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3 Easy Summer Getaways From Nashville With the Kids

Plan on a few easy road trips with the kids this summer for fun not far from home!

Long, hot days loom ahead and but easy summer getaways from Nashville with the kids are downright doable. Pack a cooler with healthy snacks and beverages, give each child a backpack stocked with activities and set your wheels in motion. Here are a few ideas to help get your started.

3 Easy Summer Getaways from Nashville With the Kids

A little girl plays at the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga, TN.

Bring your fishy-loving kids to Chattanooga’s TENNESSEE AQUARIUM (ages 4 and younger are FREE; adults $39.95; ages 5  – 17 $29.95; timed entry; open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Check out all kinds of animals from the mountains to the sea. In addition, just up the road is the CREATIVE DISCOVERY MUSEUM (kids under 2 are FREE; adults and children $17.95; open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) where kids can explore six different permanent exhibits. These include The Little Farmhouse; ArtSpace and the new Wallace & Gromit: Get Cracking exhibit. Moreover, the Chattanooga area is loaded with things to do including the INCLINE RAILWAY and RUBY FALLS. If you’re able to stay for a weekend, The Chattanooga ChooChoo (now the HOTEL CHALET ) is a downtown hotel where you can book a stay in a train carriage. It went through a major renovation in 2022.


This May Be a Weekend Jaunt or Longer:

Ripley’s Aquarium, located in Gatlinburg, TN, lets you move along a path with sharks all around you!

This area in East Tennessee is home to endless kid-friendly attractions. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge brings fun for all ages to enjoy from toddlers to grandparents. There’s DOLLYWOOD (one-day tickets for ages 10  – 61 are $92 and the price increases if you add SPLASH COUNTRY ; 10 a.m.  – 8 p.m. daily). In addition, RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM OF THE SMOKIES (kids ages 2  – 5 $14.99; ages 6  – 11 $24.99; ages 12 and older $39.99; 9 a.m.  – 9 p.m.) lets kids crawl through underwater tunnels for up-close views. You can also move along a moving path through sharks! Not far away, the newly opened DIG ‘N ZONE (ages 3 and younger are FREE; ages 4  – 10 $55; ages 11 – 64 $69; ages 65 and older $55; check park hours online) lets you touch and ride upon construction vehicles and more. There’s so much to see and do with kids, be sure to check out PIGEONFORGE.COM and GATLINBURG.COM to get the full picture.




And Older Kids Especially May Appreciate:

A kid experiences space travel in the Multi-Axis Trainer at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL.

Huntsville’s biggest draw for all ages is the U.S. SPACE AND ROCKET CENTER (General Admission for children is $20; adults and seniors $30; timed entry; 9 a.m.  – 5 p.m.). The museum has one of the largest rocket and space collections in the world including an authentic Saturn V Moon Rocket. In addition, kids can learn to fly an F-18 Super Horney, sitting in a cockpit for a simulated flight experience. Moreover, the Multi-Axis Trainer lets you can ride suspended in a chair, simulating spacecraft tumbling. For Littles, the EARLYWORKS CHILDREN’S HISTORY MUSEUM (ages 1 – 3 $5; ages 4  – 17 $10; adults $12; seniors 55+ $10; 9 a.m – 4 p.m.) aims to inspire creativity through hands-on experiences. While exploring, kids can hear stories from the Talking Tree and enjoy “Biscuit’s Backyard.” To top off the family fun, favorite area playgrounds include the KID’S KINGDOM PLAYGROUND at 8324 Old Madison Pike in nearby Madison, Alabama. It features a castle theme and an adaptive-friendly zipline. Bring a picnic and it’s a perfect outing on the road with kids!



About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.