Nashville has so much more to offer than just its world-famous music. Take the family outside to explore some terrific attractions and adventures right in the middle of Music City, or just a short drive from it. Enjoy Nashville’s big green parks and outdoor adventures from up in the air, on the ground, and on the water. Meet kangaroos and tortoises, explore a rain garden, pick your own berries, move a giant granite globe, zip line through the woods, and more when you get to know Nashville.
Zip Over the Zoo
Grab seats on the Soaring Eagle zip line to fly 110-feet high above the animals at the Nashville Zoo to get a birds-eye view of the rhinos and giraffes. Kids 5 and under can climb aboard the animal-themed Wilderness Express Train for a short ride, or you can take the little ones for a spin on the carousel, with 39 colorful wooden animals to ride. There’s a shell station where the kids can pat and learn about tortoises, not to mention areas where your family can get up close to kangaroos and feed small parrots.
This riverfront park combines a cool design with great views of the city. The super-creative nature and play areas include a kid-sized rock-climbing wall, a maze, and an interactive splash pad. Families can also follow a trail that was created to attract butterflies.
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
Spread out across 19 acres, smack dab in the middle of Nashville, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is packed with fun things for families to see and do. Check out the 18,000-pound granite globe floating and spinning on water, the Rivers of Tennessee fountains, and a 200-foot-wide map of Tennessee in granite. There are walking paths and grassy lawns for the kids to run around on and 50 freestanding pillars housing 95 bells that play on the hour. Just west of the park, the Nashville Farmers’ Market is open 362 days out of the year.
Shelby Park and Shelby Bottoms Nature Center
Situated along the Cumberland River, Shelby Park draws folks for boating, hiking, biking, fishing, golf, tennis, bird watching, and frog spotting. Next to the park, the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center has a Nature Play area, where kids can have fun with dirt, water, and sand. (Tip: Bring a change of clothes, just in case.)
Located just 9 miles from downtown, Warner Parks’ 3,100 acres are loaded with hiking and biking trails, golf courses, and an equestrian center with horse trails. At the Warner Park Nature Center, guides teach visitors about plants and critters like turtles and frogs at a pond, creek, and organic garden.
Kayak the Cumberland River
If your family knows their way around the water, then head to the Cumberland River for a self-guided kayak tour from Shelby Park to Riverfront Park with River Queen Voyages. If your crew wants to stay dry, then take a walk on the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge for awesome views.
Nashville Shores Water Park and Treetop Adventure Park
When you are ready to cool off or play in the woods, head over to Nashville Shores Water Park, which has a wave pool, beach, lazy river, and eight gigantic waterslides. The nearby Treetop Adventure Park has 10 zip lines that zoom through the woods, plus cargo nets, Tarzan swings, ladders, and more for your little climbers.
Cheer for the Nashville Sounds
Enjoy a sunny day outdoors and root, root, root for the home team when you take the gang out to a baseball game. Watch Minor League Baseball team, the Nashville Sounds, knock it out of the park at their home stadium, First Tennessee Park. If the weather is cooperating, you can catch a few rays and a stray foul ball, too!
Bike the Greenway
Rent bikes and hit the Two Rivers Park Trail for exciting rides through tunnels and parks, along rivers, and across bridges. Choose from a flatter, easier pathway, or a tougher one for hardcore bikers.
Pick Your Own Berries
Scoot your family out to the country, where they can explore farm life just 30 miles from Nashville. At Bottom View Farm, kids can pick their own strawberries, see the farm animals up close, ride on donkeys and in a train pulled by a tractor, and play in a mini-Western town. When stomachs start growling, chow down at the farm-fresh restaurant, and enjoy a sweet treat at the ice cream parlor.