2015-04-25-03.49.36

66 Free Things to Do in Nashville Year-Round

Free Things to Do in Nashville

There are so many things to do in Nashville. On any given day there’s a top-name music act playing, a festival of some sort and a plethora of family-friendly activities going on around the city. It’s hard to keep up, and it’s easy to spent too much money. Thankfully, there are so many fun free things to do in Nashville–especially for families. I hope this blog post helps you as much as it has our family!

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Free Things to Do in Nashville:Cherry Blossom Festival Nashville
Cherry Blossom Festival, Nashville

There Are Always Free Things to Do in Nashville

I grew up in Nashville and took for granted the rich history, cultural attractions and community-oriented feel it has. I graduated from Belmont University, then left for a job in 2001 and didn’t get a chance to return until 2012—this time with a husband and two kids!

Nashville is all-new to us and yet familiar as well. We love our East Nashville neighborhood, schools, parks, local restaurants and shops (even independent radio!).

When we first moved here we were going broke spending money on concert tickets! We’re more choosy now, and look for free events we can do as a family year-round.

I found that the first year or two there always seemed to be a festival or event that we missed or scheduled on top of, because we didn’t have it on the calendar, so I thought I’d compile a list of the best fun free things to do in Nashville.

Free Things to Do in Nashville: Tomato Art Fest
East Nashville Tomato Art Fest

Some of our Favorite Family-Friendly Activities

We especially love East Nashville’s Tomato Art Fest, community concerts by the Nashville Symphony, Cumberland Park Splashpad, and the incredible Nashville 4th of July fireworks display. My girl likes ArtQuest at The Frist, I love free concerts, my husband likes to take the trails, and my little one loves story time at the Nashville Public Library.

Free Things to Do in Nashville Year-Round

Place Dates Details
Arrington Vineyards every day free to visit! Bring a picnic lunch. M-Th. 11am – 8pm, F-Sat. 11am – 8pm, Sun. 12 – 6pm
Aspen Grove Park every day a covered pavilion with picnic tables is available & playground equipment
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park every day 19 acres, 200-ft granite map of the state, a World War II Memorial, a 95-Bell Carillon, fountains and a light show after dark
Centennial Park and Gardens every day Parthenon, walking trail, Lake, Centennial Art Center, historical monuments, an arts activity center, a beautiful sunken garden, a band shell, volleyball courts, dog park & an exercise trail
Charlie Daniels Park every day volleyball courts, an outdoor basketball court, skate park, walking track, splash pad
Chef and I: After Work Party Wed.-Fri. Featuring complementary chef bites and live music on Fridays, according to Visitmusiccity.com
Cooter’s Place Museum and Store every day Sun-Th 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m., F-Sat. 8:30 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Crockett Park every day trails, paved pathways, athletic fields, and playground
Cumberland Park every day nature and play area, climbing wall, splashpad, Tales at Twilight in July
Downtown Franklin every day shops, restaurants, historic markers
Downtown Presbyterian Church weekdays self-guided tours M-F 9-5. Enter through the church office located on 5th Ave.
Drake’s Creek Park every day playground, picnic shelters & walking path
First Friday Franklin Art Crawl 1st Friday 6-9 p.m. downtown Franklin
First Saturday Art Crawl 1st Saturday 6-9 p.m. (shuttles run 6-10pm)
Fisk Galleries every day permanent collection has 4,000+ objects spanning 3 centuries of art history
Fisk Jubilee Singers various many free performances, mainly during the academic school year. Click link for dates.
Fort Donelson National Battlefield every day 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Fort Nashborough every day 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., self-guided tours at Riverfront Park
Fort Negley every day dawn to dusk self-guided walking tours; visitors’ center has regular hours
Gaylord Opryland Resort every day Cascades, Delta and indoor gardens – Park at Opry Mills for free & walk to the hotel
George Dickel Distillery every day (except Sun.) M-Sa. 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (wear safe shoes like sneakers; no heels)
Granny White Park every day trails, athletic field, tennis courts & playground
Hands on Nashville every day volunteer around the city
Hatch Show Print’s Haley Gallery every day Sun-W 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. & Th-Sa. 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Haynes Galleries Tues.-Sat. 10am-4pm
Honky Tonk Highway every day Lower Broad, families are welcome until 8 or 9 p.m.
If Trees Could Sing exhibit every day a video project of The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee Centennial Park
Jack Daniel Distillery every day Tours run 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily, first come, first served, all ages welcome
LeQuire Gallery & Studio Tues.-Sat. 10am-3pm
Long Hunter State Park every day more than 20 miles of hiking trails and Sellar’s Farm State Archaeological Area
Maryland Way Park every day trail & 11 exercise stations
McGavock Confederate Cemetery every day open to the public during daylight hours
Music at the Frist Thurs.-Fri. 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday and Friday
Music City Walk of Fame Park every day see the stars in Walk of Fame Park on Demonbreun Street between 4th & 5th Avenues
Nashville Arcade Mall every day restaurants, shops, art crawl, located 4th to 5th Avenues
Nashville Farmers’ Market every day 8 a.m-6 p.m., food, restaurants, makers
Nashville Flea Market 4th weekend admission is free, but parking is $5
Nashville Public Library every day 9 a.m-6 p.m. M-F, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sat., 2-5 p.m. Sun.
Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corp. Tues. & Thurs. Free tours are held at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. on Tues. and Thurs. Reservations required by emailing nissansmyrnapublictours@nissan-usa.com / (615) 459-1444
Owl Creek Park every day playground, basketball courts, walking paths & picnic shelter
Paddle Adventures various paddle rivers, lakes and creeks throughout Tennessee
Percy Priest Lake every day fishing, boating & hiking
Percy Warner Park every day Family programs on Friday nights, Themed Saturday summer nights, story walk through the park, picnic areas, scenic roadways & overlooks, hiking trails, equestrian center & horse trails
Primm Park every day historic Boiling Springs Academy & mounds from the Native American tribe Mound Builders. Connects to Brentwood Bikeway
Radnor Lake State Park every day six miles of trail are strictly used for hiking, photography & wildlife observation
Sarratt Gallery at Vanderbilt University every day (with some exceptions) located in the main lobby of the Sarratt Student Center. 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., M-F, and 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sat. – Sun. Different summer & break hours.
Schermerhorn Symphony Center Wednesday & Saturday building tours at 1pm
Shakespeare Allowed! 1st Saturdays readings of Shakespeare plays at noon at the Nashville Public Library (some 2nd Saturdays)
Sherrick and Paul Gallery Thurs.-Sat. 11am-5pm
Star Parties 1x a month usually held at area parks, hosted by astronomy group. Check site for details
Station Inn Sunday Concerts Sundays 8pm – admission free; food for purchase available at the bar
Tennessee Agricultural Museum weekdays M-F 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. home and farm artifacts from the 19th and early 20th centuries, log cabins, farm house, one-room school, gardens and nature trails at the Ellington Agricultural Center
Tennessee State Capitol weekdays Guided tours are available on M-F 9, 10, 11 a.m. & 1, 2, & 3 p.m., beginning at the1st fl info desk
Tennessee State Museum closed Mondays Tu – Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sun 1 to 5 p.m.
The Arts Company Tues.-Sat. 11am-5pm
The Factory every day shops, salons, restaurants, M-Th 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., F – Sat. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sun. hours vary
The Nashville Hiking Meetup various hiking, backpacking, camping, paddling, and biking events throughout the year
The Park at Harlinsdale Farm every day former Walking Horse farm now open for public. Can be used for walking and picnics.
The Rymer Gallery Tues.-Sat. 11am-5pm
The Upper Room Chapel and Museum weekdays M-F 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; $4 donation encouraged
Tinney Contemporary Tues.-Sat. 11am-5pm
Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery every day (some exceptions) M-F, 11-4 p.m. Weekends, 1-5 p.m. Closed for breaks & installations. Summer hours vary.
Walking & Biking Groups various ongoing – check http://www.walkbikenashville.org/CommunityCalendar
Winstead Hill Park every day historic battle site, Civil War Monument & reeanactments
Yoga at the River Center Tuesday Tuesday at noon with some exceptions at The Bridge Building
Zeitgeist Gallery Tues.-Sat. 11am-5pm

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5 thoughts on “66 Free Things to Do in Nashville Year-Round

  1. Drakes creek park seems like it would be perfect for my children and I. I love that you can have picnics in a nice park like that. We have a grandma that lives in Nashville. It would be really nice to do some fun free and not free things while we are out there for thanksgiving.

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