When planning any trip, it can be difficult to make sure there are enough family-friendly activities available for everyone to enjoy. Sure, Nashville has plenty of honkytonks, bars, breweries, and nightlife to keep you and your spouse entertained, but what about the teenage members of your family?
Teenagers can be a hard age group to keep entertained — they’re often too old for things that small children enjoy like playgrounds and face painting, but they’re also too young for many of the adult activities like wine tasting and late-night concerts.
Luckily, Nashville has options! Here are over 25 teenage-appropriate activities with a top-five list ranked by popularity and relevancy.
Our Top 5 Picks Nashville Activities To Do With Teens
1. See a live show
Yes, a large majority of the Nashville music scene takes place in 18+ or 21+ venues, but luckily there are plenty of other age-appropriate alternatives to choose from.
The trick is to check out the bookings that take place before 7:00 pm, especially at the more active venues like The Wildhorse Saloon, and The Station Inn, which are bound to have all-day slots for both local musicians and well-known acts.
2. Get tickets to the game
For teenagers that are into sports, there are endless options for sporting events here in Nashville.
For football, get Titans tickets. For basketball, Tigers tickets. Nashville’s hockey team is The Predators. For baseball, there is The Stars. All teams offer off-season tickets for practice games, so make sure you check out the events pages of your favorite teams.
3. Tour The Country Music Hall of Fame
Country music is having a moment with today’s youth. In fact, the best-selling solo artist in US history is Country Music Hall of Famer, Garth Brooks. Therefore, it only makes sense to list this attraction amongst the top five activities for teenagers in Nashville.
Stroll through the Country Music Hall of Fame’s exhibits and artifacts and learn the history of country music and the lives of those who gave it to us.
4. Check out the local shopping malls
Shopping is a common pastime for teenagers all around the world, and Nashville is no different.
The Arcade is a popular shopping center close to downtown that offers shopping, a food court, and many other attractions. A little further out is Opry Mills, and Rivergate Mall which features a classic carousel.
5. Get a slice at Slim and Husky’s
Who doesn’t like pizza? Some people, probably, but not teenagers. Far and wide, most Nashvillians will agree that Slim and Husky’s is the best place to get a pie in Nashville.
Slim and Husky’s is a hip-hop-themed pizza joint with a fabulous menu of wood-fired pies, with items like the Cee No Green, a specialty pizza with ground beef, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, and sausage.
Other Great Activities To Do In Nashville With Teens
Go to the movies
Since streaming has become mainstream, many teenagers have become appreciative of the old-fashioned act of going to the movies with their friends. Now that the Covid-19 pandemic has started to taper off, more options have become available for public viewing.
Two great options in the Nashville area are The Belcourt Theatre, an independent theatre and event space that shows independent films and hosts special speakers or art galleries, and Regal Opry Mills, the more mainstream option.
Check out one of Nashville’s skate parks
Skating is great. It builds confidence, teaches new skills, provides ample exercise, and gets you outside in the fresh air.
In Nashville, there are a few fantastic skate parks to choose from. The largest and most popular by far is Sixth Avenue Skate Park. It’s located downtown and has an indoor facility.
If you’re concerned about supervision, this might be the place to drop off your teenager because Sixth Avenue Skate Park has staff members on duty to watch out for any issues or accidents. They also host a seasonal day camp amongst many other events.
Check out the local museums
For your teenager, an educational alternative to the rowdy nightlife in Nashville might look like an evening at one of the area’s many museums, which are far too numerous to list here.
A few of the more popular museums are The Johnny Cash Museum, an exhibit celebrating the life and music of country artist, Johnny Cash, The Frist Art Museum, a fantastic collection of multi-period pieces, and The Ryman Auditorium, the former home of the Grand Ole Opry, country music’s most iconic stage.
Grab a local staple at Prince’s
Nashville hot chicken is probably Nashville’s most iconic dish. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s fantastic. It consists of a breaded piece of fried chicken, coated in hot sauce, and served with coleslaw, pickles, and some type of bread or bun.
Prince’s holds the claim for the first Nashville hot chicken restaurant and has been serving it for over 70 years. If you or your teenager is a spice wimp, don't worry! There are plenty of levels of spice to choose from, ranging from plain to XXXHOT.
Fuel your need for speed at K1 Speed
Looking for a little adrenaline? The K1 Speedway can give you the fix you and your teenager are craving.
K1 Speed is a multi-track go-kart arena that offers a great experience for teens and their parents to race one on one, in an obstacle course, or against other racers.
For the record, it’s also a fantastic place to celebrate a birthday — they offer one free race within a week of your teenager's birthday if you purchase a $7.95 membership (comes with a free t-shirt too!)
One of the many benefits of living in or visiting Nashville is the fantastic weather. There are only a handful of months too cold to swim in the Cumberland River, and when that happens, there are always indoor swimming options.
One such place is the Centennial Sportsplex, a multi-athletic indoor facility that offers not only an Olympic-sized pool, but also a running track, ice skating rink, and weight room.
Spend a day at the zoo
The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is a great experience for teens looking to see wildlife like leopards, monkeys, porcupines, alpacas, and many more, up close and personal.
But wildlife isn’t the only attraction that The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere has to offer. Apart from the wide variety of animals, there’s also a zipline, a movie theatre that shows nature documentaries, and a historical plantation home where you can learn a little history of the grounds before it became a zoo.
Whatever brings you to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, learning something new and exciting is always a guaranteed takeaway.
Tee off at one of the many local golf courses
Golf is a great way for your teen to stretch their legs, and practice their aim with their friends. The issue is that some golf courses aren’t open to golfers younger than 18. But don't fret! Nashville does have options for teen golfers looking to improve their swing.
One great option is Vinny Links, a golf course that caters to golfers both young and old. They have a beautiful 9-hole course, and incredibly affordable admission fees starting as low as $6.00. They also provide rentals for golf balls, clubs, and pull-carts with a valid ID.
Test your problem-solving skills with an escape room
At this point, it’s no secret that the escape room scene in Nashville is pretty much unmatched. There are multiple companies located here that offer a plethora of exciting locations, so it can be a little overwhelming to try and narrow down your choice.
One of the more popular suggestions is often The Escape Game. They have over ten distinct rooms all with a different theme. Drop your teens and their friends off at one of the several locations, or work together as a family to try and find the clues and solve the puzzle!
Enjoy a day at the park
There are a million reasons for a teenager to want to spend the day in the park, especially when the park falls within the Nashville city limits.
The area’s parks are well-kept, clean, and provide many opportunities for both recreation and education, such as visiting Fort Negely, a major Civil War landmark that offers tours and information for visitors.
Bring a picnic, frisbee, or fishing pole, and take advantage of the many great parks The Music City has to offer!
Check out some local art
The Nashville Art Crawl takes place in downtown Nashville every first Saturday of the month from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and is really worth checking out. Hop from gallery to gallery using this list as a guide.
It doesn’t cost anything to join, there are no age requirements, no reservations needed, and there are even refreshments offered along the way.
Take advantage of local outdoor events
For the more outdoorsy teenagers, there is a really cool program offered by The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge called Refuge Discovery Series.
This series of events offers free classes and activities to all age groups, teenagers included. Classes offered include hunting, fishing, photography, boating, biking, birding, hiking, horseback riding, running, painting, drawing, and archery.
If your teenager needs a ride to these outdoor activities, the staff at the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge visitor center can provide rides when needed. Check The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge’s website for scheduling and more information.
Zipline at Adventure Park
Teenagers can experience a super exciting ziplining experience at Adventure Park. Take a short safety briefing, sign a waiver (each teenager is required to have a signed permission slip from a parent or legal guardian), and you’re on your way to gliding through the Nashville area’s most breathtaking canopies.
Booking opens up on March 3rd and will continue until June 19th, so make your reservation today to ensure your teenager has a spot.
Test your aim at Nashville Paintball Inc.
Nashville Paintball Inc. has an incredible paintball facility for teenagers, adults, and kids as young as 10, so you can drop off your teen with their friends, or go as a family.
There are no reservations required. They also offer paintball gun and equipment rentals, so while you’re welcome to purchase or pack your own, there’s no need to do so.
Get a scoop at Mike’s Ice Cream
Everyone has a local ice cream parlor that they grew up with and have fond memories of. Times haven’t changed. Mike’s Ice Cream is a local ice cream spot where teens can meet up with their friends in downtown Nashville, and get a scoop, milkshake, float, or banana split.
Mike’s Ice Cream has been featured in People Magazine, Goop, and Nashville Scene.
Tour Cheekwood Gardens and Estate
Cheekwood Gardens and Estate is one of Nashville’s most popular outdoor attractions. In fact, if you didn’t come to Nashville for the music, this might be the number one place for you and your teen to visit.
It features a beautiful botanical garden, a historical estate home that offers guided and self-guided tours, and a remarkable sculpture garden. In the warmer months, the estate also hosts many outdoor events such as concerts, so be sure to check the website for dates and times!
Get your game on at the local arcade
So we all know by now that one of the more popular nightlife trends lately is going to a bar-cade. But are there any classic arcades left that don’t require gamers to be over 21?
Luckily in Nashville, there are many! Tito’s Playland in the Plaza Mariachi is a fantastic local option. The facility is huge, and there are plenty of great games to choose from.
Other than Tito’s Playland, there’s also the Gaylord Opryland Resort Arcade, where you can also find a spa, waterslide, and botanical garden all in the same facility, so you can get a massage while your teenager plays pinball!
View the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
Walking the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge is a great no-cost activity for teens to check out Nashville’s beautiful skyline and get a feel of the city.
Being a local hotspot for street musicians, it also provides an excellent opportunity for them to view the local music scene without having to worry about age requirements or cover charges.
Have a tea party at The International Tea and Coffee Company
Maybe “active” and “adventurous” aren’t the first words you would use to describe your teenager. Maybe you already had a busy trip to Nashville, and what you and your teenager need is some quiet one-on-one time together over a nice cup of relaxing tea.
The International Tea and Coffee Company is a great place to unwind, and they offer many fantastic tea blends and coffee drinks to choose from. Check out their menu and see if anything strikes your fancy.
Battle it out at Dur Demarion
For teens that are interested in joining the local LARPing scene, Dur Demarion is the southern US’ largest group.
For those who don’t know, LARP stands for Live Action Role Playing. Functionally, it's a group of people of all ages who get together and have fun dressing up as a special character and fighting on a pretend battlefield with homemade foam instruments.
Dur Demarion meets every Sunday at noon and fights until sunset. For more information and a list of regulations, see the official website.
Kayak the Cumberland River
There are many ways for teens to enjoy the Cumberland River, but kayaking has got to be at the top of the list, and there are many fantastic ways to do that.
If it’s your teen's first time kayaking, it’s probably the safest idea to book a reservation with one of the many local kayaking tour guides, like River Queen Voyages, who provide kayaks, guides, life jackets, and the equipment necessary for a safe and fun trip down the Cumberland River. They are operational from Spring until Fall.