Need a Summer Vacation Idea? Visit Nashville!
By: Robin Raven
Nashville is an ideal vacation destination for Mississippi families. The drive to the Music City fits easily into a day, making it affordable with no need for pricey plane tickets. As the capital of Tennessee and grand home of country music, Nashville has a diverse array of cultural and natural attractions to enjoy with your children.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
All members of your family don’t have to be fans of country music to have a great time at this museum. Its vast collection of artifacts from the biggest stars of country music brings music history to life. Stage costumes from stars such as Taylor Swift are just some focal points of the temporary and permanent exhibits that help visitors feel immersed in country music history.
Other Museums for Families
Families often visit Nashville’s Adventure Science Center, an interactive science museum with a planetarium and adventure tower. Kids will gain a deeper understanding of local history at the Belle Meade Plantation, a 150-year-old antebellum home. In Nashville’s Centennial Park, you can walk with your family through the world’s only full-scale replica of the Parthenon and enjoy its fine arts gallery.
Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art
The Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art is a great place for snapping lots of family photos with the grand, natural landscape. The 55-acre estate has eleven specialty gardens and a sculpture trail. Spend minutes or hours in the art museum within the Cheek family mansion that includes original works of art by Andy Warhol, Robert Ryman and Larry Rivers.
Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry is one of the most iconic spots in Nashville. The classic country haven offers a family-friendly backstage tour. For many years, millions of visitors have flocked to see the live broadcast that showcases contemporary country stars alongside country music legends. It welcomes families, with kids under four admitted for free.
Plays and Shows
Nashville is known for its entertainment, and the Nashville Children’s Theatre puts on several great plays for kids every year. Created on the idea that the “culturally curious child is the future,” plays in 2018 include “Mockingbird” and “Dragons Love Tacos.” Older kids and teens may want to see an opera at the Nashville Opera or a play at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. World-class musicians may be playing at the Ryman Auditorium or the Belcourt Theatre.
Treetop Adventure Park
Sometimes kids just want to play even while on vacation. The Treetop Adventure Park offers play on a grand scale. Kids can enjoy dozens of exciting obstacles set against the backdrop of a wooded area of the Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort.
Healthy Family Dining in Nashville
Nashville’s creative food scene makes it easy to eat well while on vacation with your kids. The Sunflower Cafe whips up quick, delicious meals and daily specials such as lasagna and enchiladas. Jamaicaway offers yummy, authentic Jamaican cuisine, while Etch serves delicious dishes with simple ingredients. If you need to satisfy a sweet tooth, go a slightly healthier route with Vegan Vee, a dedicated vegan and gluten-free bakery in Nashville.
Resources for Parents Visiting Nashville:
Visit Music City: Visitmusiccity.com
Nashville Chamber of Commerce — Visit the City: Nashvillechamber.com/explore/visit
Official Guide to Nashville, TN: Nashville.com
Tennessee Department of Tourism — Free Vacation Guide: Tnvacation.com
Nashville Tourism and Convention Commission: Nashville.gov/Committee-Information/ID/99/Tourism-and-Convention-Commission.aspx
Robin Raven is a children’s book author who was born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She often has her feet on a dance floor, her nose in a book, or her arms around a rescued animal.