Things to Do
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* * Art Exhibits
* * Free Things to Do
* * Dining in Nashville
* * Happenings
* * Mansions & Museums
* * Music
* * Nashville Virtual Tour
* * Parks & Outdoors
  * Theatre
* * TN Wildflowers
 
   Nashville Travel
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  * Nashville Hotels
* * CMA Music Festival
  * CMA Awards Show
 
   Street View Tour
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* * Midtown photo tour features West End area
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   Planning Your Trip
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* * Airlines Serving BNA
* * Mileage to Nashville
* * Maps
  * Nashville Hotels
* * Weather in Nashville
 
   Top Things to Do
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* * Live Music in the City
* * Grand Ole Opry
* * Ryman Auditorium
* * Country Music Hall of Fame
  * General Jackson Showboat Cruise
  * Frist Center for the Visual Arts
  * The District: Lower Broad & Second Ave.
  * Centennial Park & the Parthenon
  * Cheekwood Gallery & Botanical Gardens
  * Belle Meade Plantation
  * The Hermitage: Andrew Jackson's Home
  * Farmers' Market

 

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BlueShoe Nashville Travel Guide

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Free Things to Do in Nashville

Looking for something fun and FREE to do in Nashville? The list begins below.

Be sure to call ahead and confirm dates, times, location, and the fact that the event is free--things may change without notification.

Free Events & Places to Visit & Free Transportation Options

Saucer Magnolia in profusion of blooms

Springtime petals of the Saucer Magnolia: photo by Jon Erickson

wildflowers of tnApril & May 2013: A varied and lovely array of wildflowers has begun its display in Tennessee. See BlueShoe's Guide to 2013 Wildflower Hikes and Festivals to catch the blooms in person.

Free Music at The Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Performances, unless otherwise noted, begin at 6 pm in the Frist's Cafe (free and open to the public). For more information and to confirm dates and times of performances, please visit Frist Center for the Visual Arts or call 615-744-3998.

March 28, 2013: The Providence Consort (Recorders and Keyboard)

March 29, 2013: The Contrarian Ensemble

April 4, 2013: Jazz Guitarist Stephen D. Anderson

April 5, 2013: Trent Baren

April 11, 2013: Jazz Guitarist John Richards

April 18, 2013: Singer/songwriter Ryan Coleman


April 19, 2013: Serenatta

April 26, 2013: Meltzer Parsons Guitar Duo

April 28, 2013: Jazz on the Move: Music of Wes Montgomery, featuring Geary Moore [3:00 p.m. in the Auditorium]. The Nashville Jazz Workshop and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts announce the seventh season of the popular jazz performance and education series, Jazz on the Move. Each installment features a lecture and performance highlighting a major figure or period in jazz history.  Presented by Nashville’s top jazz artist/educators, the series offers audiences world class music as well as an opportunity to learn more about jazz.

The programs take place on a series of Sunday afternoons. All performances are at 3:00 pm in the auditorium at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, 919 Broadway, Nashville, Tenn. This year's series is again presented with generous support from the Frist Foundation. Performances in the series are free and open to the public.

Those attending Jazz on the Move will be able to visit the Frist's exhibits free of charge, and will also receive discounted parking. Seating is first come, first seated. 

May 2, 2013: Jazz Vocalist Lindsay George

May 3, 2013: Tantsova Grupa

May 12, 2013: Jazz on the Move: John Coltrane's Blue Train, featuring Don Aliquo [3:00 p.m. in the Auditorium]. The Nashville Jazz Workshop and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts announce the seventh season of the popular jazz performance and education series, Jazz on the Move. Each installment features a lecture and performance highlighting a major figure or period in jazz history.  Presented by Nashville’s top jazz artist/educators, the series offers audiences world class music as well as an opportunity to learn more about jazz. Those attending Jazz on the Move will be able to visit the Frist's exhibits free of charge, and will also receive discounted parking. Seating is first come, first seated. 

May 4 - June 29, 2013, 12:00 - 5:00 pm: 2013 Musician's Corner at Centennial Park
FREE music in the park on Saturday afternoons from 2 pm to 5 pm. Pre-show festivities begin at 12 p.m. The Musicians Corner Spring Season kicks off on Saturday, May 4 and takes place every Saturday through June 29. Spring line up will be announced on April 1.

August 8 - September 12, 2013

Live on the Green Concert Series

2013 Line-up and concert information to be announced

Live On The Green is a free 6-week concert series that takes place at Public Square Park near City Hall (Courthouse).  The stage is set up on the steps of the Plaza and the crowd gathers in the grassy area of Public Square Park to watch performances from local, regional and national artists.  Parking is $3 in the parking garage located directly under Public Square Park.  Food and beverages will be available for purchase each night, as well as VIP Tickets - which include beverages, food and exclusive viewing areas.

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Pickin' on the Plaza: 2013 schedule has not yet been announced. In the past, this series of free performances kicked off each Bluegrass Night at the Ryman. A top regional bluegrass band would perform on the Ryman Auditorium outdoor plaza prior to the Bluegrass Night performance at the Ryman at 7:30 pm. All Pickin' on the Plaza performances began at 6 pm and were free and open to the public. The Ryman is located downtown at 116 5th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219.

 

 

Music City Circuit
 

Free transportation in downtown Nashville (including service to the Farmers' Market and Bicentennial Mall.

Music City Circuit provides free transportation in downtown Nashville. The Gulch route, or Green Circuit, runs east to west and serves key destinations between the Gulch and Riverfront Station. The Bicentennial Mall route, or Blue Circuit, runs primarily south to north and serves key destinations between the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and Bicentennial Mall.

See the hours and a map of the bus stops here: Music City Circuit Frequently Asked Questions. A free pocket schedule is available for download.

2011 Spring wildflower hikes: Tennessee has some of the most spectacular and varied wildflowers of anywhere in the world. See the rich offerings of free hikes and events on our Tennessee Wildflower Guide.

Music in the Lobby. On Thursday and Friday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., the Frist Center for the Visual Arts features free music from university students and faculty and various area performers in the Grand Lobby. Visitors can visit the galleries (free to members), shop in the gift shop, and listen to some of Nashville's finest local music while relaxing in a bistro seating area and enjoying a variety of wines and other beverages from the cash bar. See more information and schedule.

FREE Bluegrass: Station Inn -- Bluegrass is king at this club seven nights a week. The Sunday bluegrass jams are free. No reservations, no smoking, but there is popcorn for a buck. 402 12th S. (615) 255-3307

FREE Wi-Fi is now available in Centennial Park. Bring your laptop (with wireless card) and access the Internet through free wireless Internet is provided compliments of the Metro Parks Department. Centennial Park has always been one of the coolest, hippest places to take a stroll. Now it's even cooler. You can cruise the Web while sitting outdoors. The wireless network is called "Metro-Parks" and is operational during park hours. For more information, call 615-862-6222 or visit Nashville Parks.

Free Wi-Fi is coming to downtown Nashville. The Nashville Technology Council has announced that it is spearheading a project to provide free public wireless Internet service. The initial network, running along Broadway from approximately the Hard Rock Cafe to the Sommet Center, will go live by early February 2010.

 

More free events from the Tennessean's Ms. Cheap

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Great FREE Places to Visit Around Nashville

Bicentennial Mall near the Farmer's Market

Centennial Park: An urban park on West End Avenue, with the world's only full scale reproduction of the Parthenon. The monumental museum dates from the 100 year celebration of Nashville's birthday. A lovely park with a running and bike path, fields for playing touch football and soccer, and benches for reading. Red tulips in April. (Note: Centennial Park is free, but the Parthenon itself requires an admission fee.)

Tennessee State Capitol Building: designed by William Strickland and occupied by the Union Army during the Civil War (see photo from 1864).

Radnor Lake State Natural Area offers hikes, canoe floats, and specialty events each month. A variety of activities are available, free of charge from Radnor Lake State Natural Area. Reservations for programs open at 9:00 A.M. on the dates listed and will be taken until full. Please call 377-1281 to sign up.

Warner Park Nature Center: Hikes, star parties, and nature programs for all ages. Call 352-6299 for events or check web site.

Model Train Display: The Nashville Garden Railway Society's 4500-square foot layout is located in Nashville's 100 Oaks Shopping Center, directly in front of the second floor escalator. The display is open to the public on Sundays from noon until 4 p.m. (And on many Saturdays 11a.m.-5 p.m. when volunteer members are available.) 100 Oaks Shopping Center, 719 Thompson Lane.

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Free art exhibits

Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street. Phone: 741-2692

Permanent collection includes paintings, quilts, and displays on TN history--with particular emphasis on the Civil War.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat.; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sun.
Free.

Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery
23rd & West End Avenues. Phone: 322-0605

Hours: noon-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sat.
Free. Call for hours during holidays.

Van Vechten Art Gallery at Fisk University:Corner of Jackson Street and D.B. Todd Blvd. Phone: 329-8720
[Currently closed to the public due to renovations; scheduled to reopen July 17, 2009. Call for hours and more information: 615-329-8720.] Small, intimate, and superbly arranged with stellar works by such masters as Cezanne, Renoir, O'Keefe, it totals than 100 pieces from the Alfred Stieglitz Collection. The separate woodcut collection in the staircase gallery should not be missed--it is an exceptionally beautiful and unique display of works by African Americans. Admission is free, although donations are accepted (and much encouraged by this reviewer--you'll hardly find a better value anywhere for your contribution.)

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For more Nashville events: Tennessean's Metromix
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A free weekly entertainment guide published by The Tennessean, Metromix is available at Nashville-area restaurants, shops, nightclubs, and news racks and online at Metromix.

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More resources to help you in your hunt for great FREE stuff to do in Nashville, Tennessee.

concertsNashville Farmers Market (monthly market festivals)
wildflowersGuide to Tennessee Wildflowers
parks
Guide to Nashville Parks

 



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