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June 10, 2023

Where Every Family Matters

Summer Family Fun Checklist in Middle Tennessee!

So much summery things to do in Middle Tennessee! How many can you check off our list before summer's end?

Gallatin’s Independence Day Festival and Fireworks Display Returns
River Queen Voyages


River Queen Voyages

2 Victory Ave, Nashville
Cumberland River
Open daily 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. except for Wednesdays through the end of October

$49 per single Kayak

Stones River Kayak & Canoe Rental

Various Murfreesboro locations
Stones River
Open daily 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. through August

$35 per single Kayak

Metro Parks Canoe & Kayak

Various Nashville locations
Cumberland River, Harpeth River, Mill Creek, Whites Creek and Stones River
Available by appointment


Foggy Bottom Canoe & Kayak

1270 Highway 70, Kingston Springs
Harpeth River
Open 9 a.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. on weekends through November

$45 per canoe, $35 per kayak

River Rat’s Canoe Rental

4361 US-431, Columbia
Duck River
Open 9 a.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. on weekends through November

$50 per canoe, $35 per kayak

Where to Paddle With the Kids in Scenic Tennessee

READ MORE: Where to Paddle With the Kids in Scenic Tennessee

Top 5 Family Friendly Activities on Lake Travis


Blue Turtle Bay Marina

2001 Riverside Dr, Old Hickory
Open daily 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Double decker pontoon rental is $375 for 4 hours, $450 for 8 hours

Cedar Creek Marina

9120 Saundersville Rd, Mt. Juliet
Open daily 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Full day pontoon boat rentals start at $225 on weekdays, $350 on weekends

Elm Hill Marina

3361 Bell Rd, Nashville
Open Mondays – Saturdays

Half day pontoon boat rentals start at $285, full days start at $360

Sweetwater Pontoon Rentals

259 Sanders Ferry Rd, Hendersonville
Open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Full day pontoon boat rentals start at $350

Paddle Up Nashville

525 Basswood Ave, Nashville
Open Wednesdays – Mondays

$26 for 1 hour, $46 for 2 hours in a single kayak; $35 for 1 hour, $55 for 2 hours in a tandem kayak


50 Cutest Pictures of African Girls of All Ages


Anderson Road Day Use Area

4010 Anderson Rd, Nashville
$5 per car/per day
Open 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily through September 29

Sandy Beach for lake swimming and picnic areas

Bryant Grove at Long Hunter State Park

2910 Hobson Pike, Hermitage
Open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily

Sandy Beach for lake swimming

Cook Day Use Area

12230 Old Hickory Blvd, Hermitage
$5 per car/per day
Open 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily through October 29

Sandy beach, picnic spots, boat/fishing ramps and swimming area

Laguardo Recreation Area

​​​​​876 Burnett Rd, Old Hickory
$5 fee per car/per day
Open daylight to 10 p.m. through September 6

Sandy beach for lake swimming

Lock 3 Beach

Lock 3 Rd, Hendersonville

Sandy beach, picnic spots and boat/fishing dock

Old Hickory Beach

876 Burnett Rd, Old Hickory
$5 fee per car/per day
Open from through September 6

Sandy beach for lake swimming, picnic area, playground and boat/fishing ramps


8 Most Incredible Indoor Water Parks | Travel Channel


Soundwaves at Gaylord Opryland

2800 Opryland Drive Nashville
Day pass valid 12 – 8 p.m. on select Mondays – Thursdays this summer

$49.99 day passes; hotel packages for a couple start at $169 for Davidson County residents, $194 for TN residents

Nashville Shores

4001 Bell Road, Hermitage
Open weekdays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., weekends 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

$31.99 for weekday admission ($26.99 after 3 p.m.), $34.99 on weekends ($26.99 after 4 p.m.), Children 2 and younger are FREE

Wave Country

2320 Two Rivers Pkwy, Nashville
Open weekdays 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., weekends 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

$12 adults, $10 ages 3 – 12 (child admission is half price Mondays – Thursdays from 3 – 5 p.m.; there is also a coupon online). Children 2 and younger are free

Dollywood’s Splash Country

2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge
Open daily 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
$49.95 for one day admission, $69.95 for two days and $79.95 for three days.

Holiday World’s Splashin’ Safari

452 E. Christmas Blvd., Santa Claus, IN
Open Sundays – Fridays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

$54.99 for 54 inches and taller, $44.99 for 53 inches and shorter (online discounts available)

The 5 Best Splash Pads in the USA (2021) - FamilyVacationist


Ava’s Splash Pad

1075 Charlie Daniels Pkwy, Mt. Juliet
Open Mondays – Saturdays 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sundays 1 – 5 p.m. through Labor Day

Brentwood Splash Park

920 Heritage Way, Brentwood
Mondays – Fridays 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Sundays 1 – 5:30 p.m.
Multiple slides, ground and ring sprays and a 100 gallon dump bucket

Don Fox Community Park

416 Baird Park Circle, Lebanon
Mondays – Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sundays from 1 – 5 p.m.

Half day pontoon boat rentals start at $285, full days start at $360

Fountains at Gateway

1500 Medical Center Pkwy, Murfreesboro
Open from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. every day in the Summer

Fountains light up at night! (Turned on and off at the discretion of the maintenance crew)

Metro Parks Spraygrounds

620 S. 9th Street, Nashville
Jo Johnston Avenue at 17th Avenue North, Nashville
Weekdays 10 a.m.- 5:30 p.m., weekends 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Metro Parks spray grounds include Kirkpatrick, Watkins and Cumberland Parks and are free of charge


The American drive-in fights for survival


Stardust (31 miles)  

310 Purple Tiger Dr, Watertown

Pink Cadillac (41 miles) 

2506 TN-100, Centerville

The Moonlite (40 miles)

931 W Main St, Woodbury

Macon (50 miles)

3570 Scottsville Rd, Lafayette


• PLAN ON A LATE NIGHT: Drive-Ins offer double features. Even if you pull away after the first feature, you’ll be getting home late.

• KIDS CAN WEAR PAJAMAS: Then, plop them right into bed when you get home.

• PACK FUN SNACKS: Or pay a pretty bundle at the concession stand. Pop your own popcorn, candy, & pack a cooler with cold drinks.

• BRING CHAIRS, PILLOWS & THROWS: Even on a warm night you can get chilled sitting outside.

• PACK JUMPER CABLE (JUST IN CASE): When you play the sound through your car radio, batteries can drain fast. Be ready.



About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.