Visiting Nashville With Kids

Whew, we're back from vacation and our house pictures are done! Now I can finally catch up and share more of our trip (besides just Instagram Stories, haha).

My family of four spent 5 days in Nashville because my younger sister Lisa was graduating college there (with honors) (with two degrees) (am I super proud of her, YES YES YES). Devin drove 12 hours overnight from Philly to Nashville, and when we arrived, he slept 6 hours at our Airbnb while I took the kids and hung out with my sister!

The trip was A DREAM. Everything was so fun, and if you are trying to pick a fun family vacay, give Nashville a try. Part of the reason it was so fun was that Aiden is 3 and reliably potty-trained, and Emma is 1.5 and still in diapers...they both are interactive, fun toddlers but at the same time we weren't planning our whole days based on where bathrooms were haha.

We wanted to do all the touristy things while not spending lots of money, because we wanted to use most of our budget on eating out! (I'll be sharing all the places we ate later!) That's why lots of these things are inexpensive or free, with the exception of a few things. You might not care as much about eating out and want to do more pay-for stuff, which I can totally understand!

Where We Stayed
We got a 3-bed, 1.5 bathroom Airbnb in the Green Hills area of Nashville. (Sign up for Airbnb here!) It was PERFECT. It is 2 minutes from the highway but still in a quiet street/neighborhood, and it has a great covered back porch with patio furniture for eating outside (or for letting your kids play at 6am so your husband can sleep in!). It is 5 minutes from the zoo, 10 minutes from 12 South (a cute street with lots of shops), and it was only 15-20 minutes from anything else! Besides being conveniently located, the whole house has doors to separate each room, which meant Devin and I could watch TV in the living room after the kids went to bed, and the living room had a door to keep sound from traveling. There's also a sunroom/enclosed porch with its own door and 3 more beds, so if you have more people travelling with you this place will work, too!

What We Did:
Visit a local college campus
Lipscomb, since my sister was graduating! We got breakfast at their dining hall that has a beautiful outdoor balcony seating area (big enough for kids to run around!) and the meal was all-you-can-eat flat fee for adults, and kids eat free. Vanderbilt's campus is considered an arboretum and next time I want to see it!

Centennial Park & the Parthenon
Beautiful and a replica of the Parthenon in Greece, this park was perfect to let the kids run around and take fun photos! Plus, it has bathrooms and free parking.

Broadway & Downtown
We walked down Broadway during the day and got to hear all the live bands playing music at the bars because everyone has their restaurant windows open. Broadway led us right to the Pedestrian Bridge which had beautiful views!

Nashville Public Library
Why is a library on my list, you may ask? BECAUSE IT'S HUGE AND BEAUTIFUL AND THEIR KIDS SECTION IS INSANE. Park in their parking garage for free for 1.5 hours ($2/30 mins after that) and validate your parking ticket inside the library. We were able to walk down all of Broadway, half the Pedestrian bridge, see the inside of the library, and we still made it back to our car in 1.5 hours!! The library is a great option if you have a rainy day.

Sevier Park & 12 South
12 South is a street full of cute shops and murals, and at the end of the street is a park with free parking. We let the kids play at the park, and then we rolled them in the stroller up 12 South, stopping for donuts at Five Daughters Bakery on 12 South.

Five Daughters Bakery (12 South location)
ADORABLE spot with expensive but totally worth-it donuts, and a side area for kids to run around outside. All the donuts are vegan and it was the cutest spot with indoor and outdoor seating.

Plaza Mariachi
Its own little enclosed mall with an arcade/Chuck E. Cheese-type play area for kids, plus lots of good restaurants to eat at. We all stayed for the salsa lesson at 7:30 PM and you can stay later for dancing and drinks if you get a babysitter for the kids! Super authentic food.

Adventure Science Center
This was our plan B since it was rainy on our zoo day. Kids under 2 are free (yay Emma!) and the kids had a blast running around each exhibit, even if they didn't totally understand that they were going down a slide that represented the small intestine within a human body exhibit. It WAS super crowded with school groups which wasn't great, since Emma and Aiden are so little compared to 3rd and 5th graders! Also, free parking.

Nashville Zoo
Admittedly, all we did was drive through the zoo parking lot (before deciding that the downpour wasn't worth walking through since only 3 out of 4 of us had rain jackets...) but it seemed really fun and it's on our list to do next time!

Dragon Park
Near some cute restaurants, so the perfect place to bring your dinner and let the kids run around!

^^Nashville Library

The Parthenon^^ 

^^Dragon Park

What are your favorite things to do in your area? Have you ever been to Nashville? Where is the most recent place you've visited? 

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