Nashville Local Life

Nashville Neighborhoods With Things to Do With Kids

Among the reasons many homeowners choose to settle in Nashville is the city’s family-friendly environment. Despite the honky tonkin’ reputation cultivated Downtown on Broadway, Nashville’s suburbs and urban communities alike are largely residential, community-minded places.

Whether it’s young, hip parents on the Eastside who enjoy kid-friendly soccer bars or suburban families seeking to cultivate a Sesame Street vibe in their own neighborhood, Nashville is a wonderful place to grow up and raise a family. Kids in Nashville have ample opportunities to learn and play alike, and these communities offer some of the best options. 

East Nashville

A quintessential East Nashville spot, The Getalong Shop is a bastion of contemporary parenting. Unlike a traditional toy store, The Getalong has an almost Montessori emphasis on the holistic child. The children’s clothes are gender-neutral and minimalist in their design, the toys on offer are constructed of wood and other organic, sustainable materials, and the books promote practices like yoga and mindfulness. 

All of this combines to make The Getalong a safe haven and cornerstone in the community.  The shop is a hub for local children’s authors and performers with regular storytimes. The store originated as the brainchild of children’s musician Emily Arrow as The Singalong Shop. 

Note: For family’s who may be sheltering in place at home with children in the coming weeks, Emily Arrow is hosting a live, daily show on her YouTube channel called At Home with Emily Arrow to entertain and educate young ones while school is out of session due to COVID-19. 

Belle Meade

Home to Nashville’s largest toy store, Phillips Toy Mart, Belle Meade makes for a delightful neighborhood in which to raise a family or simply visit for an afternoon. Phillips is another famous landmark among Nashvillians as it has been family-owned and operated since 1946. It survived the era of the big box children’s store and still remains a mainstay for parents across the city.

Just around the corner sits Parmer Park, a delightful playground and park complete with basketball courts, a walking path, and the remaining stone entrance of Parmer Elementary School, which was constructed in 1925 and burned down in the 1980s. This historic archway makes for a fitting reminder of the location’s past as a place for children to learn and its present purpose as a space for kids to play. 

Wedgewood-Houston

The Adventure Science Center is a staple for any school-aged Nashvillian. Anyone who grew up in the city can testify that the center was among the most exciting and informative field trips of the whole school year. Kids love the larger-than-life interactive exhibits and educators appreciate The Adventure Science Center for its sophisticated programming and emphasis on learning at every turn.

Just a stone's throw away sits Fort Negley Park where confederate forces surrendered Nashville to the Union in 1862. Now, a city park and historical site, Fort Negley offers educational resources and information on the significance of Nashville during the pivotal Civil War era.

After all the history and science lessons a kid can absorb, Dozen Bakery is the perfect spot for a quick hot chocolate or delicious baked good. Although this bakery is beloved by Nashvillians of all ages, it is a popular spot among new parents, and toddlers and strollers are often buzzing around the shop.

Downtown Nashville

In addition to the suburban culture of kid-friendly activities, Nashville’s downtown also offers some excellent programming for youngsters. The Nashville Children’s Theater has been a bastion of the arts for young learners going on 90 years now. Offering field trip programming and performances as well as drama camps and classes, The Nashville Children’s Theater is a cornerstone of theatrical education for emerging young artists. 

In keeping with the educational theme, the Nashville Public Library located Downtown on Church Street is a sprawling wonderland of literacy. Children can tour and appreciate the historic library’s architecture as well as participate in weekly storytimes and, of course, enjoy a seemingly infinite supply of books for every reading level.

Crieve Hall

Just south of Nashville’s city center sits Crieve Hall, a beloved neighborhood among families with young children. The area’s sprawling, quiet side streets, and rolling hills make for a delightful neighborhood in which to grow up. 

Lot sizes on the south side are considerably bigger than in other parts of town, and families love that kids have space to run and play. In addition to their close proximity to Radnor Lake State Park residents also love the neighborhood sports field, Crieve Hall Baseball, which offers leagues for kids aged 4-16. The organization is entering its 56th season of bringing recreational softball and baseball to this South Nashville neighborhood.

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