Nashville Free Things to Do

Tourism is one of Nashville’s most lucrative industries, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money to have a great time. Here’s where the locals go for fun at no cost.

Jefferson Street Art Crawl

Every fourth Saturday of the month, the historically black community of north Nashville hosts the Jefferson Street Art Crawl, an event where art lovers can browse galleries that showcase African American art, attend public showings of up-and-coming artists, and even visit One Drop Ink, a tattoo lounge that offers discounted rates for piercings and other body art during the crawl. The Music City Blue Circuit also offers free shuttle service between destinations.

Live Music at the Frist

Every Thursday and Friday evening you can lounge in the Frist’s café while listening to live music. Admission to the café is free, though food and drinks are not. Parking is $5.

Big Band Dances in Metro Parks

Summer months bring lots of activities to Nashville’s parks, and Big Band Dances is one of them. They take place on Saturday nights, and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs, as well as a few bucks for food truck goodies, since part of the concession proceeds help sponsor the event. If you’re not the most confident about your moves, group dance lessons are offered from 7 to 7:30 pm, shortly before the dance begins.

Warner Park Nature Center Events

If you want to get down and dirty and learn about birds, insects, and trees, consider attending one of the Nature Center’s free summer events. There’s a lot to choose from, but some standouts are the annual Insects of the Night, where you can dress up as your favorite insect, play games, and participate in night hikes; and Friday iSpy, where naturalists help park goers learn about soil, pollinating plants, snakes, and salamanders.

Jazz on the Cumberland

From May until November, this concert series is held monthly on Sundays in Cumberland Park from 5:30 to 8 pm. The concert itself is free, but drivers must pay $5 to park in nearby lots. Food trucks and other concessions are also on hand, though no alcoholic beverages are allowed.

Fourth of July in Nashville

Nashville is a great place to celebrate Independence Day, as there’s no shortage of festivities. Downtown events typically begin at noon with a string of free concerts, culminating with a Nashville Symphony performance in the Ascend Amphitheater during the nighttime fireworks display.

Titans' Summer Practice

If you’re a sports fan on a budget, you can still snag an opportunity to see some live action on the field; the Tennessee Titans’ practice sessions at St. Thomas Sports Park are free for fans from July until August.

Oktoberfest in Nashville

This German street fair and fall festival includes a dachshund derby, a 5k “Bier Run,” a beer slide, and live German music, all set in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood, just north of downtown. Admission to the four-day event is free, and offers free and kid-friendly activities throughout, though VIP tickets are available. VIP access includes beer and whiskey tastings, an all-you-can-eat buffet, and private (and air-conditioned) bathrooms.

Arrington Vineyards

If you’ve got a little gas to burn, consider visiting Arrington Vineyards, a 75-acre winery approximately 40 miles south of the city. Parking and admission are free, and visitors are encouraged to bring along blankets, chairs, and food to enjoy with Arrington’s world-class wines. (You can also have food delivered to you by Simply Living Life, which has a special catering menu for vineyard guests.) Wine tastings, small concessions, and private events are also available for a fee.

Kidsville

Every Saturday between 11 and noon, musicians, storytellers, and educators host a free event for children at the Parthenon in Centennial Park. Events include live music (of course), interactive games, as well as fitness, literacy, and nutrition programs. If you’re looking for other free kid-friendly outings, please note that several parks and museums—including Cheekwood, The Frist, Belmont Mansion, and Belle Meade Plantation—are free for kids.

Previous Experience

Coolest Places to Stay Nashville

Next Experience

Nashville Strictly for Tourists

Find a Hotel

Guidebooks

Fodor's InFocus Nashville

View Details