Music lovers everywhere will be right at home in Nashville – located in the heart of the country, the city is one of the music capitals of the world. Of course, this lively location has more to offer than just music – for those looking to experience this cultural hotspot on a budget, check out these fun and free things to do in the Music City.
Music City Walk of Fame
Like Hollywood, Nashville has a special place for its stars. Located on Nashville’s Music Mile, the Music City Walk of Fame has sidewalk plaques dedicated to music celebrities with a connection to Nashville – inductees include Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Induction ceremonies are open to the public, though you may want to scout out some locations ahead of time to compete with other fans. Upcoming ceremonies are announced on visitmusiccity.com/walkoffame, so check to see if anyone is being celebrated during your group’s visit.
Warner Park Nature Center
Open Tuesday-Saturday, the center includes gardens, a greenhouse, a natural history museum and a playground called Nature Play. The center also has a field trip curriculum that is available to school groups, as well as public programs for different age groups; some of these include fun events like the seed scavenger hunt and duck duck goose, where your group can learn about ducks and geese. If you’re not able to visit on a day the center is open, check out the Warner parks – they’re open seven days a week.
If you want to know about Tennessee’s role in the Civil War, check out this fort, which served as a Union stronghold after Nashville’s occupation. Visitors can learn about the history of the fort, including its role in the Battle of Nashville, when the fort helped defend Tennessee against the Confederate army. The fort offers free school programs, which include a guided tour and your choice of one of three educational videos, as well as hands-on activities. At the end of the day, hike up St. Cloud Hill with your group for one of the best views of Nashville the city has to offer.
Full Moon Hike
This activity allows people of all ages to experience a different side of Nashville. Once a month during the full moon, your group can hike along an even path that spans 4.5 miles in Edwin Warner Park. The hike is hosted by Team Green Adventures, a group founded by Nashville radio station Lightning 100 to raise environmental awareness in the city. Team Green Adventures hosts a variety of other activities during the year, such as rock climbing and stargazing, but this beginner-level hike is sure to be an event your group won’t want to miss. Be sure to bring a flashlight! To learn more about the hike, visit teamgreenadventures.com.
Honky Tonk Highway
Want to enjoy some of Nashville’s best music on a budget? Stroll down the Honky Tonk Highway, located on Lower Broadway. Here, the clubs line the street with their doors wide open, letting the music flow out to audience members outside. Your group will surely enjoy the ambiance as you walk along and listen to bands playing a variety of genres, including rock n’ roll and country. Many of the clubs have a cover fee, but a few down the road are free of charge, including Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and Tequila Cowboy.
Cooter’s Place Museum
For those who want to learn about the good ol’ boys, check out this branch of the Dukes of Hazzard museum. Run by former cast member Ben Jones, the museum features memorabilia from the beloved television show, including props, costumes, and some of the show’s beloved cars. There’s even a replica of the famous General Lee parked outside – for $5, you can hop in and get your picture taken. Special events are also held at the museum including autograph signings and the Hazzard Run, where people drive their “Hazzard cars” from the museum’s branch in Gatlinburg to Nashville. New and old fans alike will have fun viewing this piece of Southern culture.
Nashville Flea Market
Few may know it, but Nashville is home to what has been called the #1 flea market in Tennessee. Once a month your group can walk from stall to stall and see all the interesting wares the vendors have to offer, including antiques, specialty food, boutique clothing, yard art and more. Around 2,000 booths are hosted each time, ensuring that the experience is different each time. In addition, the market has a new theme every month, from January’s Retro Revival to July’s Americana Cool. Though the flea market is usually on the fourth weekend of each month, be sure to check thefairgrounds.com for exact dates and times.
Yoga in Centennial Park
Every Tuesday during the summer, Nashville offers a great way for your group to get some exercise in the fresh air. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the Kali Yuga studio hosts Yoga in the Park, a free event that teaches basic yoga poses to anyone who wishes to join in. Fans of yoga may participate regardless of level – all that’s required is a yoga mat. After the hour is up, your group can complete the evening outdoors by participating in a game of volleyball at the nearby Sand Volleyball Courts.
The Music City has much for groups to explore. Do you know any other fun things to do in Nashville? Let us know in the comments!