5 Educational (And Fun) Places to Visit With Your Kids

If you’re looking for something fun and educational to do with your children, visiting one of these historic and educational sites in and around Williamson County is a great way to combine fun and learning. From historical houses to hands-on adventure, here are 5 places to check out.

1. Lotz House Civil War Museum

1111 Columbia Ave, Franklin

The Lotz House, which has been on the National Historic Register since 1976, is located in the heart of downtown historic Franklin, Tennessee at “epicenter” of the Battle of Franklin which was a pivotal battle in the Civil War on November 30, 1864. During the Battle of Franklin, the Lotz family sought refuge at the Carter House across the street.

The historic Lotz House received a 2017 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the eighth year in a row. The Certificate of Excellence is awarded to attractions with consistently high visitor ratings, and the Lotz House has maintained a 5-star rating on the site since opening to the public in 2008.

You can take a guided tour of the Lotz House which includes viewing every room of this historic Civil War House Museum. You’ll learn the history of the house as well as the heritage of historic furnishings, fine arts, antiques, and the Lotz family history.

Hours:
Monday – Saturday 9am to 5pm
Sunday 1pm to 4 pm
Or by appointment

Admission: 

Adults $12
Seniors (65+) $10
Children ages 7–13 $6
Children 6 and under Free

Learn more about touring the Lotz House here.

2. Carter House

1140 Columbia Ave, Franklin

Carter House was built in 1830 by Fountain Branch Carter. The home and family witnessed one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War on November 30, 1864. The modest brick home was commandeered and used as a Federal command post while the Carter family, their slaves, and a neighboring family sought refuge in the basement during the fighting which erupted on their property. This National Historic Landmark has been open to the public since 1953.

A variety of tours are available, including tours of the homes, battlefield tours and special extended tours. Learn more here.

Hours:
Monday – Saturday 9:00am to 5:00pm
Sunday – 11:00am to 5:00pm

Admission:
Varies, depending on the type of tour you choose

Learn more here.

3. Carnton Plantation

1345 Eastern Flank Circle, Franklin

Carnton was built in 1826 by Randal McGavock. His son, John, inherited the house in 1843. The McGavock family was directly impacted by the Battle of Franklin and found their home used as a field hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers. Carnton became the largest hospital in the area following the battle. After the war John and his wife, Carrie, set aside nearly two acres of their property so that the remains of Southern dead who died in the battle might be properly buried. The National Historic Landmark has been open to the public since the late 1970s and allows visitors to better understand the humanity which often appears in the midst of war.

A variety of tours are available, including tours of the homes, battlefield tours and special extended tours. Learn more here.

Hours:
Monday – Saturday – 9:00am to 5:00pm
Sunday – 11:00am to 5:00pm

Admission:
Varies, depending on the type of tour you choose

Learn more here.

4. Frist Center for Visual Arts

919 Broadway, Nashville

The Frist Art Museum is a nonprofit art-exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, state and regional artists, as well as major U.S. and international exhibitions. The Frist occupies Nashville’s former main post office building, a 124,400-square-foot facility with nearly 40,000 square feet of exhibition space. The city’s treasured art deco building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Currently, visitors can see an exhibition of twentieth-century Mexican art with iconic works by Frida Kahlo, her husband Diego Rivera, and their contemporaries, including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, María Izquierdo, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Among the more than 150 works on view will be seven painted self-portraits by Kahlo, Rivera’s Calla Lily Vendor, and numerous portraits of the Gelmans, plus more than fifty photographs that provide insight into Kahlo and Rivera’s passionate love affair and how the couple lived, worked, and dressed.

Hours:
Monday–Wednesday 10:00am to 5:30pm
Thursday and Friday 10:00am to 9:00pm (Martin ArtQuest closes at 5:30pm)
Saturday, 10:00am to 5:30pm
Sunday, 1:00pm to 5:30pm

Admission:
Frist Art Museum members: Free
Visitors 18 and younger: Free
Adults: $15
Seniors: $10

Learn more here.

5. Country Music Hall of Fame and RCA Studio Tour

222 5th Ave S, Nashville

The Country Music Hall of Fame is called the “Smithsonian of country music” because of its unrivaled collection. In the museum’s core exhibition, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music, visitors are immersed in the history and sounds of country music, its origins and traditions, and the stories and voices of many of its honored architects. The story is revealed through artifacts, photographs, and text panels, with a rich overlay of recorded sound, vintage video, and interactive touchscreens. Sing Me Back Home is enhanced by several limited-engagement exhibits including Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s. The ACM Gallery and the Dinah and Fred Gretsch Family Gallery offer visitors a hands-on immersion into today’s country music with artifacts from today’s country stars and a series of technology-enhanced activities that allow guests to become “Certified Country.”

Hours:
Open daily 9am – 5pm

Tickets can be purchased to visit the museum, the famous RCA Studio B and more.

Admission:
Varies; however, most middle Tennessee residents ages 18 and under get in for free. Learn more about this discounted admission here.

Learn more here.

This article is brought to you by IvyBrook Academy in Franklin, offering a hands-on, discovery-based approach to learning. IvyBrook Academy, located at 1268 Lewisburg Pike, is a half-day preschool for children ages 2-5.

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