Fall has officially arrived in Middle Tennessee, which means it’s time to pull out the jacket (at least for part of the day) and head to your favorite outdoor fall festivities! If you’re new to the area or simply looking for some fun things to do with the family, look no further. After living in the mid-state for any length of time, you’ll quickly learn that fall is a beautiful time of year. While many events have been postponed or canceled this year, there is still an abundance of fun, outdoor, and family-friendly fall activities in Nashville and the surrounding area. These are just a few of our favorites!
Family-Friendly Fall Activities in Nashville
Get ready to enjoy some of Nashville’s most delightful autumn adventures. These are the ones we’ve come to enjoy most over the years. We recommend starting here:
There is just over a week left for this family-friendly event! Enjoy the mum garden, pumpkin house, and even special evenings when you can bring your furry friend! We love exploring Cheekwood’s beautiful grounds, so even if you don’t make it to the estate before the fall harvest ends, there is still plenty to do all year round at this lovely property.
Lucky Ladd Farms
Just south of the city is one of our favorite family-friendly fall activities in Nashville. The farm features a petting zoo, pony rides, corn maze, and of course—a pumpkin patch! In fact, the Lucky Ladd Farm pumpkin patch was named “Top-Five” best pumpkin patches in the South and “Top-Fifteen” in the country! You won’t want to miss it.
Boo at the Zoo
This fun Nashville tradition is a delight for all ages. Enjoy fun fall activities, see the animals, and maybe get a little “fright” (don’t worry, the event is geared toward ages 2 – 10, so no intentionally scary moments). There is trick-or-treating, carousel rides, and much more.
Enjoy a hayride with the fam, grab a bite to eat, and explore the farm store at this family-fun farm. Cedarwood is enjoying its 20th anniversary of pumpkin patch fun and there is no lack of things to do. You can even come a little later in the day and enjoy a bonfire and s’mores with friends.
Outdoor Fall Activities
Fall in Middle Tennessee ranges from cold and rainy to beautiful warm days. You never quite know what you’re going to get! But if you prepare with that in mind, these outdoor fall activities are a delightful way to celebrate the season.
While many of the local farms didn’t open this year for self-pick fruit, they are still offering fun activities, apples for purchase, and pretty much every apple goody you could want. Jackson’s Orchard in Bowling Green, KY (just north of Nashville) includes fall weekend events for “kids” of all ages. For something a little closer to home, Breedens Orchard in Mt. Juliet offers the perfect taste of fall. Apples, apple cider, apple cider donuts, pumpkins, and even the occasional POP-UP grill (check out their Facebook page for the latest). You can’t go wrong with apple everything and a little southern barbecue.
Arrington Vineyards is a favorite year-round, but nothing quite says fall like a glass of wine overlooking the fall colors of Middle Tennessee. Arrington does have indoor venues, but for now, only their outdoor picnic seating is available. You can even bring the entire family! Arrington offers a selection of food items to enjoy with your wine, or you can simply bring your own food, grab your favorite bottle from the vineyard, and set out the perfect fall picnic.
Sometimes the best fall activities are the ones we create for ourselves. There are so many beautiful places to go for a walk with friends and enjoy the changing colors of the season. For an easy and convenient walk that is close to the city, try Radnor Lake State Park. The serene lake is just minutes from downtown but feels like it’s a world away. For a scenic view, head to Percy Warner Park and enjoy the Warner Woods Trail. At the point where the trail crosses the paved road, head uphill to reach Luke Lea Heights for a view of downtown Nashville and the surrounding fall foliage.
Even though it is fall, we are quickly headed into the holiday season, which means there are plenty of fall activities in Nashville and the surrounding area that focus on this festive time of year! Here are just a few to enjoy.
Tennesee Central Railroad Museum
The TCRM hosts rides through Middle Tennessee on their 1950s streamlined passenger train! The fall foliage ride is already sold out, but there are tickets available throughout November and December for the “North Pole Express” train ride with Santa and his elves. The two-hour trip includes refreshments and plenty of photo-ops with Santa.
Haunted Franklin Tour
If you enjoy a bit of history, then we recommend heading down to Franklin, TN. This 1.5-hour tour offers a leisurely walk through downtown Franklin where you get to learn some of the lesser-known historical accounts of the area.
Nashville Ghost Tours
This one’s for the history buffs! Every fall, Hermitage—the former home of Andrew Jackson—offers a tour of the spookier side of the historical estate. The tour is done by lantern light for a little extra spook and includes a complimentary wine tasting from Natchez Hills Winery. If you prefer history without the ghost stories, then we recommend planning a day trip! The Hermitage is open Thursday through Monday and offers a fun taste of history (and wine) as well as gorgeous fall colored grounds. For a more festive version of the estate, you can even enjoy Holiday Greenery Workshops starting in November.