I have wanted to visit Tennessee for a while. I love country music, so I wanted to make sure to visit Nashville and take in a show at the Grand Ole Opry. This summer I finally decided to make it happen and I planned a trip to Nashville with kids.
While the drive wasn’t short, it wasn’t horrible. We drove out of Orlando at 4 in the morning and we made one stop for breakfast and a couple of short bathroom breaks/leg stretching breaks. We arrived in Nashville 12 hours later. The kids slept for about 5.5 hours and I made activity books for them to use during the drive, so they were occupied and not going stir crazy.
Here is our itinerary for 3 days in Nashville with kids.
Nashville with Kids – Day 1
We headed out of Orlando at 4am. Stopped at the halfway point to grab some breakfast and then kept going until we arrived in Nashville. We arrive at the Gaylord Opryland our hotel for the next 3 nights.
As I had been driving for 12 hours, we stayed close to the hotel that night. We went across the road to Opry Mills shopping center at ate dinner at the Aquarium restaurant, which is like dining in a giant underwater tank. The kids really loved looking at the fish, stingrays, sharks and eels. It was a bit pricey, with the bill coming to about $100 for the 4 of us.
Nashville with Kids – Day 2
We headed into downtown Nashville this morning. In the morning we went on The Sound Music Tour, which is a bus tour around Nashville where you have a musician who sings on the bus, and the group helps to create their own special song during the tour. Both kids were given tambourines to play during the bus ride and for the performance at the end. Because of the interactivity, the kids really enjoyed the tour; the adults thought it could have had a bit more information about the city.
We grabbed lunch at Acme Feed and Seed, which I would highly recommend. The food was amazing, but it is casual enough for kids. After lunch go up to the top of the restaurant for an amazing view of Nashville.
After lunch, we visited the Country Music Hall of Fame. It has a lot of memorabilia that was cool to see, including original costumes, cars, instruments and more, as well as some fun games that the kids could play. My daughter and I even made a recording of us singing a country hit. Rock me Baby Like a Wagon Wheel! After the museum we headed back to the hotel as we had Opry tickets that night.
My husband and I had the greatest time at the Opry. The 4-year old also loved it; the 9-year old, not so much. We saw 12 different artists/groups, a couple which I recognized. Strangely enough, even listening to the live commercials that they do during the show was fun. I highly recommend visiting the Opry if you are in Nashville; you might be surprised that your kids end up liking it.
Tip: Buy the Nashville Pass to save on attraction costs.
Nashville with Kids – Day 3
We headed back into Nashville again today to do a tour of Studio B. The tour leaves from the Country Music Hall of Fame and is very informative. The actual time spent in Studio B is limited as it is very small, but the guide gives you a lot of information while you are on the bus.
We then jumped on the hop and hop off bus and took a more extended tour of Nashville. We got off the bus at Centennial Park, so that we could see the replica of the Parthenon. We didn’t end up going inside to see the artwork they have there, as well as the statue of Athena. There was a festival being held across the park at Musician’s Corner, so we headed over there instead.
Tip: Centennial Park would be a great place to relax for a bit with a picnic and maybe some bubbles and a frisbee for the kids.
After the park, we jumped back on the bus and planned to grab lunch at Hattie B’s. We wanted to try Nashville’s famous hot chicken. When the bus pulled up by Hattie B’s, the line was probably the most ridiculously long line that I have seen in a long time. We decided to try Prince’s instead which is on the way back to the Gaylord. While the chicken was really good, the wait is pretty long, as it is made to order. I would recommend calling when you are leaving Nashville to place an order and then pick it up instead of ordering when you get there. Note that this chicken is pretty hot. If you like spicy food, order the medium; I wouldn’t go hotter than this at least here.
We left Nashville after breakfast and drove to Gatlinburg Tennessee.