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Photo by: Credit Jake Matthews Photo by: Credit Jake Matthews

Spring in Music City

Flowers begin blooming and the sounds of music fill the air. It can only mean one thing: spring has arrived in Music City. The changing of weather provides an opportunity to get outside and mix it up. Music City has indoor and outdoor offerings to satisfy all interests – from music and art, to sports and adventure.


Around Town

Nashville’s weather isn’t the only thing heating up this spring. Music City is home to over 180 live music venues and numerous musical attractions featuring new exhibits and interactive tours. 

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum houses over 2.5 million artifacts including, stage costumes, musical instruments, the Wall of Gold Records, and more. Opening on May 25th is the “Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ‘70s” exhibit which features untold stories and artifacts from “outlaws” such as Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Jessie Colter, and more.

Other notable musical attractions in town include the Ryman Auditorium, Historic RCA Studio B, the Grand Ole Opry, and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.

For a taste of Nashville’s flipside, stop by Jack White’s Third Man Records, which houses a record store, record booth, and live music venue. Recently, Third Man Records has added studio tours on Fridays and Saturdays.

Looking for live music to satisfy a lower budget? Music City's honky tonks line Lower Broadway and feature live music 7 days a week with no cover charge, starting at 10:00am.

Nashville is also known for our creative songwriting community, and Music City offers a variety of places you can experience songs performed by the people who wrote them. Check out the Bluebird Cafe, Listening Room Café, or 3rd and Lindsley for a genuine Nashville singer/songwriter experience in an intimate setting.

Looking for rock, Americana, alternative, hip hop, or other genres? Check out Exit/In, Mercy Lounge, The Basement, Marathon Music Works, and more for a range of performances around town.

Ascend Amphitheater

The state-of-the-art Ascend Amphitheater is located in Nashville's SoBro district not too far from Downtown Broadway. Ascend is kicking off their 2018 lineup on May 2nd with Jack Johnson and Fruition, and will also host Brantley Gilbert, Vance Joy, Willie Nelson, and more during the spring and summer months.

Rolling Stones Exhibit

Need to duck inside to avoid a springtime shower? You’re in luck. Stop by the Rolling Stones Exhibit at the Musician’s Hall of Fame and Museum. The Rolling Stones Exhibit has stopped in London, New York City, Chicago, and Las Vegas. And it's making its final stop in Music City at the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. The Rolling Stones Exhibit tells the story of the most influential rock band in history through more than 500 artifacts and memorabilia from the past 54 years.

Outdoor Attractions

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

Enjoy the outdoors and arts at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, a 55-acre botanical garden and art museum located on the historic Cheek estate. Cheekwood in Bloom marks the beginning of spring when over 150,000 spectacular blooms take over at the estate. The event lasts through April 15th and hosts family-friendly programming, live music, and a beer garden every Saturday and Sunday.

Visiting after the end of Cheekwood in Bloom? No worries, Cheekwood has plenty of additional spring activities, including Australian artist Amanda Parer’s Intrude exhibit featuring larger-than-life glowing inflatable rabbits on Cheekwood’s scenic landscape, which will be on display from May 1 – May 27.

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

Take a stroll through the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere and experience over 370 different animal species. Recently, the zoo has added four new exhibits, including Expedition Peru: Trek of the Andean Bear, which opened on March 15th.

The exhibit features an unobstructed view of the Andean Bear from a Peruvian lodge. The lodge will also contain educational displays and feature a 16-foot aquarium with fresh stingrays and other species from the Peruvian Amazon Basin. Once leaving the exhibit, visitors will be greeted with the world's smallest deer, the pudu, and the viscacha, a cute rodent.

Other new exhibits that can be found at the Nashville Zoo include a Spider Monkey Exhibit, Sumatran Tiger Exhibit, and White Rhinoceros Exhibit. Or, you can check out the zoo from an elevated angle on the Soaring Eagle zip line.

Nashville Sounds & First Tennessee Park

Whether you’re a baseball-fan or not, everyone can enjoy a night out at First Tennessee Park. Home to the Nashville Sounds, AAA Affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, First Tennessee Park has top-notch food and drink offerings at multiple vendors or at The Band Box.

The Band Box in right field features several entertainment options including ping pong, cornhole, putt-putt, foosball and shuffleboard, with the baseball field serving as the primary backdrop. With a laid-back atmosphere, this outdoor bar and restaurant is ideal for socializing with your friends or colleagues, while taking in a Nashville Sounds game.

The Sounds Fun Zone is located in the Plaza is perfect for children and families.  The area features a large slide, a giant blow up chair, a speed pitch, and more.

Nashville Parks

Springtime in Nashville is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the warmer weather in the urban and rural green spaces that the city has to offer. Nashville is home to many public parks and Greenways which connect to neighborhoods, shopping areas, open spaces, and other points of activity.

Centennial Park is 132 acres and features The Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the Athenian original. Centennial Park also has a one-mile walking trail, and many other historic shrines to see.

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, in Germantown, is a great area to enjoy the outdoors and discover Tennessee's rich history. While you’re there, make sure to stop by the Nashville Farmers Market which features 19 restaurants and shops, farmers, artisans, crafters, and specialty merchants in season.

Take a walk through Music City Walk of Fame Park to see the stars from different genres who have contributed to the music industry, and hold a special connection with Nashville. Inductees include Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Reba McEntire, Emmylou Harris, Little Richard, Hank Williams, Vince Gill, Kings of Leon, Keith Urban, and more.

The Warner Parks (Edwin and Percy), in West Nashville, combine to make 2,684 acres to include picnic areas, hiking trails, running courses, and so much more.

Other suggested parks in Nashville include Eastlast Park, Shelby Bottoms Park, Fannie Mae Dees Park, Cumberland Park, and Riverfront Park.

Nashville B-Cycle is another fun way to explore the city of Nashville and get outdoors. B-cycle is a fee-based bike-share program where bikes can be rented at 36 B-stations throughout the city for a minimal cost.

Looking for a dog-friendly park? Warner, Shelby, and Centennial Parks are dog-friendly.

Festivals and Events

Cherry Blossom Festival

The 10th Annual Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival will celebrate springtime and Japanese culture on Saturday, April 14th at Nashville’s Public Square Park. It kicks off with a Cherry Blossom Walk, followed by festivities that include demonstrations and exhibits of Japanese culture, the Ginza Marketplace with Japanese products, Taste of Japan with food from local Japanese restaurants, youthful Japanese culture, and live entertainment.

Nashville Comedy Festival

Experience Nashville with a laugh. The Nashville Comedy Festival, featuring some of the funniest comedians in the world, takes place in Music City April 16-22. This year's lineup includes Jeff Dunham, Tim Allen, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and more.

St. Jude Rock n Roll Nashville Marathon & ½ Marathon

In April, more than 30,000 runners, walkers, and wheelchairs will attempt the annual Rock 'N' Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon through the streets of Music City lined with 26 stages as live bands perform the soundtrack of the day. The main marathon will take place on April 28, with a KiDS Rock race on April 29 and a 1-mile race happening April 26.

Tennessee Craft Fair

Interested in arts and crafts or want to do a little shopping? The Tennessee Craft Fair at Centennial Park is the place for you. Kicking off on May 4th, the annual crafts fair serves as a market for fine crafts, a conduit for demonstrations and hands-on opportunities, and also offers the chance to meet and talk with professional craft artists. The three-day crafts festival attracts more than 45,000 people to view the craftsmanship of more than 200 exhibitors.

Nashville Film Festival

The 49th annual Nashville Film Festival will showcase over 300 films from across the globe from May 10th-19th at the Regal Hollywood Stadium 27 in Nashville. Festival-goers enjoy a plethora of works including documentaries and narrative features, as well as animated and experimental shorts. Panels and workshops are also offered for those looking to enrich their knowledge beyond the screen.

Iroquois Steeplechase

Benefitting the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Iroquois Steeplechase is the premier spring race meet in American steeplechasing and Music City’s traditional rite of spring. Seven races are held throughout the day and the event typically attracts more than 25,000 spectators decked out in their finest spring wardrobe, including the biggest and best hats in the South.

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