The days of summer are here and Nashville has plenty of free activities during the summer. Nashville is offering more free fun than ever before. Explore Music City and do (way) more for less!
Adventure Science Center Star Party
Get acquainted with the night sky with other astronomy enthusiasts at these parties hosted by the Adventure Science Center.
Art After Hours
Sponsored by the Nashville Association of Art Dealers, this art crawl keeps galleries open late on the first Thursday of the month for those eager to experience the art scene in Nashville after work.
Belle Meade Plantation
Children 5 and under get in free every day. The Belle Meade Plantation is a 30-acre historic site 6 miles west of Nashville. The mansion is the centerpiece of the estate and was built in 1853. The plantation grounds feature an art gallery, tours of the estate and rotating Living History activities such as storytelling, period dance and demonstrations.
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
Located in the shadows of the capitol building, tour Tennessee via a 200-foot granite map of the state, a walkway featuring the 95 counties, 31 fountains representing the major rivers of Tennessee and an extraordinary wall depicting the history of the state. Offers summer concerts in the Amphitheater.
Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of ArtSummer Saturdays
Every Saturday, all summer long, Cheekwood opens it’s gates to a day full of free fun to kids – 17 & under.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Children ages 5 and under get in for free. There are a ton of events and activities offered at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum that are free. Activities such as instrument demonstrations, dance lessons, musical petting zoos, letterpress art making and more.
Dyer Observatory Second Friday Telescope Night
The second Friday of each month from March – November the Dyer Telescopes will be open for viewing stars in the night sky. If cloudy, they will be open for “Ask an Astronomer” and Observatory Tours. Reservations are required and will be available 30 days before each event.
First Saturday Art Crawl
Every first Saturday of the month, art galleries open their doors from 6-9pm for art lovers and browsers. Enjoy contemporary art, wine and hors d’oeuvres as you stroll among the galleries spanning every aspect of the art world in Nashville.
The Aaron Douglas Gallery features classical and contemporary African art, modern and contemporary African-American art, other American and European and folk art. The Carl Van Vechten Gallery houses the Stieglitz Collection including works by Picasso, Cezanne, Renoir, O’Keeffe, Toulouse-Lautrec and many others. Both galleries are free and open to the public.
The fourth weekend of each month, Tennessee State Fairgrounds Flea Market is considered among the top ten flea markets in the country. Dealers and vendors from 30 states offer their wares to the buying public. You’ll find a huge variety of gifts, antiques, collectibles, jewelry, arts and crafts, tools, house wares, handmade clothing and tons more.
Explore the largest inland masonry fort built during the Civil War.
Frist Center for the Visual Arts
The Frist is always free for ages 18 and younger. Frist Center Kids Club is for 5-10 year olds on the second Saturday of each month and offers children an opportunity to discover, explore and create art. College students receive free admission on Thursday and Friday nights (after 5:00 pm).
Hatch Show Print
One of the oldest-working letterpress print shops in America, Hatch Show Print is open to art lovers, music lovers, collectors and everyone else in between. Step inside and see how these legendary posters are made.
In the Round at the Bluebird Cafe
The historic Bluebird Cafe hosts weekly songwriter performances with no cover. Get an intimate performance with the unique no-stage setup from the people who have written the songs that you love the most.
Nashville Farmers’ Market
Located next to Bicentennial Mall at 900 8th Ave N. in Nashville. Open every day for anyone and everyone eager to take in some local produce, flowers and other goods. Every Saturday morning, May through October, Chefs at the Market feature cooking demonstrations from local chefs providing rich learning and sampling opportunities from regional farms. Every second Saturday of the month from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. the farmers market has a festival that includes lots of fun, games, and carnival type events for the kids.
Nashville Public Library
The libraries in Nashville offer special programs year-round but during the summer these programs offer plenty of children’s entertainment, including storytime, magicians, crafts, and puppet shows.
Nashville Symphony and Schermerhorn Symphony Center
The Schermerhorn Symphony Center offers building tours to explore the beautiful architecture of the Nashville Symphony’s home.
Tennessee Agricultural Museum
The museum has an extensive collection of home and farm artifacts from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Tennessee State Museum Learn about Nashville and Tennessee history in this museum located at 505 Deaderick Street in Nashville. Permanent exhibits in the Museum begin with prehistoric people and continue through the early 1900s. The Military Museum explores America’s overseas conflicts from the Spanish-American War through World War II. Admission to the museum’s permanent exhibits and the Military Museum is always free. Most temporary exhibits are also free, although admission may be charged to some. ***Note: the Tennessee State Capitol is closed for the rest of 2012 for renovations.***
Greater Nashville Parks
Go hiking, boating, fishing, picnicking, and relaxing at any of the metro area’s parks. These parks are truly Nashville’s best-kept secrets. Seven Nashville parks offer splash pads to beat the heat! Including Cumberland Park, Watkins Park, Kirkpatrick Park, Patterson Park, Don Fox Community Park, Gregory Mill Dam Park, and Kingston Springs City Park. Visit nashville.gov/parks for more information on individual parks and offerings.
Warner Park Nature Center
An environmental education and recreation facility of the Nashville Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation. The Nature Center is a place where people and nature come together. They offer free excursions for kids of all ages; throughout. Pre-registration is required, and spots tend to fill up quickly.