Top Family-Friendly Summer Attractions in Nashville

Published Jan 19, 2017 | Updated Nov 5, 2018

Summer is the perfect time to explore all of the awesome attractions Nashville has to offer. Check out our list of must-see attractions, and be a tourist in your own home town!

2015 Top Family-Friendly Summer Attractions in Nashville, TN

 Adventure Science Center

For nearly 70 years, Adventure Science Center has brought science to life for students, teachers and families in Middle Tennessee, Southern Kentucky, Northern Alabama and beyond.

The Center offers hands-on, interactive exhibits and engaging programs that encourage visitors of all ages to explore how science is relevant in their lives. Adventure Science Center encourages imagination and curiosity in a fun, dynamic learning environment.

 Music City Trolley Hop

Explore Nashville at your own pace!  Gray Line of Tennessee’s Music City Trolley Hop on/off tour is a fully narrated 1-hr. tour featuring unlimited hop on/hop off privileges at 17 attractions and points of interest. 

See the Ryman Auditorium, the Parthenon, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Music Row, Vanderbilt University, the Tennessee State Capitol, Antique Archaeology (Mike Wolfe’s shop from the hit History Channel TV Show American Pickers), and so much more! 

 Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere opened in 1991, and has since become the number one attraction in Middle Tennessee.  Home to well over 300 species, animal lovers are sure to find some of their favorites!

Aside from educational programs and popular hands-on animal exhibits, younger guests can ride the Wilderness Express Train and Wild Animal Carousel, or play on the legendary Jungle Gym.

Be sure to ask about special events, which seem to occur weekly during the summer!

 Country Music Hall of Fame

For country music fans, you simply cannot miss the Country Music Hall of Fame! The most recent inductees (in 2014) are Hank Cochran, Ronnie Milsap, and Mac Wiseman.

Several youth and family events and programs (both entertainment and education-based) are offered throughout the year, which make the Hall a fun place for any country music fan over the age of about 3!

 The Grand Ole Opry

The Grand Ole Opry is dedicated to honoring country music's history and as well as present stars--not bad for what was originally a radio broadcast in 1925!

The Opry is now an American icon and a unique entertainment experience for audiences of all ages. The “home of American music” and “country’s most famous stage” hosts hundreds of thousands of people every year to see the Grand Ole Opry show live.

 Cheekwood Art & Gardens

Cheekwood Art & Gardens is a historic landmark in Nashville on several levels. Joel Cheek, a Nashville entrepreneur, developed a coffee, which he sold to the Maxwell House hotel (yes, now known as Maxwell House Coffee). His family, including Mabel Cheek, was one of the investors.  

Upon selling their business in 1928, the Cheeks' used their fortunre bought a vast amount of woodland in west Nashville, where they build a very impressive mansion and garden. During the 1950s, Mabel Cheek and her husband Walter Sharp donated the the site as a botanical garden and art museum, where it stands today, and hosts several exhibits, kids' programs, and special events.

 Adventure Works

Adventure Works is home to Nashville's exciting Zip Tours, (9 zip lines) and the Aerial Trekking challenge, where participants climb and swing across cables and ropes among the treetops!  

Aerial Trekking is recommended for anyone aged 12 and older; Zip Tours are recommended for ages 6 and older.

Reservations are recommended.

 Frist Center of the Visual Arts

The Frist Center opened in April 2001, and is unlike any traditional museum.

New art flows through the magnificent Art Deco building every 6 to 8 weeks, so there is always something new to see. One of the most popular locations in the center is the Martin ArtQuest Gallery. ArtQuest activities abound for people of all ages.

With several interactive stations, and the assistance of knowledgeable staff and volunteers, ArtQuest teaches through activity. It’s free to participate with gallery admission for adults and always free for youth, aged 18 and under!

 Nashville Children's Theatre

At Nashville Children's Theatre, the professional production season runs from September until May, so summer is the only time children are featured on stage.  

These stage productions are a result of a wide range of summer camps which are offered for children aged 3 to 18.

 Nashville Shores

Located just outside Nashville, in Hermitage, TN on the shores of Percy Priest Lake, Nashville Shores is a great place to take the family.  

With a water slides, a wave pool, zip lines, RV & Camping facilities, jet-ski and boat rentals, and more, there is something for everyone. 

Daily and season passes are available.

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