Nashville Travel with Kids
Under 13 Animal viewing isn’t the only thing to do at Nashville Zoo at Grassmere (3777 Nolensville Pike). The 66,000-square-foot Jungle Gym calls to little ones who like to slide, climb and crawl. This community-built playground probably doesn’t look like the one at school; it has a 35-foot-tall tree house, a dancing water fountain and a large snake tunnel.
Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation
When the weather is nice and you wonder what to do, water parks are a sure bet for active youngsters. Wave Country (2320 Two Rivers Pkwy.) and Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort (4001 Bell Rd.), in nearby Hermitage , offer slides, pools and water activities. The former has fewer attractions than Nashville Shores but is closer to downtown.
Enjoy simple pleasures at Cumberland Park (592 S. 1st St.). The 6.5-acre riverfront site entices kids with its climbing wall, oversize slide, spray fountains, misting areas and rain curtains. There also are walking trails, picnic areas and a pedestrian bridge. The former roadway over the Cumberland River was spared demolition and is now a walkway with great city views and nighttime illumination.
You don’t need to be an avid history or art fan to appreciate The Parthenon (2500 W. End Ave.)—a full-scale replica of the ancient Greek temple. The interior holds a nice art collection, but the highlight is the 42-foot statue of the goddess Athena, a re-creation of the one Phidias sculpted in the 5th century B.C.
Learn about Taylor Swift and other country superstars at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (222 5th Ave. S.). Historical audio recordings and performances along with instruments, costumes and automobiles tell the history of this music genre.
All Ages Amble down Broadway's large thoroughfare between 2nd Avenue and the Bridgestone Arena. This downtown historic area is the place for live music. You don't have to frequent the bars or honky-tonks to hear it, either; most doors are propped open to allow the sounds to spill out, and there are plenty of street performers to wow budding musicians. Enjoy the old architecture, duck into souvenir shops and poll the group about which neon sign is their favorite.
Grand Ole Opry/Chris Hollo
Create some family bonding time by seeing a Grand Ole Opry (2804 Opryland Dr.) performance; the radio show that began in 1925 made country music famous. These 2-hour shows welcome a mix of legendary artists, current hit makers and newbies to the stage. The several hundred Opry members and guest artists include Garth Brooks, Loretta Lynn, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton.
Courtesy of Aquarium Restaurant
Have a meal at Aquarium Restaurant (516 Opry Mills Dr.), where each table has a view of a 200,000-gallon aquarium, home to fish, sharks, stingrays and other marine life. The menu has a large seafood section and plenty of chicken and beef options along with a fun underwater-themed kids’ menu. Stop by The LEGO Store before leaving the mall.
Adventure Science Center
Experience science while you travel at Adventure Science Center (800 Fort Negley Blvd.) with interactive exhibits or kick back at a planetarium show. Dozens of activities provide practical, relevant and fun ideas related to science topics like health, energy, sound, light, air and space.
Visit the atrium at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center (2800 Opryland Dr.) to see three indoor gardens—the Garden Conservatory, the Cascades and the Delta—and two 25-minute fountain shows—“Aqua” and “International Waters”—at the Delta Fountain. A waterfall at the lush Cascades is a highlight, and the Delta offers guided flatboat rides.
If your vacation coincides with the holiday season, experience Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas . The resort’s indoor gardens are dressed with beautiful holiday decor, and carriage rides show off the grounds’ 2 million lights and an impressive nativity display. Get tickets to see ice sculptures during your trip at ICE!, or make plans to glide around the ice-skating rink under the stars.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
Tennessee's statewide sales tax is 7 percent; Nashville's sales tax can be up to an additional 2.25 percent, and the city has a 6 percent lodging tax, plus $2 city tax per night.
Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, (615) 341-4000; Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, (615) 284-5555; Saint Thomas West Hospital, (615) 222-2111; TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center, (615) 781-4000; TriStar Summit Medical Center, (615) 316-3000; Vanderbilt University Medical Center, (615) 322-5000.
501 Broadway Nashville, TN 37203. Phone:(615)259-4747 or (866)830-4440
For tourists with airline flights,
Hertz, (615) 275-2600 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.
The Greyhound bus terminal is at 709 5th Ave. S.; phone (615) 255-3556 or (800) 231-2222.
Cab fare is $3 to start and $2 per mile; a $25 flat fee is charged for transportation between the airport and downtown. Cabs are not easy to hail outside downtown, but they can be ordered by phone. The major cab company is Yellow, (615) 256-0101.
Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has more than 50 city routes, including an airport connection. Exact change is required. The fare is $1.70; $1.00 (ages 5-19); 85c (ages 65+ and riders with disabilities). Buses generally run daily 6:15 a.m.-11:15 p.m., depending upon the route. For information phone (615) 862-5950.