Tennessee is known as the “greenest state in the land of the free” and there is nothing more FREE than playing outside! From trails and waterfalls to urban splash pads and playgrounds – there is something fun and free for any outdoor kid.
Nashville has many wonderful playgrounds. Sevier Park, Dragon Park, Shelby Bottoms, and Elmington Park are just a few favorites. Check out the full list of city parks here. http://www.nashville.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Parks.aspx
State Parks can be found here: http://tnstateparks.com/about/find-a-park
Trails and Swimming Holes
Dirt hiking trails from to two to almost five miles. They may sound short, but the hills give a great workout. Plus paved paths for strollers, bikes, etc. And you can’t beat the steps in Belle Meade for a pre-hike photo op. This is Nashville’s place to see and be seen outdoors.
Harpeth River State Park
Many great options here. Start with the Narrows of the Harpeth – a very short, very steep hike to awesome views and also a nice short, flat hike to one of Tennessee’s most popular swimming holes. Another great choice is Hidden Lake Trail – slightly more difficult hike that’s also sure to please the history buffs.
It’s just north of downtown Nashville, but feels completely remote. Beaman Park is Nashville’s best kept secret for hiking. The nature center is lovely. The trails run right along a beautiful creek that dogs, kids, and adults will love to explore.
Take an easy stroll around Lake Radnor. Great for first dates, families with strollers, or for visiting relatives. You’ll see beautiful scenery and wildlife, and maybe even a Rolling Stone.
Playgrounds and Splash Pads
For something special, don’t miss these:
I can’t say enough about Cumberland Park. It’s great for kids of all ages. The water features are amazing – with fountains, and a wading area, and even a waterfall. But there’s still plenty of fun stuff to do if you’re trying to stay dry. While you’re there, hop up on the pedestrian bridge for a great family photo with the Nashville skyline.
If the crowds at Cumberland Park are a little overwhelming, Bicentennial Mall is a great alternative. Older kids can run through the large fountains, while the little ones wade down the “Mighty Mississippi”. And when they’re ready for a break, they can watch the trains roll by on the bridge. Guaranteed entertainment for any Thomas fan.