Free Fun for the Indoor Kids

With all the rain the past week, we were desperate to get out of the house and give the kid a chance to run around. So for the next time it’s pouring (or freezing or too hot or too buggy), check out these FREE indoor, kid-friendly spaces.

Get Cultured

Nashville Public Libraries

Nashville has a wonderful public library system and there is bound to be a branch near you. But if you want something really special, come downtown to the Main Library. The Children’s Area there is extraordinary. They’ve got puppets, Legos, and a train table for creative play. For some exercise, there is a small climbing wall and – one of the coolest things in Nashville – a “reading fort” designed to look like downtown. Who doesn’t want to climb up the Batman Building?? Remember to check out the calendar for puppet shows, story time, and other events. And once you’ve done all that, there’s books to read too!

The Tennessee State Museum

I actually just discovered that this museum is free, so this will definitely be the next place we check out. More to follow…

Kidsville inside the Parthenon

From the same folks behind the always wonderful Musicians’ Corner, Kidsville is a free, musical event for kids of all ages. Sit at Athena’s giant feet and listen to an amazing Nashville musician inspire your child. Then join in some free arts and crafts activities. Once Musicians’ Corner starts up again, these events move outside so check the calendar to be sure.

Break A Sweat


Chick-fil-A and McDonalds have great places to play, but since you should probably buy a Happy Meal, they aren’t technically free (although I’ve never turned down an excuse for french fries). If you’re looking for truly free fun, check out the play grounds at Cornerstone Church in Madison. It’s great for toddlers through 10 years old.

Work out

Also near by is Wholesale Fitness –  a free workout center in the back of a car dealership, obviously! This would be great for older kids – they have everything from workout classes to batting cages.

Other Ideas

Home Depot classes

while not unique to Nashville, Home Depot does offer great, free classes for kids. Your kids will look adorable in their orange aprons, plus you’ll get a sweet new bird house!

Puppy Party

WARNING: this could be a fun, free way to spend an hour or it might end up costing you a LOT money. Pet some puppies at the Nashville Humane Association or cuddle some kittens at Love At First Sight. Both have all kinds of adorable pets to take home. While they wait for their forever-home, make some time to give them all the fun and attention they deserve.


Ok, this is neither free nor really for kids, but hear me out. Smith and Lentz Brewing Company in East Nashville has a great big space for little kids to run around, free popcorn, ping pong tables, and board games for older kids, and a giant TV and excellent beer for everyone else.


Parnassus Books, Brilliant Sky Toys, Phillips Toy Mart, and Fairy Tales are all great places to escape a sudden downpour. But they’ll probably want you to actually buy something.

Have any other tried and true places? We’d love to hear about them.