If you’re visiting Nashville, there are tons of free things to do in Tennessee’s capital city, including fun activities from adventuring through parks to exploring its museums. 

Nashville is a robust city, teeming with a rich history and a great music scene. In fact, many famous artists are from Nashville, such as Johnny Cash, Tim McGraw, and Taylor Swift. It is no wonder it’s called the Music City. 

Tennessee also has some great cheap vacation spots, and Nashville is no exception. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly vacation, this guide lists some of the best things to do for free in Nashville. 

Top 8 Free Things to Do in Nashville, Tn

Nashville is a vibrant city, both during the day and at night. If you are traveling with kids or more into the music scene, there is something to do for everyone. 

Free Music on Honky Tonk Highway

Honky Tonk Highway is the nickname for Upper and Lower Broadway in Nashville. If you want to find a live music venue, all you should do is walk down Honky Tonk Highway.

Some of the most famous Honky Tonk venues include AJ’s Good Time Bar, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, and Ole Red Nashville. You are guaranteed to find a bar, restaurant, or saloon that fits your needs. 

If you are in Nashville and are wondering, “what are some fun free things to do near me?” then you can’t go wrong with strolling down Honky Tonk Highway. 

The Broadway Nashville honky tonk highway


Discover Fannie Mae Dees Park

Nicknamed Dragon Park, Fannie Mae Dees Park is a playground with fun play areas and equipment. The highlight is the large dragon sculptures covered in colorful mosaic tiles that are perfect for climbing. 

The park gets its name from a local civic leader, Fannie Mae Dees, who advocated for the safety and welfare of children in the Eakin community. To honor Fannie, sculptor Pedro Silva added a portrait of her on the dragon’s tail. 

Exploring the park with your family is one of the best fun, free things to do in Nashville. 

Visit Savannah’s Candy Kitchen

Savannah’s Candy Kitchen is the place for you if you have a bit of a sweet tooth. You feel like you’re in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory when you walk in. 

The shop has a selection of caramel apples, chocolates, and pralines – pretty much anything to satiate your cravings. Browsing the store is an exciting experience, and employees welcome you with free samples. 

candy apple caramel in Nashville

Attend a First Saturday Art Crawl

On the first Saturday of every month, art galleries across the city center open their doors for free. Many galleries are located in Nashville Arcade Mall, and you can choose which vendors to visit. 

Most places offer refreshments, including wine. Some of the participating galleries include The Studio 208, Swipe Right Art, and Tinney Contemporary. All participating galleries are also easily accessible by walking or using Nashville’s Gray Line Trolley. 

Take A Self-Guided Tour

Downtown Nashville is easily walkable enough that you can go on a self-guided tour. If you are a fan of the Nashville TV show, you can visit the places featured in it, such as the Public Square Park.

Fort Negley has interactive exhibits relating to the American Civil War for the history buffs. It was the largest inland fort built in the United States during the war. It also has a park so you can bring your dog. 

Explore a Neighborhood

Although Downtown Nashville has a lot of well-known venues and attractions, you can experience more of Nashville’s personality by venturing into some of its other neighborhoods. 

SoBro is next to downtown and has interesting murals, markets, and cafes. The neighborhood is also home to the legendary Hatch Show Print, one of the oldest letterpress shops in the United States. 

Germantown is a more historic neighborhood, boasting industrial buildings and houses from the 1800s. The old firehouse has been converted into a Neighborhood Resource Center. 

Exploring a neighborhood is an excellent activity if you are a fan of learning about a city’s architecture.  

Nashville music city in Tennessee

Attend the Midnite Jamboree

This famous long-running radio show in Nashville hosts tappings every Saturday at 10:00 pm. The shows often feature prominent artists and up-and-coming singers and songwriters. 

The sessions are recorded at the Texas Troubadour Theatre and air on AM 650 at midnight. This is a fantastic option for any music fan. 

Dine at Bluebird Cafe

Nashville’s iconic music cafe is a must-see if you are visiting the city. The cafe is known to have career-defining moments for several musical artists. 

Bluebird Cafe’s 6:00 pm evening shows are free, but you need to make a reservation in advance. If you are in Music City, you can’t miss out on a show at the famous Bluebird Cafe.  

bluebird cafe in Nashville Tennessee

Attend CMA Music Festival

The Country Music Festival comes to Nashville every June, with top country music performers attending. Popular artists like Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban often perform at the fest. 

Although the main stage show is not free, the festival hosts seven free stages over four days. These are scattered around downtown Nashville and promise just as much fun as the main stage. 

Performances are usually between 10:00 am and 4:30 pm. 

Have a Picnic at Arrington Vineyards

Nashville’s Arrington Vineyards host a summertime live music series called Music in the Vines. Local jazz and bluegrass bands perform throughout the weekend. 

No reservations are required, and the event works on a first-come, first-serve basis, so make sure you get there early. Food is available from Simply Living Life, but you can always opt to relax and listen to the music. 

The events start at 3:00 pm and end at 7:00 pm. Revel in the beautiful vineyard views, and enjoy the smooth sounds of Nashville’s local bands. 

Visit the Parthenon at Centennial Park 

Built to commemorate Nashville’s Centennial anniversary, the Parthenon is located in the middle of Nashville’s urban park. 

It houses an art museum with an entrance fee of $10, but you can explore the outside of the Parthenon for free. The structure also boasts a re-creation of the 42-foot statue of the Greek goddess Athena. 

Parthenon in Nashville Tennessee

Fun Free Museums in Nashville

The city has many free museums and tours on offer. We love finding cheap things to do in Nashville, free is always better. 

There are also tons of hidden gems in the area and plenty of places to explore. Here are four of the most exciting free museums in Nashville. 

Tennessee Governor’s Mansion

The Tennessee Governor’s Mansion is in South Nashville, and you can tour it for free. These tours are run every Tuesday and Thursday morning, but you need to book in advance. 

The residence boasts a lovely garden that grows fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Of note are the 64 000 daffodils that bloom on the front lawn. Artwork demonstrating the rich history of Tennessee also lines the mansion’s walls. 

Cooter’s Place

This Dukes of Hazzard Museum is run by Ben Jones, the actor known for playing Cooter Davenport in the famous tv show. The museum is home to the show’s props, costumes, and memorabilia.

You also get to see Cooter’s Tow Truck, Rosco’s Patrol Car, Daisy’s Jeep, and the iconic 1969 Dodge Charger. 

Admission to the museum is free and open from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm daily.  

Cooters Place in Tennessee

Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery

Vanderbilt University’s Fine Arts Gallery is a hidden gem in Nashville. Many people don’t know, but admission is free. 

The gallery showcases some of the best historical art in the country. It also seeks to increase its collection with works by internationally recognized contemporary artists. 

The gallery is open Monday to Friday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and on weekends from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. 

Warner Park Nature Center

The nature center in Warner Park is a true Nashville hidden gem. This family-friendly center prides itself on educating the community about Nashville’s indigenous flora. 

Warner Park Nature Center offers school field trips, fun activities, and resources for organic gardening. It also hosts public events throughout the year for individuals and groups. 

The Nature Center is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. 

Free things to do in Nashville Tennessee

Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Nashville for Free

The city has a lot to offer, and when it comes to free stuff, Nashville has you covered. The city is a bustling center that always has something to offer. Whether you are a solo traveler or vacationing with your family, the city has an activity for you. 

Tourism in Nashville is vast, and they are welcoming to everyone. Why not experience some of Tennessee’s southern hospitality for yourself? 

If you’re looking for more budget-friendly ways to explore the United States, here’s a list of some of the best backpacking trips

Free Things to do in Nashville Tennessee | Museums, Activities & More
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