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Tennessee: Nashville, Family Vacation Ideas - Music, Adventure Tower and a Waterpark. Known by many as "Music City USA”, the city offers much more for families. Go for the music and mix up the activities. From art and nature to live music and multicultural events, the vacation choices are one-of-a-kind and the stuff for building memories. Ride the BlueMax at the Science Center; go on a “Critter Encounter” at the zoo or visit the new Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum.

Take time to smell the roses. In 1957 the Cheek family donated the 55 acres of their Cheekwood estate to the city of Nashville; today the estate is Nashville’s home of art and gardens. Visitors are invited to stroll the beautiful gardens and Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail and enjoy the artwork on display inside of the Cheek family mansion now converted into an award-winning museum of art. Bonus point: Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art offers a variety of classes, workshops, nature walks and botanical lectures. (1200 Forrest Park Drive, Nashville TN 37205 1(615) 356-8000 or www.cheekwood.org)

Play around. The Nashville Toy Museum features a wonderful collection of toys ranging from china dolls to classic model ships. The main attraction is the 19th century European train collection – all made long before America started to produce model trains. (2613, McGavock Pike #B, Nashville, 1(615) 883-8870)

Go wild. The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is committed to educating its visitors about its animals and their respective environments. One of the more unique exhibits at the museum is the “Unseen World” featuring over 250 insects, reptiles, mammals and birds. Other great finds at the zoo include the new African elephant habitat, a Bamboo Trail and Critter Encounters for those that yearn to walk the wild side. Bonus point: The Jungle Gym is a giant playground situated in the zoo – it’s a great opportunity for parents to rest their feet while the kids run wild. (3777 Nolensville Road, 1(615) 833-1534 or www.nashville.org)

Have fun with the whole family. For those looking for a pure-fun experience Recreation World is the place to go. With everything from video games and rollerblading to go-karts and bumper cars, and even mini-golfing, a great time can be had by all. (7115 South Springs Drive, Franklin, 1(615) 771-7812)

Explore the world of science. Step into discovery at the Adventure Science Center. Dedicated to interactive learning and thought-provoking exhibits, the Adventure Science Center is a great place for any family. In the center of the museum is the Adventure Tower which soars 75 feet into the air and is filled with over 75 different interactive spots including BodyQuest, allowing visitors to explore the human body in an amazing and original scientific adventure. The center also features the Sudekum Planetarium, where visitors are invited to explore the universe – nearby is the BlueMax full-motion flight simulator where the adventurous can engage in an interactive dog-fight, land on a carrier or practice aerobatic maneuvers. (800 Fort Negley Boulevard, Nashville, 1(615) 862-5160 or www.adventuresci.com)

Take a ride into history. Located in Riverfront Park is a magnificently carved monument to the history of Nashville – the Red Grooms Tennessee Fox Trot Carousel. Two of the many historical figurines featured are Davy Crockett and Andrew Jackson. (Riverfront Park, Nashville, 1(615) 259-4700 or www.wnpt.net/carousel)

Witness the grandeur of the Deep South. The Italian villa mansion of Belmont preserves the historical traditions implemented by the now-deceased Adelicia Hayes – she wanted to share the beauty of her home with everyone, and today that tradition lives on. Attractions include an aquarium, a zoo, a bowling alley and an art gallery. (1900 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, 1(615) 460-5453 or www.belmontmansion.com)

Splash Around. The longest waterslide in Middle Tennessee can be found at Nashville Shores Outdoor Water Park – along with giant pools and miniature golf. Not only does Nashville Shores have the longest waterslide, they have the seven largest waterslides in Tennessee, jet skis, pontoon boats, parasailing, and lake front cabin rentals. (4001 Bell Road, Hermitage, 1(615) 889-7050 or www.nashvilleshores.com)

See what you've heard. New to Nashville the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum is a multi-purpose complex that l not only feature exhibits from well known musicians, but also spotlights the musical contributions made throughout the years by studio musicians, producers and engineers in all genres. Exhibits to include personal history of players and actual instruments used on records from Hank Williams Sr., Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and more. The 30,000 sq. ft. complex also includes a state of the art recording studio, performance hall, small theatre and school of music. Bonus points: See the rescued and re-created stage where a young Jimi Hendrix honed his talent; Chad Smith’s (Red Hot Chili Peppers) snare drum; Billy Sherrill's cigarette-burned piano, on which he composed country classics like "Almost Persuaded," "The Most Beautiful Girl" and even "Stand By Your Man."( 301 6th Ave. Nashville, TN. 37203. 1(615) 244-3263 or www.musicianshalloffame.com)

Be artsy at the Frist. The historic former Post Office in downtown Nashville is now home to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts featuring ever-changing visual art from around the world, an interactive gallery and special educational programs. Bonus point: The museum and gallery support education and the arts by offering free admission to all visitors 18 and under. (919 Broadway, Nashville, 1(615) 244-3340, www.fristcenter.org)

For more ideas go to www.VisitMusicCitycom

Text researched and created by Travel Communications Inc. Images provided courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau. Copyright 2009.

 

 

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