Top 5 Stroll & Play Parks for Nashville Summers
Updated: Jul 10, 2020
With the current state of life in Nashville, we will be spending a lot more time outside than usual. Luckily, the greater Nashville area has so many great parks and trails to be enjoyed by people of all ages. All the parks listed below have been visited by us personally and are toddler proof! We typically stroll some and play some so all the places listed below also have a paved path of some sort. All the places included in this list also have PLENTY of shade for hot summer days!
Deerwood Arboretum Nature Center - Brentwood, TN
This place is PERFECT for a hot summer day! The paved trail is completely covered in shade. There are several places where you can walk down to the river for a quick dip too! This is a great place for toddlers because there aren't big rocks to tumble over, only small pebble rocks. The water is also shallow in many places so they can walk in and get their feet wet or splash around! I highly recommend wearing water shoes here to protect their feet. There is also a lily pond and a big area with picnic tables to enjoy lunch! You can definitely make this adventure into a whole morning of fun or just a quick trip on the trail.
River Park Bike Path - Brentwood, TN
This is another shady trail that is perfect for a summer day! It is right along the Harpeth River and there are multiple places to stop and toss rocks into the water. For older kids, river access might be a bit easier. Toddlers will probably just want to look and toss rocks unless you are really adventurous. On a lucky day you may also get to see horses or deer along the way! The playground at the beginning of the path is now open and there are picnic tables to enjoy lunch as well nearby. You can easily stay on the trail and connect to many other nearby parks for a longer stroll.
Centennial Park - Nashville, TN
This park is in the heart of Nashville and has so many great features! There is plenty of shade and you will definitely see the ducks no matter which day you choose to visit. After strolling around the duck pond you can also visit The Parthenon.The museum is currently open, but you must wear a mask while visiting. This is a great park to have a picnic at while enjoying the views of the city. Right now a large part of the park is under renovation including the playground area and the outside of the Parthenon itself. If you little loves construction, this could be a win!
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park - Nashville, TN
This 11 acre park has plenty to see and there are many spots to learn about history. The park itself has many trees and views of Nashville. There are also many places to stroll that are very flat, a treasure for stroller moms! The park is right beside the Nashville Farmers Market where you can pick up a quick lunch for a picnic too. For now the water fountains are closed, but hopefully they will be turned back on by the end of the summer. Starting July 1st, you can also stop by The Tennessee State Museum right next door too. It is free and you can take a break from the heat! Visit the website to see events that may be taking place at the park before you visit! Bicentennial Event Calendar
Ellington Agricultural Center - Nashville, TN
This South Nashville treasure is where you can discover a little something new each time you visit. The Iris Garden hosts a beautiful gazebo, bridges and little flower patches to explore. There are also paved and unpaved trails for you to walk on. Personally, this isn't somewhere I choose to take the stroller because of off path exploring. The highlight however is always the Metro Nashville Patrol Police Horses. You can walk up and visit them in their stalls or see them grazing in the field! There is also a museum on site but it is currently still closed due to the pandemic. Of course, there is a small creek where you can stop and toss rocks too!
These are the things I ALWAYS have packed in my bag when we visit the park! Strolling is always nice but exploring is the perfect play opportunity for discovery and a great way to get out energy for little ones! Click the pictures to shop.
#1 Pail & Shovel for collecting rocks, dirt, water or sand!
#2 Sidewalk Chalk - It can easily be washed away by the rain!
#3 Bubbles - These wands are perfect for littles who aren't quite blowing bubbles yet. They also make huge bubbles to your little one to chase.
#4 Contigo Water Bottle - The ABSOLUTE best no leak water bottle, hands down.
#5 Water Shoes - a must for summer adventures!
#6 Waterproof blanket - If your kids don't ask for a snack, I'm jealous.
Enjoy & follow social distancing protocols!