Most of the time, when people think of traveling or vacationing, they tend to think of far away spots in Europe, South Africa, or Central America. But there are so many interesting corners to explore within the United States. One of these interesting places is the iconic city of Nashville in the southeastern part of the country.In fact, Nashville has a lot of quality entertainment and fun for the entire family.
Parthenon at Centennial Park
The first place many travelers to Nashville see is the Parthenon at Centennial Park. In 1897, as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, a full-scale replica of the original Greek Parthenon was built in Nashville. It was not meant to be a permanent structure, but it proved both costly to tear down and popular with the locals. What’s even more amazing is that this Parthenon, unlike the original, has a recreated Athena Parthenos statue as its focus. The Parthenon is an art museum with paintings from many 19th and 20th century American artists, and it frequently hosts exhibitions.
Another lovely place to visit is the Nashville Zoo. The zoo was originally a historic plantation farmhouse owned by the Croft family. The two daughters, Margaret and Elise, left the house and family farm at Grassmere in the hands of the city when they passed away. They requested for the house to be turned into a nature center. With their wish granted, the city decided to expand the nature center into a zoo, officially opened in 2001. The zoo is famous for being the largest community-built playground in the U.S, spreading 66,000 square feet. At this zoo, children can explore a 35ft. Tall treehouse along with super slides, incredible swings, and a giant snake tunnel. The zoo also has many activities and events to help children learn more about their resident animals, during events such as National Veterinary Technician Week.
Adventure Science Center
After the zoo, travelers can visit the Adventure Science Center. The Center is an independent, nonprofit institution with the goal of kindling curiosity and motivating the lifelong discovery of science. Established in 1944 by John Ripley Forbes, his ultimate vision was to create opportunities for children to grow and learn in a fun and exciting way. What is awesome about this center is that it has 175 hands-on exhibits focused on such topics as biology, physics, and earth science. Also, there are daily scientific demonstrations and plenty of workshops, activities, and lectures for children to attend.
The science center has a few permanent exhibits. One of these is the Adventure Tower, which is entirely interactive and incorporates the museums six scientific concepts: Earth science, sound/light, air/space, health/energy, and creative innovation. There is also the BodyQuest exhibit that will take visitors on a journey through a day in the life of the human body.
Ford Ice Center
After the museum, travelers can head over to the Ford Ice Center for some ice skating. The Ford Ice Center is open daily and allows you to rent hockey gear and figure skates. The center has fun music and light shows for people to skate to, and beginners can sign up for lessons. Guests who get too cold or don’t want to skate can go to the upstairs viewing area while they wait.
Those interested in history should drive over to the Cannonsburgh Village. At the village, guests can walk through a representation of Tennessee life from 1830-1930. Visitors can see the old schoolhouse, University, and still working blacksmith’s shop. There’s also a wedding chapel that’s available to rent for modern day weddings.
Performers walk around Cannonsburgh Village daily and show visitors how people lived and worked back in the 19th and 20th century. Visitors can take either a self-guided tour for free or pay for a guided tour. The site also offers guided school tours in the early parts of the day which run for about a half hour each time. Families should check out the Visitor’s Center for souvenirs before leaving.
Nashville offers many surprising activities and events for travelers. Families looking for music, food, history, and fun in a safe, kid friendly environment should definitely visit. There’s something for everyone in this great American city.
Autism Travel Tips:
- Temperature sensitive children might not enjoy the cold of the Ford Ice Center for extended periods of time. As mentioned above, there is an upstairs viewing area for those who want to get out of the cold.
- Energetic kids will love the Nashville Zoo community playground. A visit to this playground is an excellent way for kids to release a lot of pent-up energy.
- When visiting outdoors areas such as the Cannonsburgh Village or Nashville Zoo, make sure everyone wears weather appropriate clothing and comfortable, closed-toe shoes. Bring a water bottle if you are visiting in the hotter months, as Nashville summers can get hot and humid.