20 Summer Bucket List Must-Dos in Nashville

Nashville offers a plethora of incredible experiences for families to bond over. We have compiled a family bucket list of the top 20 things in Nashville you need to experience. Don’t worry; there is something for everyone whether your family members are lovers of music, the great outdoors or history.

1Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo Website

The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is a dynamic zoological park spread out over 90 acres. Experience giraffes, spider monkeys and enjoy Critter Encounters where you get to touch and play with select animals. Check out the Upcoming Events page for special events.

2Radnor Lake State Park

Radnor Lake State Park

Radnor Lake State Park is a 1,368-acre park that is located just south of Nashville. It is known for its wildlife observation opportunities, hiking and ranger-led canoe floats.

3General Jackson Showboat

General Jackson

Take a daytime or evening cruise down the Cumberland River and enjoy the views while being entertained. As you dine on a fresh-made dinner you can watch a music filled live show in the onboard 2-story Victorian theater.

4Belle Meade Plantation

Visit Belle Meade

Belle Meade Plantation is rich in architecture and history. A historic mansion nestled away on 30 acres of property; it was built in 1807 and was originally used as a farm. The farm grew to house various businesses and was even occupied by a Confederate General during the Civil War. Today, you can take a historic on-site tour, wine & dine with various experiences or even take a guided Segway tour.

5Grand Ole’ Opry

Grand Ole’ Opry

A Nashville staple, the Grand Ole’ Opry isn’t just for tourists to experience – it’s for the locals too! Saturated in country music history, it is a must go for every music lover. Take a tour or experience the magic of the Opry for yourself by staying for a live performance.

6Adventureworks Zipline Forest At Fontanel


Established in 1997, Adventureworks was created to ensure tight bonds and wonderful memories are made all while having fun. Take a canopy zipline tour, try your hand at an aerial adventure course, or do both in one day! Make it extra memorable with a moonlight zip tour!

7Lane Motor Museum

Visit Lane Motor Museum

Opened in 2002 by automotive enthusiast Jeff Lane, this museum is a non-profit organization meant to bring joy to the community. Their mission is to obtain, preserve and display unique, eclectic and interesting vehicles from around the world.

8Nashville Farmer’s Market

Nashville Farmer’s Market

Founded in the earlier 1800’s, the Nashville Farmer’s Market is located right in the downtown area. With numerous vendors who sell everything from handmade crafts to fresh grown produce, you can easily spend an entire afternoon wandering around discovering new treasures.

Centennial Park
photo from Centennial Park Facebook

9Centennial Park and The Parthenon

Visit Centennial Park

Centennial Park sits on 132 acres in the downtown area of Nashville. The park hosts several activities for you to enjoy: The famous Parthenon, Lake Watauga, historical monuments, The Centennial Arts Center, a one-mile walking trail and a playground.

10Music City Indoor Karting

Music City Karting

Hop in a kart and do up to 40 mph (don’t worry, speed limitations are available for younger kids) on this ¼ mile indoor track. You will also find mini golf and an arcade for a little extra fun.

photo from Cheekwood Facebook

11Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

Visit Cheekwood

Enjoy a stroll through this beautiful 55-acre botanical garden and art museum located on the historic Cheekwood Estate. Enjoy family activities, programs for all ages and over 150,000 blooming bulbs in the spring time.

12Climb Nashville

Visit Climb Nashville

Want to tire the kids out and challenge yourself physically? Head over to Climb Nashville to obtain a day pass that allows you to climb the rock walls all day. Fun for kids and a challenge for adults, everyone will enjoy their time spent indoor climbing. 

Hermitage Andrew Jackson

13Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

The Hermitage

The original plantation home of Andrew Jackson, The Hermitage is a historical Nashville icon. Enjoy a tour, wine tasting, various exhibits and events all while soaking in the beauty of this famous building and learning about our local history through President Andrew Jackson’s home.

14SoundWaves Waterpark at Gaylord Opryland

SoundWaves Waterpark

4-acres of an indoor/outdoor water park that ensures fun for the entire family! Whether you’re a thrill seeker or want a relaxing water experience, there is something to satisfy everyone.

15Adventure Science Center

Adventure Science Center

This hands-on museum features over a 175 interactive exhibits. Themes include biology, air & space, physics and more! Check out their Event Calendar to view upcoming experiences.

16Percy Priest Lake

Visit Percy Priest

Percy Priest is one of the most popular lakes in the area and with good reason! A 42-mile long lake created by the J. Percy Priest Dam, it is a great spot for some outdoor family fun. Lake activities include boating, horseback riding, camping, fishing, sailing, jet skiing, hiking and more!

17Cumberland Kayak Adventure

Go Cumberland Kayak

Go kayaking down the Cumberland and enjoy the skyline view of downtown Nashville. Want to go kayaking with a purpose? Be sure to check out their “River Cleanup” events where you can positively impact the environment while enjoying your float downriver.

18The Adventure Park Nashville

Go Adventure Park Nashville

Reconnect with the outdoors through climbing and ziplining at this amazing aerial park! Adventures include ziplining, treetop trails, rope courses and more.

19Aquarium Restaurant

Underwater Dining Adventure

Experience the deep like never before as you gaze upon thousands of colorful marine life while seated around a 200,000 gallon tank. Enjoy a delicious dinner as numerous fish, sharks and other underwater sea life swim around you.

20Cumberland Park

Visit Cumberland Park

Cumberland Park offers a modern play area for children with unique play structures and water features. Located on the riverfront on 6.5- acres, your family can explore a variety of ways to play and enjoy the sunny warm-weather days while soaking up that Nashville downtown skyline.