Last week my girls were on Fall break and after debating for a couple of days whether or not to take a spontaneous road trip from our hometown of Nashville – we decided to stay put and enjoy some of our favorite kid-friendly things to do around town.
Similar to when we travel, when we’re home and the girls are out of school, we tend to split up the day with something active and something more relaxed. Last week, we spent our mornings at home so that I could get some work done while the girls worked on art projects, puzzles, played and read and then after lunch, we ventured out to a favorite Nashville spot. (When we travel, we usually flip this schedule and venture out first thing in the morning for an activity – visit a museum, a park or take a tour – and then do something a little more relaxing and low-key in the afternoon – swim, relax at our hotel, hit a movie or performance). We’ve learned that both at home and while traveling – one big activity a day with our kids hits our sweet spot.
Here’s a few things we did last week for our afternoon adventures in Nashville that are perfect whether you’re visiting Nashville or you are planning a staycation of your own in Music City:
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
Cheekwood ranks at the top of my list as favorite kid-friendly spots in all of Nashville. Currently, they are hosting their annual Harvest Festival for the month of October with a pumpkin house & patch and a scarecrow trail (The Wandering Rumpus has a scarecrow this year – so send us pictures if you find him!). Cheekwood has tons of seasonal events throughout the year including a Day of the Dead Festival, an amazing Holiday Lights event, family concerts all summer and so much more.
My girls got their love of bookstores from me, no doubt! McKays is a giant used bookstore where you can trade books for credit to buy new books (or games, movies or vinyl records) or find books for a steal. We head to McKays about once a quarter to trade in books we’ve read and find some new favorites. I love that the girls have the freedom to peruse the books and since they are significantly cheaper and we usually have trade-in credit, they can try new books that peak there interest at a minimal cost. We found several gems last week!
Adventure Science Center
We hadn’t been to the Adventure Science Center in years – and admittedly, I haven’t loved it in the past – I think it felt dated and dark. The Center has been significantly updated in the last 12 months and we had an absolute blast exploring all of the new (& old) exhibits including an amazing moon walk simulation for the older girls, a space exhibit and a severe weather exhibit, among many other things. They’ve done a fabulous job updating this Nashville kid-friendly spot and we love it. We passed on the planetarium this time, but we can’t wait to go back for more exploration soon!
Nashville is full of amazing parks & playgrounds and Centennial Park is certainly one of our favorites. There are wonderful events happening here nearly every weekend (Art Festivals, Musicians Corner, Shakespeare in the Park) plus there is a great playground, a pond with ducks and geese, a beautiful walking trail, an amphitheater and the notorious Nashville Parthenon is located here as well – which my girls adore. Built in 1887, the Parthenon is a full scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. There is a 43 foot tall golden Athena statue inside, again, just like the Parthenon housed in Ancient Greece. Today, the Parthenon functions as an art museum and on Saturdays at 11:00 AM families can enter free through the Kidsville event wherein stories and activities are shared at the feet of Athena which are educational and fun. My girls love to explore inside or play an epic god & goddess hide & seek outside among the pillars, play among the Women’s Suffrage Monument, picnic in the grass and bike around the pond. Plus, on sunny days, several snow cone venders pop up around the park for a sweet treat.