20 must-haves on Nashville’s summer bucket list


Nashville offers a plethora of incredible experiences for families. We’ve compiled a Family Bucket List of the Top 20 Things in Nashville You Must Experience. Do not worry; there is something for everyone, whether your family is fond of music, the great outdoors or history.

nashville zoo sloth

1Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo website

The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is a vibrant 90-acre zoo. Discover giraffes, spider monkeys and enjoy Critter Encounters where you can touch and play with selected animals. See the Upcoming Events page for special events.


2Lake Radnor State Park

Lake Radnor State Park

Radnor Lake State Park is a 1,368 acre park located just south of Nashville. It is known for its wildlife viewing opportunities, hikes, and ranger-led canoe floats.

3General Jackson Showboat

General Jackson

Take a day or evening cruise on the Cumberland River and enjoy the views while having fun. While you dine on a freshly cooked dinner, you can watch a live performance filled with music in the 2-story Victorian theater on board.

4Belle Meade Plantation

Visit Belle Meade

The Belle Meade plantation is rich in architecture and history. A historic mansion nestled on 30 acres of property; it was built in 1807 and was originally used as a farm. The farm grew to house various businesses and was even occupied by a Confederate general during the Civil War. Today you can take a historical site tour, taste wines and dine with various experiences or even take a guided Segway tour.

5Grand Olé’Opry

Grand Olé’Opry

A Nashville staple, the Grand Ole ‘Opry isn’t just for tourists to discover, it’s for locals too! Saturated with country music history, this is a must-have for any music lover. Take a tour or experience the magic of the Opry for yourself by staying for a live show.

6Adventureworks zipline forest in Fontanel

Adventure work

Established in 1997, Adventureworks was created to ensure strong connections and wonderful memories while having fun. Take a zipline ride through the canopy, try your hand at an aerial adventure course, or do both in one day! Make it even more memorable with a moonlit zipped tour!

7Lane Motor Museum

Visit the Lane Motor Museum

Opened in 2002 by car enthusiast Jeff Lane, this museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing joy to the community. Their mission is to obtain, preserve and display unique, eclectic and interesting vehicles from around the world.

8Nashville Farmers Market

Nashville Farmers Market

Founded in the early 1800s, the Nashville Farmer’s Market is located right in the city center. With plenty of vendors selling everything from handmade crafts to freshly grown produce, you can easily spend an entire afternoon wandering around discovering new treasures.

Centennial Park

photo from Centennial Park Facebook

9Centennial Park and the Parthenon

Visit the centennial park

Centennial Park spans 132 acres in downtown Nashville. The park hosts several activities for your enjoyment: the famous Parthenon, Watauga Lake, historic monuments, the centennial arts center, a mile-long walking trail and a playground.

tenMusic City indoor karting

Music City Karting

Hop into a go-kart and go up to 40 mph (don’t worry, speed limits are available for the little ones) on this ¼ mile indoor track. You will also find a mini-golf course and an arcade room for you to have a little more fun.

cheek wood

photo by Cheekwood Facebook

11Cheekwood Estate and Gardens

Visit Cheekwood

Stroll through this beautiful 55-acre Botanical Garden and Art Museum located on the historic Cheekwood Estate. Enjoy family activities, programs for all ages and over 150,000 flowering bulbs in the spring.

12Go up Nashville

Visit Climb Nashville

Want to tire the children out and challenge yourself physically? Head to Climb Nashville to get a day pass that lets you climb rock faces all day. Fun for the kids and a challenge for the adults, everyone will enjoy their time spent climbing indoors.

Andrew Jackson Hermitage

Facebook credit

13Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage


Andrew Jackson’s original plantation home, The Hermitage is a historic Nashville icon. Enjoy a tour, wine tasting, various exhibits and events as you soak up the beauty of this famous building and learn about our local history in the home of President Andrew Jackson.

14SoundWaves Water Park at Gaylord Opryland

SoundWaves Water Park

4 acres of an indoor / outdoor water park that ensures fun for the whole family! Whether you are a thrill seeker or want a relaxing aquatic experience, there is something for everyone.

15Adventure Science Center

Adventure Science Center

This interactive museum presents more than 175 interactive exhibits. Themes include biology, air and space, physics and more! Check out their calendar of events to see upcoming experiences.

16Percy Priest Lake

Visit Percy Priest

Percy Priest is one of the area’s most popular lakes and for good reason! A 42 mile long lake created by the J. Percy Priest Dam, this is a great place for outdoor family fun. Lake activities include boating, horseback riding, camping, fishing, sailing, jet skiing, hiking and more!

17Kayak Adventure in Cumberland

Kayak in Cumberland

Kayak down the Cumberland and enjoy views of the downtown Nashville skyline. Want to kayak with a goal? Be sure to check out their “Clean the River” events where you can have a positive impact on the environment while enjoying your float downstream.

the adventure park

18Nashville Adventure Park

Go Adventure Park Nashville

Reconnect with the outdoors thanks to rock climbing and ziplining in this incredible aerial park! Adventures include ziplining, tree trails, rope courses and more.

19Aquarium Restaurant

Underwater dining adventure

Explore the depths like never before contemplating thousands of colorful marine life while sitting around a 200,000 gallon tank. Enjoy a delicious dinner as many fish, sharks and other marine life swim around you.

20Cumberland Park

Visit Cumberland Park

Cumberland Park offers a modern play area for children with unique play structures and water games. Located on the riverside on 6.5 acres, your family can explore a variety of ways to play and enjoy sunny, warm days while soaking up the downtown Nashville skyline.

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Elisa Perry has a background in travel writing, content creation and editing. She’s written for a variety of businesses, from small family businesses to international brands, covering everything from hotel overviews to cell phone apps research and launch announcements. She specializes in family travel, food and promoting local brand awareness.


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