FREE Things to do in Nashville!
1. Party in the park at Musicians Corner
After a few years of pop-up status, Musicians Corner has finally earned a permanent location in the southwest corner of Centennial Park near West End. Families frolic while enjoying food and drink from tents and trucks as multiple bands perform on the center stage on Saturdays during the spring and summer. Bring a blanket and get comfortable.
2. Get classy at an art crawl
Every first Saturday of the month, art galleries across Downtown Nashville open their doors for free. And while they’re not as regular, there are also no-fee admission days and nights at galleries in neighborhoods like Wedgewood/Houston, Germantown, East Nashville, and Franklin, if you’re so inclined.
3. Get lost in the night sky
About once a month, the Nashville astronomy group meets at various parks across middle Tennessee to set up their telescopes and gaze at the night sky. And when the path of the total solar eclipse passes over Nashville on August 21, 2017, you can expect these enthusiasts to lose their minds.
4. Experience new music
Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music has lots of free public events throughout the school year, including performances by the university orchestra and the Vanderbilt Opera Theatre.
5. Take a drive through Belle Meade
Drive slowly through the rows of mansions in Belle Meade, which are home to the richest people in Nashville. You can daydream about what it must be like to live in a house that you could literally get lost in.
6. Visit the Tennessee State Museum
It’s free to walk through the entire museum, which is filled with Tennessee history, artifacts, and fun activities. And afterward, you can head over to the Tennessee State Capitol and take in more history on a free tour.
7. Get some sweet Tennessee history
The Tennessee Agricultural Museum, located at the Ellington Agricultural Center, features farming, woodworking, and blacksmithing artifacts from the 19th and 20th century in Tennessee -- not to mention a “Jumbo” steam engine.
8. Take a stroll through the Opryland Hotel gardens
The Opryland Hotel gardens aren’t just beautiful at Christmas. Pro tip: Avoid the outrageous resort parking fee by leaving your car in the Opry Mills Mall lots and taking the five-minute stroll to the hotel.
9. Go to a comedy open mic night
Every Tuesday night, The East Room has a free Ultimate Comedy Open Mic night. If you’re not brave enough to take the stage, you can laugh at/with those who are. There’s even a small band to back up the performers.
10. Take a tour of the Dukes of Hazzard museum
Nashville has its very own museum dedicated to all things Dukes. While there, you can get your picture taken sitting inside Cooter’s tow truck or the famed orange Charger, the General Lee. Cousin Daisy Duke has a sister museum next door.
11. Shop under the stars at the Nashville Farmers' Market’s Night Market
The third Friday of each month, the Nashville Farmers' Market stays open late for Night Market. The atmosphere is festive as regular vendors and special pop-up shops sell their wares while patrons enjoy food, drink, and live music.
12. Listen or play along at the Sunday night bluegrass jam at the Station Inn
The venerable Station Inn is one of the most revered venues in the world of bluegrass music, and any band worth their salt in the genre yearns to play there. But even you can share the stage on Sunday nights starting at 8pm when they open the doors for a free jam session. If you’re too timid to play, it’s fine to just sit in the crowd and watch.
13. Have a picnic at Arrington Vineyards
Not only is Kix Brooks the quieter half of country duo Kix and Brooks, but he makes some darned fine wine at Arrington Vineyards. Visitors bring picnic baskets and enjoy the scenic rolling hills, and you’re free to enjoy a tasting for a nominal fee and tour the winemaking facilities.
14. Get out and enjoy one of the many beautiful parks around Nashville
Shelby Park, Radnor Lake, Centennial Park, etc. Take your pick -- Nashville’s got lots of beautiful and scenic parks that are great for hiking and enjoying the great outdoors.
15. Enjoy some live music
After all, this is Music City, USA. Broadway always has endless free music, and most of the Lower Broad honky-tonks charge no cover. That’s likely why you’re paying 6 bucks for a beer.
16. Embrace your inner Picasso at The Arts Company
Located in downtown Nashville, it’s always free to take a stroll through The Arts Company’s exhibits of original and contemporary pieces. Don’t miss the eclectic upstairs gallery.
17. Make new friends at the Nashville Hiking Meetup
This group gets together on a regular basis and has hikes ranging from beginner to advanced. They even have treks where they take shelter dogs on walks, which is hard to beat for a way to get some fresh air.
18. Participate in a trivia night
Nashville has no shortage of trivia nights at great locations, and many of them are free to participate in. We recommend hitting up the Jackalope Brewery every Thursday night.
19. Attend a mini music festival
Every Thursday in August and September, Lightning 100 hosts a mini music festival in downtown Nashville called Live on the Green. The concert is always packed, and features great tunes and lots of excellent Nashville food vendors.
20. Tour the Schermerhorn Symphony Center
Group tours are always free at the symphony center, on most Mondays and Saturdays at 1pm. Call ahead to make sure they’re guiding folks around that day.
21. Check out really awesome model trains
At the Nashville Garden Railway, there’s a giant model train set-up that’s completely free to view and unlike anything else in Nashville. The times and displays change, so visit their Facebook page for details.
22. Get educated at one of the public libraries
As far as libraries go, Nashville has some truly great ones. They also host a plethora of free public events, from toddler story time to financial planning courses.
23. Ride around Downtown on the Music City Circuit: The Buses are GREEN
The Music City Circuit buses are always free to ride, and they circle two different routes around the Downtown area.
24. Join the Nashville Science Club
The Nashville Science Club meets the second Tuesday of every month and features lectures by scientists from the area. Hear experts give talks on black holes, nuclear power, archeology, and more.
25. Fill up your card at Beer, Bands, and Bingo
Lightning 100’s Team Green lets you embrace your elderly side every Tuesday night with a Bingo Night at Tin Roof on Demonbreun. It’s free to play, but tip your server.
MUSIC AT THE BLUEBIRD CAFE
Just about every evening around 6 pm, this famous cafe features local artists and songwriters with no cover charge. You can hear lots of country music, as well as pop, rock, and contemporary Christian.
THE PARTHENON AT CENTENNIAL PARK
This replica of the original Parthenon in Athens is set in the middle of Centennial Park and was originally constructed for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition. Have a picnic or take a stroll around this massive structure. Nashville’s Art Museum also lies inside of the Parthenon, though it does require a fee..
TENNESSEE STATE MUSEUM
This museum contains paintings, historic weapons, a print shop reproduction, and more that tell the story and history of the state of Tennessee.
SYMPHONY UNDER THE STARS
The Nashville Symphony hosts a series of free concerts every summer at various locations throughout Nashville. This year it’s kicking off in Centennial Park on June 4th at 7:30.
HONKY TONK HIGHWAY
Visit the Broadway Historic District to listen to live music on the streets. There are also lots of restaurants and Nashville-themed shops, plus lots of opportunities for people watching.
CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL
Multiple stages around Nashville host popular country artists and all daytime activities are free! There will be tons of artists at this year’s event (June 9-12), so check out the lineup to see which performances you’d like to attend.
MUSIC CITY JULY 4TH
Head to Riverfront Park on the 4th of July to enjoy free live music, activities for kids, and, of course, lots of fireworks.
LIVE ON THE GREEN MUSIC FESTIVAL
This concert series, held at Public Square Park, will host local and national musical artists everything Thursday evening in August and September.
BICENTENNIAL CAPITOL MALL STATE PARK
Learn about the history of Tennessee with this park that features 19 acres, a 200-foot granite map of the state, a World War II memorial, and more.
MUSIC CITY WALK OF FAME
Located on Nashville’s Music Mile, this tribute to some of music’s greatest artists is a fun way to spend an afternoon stroll. Artists are announced, inducted, and a ceremony is given as their star is placed in the walkway. See musicians like Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Jimi Hendrix, and more.
HATCH SHOW PRINT
Hatch Show Print is one of the oldest working letterpress shops in America and they print for entertainers, venues, and businesses. Stop in to see some of the printing at work and view 100s of the posters that they’ve created.
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