by TJ AndersonIt’s a funny thing: When you’re young and all kinds of lessons are foisted upon you, learning gets to feeling like a chore. As you get older, and opportunities to learn new skills
Free Summer Fun For Families In Nashville
by TJ Anderson
Outside of Nashville real estate (and sometimes the Preds), the ladies in my life (both two- and four-legged) take up a healthy share of my focus and attention. The little one, in particular, when school’s out for summer.
I know I’m in good company here in Nashville in the struggle for things to do that’ll a) entertain a smart and active kid, b) keep everyone from roasting like a s’more marshmallow and c) not require a second mortgage by the time the summer’s through.
We’ve already kind of grown out of some of the below, but they’re all excellent options that’ll keep kids cool and entertained during a Southern summer, and leave you extra cash for ridiculously over-the-top Nashville milkshakes.
If your kids are, say, 2 to 10 or so, Nashville Parks Spraygrounds are usually a major hit — free to visit and open Memorial Day through Labor Day, they’re built with all sorts of splashing in mind, from gentle walk-through waterfalls to arching water blasts that come up from the ground. Among the options: Cumberland Park just on the East Nashville side of the river, and Watkins Park on 17th Ave. N., just north of Charlotte Ave. Check out more about free Nashville Spraygrounds.
If you don’t have a pool in your yard or in your subdivision and haven’t snagged a Y membership yet, you still have cost-free summer swimming options available around Nashville. Metro Parks maintains swimming pools from East Nashville to West Nashville, with free admission during open swimming and lap swimming times. Check Nashville.gov for the ones near you, and links to schedules for fee-free visits.
I may be over-stressing this point, but Nashville has a spectacular parks system that offers so much, so often, it’s genuinely hard to strip-mine that ground. There’s the family-friendly Brown Bag Lunch concert series every second and fourth Wednesday at Centennial Park, Tales at Twilight music/stories at Cumberland Park, Counting Butterflies in Warner Park — if you’re willing to wander the city some, you’ll probably find an event you and your small companions will love each and every week during the summer. Check the schedule of Public Events in Metro Parks for a thorough rundown.
Nashville neighborhood Farmers Markets
Whatever Nashville-area neighborhood you live in, there’s likely a neighborhood farmers market close by, running now through fall. And just about all of them (smartly) include kid-friendly activities and additions, from free “Kids Cook” classes at the 12 South Farmers Market on Tuesdays to a toddler-friendly weekly drum circle in East Nashville each Wednesday that can be topped off with fresh fruit or cold popsicles for a few bucks. I wrote this a few years ago but it’s still a pretty thorough/accurate rundown of the neighborhood farmers market landscape in Nashville.
My friends with toddlers, in particular, are always quick to sing the praises of the many free events for little Nashvillians at various Nashville Public Library locations. Branches across the city host storytimes and other kid-friendly hangouts throughout the week, from free Kid Craft classes at the Main Library to a Prince and Princess Party in Green Hills. A lot of library events are planned on weekday mornings, but if you’re a working parent, there’s plenty to do on the weekends too, like Saturday Puppet Truck visits at the East Nashville branch and Saturday Family Movies at the Southeast Nashville branch. Check out the full rundown of kid-friendly Nashville Public Library events.
Most of annual concert series Live on the Green is more geared toward adults, since it’s an evening affair. But the annual Kids Fest on the 615 Stage is fully directed toward younger Nashvillians, with vendors, a photo booth and live music from local kids’ music provider Mr. Steve. In 2018, it’ll run 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, and there’s lots more free music that day if the kids don’t need a nap afterward. (Pop outfit Jimmy Eat World headlines starting at 9:30 p.m., and acts perform on two stages throughout the day.) Read more about Live on the Green’s Kids Fest at liveonthegreen.com.
Have some free fun to add that I/our clients and friends should know about? I’d love your feedback.
And if you’re looking for a new place in Nashville area — maybe one with a pool or community amenities that’ll keep the kids busy all summer — I’d love to help. Check out some Nashville homes on the market, and call or email TJ Anderson Homes to get started.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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