Nashville is a great place to visit with the family!

19 Best Things to Do on a Nashville Family Vacation

Nashville is famous for being the hometown of country music. It even goes by the nickname “Music City.”

So, when in Nashville, you must experience what makes this city different from any other city. MUSIC!! Nashville is not just all about music though. It offers families many other fun things to do!

Here are the best things to do on a Nashville family vacation.

Things to Do on a Nashville Family Vacation

1. Walk Broadway

The Broadway area is a must-see when in Nashville. The best way to experience it is to get out, walk it and see what you can find and what you can hear!

There are many restaurants, dessert spots, shops, and honky-tonk bars here. The Johnny Cash Museum is also in this area.

Walk Broadway to take in Nashville.

When in Nashville, you must go shopping for cowboy boots. Here on Broadway, you will find quite a few cowboy boot stores. Go in, browse and have fun trying on boots. They have a wide selection for the whole family.

On a Nashville family vacation you have to try on cowboy boots.

2. Listen to Live Music/HonkeyTonk

When in Nashville, you have to take in live music and experience a honkey tonk bar. I love live music and the Broadway area has no shortage of this.

Can you experience a honkey tonk bar with kids? Yes, even with kids you can go to a honkey tonk bar. Some of the honkey tonk bars close around 6 pm for kids. So your best bet is to eat lunch or an early dinner with your kids.

For lunch, we ate at BB King’s Blues Club. This is a great restaurant to take kids to. We enjoyed eating while listening to the live blues music.

Later that night, we came back to Broadway and had dinner at the Wildhorse Saloon. The Wildhorse Saloon is a massive three-level restaurant/bar that also has line dancing and live concerts.

This place is so much fun! We all enjoyed watching the live concert and watching people line dancing. I was having so much fun bursting out singing to the live country music. My kids, however, were a little embarrassed.

Listening to live music is a must on a Nashville family vacation.

3. Eat and Design Chocolate at Goo Goo Cluster Nashville

Also located in the Broadway area, Goo Goo Cluster Nashville is a must-stop on a Nashville family vacation. Goo Goo Cluster is known as America’s first combination candy bar.

Going to Goo Goo Cluster is one of the best things to do with kids in Nashville.

If you’ve never had a Goo Goo Cluster you must come here and try one! A Goo Goo cluster consists of marshmallow nougat, caramel, and roasted peanuts covered in milk chocolate.

The inside of the store is amazingly designed! It’s made to look like a chocolate factory. Your kids are going to love all the interactive features.

A must-do here at Goo Goo Cluster is designing your own chocolate! I gave my kids the option if they wanted to buy chocolate already made, get ice cream or make their own chocolate. My youngest decided to make his own!

This is such a fun thing for kids to do. You pick what ingredients you would like to add to the chocolate and it is rapidly frozen and ready to eat in about 5-10 minutes.

Fun ingredients you can add include sprinkles, fruity pebbles, mini marshmallows, pretzels, and cinnamon toast crunch.

 Making you own chocolate is fun for the whole family.

Location: 116 3rd Avenue South, Nashville TN 37201
Hours: Open Daily from 10 am -6 pm

4. Explore the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

On a Nashville family vacation, you must go to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Even for those non country music lovers, come here and get a feel for Nashville’s roots in country music.

The building is just beautiful! It’s a massive museum full of country music memorabilia. My daughter and I being Taylor Swift fans loved seeing Taylor’s clothing!

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a must on a Nashville family vacation.

They also offer fun children’s activities for the kids to do. When we were there, they had a craft where kids could make and decorate a cowboy boot!

Crafts for the kids at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is so much fun for the kids.

The wall of records was amazing! This wall shows just how much country music has influenced people throughout the years.

The wall of records at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is amazing!

To purchase your tickets to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, click here!

If you are interested in visiting RCA Studio B, you could also purchase a combo ticket, which includes the Country Music Hall of Fame, RCA Studio B tour, and Hatch Show Print tour.

We didn’t visit Studio B, but I really wish we had. Studio B is where famous music stars Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and many others recorded music.

To purchase your Combo Tickets to Country Music Hall of Fame, RCA Studio B, Hatch Show Print, click here!

Location: 222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN 37203
Hours: Open Daily from 9:00 am-5:00 pm

5. Walk the Music City Walk of Fame

The Music City Walk of Fame is located across the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Visit this before or after visiting the museum.

The Music City Walk of Fame is similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Here though in Nashville, music artists are recognized from every genre that have some tie to Nashville.

Walk and have fun seeing who you can find! Some stars you can find recognized here include Kid Rock, Johnny Cash, Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Jimi Hendrix.

6. Visit the Grand Ole Opry

Seeing the Grand Ole Opry building is a must on a Nashville family vacation. The Grand Ole Opry is such an iconic, historic place it just can’t be missed.

Buy tickets and see a show or take a backstage tour. Even if you don’t see a show or take a tour, stop and get your picture in front of the big guitar!

Visiting the Grand Ole Opry is a must on an Nashville family vacation.

To purchase your Grand Ole Opry Show admission ticket, click here!

To purchase your Grand Ole Opry House guided backstage tour ticket, click here!

Location: 2804 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214

7. Take Pictures with the Stars at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum is one of the best things to do in Nashville with kids! This place is so much fun!

Madamme Tussauds is one of the best things to do on a Nashville family vacation.

Here you will find wax replicas of famous music stars from rock, pop, jazz, country, and more. Wax replicas here include Taylor Swift, Johnny Cash, Katy Perry, Elvis Presley and many, many more! There’s also a fun backdrop where you can pretend you are on stage at the Grand Ole Opry.

Taking pictures with the wax figures at Madame Tussauds is one of the best things to do with kids in Nashville.
Posing with wax figure of Taylor Swift.

To purchase your Madame Tussauds admission ticket, click here!

Location: Opry Mills; 515 Opry Mills Dr, Nashville, TN 37214
Hours: Check Madame Tussauds for current hours.

8. Tour the Gaylord Opryland Resort

The Gaylord Opryland Resort is more than just a place to stay. It’s a destination in itself. Even if you’re not staying at the resort, you have to visit it. I highly recommend coming here on a Nashville family vacation!

This resort is massive! Yes! Let me say that again, MASSIVE!! You could spend a whole day just walking around in this place.

On a Nashville family vacation, you must  tour the Gaylord Opryland Resort.

This resort is also absolutely gorgeous! There are nine acres of gardens and waterfalls with more than 50,000 tropical plants.

Since this resort is so beautiful, be sure to take advantage of the many wonderful photo opportunities!

There are many wonderful photo opps at Gaylord Opryland Resort.

There’s even a boat ride! Yes, a boat ride in the resort!

They also have a luxury waterpark, called SoundWaves. Soundwaves has more than 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor water attractions including waterslides, a lazy river, and more.

Other fun attractions at the resort include an arcade and a rock-climbing wall.

Rock climbing at Gaylord Opryland Resort is one of the many fun things to do a Nashville family vacation.

When you get hungry, there are several restaurants to choose from in Gaylord Opryland Resort. If you stay till nighttime, you will have to see the choreographed water, light, and music show. This happens nightly in the Delta Atrium.

As you can see there is so much to keep the whole family busy here. Visiting this resort is definitely one of the best things to do in Nashville with kids!

Location: 2800 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214

9. Admire the Parthenon

The Parthenon, located in Centennial Park in Nashville was built as a replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece.

Visiting the Pantheon is a great thing to do on a Nashville family vacation.

Not only is this a beautiful replica of classical architecture, but it also is an art museum. There’s even a 42-foot sculpture of Athena inside!

Even if you decide not to go inside to see the art museum, just enjoy walking around the exterior and taking in the wonderful views of this magnificent building.

Location: Centennial Park; 2500 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203
Hours: For current hours and ticket prices check their website

10. Walk the John Seigenthaler Bridge

Walking the John Seigenthaler Bridge was one of my favorite things we did in Nashville. It is a pedestrian and bike-only bridge. The area here is just beautiful. The views of the Nashville skyline are stunning!

After walking the bridge, we took the stairs down to Cumberland Park.

When on a Nashville family vacation, you must walk the John Seigenthaler Bridge.  The views of the Nashville skyline here are amazing!

11. Play at Cumberland Park

Cumberland Park is one of the best things to do in Nashville with kids. This place is amazing! This park is located along the riverfront next to the pedestrian bridge.

You can directly access the pedestrian bridge by taking an elevator or staircase!

The play spaces for kids are very unique! Fun things here for the kids include a splash pad area, slides, a climbing wall with climbing ropes, nets and sliding poles, a maze, and a see-saw!

When on a Nashville family vacation you must visit Cumberland Park.  This is one the best things to do in Nashville with kids.

Parking is located here at the park.

Location: 592 S 1st St, Nashville, TN 37213
Park Hours: Daily from dawn to 11 pm
Splash Pad Hours: May 24-September 1: Monday-Saturday 9 am- 7 pm and Sunday 12-6 pm

12. Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour

If you want to minimize driving time while in Nashville, I recommend the Nashville Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour. Not only is this is a form of transportation, but also a fun way to get around on a Nashville family vacation.

This tour gives you a stress-free way of seeing the city and the most popular sites. It hits the main areas such as Broadway, Walk of Fame Park, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Centennial Park/Parthenon, and The Gulch.

To purchase your Nashville Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour tickets, click here!

13. Go Mural Chasing

Nashville has many amazing works of art on the walls of its buildings. Many of these are located right next to each other. See how many you can find in Nashville and make sure to get your pictures.

I think we were inspired to go mural chasing as we had just recently come back from Miami and explored the amazing Wynwood Walls.

Here are some of the top murals to see on a Nashville family vacation!

1) What Lifts You Mural

Probably the most popular recognized mural in Nashville. Be prepared to wait in line for a picture here.

What Lifts You Mural is a must see on a Nashville family vacation.

Location: 302 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203-4080 (The Gulch)

PRO-TIP: Come early and get your picture here….then eat at nearby Biscuit Love!

2)The Nashville Walls Project

Nashville Walls Project is two beautifully, colorful murals located side by side next to each other.

The Nashville Walls Project is a colorful mural in Nashville.
Nashville Wall Project consists of two different murals.

Location: 11th Avenue South & Laurel Street (Located across the street from What Lifts You Mural)

3) Lego Man

For all your lego lovers, you have to find the lego man. Small, but fun, this is located to the right of the colorful Nashville Walls Project

Lego fans in posing with the lego man mural.  Take your kids here in Nashville.

4) I Believe In Nashville Mural

Another popular mural and fun spot to get your picture taken in Nashville!

I Believe In Nashville is a popular photo place in Nashville.

Location: 2702 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204

5) Draper James Wall

The Draper James Wall is located right across from I Believe In Nashville. Its blue and white walls are a beautiful place to take a picture.

Take a walk in Draper James and browse the clothing store. It is owned by actress Reese Witherspoon!

The Draper James wall is another popular photo spot.  It's blue and white walls are beautiful!

6) Looking Pretty, Music City

Looking Pretty, Music City is another fun mural, located close to the other two above. My picture doesn’t show the whole mural, but it is really unique and fun.

Looking Pretty Music City, another fun, unique mural in Nashville.

Location: 2709 12th Avenue South

Mural Tour By Golf Cart

Music City is filled with much more wall art than I mentioned here. These are just the places we went to. If you are interested in seeing more murals, a fun unique activity would be to take a mural art tour of Nashville by golf cart. The golf carts hold 5-7 people.

The minimum age is 5 and kids ages 5-8 must be in a booster or car seat.

To book your Mural Art Tour of Nashville by Golf Cart, click here!

14. See Animals at the Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is a great place to go on a Nashville family vacation.

Nashville Zoo is a great place to go on a Nashville family vacation.

Some animals you will find here include flamingos, giraffes, tigers, kangaroos, monkeys, and white rhinos!

This is a great zoo on a hot day because there are many shaded walkways. This is really nice because some zoos I have been to get SO hot.

Nashville Zoo also has rides for an additional cost. The younger kids will enjoy the carousel and the train ride. Older, brave kids might enjoy the adrenaline-rushing zip-line.

To purchase tickets to Nashville Zoo, click here!

Address: 3777 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211-3324
Hours: 9 am-4 pm from mid-October -mid-March; 9 am-6 pm from mid-March-mid-October

15. Learn and Play at Adventure Science Center of Nashville

Adventure Science Center of Nashville is a great place to take the kids on a Nashville family vacation. The kids will enjoy the interactive and fun exhibits. Some exhibits here include space and the human body. There’s also a planetarium show!

If anyone gets hungry, there’s a convenient Subway sandwich restaurant located inside.

To purchase tickets and to check hours to Adventure Science Center of Nashville, click here!

Location: 800 Fort Negley Blvd, Nashville, TN 37203
Hours: Hours fluctuate, click the above link to check hours for your arrival.

16. Enjoy Nashville Shores Waterpark & Adventure Park

If you are in Nashville during the summer months, Nashville Shores Waterpark is a great thing to do with the family.

The whole family will enjoy the wave pool, waterslides, lazy river, and beach. The younger kids will enjoy the special kiddie pool with a fun play area including interactive water features and mini-slides.

To purchase tickets and check hours to Nashville Shores Waterpark, click here!

Nashville Shores also has an adventure park with zip-lines, cargo nets, Tarzan swings, and suspended bridges. Treetop Adventure Park is open seasonally.

To purchase tickets and check hours to Treetop Adventure Park, click here!

Location: 4001 Bell Rd, Hermitage, TN 37076

Where to Eat on a Nashville Family Vacation

The following restaurants are not just places to eat, but fun experiences for the whole family while in Nashville.

17. Biscuit Love Gulch

Biscuit Love is your breakfast/brunch spot on a Nashville family vacation! Biscuits, as you would guess are popular here! Biscuits with fried chicken, biscuits with sausage and gravy, biscuit french toast, and much more.

You have to get their “bonuts” appetizer! This is a fried biscuit dough, tossed in sugar and topped with lemon mascarpone, and served over the blueberry compote.

One of the best restaurants on a Nashville family vacation is Biscuit Love.

For those non-biscuit lovers, no worries they also have entrees such as oatmeal, eggs, shrimp and grits, and a roasted veggie bowl.

PRO-TIP: This is a very popular restaurant in Nashville. The line gets VERY long, so go early or be prepared to wait!

Biscuit Love is very popular.  Except a long line to get in.

Location: 316 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203
Hours: Open Daily from 7 am – 3 pm

18. Aquarium Restaurant

I just love restaurants that combine food and food and the Aquarium Restaurant falls under both of these! Walk into this restaurant and you will feel like you are under the sea! The atmosphere is amazing!

The kids will love watching all the fish in the massive aquarium while dining.

They have a wide variety of menu options for adults and kids. Adult entrees include items such as soups, salads, chicken, pasta, burgers, seafood, and steak.

Kids will enjoy a wide variety of entrees including mini cheeseburgers, shrimp-fried, grilled or popcorn, chicken tenders, mini hot dogs, a grilled cheese sandwich, pizza, mac & cheese, or pasta!

You just have to come here on a Nashville family vacation!

The Aquarium Restaurant is located in the Opry Mills Mall right across from Madame Tussauds.

Location: 516 Opry Mills Dr, Nashville, TN 37214

The Aquarium Restaurant is one the best restaurants in Nashville with kids.

19. Rainforest Cafe

Another restaurant big on food and fun is Rainforest Cafe. I just love Rainforest Cafe. This is the ultimate fun for restaurants with kids.

This restaurant has an amazing rainforest theme. Animatronic elephants and gorillas and real-sounding tropical thunderstorms!

Rainforest Cafe offers a huge menu! From soups, salads, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, seafood, chicken, and pork. They have it all!

You can’t leave here without getting the giant Sparkling Volcano Desert. Your welcome! 😉😋

Just like the Aquarium, this restaurant is also located in the Opry Mills Mall. This is definitely one of the best restaurants in Nashville to take kids.

Location: 353 Opry Mills Dr, Nashville, Tn 37214

Getting to Nashville

By Plane

Getting around Nashville.

If flying into Nashville, you will fly into Nashville International Airport. The airport is conveniently located about 20 minutes from Downtown.

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    To take in all the city has to offer, I recommend renting a car. It’s just the best way to get around Nashville with a family.

    For the best prices on renting a car, I like to book through RentalCars.com!

    By Car

    Nashville is located in northern Tennessee. It is located about 3 hours from Birmingham, Alabama. About 2 hours from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and about 3.5 hours from Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

    Where to Stay on a Nashville Family Vacation

    Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center

    Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is the ultimate place to stay on a Nashville family vacation. They have it all here! Plenty of dining options, shopping options, a boat ride, an arcade, a waterpark, a rock climbing wall, and much, much more!

    We stayed here and enjoyed walking around the resort and enjoying all its amenities!

    Gaylord Opryland Resort is one of the best places to stay on a Nashville family vacation.
    Sitting on the balcony of our room overlooking the beautiful atrium.

    Gaylord Opryland Resort is located near The Grand Ole Opry and Opry Mills Mall.

    PRO-TIP: Request a room in the Delta Atrium, so you can enjoy the nightly light show from your room!

    To book your stay at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, click here!

    Omni Nashville Hotel

    Omni Nashville Hotel is an excellent choice for those wanting to stay in the heart of downtown. This location is amazing! You are within walking distance to the Country Music Hall of Fame and all the wonderful dining and entertainment options that Broadway has.

    You and your kids will love the rooftop pool!

    To book your stay at Omni Nashville Hotel, click here!

    Homewood Suites by Hilton Nashville Vanderbilt

    Homewood Suites by Hilton Nashville Vanderbilt is a great place to stay with bigger families or those wanting to spread out and have more space. It is located in a great location across from Vanderbilt and near Centennial Park and The Parthenon.

    Suites here include a separate living area with a sofa bed and a full kitchen. Free hot breakfasts are offered daily. Your kids will enjoy the indoor pool.

    A great amenity of this hotel is the free two-mile shuttle to downtown. This is great because you don’t have to worry about finding and paying for parking downtown.

    We stayed here on our last night in Nashville and enjoyed the hot breakfast and clean, modern, and spacious rooms.

    To book your stay at Homewood Suites by Hilton Nashville Vanderbilt, click here!

    The Wrap-Up: Nashville Family Vacation

    Nashville is an awesome city for families to visit! With a wide variety of activities plus the culture that only Nashville can provide, there is plenty to do!

    I hope my guide has helped you fill your itinerary with lots of fun things to do. Enjoy Nashville!

    Free free to contact me at kim@travelingswansons.com with any questions. I would also love to know how I helped you in planning your Nashville family vacation.

    READ NEXT: For other fun family vacations in the Southeast, check out 25 Fun Things to Do in New Orleans with Kids!