Exploring Nashville: Free Things to Do in Nashville

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Nashville at Night

Between honky-tonk bars on Broadway, high-end coffee shops in almost every neighborhood, and a list of mouth-watering dishes at Nashville’s popular restaurants, you could easily spend your entire budget on one night out in Music City. Sure, it’s fun to pretend you’re a high roller sometimes, but in Nashville, you don’t have to. Read on to discover the best free things to do in Nashville.

Keep in mind that when you save money on entertainment, you can spend more on what matters most—your home. AptAmigo can help you find the perfect apartment at the right price. Get the inside scoop on living in Nashville and reach out to AptAmigo to see all your options and receive 5-star service with your own personal apartment expert. The best part? It’s all free!

What to Do in Nashville for Free

Nashville Parks

If you’re wondering what to do in Nashville, look no further than the city’s robust outdoor recreation scene. On any given weekend morning, you’ll see sidewalks and parks filled with runners, walkers, and cyclists starting their day on the right foot. Enjoy these free parks and programs all around the city.

Nashville Greenways

Nashville’s greenway trails include more than 300 miles of paved paths that connect neighborhoods to parks, schools, and public transportation options. Many of the greenway paths are located along natural landscapes, including woods, rivers, and creeks. Head to the trailhead at Shelby Bottoms Nature Center or Richland Greenway for a walk through the city’s natural landscape. You might spot deer, squirrels, butterflies, and other wildlife there.

Centennial Park

Home to Nashville’s Parthenon, Centennial Park boasts 132 acres of green space, including a one-mile walking trail and plenty of spots to picnic with a group. This park houses free events throughout the year, such as Musician’s Corner concerts, the Tennessee Craft Fair, monthly Kidsville youth enrichment programs, and more. There’s always something fun going on in the park, and it’s almost always free.

Warner Parks System

Just a few miles from downtown you’ll find the Warner Parks system with thousands of acres of pristine forests to explore. Every year more than a million outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the challenging hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails. For visitors who want a relaxed outdoor experience, the winding road through the park is perfect for a casual walk or scenic drive.

Free Nashville Music Events

One of the great things about Nashville is that Music City doesn’t always come with a ticket price. If you love live music but can’t spend an entire paycheck on concert tickets, check out these free events around town. 

Bonus tip: If you have a few bucks to spare you can grab a drink at one of Nashville’s famous honky-tonk bars on Lower Broadway, where they offer live music seven days a week.

CMA Fest

Every year in early June country music fans descend on Nashville for four days of non-stop country music performances during CMA Fest. If you don’t want to shell out for a ticket, head to Lower Broadway to find one of the seven free stages located downtown. Most days you can find free live music in the area from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.   

Live on the Green

One of Nashville’s largest and most popular concert series, Live on the Green, draws large and mid-sized bands like Jimmy Eat World, Judah & the Lion, and Band of Horses. Thousands of people gather on the lawn at Nashville’s Public Square Park on Thursday nights in mid-August and all of Labor Day weekend for live music, food trucks, and vendors. If you really don’t want to pay a dime, bring some snacks and a drink and skip the food truck lines.

Jazz on the Cumberland

This concert series runs on select Sundays every year between May and October. Located at Cumberland Park on the banks of the Cumberland River, you’ll enjoy local, regional, and national talent with the city in the background—it creates the perfect vibe. Bring a blanket to sit on and pack a picnic for a memorable and free night on the town.  

Nashville Festivals and Fairs

For an entire day’s worth of free things to do in Nashville, street fairs and festivals are a sure bet. Enjoy the entertainment in some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods at these free events.

Tomato Art Fest

In quirky East Nashville, tomato season is a sign of unity. Is it a fruit or a vegetable? It doesn’t matter (or should we say ‘mater’?). Everyone unites over their love of this magical food on one Saturday in August. The festival kicks off with a 5k race, a parade complete with a brass band, and an afternoon of free music and events. While you walk through the marketplace in search of free swag from hundreds of vendors, keep an eye out for attendees in quirky tomato costumes. 

Nashville Oktoberfest

Known as the city’s best beer festival since 1980, Nashville’s Oktoberfest is held near the Germantown neighborhood. Free offerings like live music, arts and crafts, the Dachshund derby, and other events will keep your cash in your pocket at this fun festival. If you want to spend a few bucks, grab a stein of local beer at the beer tent. Prost!

Nashville African Street Festival

Every September the African American Cultural Alliance holds this free street festival to celebrate African and African American culture. Taste authentic cuisine and enjoy free live music acts, ranging from reggae to gospel to blues and more. You can also catch spoken word shows and traditional dance groups during the festival weekend.

Free Tours and Museums

Believe it or not, some of Nashville’s popular attractions offer free admission for residents.

Tennessee State Museum

Learn the history of Tennessee and experience the state’s arts, culture, and political and natural history—all for free. In addition to a robust permanent collection, the museum offers rotating temporary exhibits to showcase important moments in the state’s history.

Hatch Show Print

If you’ve seen a show at Ryman Auditorium, you’ve seen a Hatch Show Print. One of the oldest working letterpress print shops, Hatch Show Print is open for art and music lovers to explore. While you can buy a ticket for a tour, you can learn a lot about the prints and letterpress process just by stopping in and checking out the space.

Explore Nashville as a Local

Tour Nashville Like a Local and take in all of its cultural offerings when you live in Music City. To prepare for your move, contact AptAmigo. We’ll find the best apartments that fit your precise requirements and schedule all of the tours for you. Did we mention it’s free?

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