Pick a basket full of blackberries at Boyd Mill Farm
My kids are teenagers now, and they still beg to go berry picking every single summer. It’s definitely a sweet memory for us and a rite of passage for children across the South. In Franklin, blackberries abound at Boyd Mill Farm. The official start date for the season is July first, but you’ll want to check the farm’s Facebook page for updates on hours.
Enjoy Family Movie Night at Pinkerton Park
Fridays are for families at Franklin’s popular Pinkerton Park. Each Friday at 8 p.m. in July and August, a different family movie will be shown. Food trucks will also be on hand. This summer’s movies include Monsters Inc., Soul, Karate Kid, and more.
Learn about trees on a walk at Deerwood Arboretum
Deerwood Arboretum has a lovely one-mile paved walking trail that takes you around a meadow, through the woods, and along the Little Harpeth River. Print out this tree identification guide and take the kids on a tree scavenger hunt. There are 70 different tree species along the trail and the guide will help you identify all of them!
Visit the owls-in-residence at Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary
Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary is a privately owned nature preserve and owl sanctuary that’s open to the public Monday through Saturday. The sanctuary offers all kinds of family-friendly programs during the summer months, from fossil-finding workshops to firefly hikes, and your children will love visiting the owls who live on the property. Check the website before you visit to pay for special programming or reserve day passes if you just want to hike the trails.
Sign up the kids for art camp at AR Workshop
Got little crafters at home this summer? Choose from either Friday morning workshops or 4-day art camps at AR Workshop Franklin. Several different craft camps are offered throughout the summer, so if your kids have fun, they may want to go more than once! Crafts include canvas hangings, tie-dye, a dreamcatcher, a game board, and more. Check out the camp schedule for more details.
Let the kids pick out their own fruits and vegetables at a local farmers market
One of the sneakiest ways I convinced my kids to eat more fruits and vegetables when they were small was to take them to the farmers market and let them choose everything themselves. They loved selecting what they were going to eat later that day, and I loved choosing from fresh, locally-grown produce. The Franklin Farmers Market is very popular in the summertime and has dozens of vendors; you’ll find it on Saturday mornings at The Factory. I always find plenty of goodies at the Nolensville Farmers Market, located at the Historic Nolensville School on Saturday mornings. (Afterward, take the kids to the wonderful Nolensville Toy Shop if they’ve behaved!) And there’s a new weekday farmers market in downtown Franklin as well! The Five Points Franklin Market runs every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. behind the Five Points Starbucks.
Cuddle baby goats on a tour of Noble Springs Dairy
Families rave about the tours at Noble Springs Dairy, where you can learn about farming, see the goat milking parlor, and learn how goat cheese is made. The tour’s highlight, though, must be feeding the baby goats! Tickets are $10 per person, and you’ll want to make reservations online since these tours often sell out.
Make a mosaic masterpiece at Spark Art Studio
Crafting can be a family affair at Spark: An Art Studio in Brentwood, where you can make a mosaic on wood with tile and glass pieces. Stencils are available to help even first-timers make something magnificent. Ages six and up are welcome to join in the fun. Walk in during business hours, or you can make a reservation ahead of time.
Treat the fam to Dream Shakes at Sugar Drop
If you haven’t had a Dream Shake yet at Sugar Drop on Franklin Road, what on earth are you waiting for? These oversized ice cream shakes are loaded with cookies, brownies, candy, and sprinkles, and they are absolutely incredible. You could easily split one between two or three people.
Sugar Drop also sells cakes, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, ice cream, and more. If you have a budding chef in the family, consider signing them up for one of Sugar Drop’s summer day camp sessions. Each week has a different theme, from Pho to British Baking to Winter Wonderland. Looking at the schedule kinda makes me want to be a kid again…
Go on a digital passport scavenger hunt, then collect a cool prize
Visit Franklin offers free, self-guided digital passport tours and several of them are especially kid-friendly. Sign up for the free passports, explore Franklin and Williamson County, then pick up your prize for completing the tour at the Visitor Venter in downtown Franklin. Kids are sure to enjoy the Murals of Williamson County, the Sweet Treats Trail, and the Midnight Sun Scavenger Hunt.
Let the kids bowl for free at the Franklin Family Entertainment Center
Local families love bowling at the Franklin Family Entertainment Center, but did you know that between now and August, kids can bowl one game a day for free, with no strings attached? All you have to do is fill out an online form, and your child will be registered. This is a national program with the goal of fostering a love for bowling in the next generation. It’s also a great way to keep the kids active on a hot afternoon in the summertime!