As school quickly winds to a close, the questions all parents start to say rings out. What are we going to do to keep the children busy this summer? With two boys ages seven and ten we have many days of trying to beat the boredom and keep them active. These are some of our favorite cheap or free activities to do over the summer.

summer Nashville things to do Cornerstone Church PlaygroundRainy or extremely hot days take us inside to the Cornerstone Playground. This indoor playground is limited to children up to 5th grade. The playground is part of the Cornerstone Church in Madison, TN. It is free to play and you can bring snacks or lunch to be eaten outside of the play area.

Our next favorites are the water areas. We love going to Charlie Daniels Park and checking out Ava’s Splash Pad. This could be a full day event with the morning spent at the playground then as it warms up you can change in the changing rooms and head into the splash pad. When we go we take a cooler with some snacks and lunch so we can eat between time in the playground and time in the splash pad. The best part of this is the playground and splash pad are both free. The downside is on the weekends and for events they both get very crowded.

We also love Wave Country at Twin Rivers Park. There are two wave pools and a kiddie area to relax in. You can also bring a cooler with snacks and drinks. I recommend also bringing some chairs and a popup canopy or umbrella as the ones there can get claimed fast. This one does cost $12 for adults and $10 for children ages 3-10.

summer Nashville things to do Nashville Zoo Jungle Gym

Too hot to go out and need another cheap option on a weekday. Check out the Regal Summer movies. These movies are $1 all summer and are played on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The list of movies and show dates and times are available at There are 18 movies showing and two are available each day. If your children are like mine, prepare to spend about $20 at the snack bar.

Our final summer adventure is the Nashville Zoo. This one can get pricey at $17-$18 per adult and $12-$13 per child, however, if you take advantage of one of their memberships which start at $110 for an adult and children you can pop in all year long. We love to spend some time playing on their Jungle Gym and are looking forward to seeing all the new animals that have arrived. Children can pet animals at Critter Encounters and the Kangaroo Kickabout. You can save some money here by bringing your own snacks, drinks and lunches just check the website and review their list of restricted items such as glass, disposable straws and lids.