NEXT STOP, NASHVILLE: A Family-Friendly Trip to Music City
Nashville is a prime destination for live music and bachelorette parties, but a night out on Lower Broadway is a bit harder to swing with kids in tow. Fortunately Music City has plenty of kid-friendly spots that aren’t just bearable—they’re actually really fun. It’s a 1 hour and 20 minute flight (or a 6 hour and 30 minute drive) from Charlotte, so it’s best to go when you have a long weekend—or better yet, a whole week. From water parks and mural hunts to biscuits and board games, Nashville is full of activities you can enjoy with your kids. Really.
The Moxy Nashville Vanderbilt Area, just three miles southwest of downtown in Hillsborough Village, gives you the vibe of Music City without the commotion of Lower Broadway on a Saturday night. Vintage music posters and records line the walls of the open lobby, which has a bar that serves wine, beer, and cocktails for mom and dad, plus shuffleboard, pool, and life-sized Connect Four and Jenga games for the kids. The neighborhood is full of murals, boutiques, and coffee shops, and you’re walking distance from Fannie Mae Dees Park, where kids can climb on a giant mosaic ceramic tile dragon. If you prefer all of your activities onsite, try the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. It feels a bit like a cruise ship on dry land—you can ride a boat down the indoor river, visit the atriums and gardens, or check out SoundWaves, the indoor/outdoor water park. Kids can bounce between the waterslides and FlowRider surf machine while parents patrol the lazy river.
You can usually count on an hour-long wait at its flagship location in The Gulch, but Biscuit Love has another location in Hillsboro Village, just a few steps from the Moxy, and it’s not nearly as slammed. If you have early risers, head over when it opens at 7 a.m. and order the Princess, a buttermilk biscuit topped with Nashville hot chicken, pickles, mustard, and honey. For the little ones, there’s a Kid’s Egg Plate with scrambled eggs, bacon, or sausage with a mini buttermilk biscuit. For an easy no-frills lunch, stop by The Grilled Cheeserie, a counter serve eatery with gourmet grilled cheese and milkshakes. For an early evening out, head to Tin Roof of Nashville’s Demonbreun Street location to give the kids a taste of some live music and kid-friendly pub fare like quesadillas, wings, and burgers.
A late night on Honky Tonk Highway may not be in your plans, but this stretch of bars pumps live music into the streets beginning at 10 a.m. Take the kids for a stroll down Lower Broadway during the day and get everyone a pair of cowboy boots while you’re there—many places, like Boot Country, offer buy one get two free, so you can size up or get a different style for next year. Book a tour on the Hop On Hop Off Bus for an efficient way to see the city, or go on a self-guided mural hunt through downtown to explore it at your own pace. For some music education, schedule a Grand Ole Opry and Backstage Tour and see the Ryman Auditorium’s backstage areas to learn about the venue’s history. The tour includes a live radio concert that’s just 45 minutes, so the kids won’t get too antsy.
HEADED TO NASHVILLE THIS FALL?
Experience Goblins & Giggles at Gaylord Opryland Resort
Book a Goblins & Giggles family package at Gaylord Opryland Resort from September 10 through October 31 for a Halloween-themed vacation. Send the kids on the Hide & Seek Scavenger Hunt where they’ll solve puzzles that reveal Spookley the Square Pumpkin’s eight secret hiding spots around the resort. Go on a Trick or Treat Expedition to explore the resort and collect some treats along the way, or take the Jack-o’-lantern Walk and see dozens of decorated and carved Jack o’ lanterns. Families can also cruise the resort’s indoor river in the Delta Atrium during the Ghoul’s Night Out Riverboat Ride. If you want to check out the water park, add the SoundWaves option to your stay.
Gaylord Opryland Resort, 2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville