Forget the drama from the hit TV show—Nashville is a town practically made for families. The city has tons of activities that let your entire clan tune in to Nashville's proud music tradition. Plus, there's kid-friendly Southern food in spades, a burgeoning park system, and a museum network that rivals some of the country's biggest metros.
Sitting on the edge of downtown, the Adventure Science Center offers more than 175 hands-on learning exhibits for kids. The centerpiece is a three-story Adventure Tower, which features a system of ladders, tubes, ropes, and slides that lets kids explore an extensive playground of science fun. Next, blast off to the Moonwalker, an activity where adults and kids (weighing at least 50 pounds) get hooked into a harness system to see what it's like to walk in outer space. adventuresci.org
A warning to country music novices: This museum might just turn you into a Tim McGraw groupie. The massive space is packed with exhibits highlighting the multiple facets of Nashville's music history, from Bob Dylan's 1966 recordings to Keith Urban's current chart dominance. Kids will want to shake on over to the Taylor Swift Education Center, where older ones can explore the music-composition process through songwriting programs, while younger fans design their own paper guitars. (Swift's tour costume and bus are a big hit too!) Then, test out your family's vocal chops by recording your rendition of a famous country song in the mini studio. countrymusichalloffame.org
Romantic-era paintings and Christopher Columbus artifacts may be on view in the main gallery, but upstairs in the Martin ArtQuest Gallery, it's all about masterpieces created by visitors like you. There, parents and kids can spend hours making their own art at 30 different interactive stations featuring everything from watercolor painting to stop-motion animation to dress design. Once you've made your mark upstairs, use the museum's kid-focused guides to explore the work of the pros with your family. fristcenter.org
You can't get more Nashville than live music and barbecue. Puckett's has the best ribs in town plus country performances every night of the week. The restaurant is two blocks off Broadway, giving you a chance to see a couple of sets without having to navigate rowdy Honky Tonk Row. The kids menu has faves like PB&J, but the cherry-smoked baby back ribs are a hit with the whole family. puckettsgro.com
5. John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and Cumberland Park
Credit: Jason Myers
Take a stroll over this pedestrian bridge that stretches across the Cumberland River, connecting downtown with East Nashville. It offers great views of the city's skyline, including the signature "Batman" building. And your destination won't disappoint: The bridge brings you to the new Cumberland Park, which has a free climbing wall, rope structures, slides, and the Hollow, a series of rolling turf "waves" that kids can slide through. There's also a water-fountain park when the weather is warm! nashville.gov