Nashville is a fun city for kids, especially if they like the outdoors. The biggest city parks are home to nature centers and greenways, while the Harpeth River beckons for canoeing. Museums and zoos keep things magical with a focus on music, local history, hands-on science and animal encounters.

Animal Encounters

Get close to the animals at nature centers and the zoo.

Nashville Zoo Learn about exotic birds at an animal keeper talk, mingle with marsupials on the Kangaroo Kickabout or pet a camel in Critter Encounters.

Shelby Bottoms Greenway Study taxidermied animals in the nature center, then pedal the greenway to scout for deer and birds.

Cheekwood Botanical Garden Check out the two resident reindeer over the winter holidays.

Warner Parks Kid programs and family-friendly walks at the nature center spotlight local animals.

Outdoor Adventures

With woods, rivers and more than 120 city parks, Nashville offers kids a range of fun activities in the natural world.

Canoeing Tranquil and scenic, the Harpeth River is well suited to family paddling trips.

Bike riding Easy greenway trails crisscross the city and roll through numerous parks. B-Cycle stations are conveniently perched beside the greenways. Ride mountain-bike trails in Percy Warner Park.

Bells Bend Park The outdoor center hosts geocaching adventures, animal tracking walk, star parties and night hikes.

Fannie Mae Dees Park Better known as Dragon Park, this city oasis is a great place to let younger kids blow off steam – and climb a dragon.

Two Rivers Park With a skateboard park, wave park, frisbee golf course and greenway, there's an option for every kid in the family.

History & Culture for Kids

Museums spotlight music, science, history and cultural experiences.

Country Music Hall of Fame With videos and listening booths, kids can immerse themselves in music. They can play guitar, learn to dance or write a songs at the Musical Petting Zoo in the Taylor Swift Education Center.

Frist Center for the Visual Arts Children get their art on at 30 hands-on stations. Visitors 18 and under enjoy free admission. The website (www.fristkids.org) brings art anywhere –- if you have wi-fi.

Adventure Science Center Space, beekeeping and the human body keep kids engaged on rainy days.

Need to Know

  • Packing From June through August, Nashville is humid and hot. Bring cool, airy clothes and, if you have young ones susceptible to rashes, pack Gold Bond powder or topical creams. Whenever you head outside for an extended time, take water.