Discover 12 Fun Things To Do With Young Kids in Franklin, TN
Travel with young kids, they said! It’ll be fun, they said!
It’s OK to admit it…traveling with young children ain’t easy. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good break in routine for my family and enjoy experiencing new places with my toddler, but let’s be honest…vacationing with littles can be hard work.
For you parents of young ones who are itching to take a family vacation but want to avoid the typical (drive-you-crazy) kid-friendly destinations, Franklin, TN is just the spot for you!
So- pack up your diaper bags, put on your mom (or dad) jeans, grab approximately 1,457 snacks (that should last about an hour) and hop in the van. I’ve assembled a list of family-friendly activities that are particularly appealing to those with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Mini golf at SOAR Adventure Tower
SOAR Adventure tower recently opened a fabulous 18-hole mini golf course that makes for the perfect afternoon activity. My 2 year old is always thrilled to have his own putter and ball, so he can have fun while mom and dad have a competition of our own. This course also features several one-of-a-kind holes shaped like musical instruments.
If you’re looking to enjoy one of Franklin’s beautiful parks, Pinkerton is just the spot. Take the stroller on the paved walking trail or head straight to Tinkerbell playground. From tire mazes to cool hiding spots to a sand pit, it’s hard to keep up. The only downside to this one is the fit your toddler will throw when it’s time to leave.
Franklin Farmer’s Market and Leiper’s Fork Farmers Market
Farmer’s Markets are always a fun spot to explore with little ones. At the Franklin Farmer’s Market, hop into Five Daughter’s Bakery and grab a donut, pick out some fresh fruits and veggies and then enjoy live music together.
The Leiper’s Fork Farmer’s Market is a great spot for kids as well. From a large swing set to live music and oversized inflatable soccer balls to kick around, this market is perfect for your family.
The Franklin Farmer’s Market is at the Factory every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Leiper’s Fork Farmer’s Market is every Thursday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Sometimes, the only thing my toddler needs to have fun is some wide-open space to run around. Why not do that an award-winning vineyard while you enjoy a picnic and sip some wine? Bring a blanket and some toys and you’re set for the day.
Nolensville Toy Shop
If you’re an antique enthusiast, you have to check out downtown Nolensville. While you’re there, pop into the Nolensville Toy Shop. They offer unique toys and gifts, and your little ones will be entertained with their train set while you look around.
Again- I return to the necessity of finding wide-open spaces for kids to run around. After you hit up the Nolensville Toy Shop, head down the road in Nolensville to Outlanders for some chicken fingers. I love bringing my 2 year old here because…ROCKS. No joke. The food is great, the atmosphere is relaxed, and there’s a great patio and outside seating area with picnic benches that sit in gravel where the kids can run around (between bites of chicken, of course) while you enjoy dinner. It’s the simple things, people.
Leiper’s Fork Lawn Chair Theatre
If you have a baby who can sleep anywhere or you’re one of those brave parents who keep your toddler up past bedtime (may the odds be ever in your favor), you must check out the Leiper’s Fork Lawn Chair Theatre. Located in the backyard of Leiper’s Creek Art Gallery, families can enjoy a free kid-friendly outdoor movie. (Again- wide open spaces, people!) Bring your lawn chair and your appetite for burgers and dogs.
The Monkey’s Treehouse
If you’re visiting Franklin during the winter months or just need a break from the summertime heat, check out The Monkey’s Treehouse. They offer a large indoor playground, art studio, and a miniature “town village.” If you’ve got a baby in tow, take advantage of their closed-off section for two and under (in other words, keep your baby from getting trampled by the big kids) with soft blocks and other baby-appropriate toys.
Need to run some energy out of that toddler before a fun dinner on Main Street? Jumpstreet’s got your back. Check out the Earthquake Area, which is reserved for children seven and under. They offer long trampolines and a bounce house that will do the trick.
Great Americana BBQ Festival Kids’ Zone and Pilgrimage: Lil’ Pilgrims
Last but not least, I want to mention a couple of upcoming kid-friendly events that you won’t want to miss.
The Great Americana BBQ Festival will take place Aug. 26 at Harlindsdale Farm, where you can enjoy barbecue prepared by professional pit masters and iron chefs from across the country. The festival will also offer live music, craft vendors, a kids’ zone with “Touch a Truck” and a variety of other kid-friendly activities.
If you haven't heard of the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival by now, climb out from under that rock you've been living under! Between jamming to Justin Timberlake, Eddie Vedder or Ryan Adams during Pilgrimage (Sept. 23-24), be sure to check out the Lil’ Pilgrims stage, which features world-renowned children’s musicians and lots of activities for young children.