for families eager to enjoy the landscape overnight.
30. Visit the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
Visiting the exhibits of the Tennessee Sports Hall of fame is one of the top Nashville activities for families who love sports. This downtown attraction is equally engaging for adults and teens, featuring exhibits that honor revered sports legends.
This museum pays homage to athletes, sports teams, coaches, sportswriters, and iconic players. The showcases honor Tennessee’s finest sports legends, including Daren Bates, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, and Reggie Grimes. There’s a dedicated entertainment space for kids while adults busy themselves with exploring the museum.
31. Artisanal Chocolate-Making Tour at Olive and Sinclair
Olive and Sinclair is Nashville’s oldest and finest chocolate maker, famed as Tennessee’s first bean-to-bar chocolate company. Every Saturday, Olive and Sinclair offer guided tours to give a peek inside their artisanal craft. This tour is one of the most immersive family activities in Nashville Tennessee, brimming with decadent treats and cultural insights.
The tour includes a thorough overview of the process, from roasting the beans to whipping up flavored chocolates. Visitors can taste a wide range of specialties, including duck fat caramels and chocolate seasoned with sea salt.
32. Art Attack at the Frist Art Museum
If you have to choose one art museum for your Nashville itinerary, the Frist Art Museum is an excellent choice. This monolithic treasure trove is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, celebrated as one of the largest museums in the US.
Frist Art Museum features some of the most exceptionally curated rotating exhibitions in Nashville. This museum doesn’t have any permanent exhibits, but rather, it specializes in traveling exhibits featuring globally renowned artists. Some of the themes include avant-garde sculptures, medieval art, Art Deco, American West landscapes, British Art Nouveau, and Cuban art.
33. Shop at the Nashville Farmers Market
Nashville has a vibrant farming culture and a thriving farm-to-table dining scene. The best way to experience this culture is by visiting the local farmers market. This vibrant space will introduce you to a wide host of local businesses, artisans, food vendors, and craftspeople.
Travelers can shop for local produce, sample street food, and buy crafts from artisans around the region. The market also features cooking demonstrations and live music.
34. Experience History at the National Museum of African American Music
The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) is an iconic space dedicated to Black music history in the United States. It’s one of the most interesting things to do in Nashville for teenagers captivated by African American music and its evolution. The interactive exhibits offer valuable insight into the evolution of Black music and how it evolved into various genres.
Views can hear an extensive selection of songs and dive deep into songwriting processes across multiple generations. Teenagers will love this place, especially making their own playlists and beats and crooning along with the onsite gospel choir.
35. Go Thrift Shopping at the Nashville Flea Market
The Nashville Flea Market is a spectacular treasure trove for vintage fashion lovers and seasoned bargain hunters. This retail heaven is laden with old-fashioned clothing, prized antiques, artisanal crafts, and leather goods.
The market features over 1200 vendors from 30 states, selling everything from antiques and clothing to jewelry, furniture, and more. You can catch the market on the fourth weekend of each month, held at the Fairgrounds.
36. Visit the Johnny Cash Museum
Whether you’re a fan of Johnny Cash or not, visiting this well-done museum is highly recommended. The space is dedicated to Cash’s life and music career, featuring exhibits of his handwritten lyrics, instruments, and costumes. Some of the exhibits are more personal and romantic, focusing on his relationship and marriage with June Carter.
Once you’re done touring the museum, head over to the onsite Bar & BBQ. You can enjoy southern-style dining with live music. This restaurant serves one of Nashville’s best renditions of pulled pork with mashed potatoes.
37. Kayaking Adventure on Cumberland River
Kayaking is one of the best kid-friendly things to do in Nashville and an ingenious strategy to experience the city’s skyline. Paddling on the Cumberland River will take you from downtown to Lower Broadway, covering some of the most iconic sites. You can admire the architecture of the Shelby Street Bridge up close, surrounded by sweeping views of the Riverfront Park.
Families who prefer guided tours can explore various local businesses. Guided tours are more insightful than venturing out independently, featuring detailed overviews of the local culture and history.
38. Click Selfies with Celebrities at Madame Tussauds
Nashville offers an exceptionally maintained branch of the world-famous Madadem Tussauds chain, located on Broadway in the Downtown area. Nashville’s rendition of the globally renowned wax museum focuses on music and local artists.
Visitors can click selfies with statues of country music legends like Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Keith Urban, and Taylor Swift. The onsite soul lounge is the most incredible space, featuring interactive jazz exhibits. Travelers can join Elvis Presley as he performs on stage or plays alongside icons like Jimi Hendrix.
39. A Mysterious Whodunit Affair at the Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show
The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show is hands-down one of the best Nashville activities for families who adore whodunits and mysteries. This mysterious affair combines deductive reasoning with delicious multi-course southern cuisine.
This theatrical entertainment will elevate your itinerary if you adore solving puzzles and devouring fried chicken. This show isn’t your average theatrical dinner show. It offers much more than just costumes and scripted dialogue. The sequences are laced with intriguing clues, mind-boggling facts, lengthy interrogations, and imposters (undercover actors) eating at your own table!
40. Unravel Nashville’s Story at the Historic Traveler’s Rest
Historic Traveler’s Rest is a 1799 plantation, present-day historical museum, and Nashville’s oldest residence. This longstanding estate allows travelers to peek inside the city’s enigmatic evolution with intriguing historical artifacts and memorabilia.
This 10-acre estate offers a much-needed reprieve from the bustling city quarters, offering manicured grounds to relax and unwind. We suggest a guided tour to learn about the plantation and residence and enjoy its period-style interiors.
Free Family Activities in Nashville, Tn
Here are some free family activities in Nashville, TN.
1. A City-wide Scavenger Hunt
Consider embarking on a scavenger hunt to find popular and lesser-known historical landmarks across the city. This idea is great for large families, as you can create multiple groups and set out several themes. The idea is to cover multiple quarters of Nashville to find as many historical landmarks as possible. It’s a great way to explore the city and make new discoveries.
2. Catch a Play on Broadway
Broadway is a glorious thoroughfare in Downtown Nashville featuring free performances, theatrical shows, and live music. Families can attend free plays or enjoy live music while strolling through the streets.
3. Go Hiking
Nashville is an action-packed destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventures eager to enrich their family vacations with rewarding hikes. Many of the wooded trails lead to the riverfront, while others lead to cascading waterfalls. The Sewanee Perimeter Trail is a popular route, while the Rutledge Falls and Fiery Gizz trails are also incredible.
Can Minors Go into Bars in Nashville with Their Parents?
Yes, minors can accompany their parents into bars from 7 pm to 10 pm. Most local bars do not admit children at night.
Is Downtown Nashville Kid Friendly?
Yes! There’s an abundance of kid-friendly things to do in Nashville downtown, and the streets are quite walkable and stroller-friendly.
Can Kids Go to Broadway Street in Nashville?
Yes. Most of the honky-tonks and local attractions do not have an adults-only policy.
What Is the Number One Attraction in Nashville?
Every traveler has their own preferences when it comes to Nashville’s incredible diversity of attractions. But if we had to pick one, it would be the Grand Ole Opry, given its significance in Nashville’s identity as the birthplace of country music.