So I nanny in Nashville for a family there- and so I have spent endless hours doing just about everything possible to do with kids in the city. Here are my suggestions for the best kid activities in the city!
There are SO Many awesome parks in Nashville. But here are some of the best (and our favorites!)
This park on 12th south in a children's heaven. It has an adorable creek running through it which is fun to explore. Then there are also 2 different playgrounds, one of which is dubbed the little kid playground with smaller equipment and such. Behind the playground is a giant hill for climbing and playing on. In addition to that, there is a little walking path that goes through the entire park. Bonus that Las Paletas popsicles in right across the street so you can walk over a grab some and bring them to the park. There is tons of green space and trees. This is by far our favorite park to visit. Also in spring summer and fall there is a fabulous farmer's market there on Tuesdays which is extremely well done.
This park is known for its dragon like ceramic statue thing that is a blast for kids to climb on and enjoy. It also has a pretty neat slide and climbing structure on the backside of the park as well as some unique things to climb on like a moving platform. It has a small sand pit as well, and plenty of picnic tables in the shade to sit in.
This park is in front of a school, and doesn't have very much shade. Therefore we don't go there all too much, but if we do go we go for the colorful tunnels which are pretty fun to run through.
Green Hills Park-
This one, again, is attached to a school. It's not an awesome park since it has not a ton of playground space and is kind of secluded. However it does have an awesome like spiderweb type thing that you can climb which is a favorite of my kiddos to visit and play with. We also go there to watch everyone play tennis which is extremely entertaining to them. Kids...
This is a well known park in Nashville that we tend to visit quite a bit. We love the large open spaces, and walking paths. Often we play on the pantheon steps. But the best part is by far the pond and the ducks. We will walk laps around the pond, enjoy, and feed the ducks whatever snack I might have in my car. It is always so much fun.
This park is small but so very cute and intimate. It has green space, a playground, sandbox, etc. It is in short just a fun place to take a few friends and hang out. it has a nice picnic table, some shade, and is never super crowded.
Adventure Science Center
This is MUST do in Nashville. The girls have a membership and I cannot remember the last time we went a week without visiting this fabulous wonderland. There is so much to do that we never get bored of it. It is fun for kids 2 till 12. They have some stable exhibits like the body world but then there are others that change 2-3 times a year to include all kinds of new and exciting things to do with kids. This place in a mecca of happiness, and is never very crowded in the after school hours when we go. When it's too hot, or too cold, you have to go check in out!
However, if you get better weather the Nashville zoo is pretty fabulous. One of the best things about the zoo is it's size. It is a very small and accessible zoo for kids since it is not overwhelming and you can see everything in just 2 or so hours. It can be pricey but it is worth it. They have a critter encounters area where you can pet and brush goats. There is also another section with kangaroos that you walk through and occasionally they will let you pet those. The other interactive part is feeding and playing with the parakeets which will gladly land on you. They also have a fabulous carousel, and a great playground for kids to explore. So, in short, go to the zoo!
Gymboree Play and Music
This is an indoor play space for infant through 5 year olds. They offer developmental classes that you enroll in but they also ofter open gym at different times almost every day of the week. You pay $10 and can stay the whole time if you would like! There is tons of soft equipment to crawl, climb on, jump over, etc. This makes it so very perfect for a rainy day with really little ones. The 3-year-old I work for raves about it on a daily basis.
Bounce U/Pump It Up
This are almost the same thing. They are those big places with tons of different types of bounce houses. We prefer bounce U but they are essentially the same thing. The staff at these places are what makes it seriously SO great. They want to play with the kids, will let the kids jump and climb and play with them for hours at a time. Its awesome if you get tired of jumping and chasing after 20-30 minutes like me.
Sky High Sports
This is one of those massive trampoline parks where the walls and floor are all continuous trampolines. They even have one of those giant foam pits you can jump into. it is not great for really young kids but for kids that are a little bit older, it is a great option to get out your energy!
This is another activity perfect for the colder or too hot days. Parnassus is a small bookstore on Hillsboro across from Green Hills Mall. It is awesome because it has an amazing little children's section in the back that you can visit. They have a train table, tons of books, and a carpet. My kids will go in there, and read and play for about 1 hour or 2 hours. It is more like a library than a bookstore and sometimes we go home with a book, sometimes we just play and then leave. They also have a great story time at 3:30 on Thursdays. They serve popcorn and the girl who runs the story time is so sweet and great with kids as well!
Normally this would not be thought of as a great place to go with kids but this art museum actually has an AMAZING children's section called art quest. There is painting, blocks, movies, and tons of other crafts that constantly change. It is good for kids as young as 3 but also works for those getting up to 12 years of age because some of the activities can be as advanced as you want them to be. We spend 2 hours there easily but could probably spend a bit longer!
Paint your own pottery is always a fun adventure for us. Brushfire is great with big tables- its never too crowded, and it's right next door to Gymboree so when we are done painting we can go there to get our energy out. They have a fun selection of pottery!
Phillips toy mart-
This is an incredible toy store! It's got a train table, and a part where you can climb up into the train and be the conductor, and then another portion where you can play with doll houses and other toys. We go in a lot and don't even buy anything but just look and explore around! Also, for easter they bring in adorable live bunnies so we always visit and pet those. That is such a treat for my girlies.