Nashville is internationally known for its country music scene, obviously. But what most people don’t know is Nashville is home to a lot of credible hospitals and information technology companies. Benefiting from the medical and technology scene, Nashville has a pretty robust science center just for kids– of all ages! I love that my girls can explore the world of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) with hands-on exhibits only minutes from our house. It’s also a great activity for visitors, too. When my sister and her kids come to visit, this is usually top of the list to do.
Adventure Science Center Overview:
Adventure Science Center is located just south of the heart of downtown Nashville, TN. Admission is a little more pricy than I’d prefer, but for the amount to of exhibits and exploring you can do, it’s well worth it. We’ve been a few times and each time my girls are just as excited as the first time. The most recent time we went, we spent FOUR HOURS there. I couldn’t believe it. We would have stayed longer had we not had plans later that day. There really is so much to do. There is a full list of permanent and traveling exhibits, but these were our favorites:
A 75+ foot jungle gym that allows kids to climb, play, and learn about health, engineering, music, and physics. You can maneuver the whole day to the top of the pyramid and have a beautiful view of the city. I feel obligated to inform you that it gets hot, and the higher you go the smaller the space and the hotter it is. If you plan to climb with the kids definitely wear movement clothes– ripped jeans were not a good idea! If you want to follow along but not actually climb the tower with them, you can take ramps and stairs to most of the layers of the tower– but it gets hard to keep an eye on the running rugrats that way.
This is one of their traveling exhibits and I’m unsure who along it’ll be available. But, if you go soon, definitely check it out. It’s located on the main floor and allows children to experiment with trail and error in the world of mathematics. You’ll see from a few photos below my girls loved dancing with the shadow pieces in one of the exhibits– learning and having fun all at the same time– win win!
On a side note, this area was dimly lit and much quieter than the rest of the center. This would be the location I’d bring the stroller for my young infant to rest or breast feed while letting the other kid(s) play close by. I didn’t see Mother’s Room anywhere in the facility but I wasn’t actually looking for it either.
This exhibit, luckily for my girls, is a permanent one so it’s not going anywhere (in the foreseeable future). My girls LOVED this journey through the human body. Here, they learned all about the body, how it works, and how to help someone who is injured– equipped with ambulance and operating room. There’s activities, games, quizzes, laser game, and more.
The planetarium features several shows a day and rotates the theme every so often. We decided to decided to stick with the math theme and watch Fantastic Fractacles. It was a little psychedelic and dizzying for me, but overall taught us about the infinitely complex mathematical fractals.
This enclosed area is perfect for young toddlers with plenty of play and activities to keep them engaged. My 6-year-old even enjoyed this area while we let my 3-year-old explore.
- You can bring your own packed lunch or eat at their cafe (serving Subway) while enjoying a view of the city.
- If you keep your receipt, you can leave and return on the same day.
- They have adult-only events and activities. Talk about finally getting to enjoy your childhood with a tasty beverage!
- The best time to go is weekday mornings but recognizing that isn’t always possible, try to arrive when they open on whatever day you can visit. I recommend giving yourself plenty of time to enjoy the whole center and possibly expect to wait in line for some exhibits.
Because I’ve adopted a new lifestyle (or old, rather), I tried not to engage my phone as much during this adventure with the girls. I snapped a few photos here and there but these images do not due the Adventure Science Center justice. Check their website, blog, or Instagram for more.