I wrote this piece recently for my sweet friend Laura over at Have Need Want and figured I’d share it here too. She does something fun and shares cities of other bloggers with her audience. Go check her out!
We do quite a bit of traveling and like to bring the kids along as much as possible. I know a lot of people think that once having kids, lives change and you are stuck doing boring monotonous things for the next 18 years. It’s actually quite the opposite. Traveling with kids shouldn’t mean your only itinerary revolves around only going to places like the Zoo, Children’s Museum and Kids Eat Free Nights. You can and should explore cities with kids in tow while doing things you love too. I have put together a Nashville Guide for you and your whole family to enjoy regardless of the kid’s ages.
When it comes to food I want great food, beautiful drinks, an Instagrammable location and I want it to be kid-friendly. Sounds like a mystical unicorn right? Well, it’s not you just have to search a little harder for it. Below are options for brunch to lunch to dinner and I have personally been to all with my kids with minor hiccups that come to be expected.
- The Mockingbird
We have been here for both Brunch and Dinner with kids. Moms love it because with donuts on the brunch menu you can’t go wrong. But it gets better when you look at the drink menu. From boozy popsicles to adult CapriSuns (they make kid-friendly versions too as you can see in the picture)
It’s fun and casual with portions big enough to split. Not to mention there is a Beer Garden with outdoor seating on picnic tables, room to roam, and beer galore. Top the meal off with a milkshake from their old school soda shop and everyone will leave happy.
On the trendy East Nashville side, you come here for the pizza but stay because they give the kids a ball of dough to play with as you wait for your food. And when kids are entertained by a slime like substance, meals are always more enjoyable.
This isn’t a regular bowling alley. This is a bowling alley fit for a queen. Add bocce balls, dipping pools, and room to roam your kids are in for a treat. (I assume toddlers in the swimming pools is frowned upon). Plus it is gorgeous inside with lots of open seating and a couple semi-secluded tables for more privacy aka loud, rowdy kids.
What started out as a food truck with a wait that would make you want to fast has evolved into a restaurant with comfort food that you can proudly share with your kids. They have regular grilled cheeses and adult grilled cheeses. On top of the amazing food, they have a milkshake bar that makes the cutest instagrammable pictures.
If you haven’t noticed an underlying theme yet, outdoor space and good drink selections are crucial in my decision making. This has it all plus live music and the best Bar-B-Que in town.
This area really has it all. So while you are shopping the family can be wandering the street looking at the murals or grabbing a cupcake from the cupcake ATM. It is all outside and on a busy street so keep that in mind for weather. But with Draper James, Vinnie Louise, Whites Mercantile you are bound to not go home empty-handed. While you are there you have to check out Bartaco. They have the best patio and marg in the neighborhood.
This is another fun neighborhood where you could spend the day shopping and eating while watching the kids run around. Plus there are fun photo walls like an all greenery wall or red garage. Warby Parker is here in case its time for new glass. American Threads has adorable clothing that fills my boho soul. And Kore is a store (see what I did there?) that I could wander for hours in. If the kids start getting whiney, bribe them with Legato Gelato and continue on with your day.
This is another outdoor shopping area, but these stores are more national brands that you will recognize as probably having near you. There are some local, regional stores but for the most part, they are national stores. Here you will find home stores such as Pottery Barn and West Elm to clothing and accessory stores for both men and women. Plenty of places to grab a refreshment as well.
From season festivals to gardens, to trains and art there is something here for everyone. Nashville weather is relatively mild so it can be enjoyed almost year-round with the right clothing.
If you go to a city and don’t take a picture in front of a mural, did you really visit the city? There is no way to keep these up to date because they literally pop up every week. But my friend Greta does a pretty good job of keeping a list going so I am going to share it HERE for you to find your favorite.
This park doesn’t get more kid-friendly. From a splash pad (go early in the day) to a ropes course, to a rock climbing wall the kids can have a blast while you lounge or take a look at the city. It’s on the River and if you take the elevator up, you can walk across a pedestrian bridge to Nashville.
Neighborhood Street Festival
On almost every weekend through Spring, Summer, and Fall there is a street festival in one of the neighborhoods around town. Vendors come from all over to set up a booth. Food trucks line the streets. Activities for kids are on every corner. Plus live music, because this is Nashville. They are typically free to get into so feel free to stay awhile. Check out a recent street festival in 12 South as well as these two in Franklin. The one in downtown gets CRAZY busy with people from all over and this one was more Nashville centric vendors.
Have a wonderful trip and enjoy the city. Id love to know where you went. If I left somewhere off you love also, let me know so I can add it!