It’s no mystery that Nashville has become incredibly expensive, especially for those of us who have lived here since before there was one area code. However, with summer upon us and kids hanging around the house more than normal, it’s especially important to get out and about for the sake of changing up the daily routine. Besides that, being a “tourist” in your own city is one of the best ways to learn new things about the place you call home. Although taking on such a task might seem like it would cost an arm and a leg, there are still plenty of fun, free activities left to enjoy. Here are a list of free things to do in Nashville with your kids this summer!
- Public Square Park: This one is perfect for combating the sizzling Nashville heat! Sometimes parks aren’t the best summer activity depending on the high temperatures and lack of shade, but this park is unique in that it’s equipped with large fountains for running and playing! Pack a lunch and a bathing suit and spend a couple hours people watching or running through the fountains. It’s a great activity for tiring the kids out while simultaneously staying cool!
- Nighttime Visit to The Parthenon: Centennial Park is one of the only parks in Nashville that doesn’t close at dusk, which makes it a fun spot to visit after dark! At night, the main lawn is decorated with twinkly lights, and the Parthenon itself is adorned with bright spotlights that make for great photo-worthy backdrops. Bring a late night snack, some flashlights, a picnic blanket, and maybe even some glow sticks if you have them! Lay on the picnic blanket and look for constellations, or for the more active ones, run around in the grass and catch fireflies!
- Picnic at Love Circle: Love Circle is one of my favorite hidden Nashville spots. The surreal views make for a great space to relax and enjoy a summer afternoon. Bring a picnic blanket or yoga mat, pack a lunch, and take in the supreme view of the Nashville skyline.
- Lunches at the Library: Monday-Friday from 11:30-1pm, Second Harvest provides free lunch for kids seventeen and under at the library. This is not only a great free program, but also an opportunity to get to the library and check out all of the cool things going on! Go see one of the Wishing Chair puppet shows in the theater, check out a few books, and let the little ones run off some steam in the bright, open courtyard. For more information about which branches are participating, look at the calendar on the NPL website.
In the meantime, see below for a list of suggested books you and your child can enjoy while you embark on your summer adventures!