Every summer it’s the same thing: I am going to do this and this and this with the kids this summer break. When school starts in August, I always have this sense of accomplishment at all the memories we made and the experiences I helped give my children over the summer.
Ok. So that second part is a big. Fat. LIE! I try every year. I really do. But I usually fail miserably. We are a family that loves to travel, but we also added a baby this year. After the routine beach trip, we decided to stick around town this summer. We actually have quite a few out of town visitors coming to stay with us, and I can’t wait to show them around Nashville. There is so much to do here, and it’s just outside our back doors! So this year, I drew up a Summer Bucket List based on what my mom friends said and a few things that I remember being fun growing up in the area.
- Adventure Science Center – I loved this place as a kid. It’s a great excuse to beat the heat, too!
- Cool treats around town! What could be better than stopping at a local spot for something refreshing?
- Day/overnight camp – time is limited, but there are still camp sessions running in and around town.
- Drive-In Theatres – I have very fond memories of sitting on the back tailgate and watching movies late into the night! Most charge by the person rather than car load (as it was when I was a child). A few popular ones are Hi-Way 50 Drive-In (Lewisburg), Higgins Moonlite Drive-In (Woodbury), and Stardust Drive-In Theatre (Watertown). Most of these offer double features and have very reasonable prices and concessions.
- Everybody, READ! Library reading programs and events are a great way to spend a hot summer day. Most locations have LOTS of summer events for children.
- Find a local Vacation Bible School.
- Farmers Markets – There are A LOT of Nashville area farmers markets, and they have fun events many weeks of the summer! (Pssst! Don’t forget that most markets do run through October!)
- Go to the movies! There are ALL KINDS of movie options around town (indoor as well as outdoor) for the summer movie connoisseur.
- Host an outdoor movie —hang a sheet outside with projector. Kids love this one, and you can control the movie choice(s) and timing yourself.
- Make homemade ice cream (or popsicles)! Pick a new flavor (or a favorite old one), let the kids measure and stir. Enjoy together!
- Paint some pottery (look for a studio near you). You can create a special plate for birthdays, a piggy bank to start your kid’s savings adventures, or any number of other choices available!
- Nashville Area Parks – Did you know there are over 100 parks just in Davidson County alone? Centennial Park is always a summertime favorite with dancing on Saturday nights, movie nights, and free concerts.
- Nashville Zoo at Grassmere – We’ve found season passes are your best bet if you plan to come more than once. I’ve never met a kid that didn’t like the zoo. But beware – it’s hot!
- Skate time – Whether old-school, roller-blading, or ice-skating, there are options all around town to enjoy this throw-back with your kids.
- Water balloons/sponge balls (fight, race, whatever!)
- Wave Country/Nashville Shores – I loved going to Wave Country as a teen! (Of course, we called it the wave pool…) There are always lots of kids here, but I would definitely say to keep a very close watch when in the actual pool as the waves can get massive. For smaller children, Nashville Shores has more to offer, in my opinion. There are more attractions geared toward younger ones. This is a day you will probably want to plan if you are on a budget, as it can get pricey if buying multiple tickets
- Visit a splash pad/pool. This summer classic never loses its appeal, and we’ve got a great list for you.