As one of the youngest cities in the State of Tennessee (with an average age of less than 30), Clarksville, Tennessee is filled with children and young families. If you would expect to find plenty of kid-friendly, kid-approved things to do in the city, you would be right. Here are some places and activities that parents, and kids themselves, say are their favorites.
Customs House Museum
The Bubble Cave and Train Exhibit areas might be the most popular corners of the expansive Customs House Museum & Cultural Center. Keeping life-size bubbles intact is a challenge that will entertain children and adults for a while. The temperature also goes down a few notches inside the cave space. Like an actual cave, it’s a nice place to cool off on a warm summer day. The massive train exhibit is adored by the young and young at heart. Lined with interactive buttons, it’s fun for all to find the activity that happens when the buttons are pushed. Lesser-known favorites are the McGregor’s Grocery replica where toddlers can “shop” and the Family Art Room where imaginations soar.
A large open space with super-soft turf and giant portable foam shapes make up the Imagination Playground at Downtown Commons. The creative space is bordered by an oasis of trees and water features like a little river and fountain area, giving shaded seats for parents while kids have a blast splashing. The Commons presents a free sundown concert series on the first and third Fridays, May through October, where music lovers can spread a blanket or bring lawn chairs, and children can play and dance.
Rotary Park Creek & Playground
The creek that meanders along the trails of Rotary Park has been a natural playground for generations. Most of the year the water is a mere few inches deep — just enough for a good splash and soak. Dry patches can happen in the summer and a few deeper spots near rock falls accumulate in the early spring. A newer section of the park near the Wade Bourne Nature Center features a large rubber-mulch playground where the “equipment” looks like large wooden trunks. The replicated natural space sits beautifully just inside the woodlands.
Liberty Park Community Built Playground
Alongside the Cumberland River at Liberty Park sits a sizeable playground and jungle gym. This community-built playground is a favorite for running, playing, building, and exploring in the confines of a secured environment. Best of all, there’s a space designed exclusively for toddlers.
Classic arcade games, bowling, laser tag, putt-putt, plus high-speed and family-speed go-karting are likely to bring out the competitive spirits of the entire family. Fortunately, all of these activities and more are indoors and under one roof at the City Forum. Older children and teens especially enjoy time here among the dazzling lights and sounds, but there’s also a playscape area to accommodate younger children.
Heritage Park All-Inclusive Playground & Splash Pad
Everyone can enjoy the playground and splash pad at Heritage Park regardless of their ability. Both the playground and splash pad meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. All areas are wheelchair accessible and play structures including ramps. The park also offers access to the ADA-compliant Clarksville Greenway, a nine-mile converted rail bed winding through bluffs and offering diverse scenery and plenty of wildlife.
Push the boundaries and catch some extreme air at this indoor trampoline park. Kids and adults can funnel all their energy into the rock-climbing wall, a Ninja course, basketball, Dodge ball, or open play floor. Private rooms also make this an ideal spot for parties.
Children’s Fountain at Strawberry Alley
Sometimes, the amazement of simple things can entertain kids the most. The Children’s Fountain on Strawberry Alley is a fun place that toddlers are sure to enjoy. Putting a hand in streaming water or splashing in a puddle is pure delight for young ones.
Historic Collinsville Pioneer Settlement
If your family is interested in history and learning about different times and cultures, take a step back into the days of Tennessee’s earliest settlers at Historic Collinsville. With six or more people, reserve a guided group tour to learn fascinating ways that our ancestors were resourceful and inventive with very little. The 40-acre attraction features 16 authentically furnished homes and outbuildings with picnic tables, a covered pavilion, and benches throughout. At the very least, children will leave with a better appreciation of today’s many conveniences.
A vacation with kids isn’t truly a vacation unless it involves ice cream — no matter the time of year! (Please don’t neglect this all-important part of your travel itinerary.) Favorite spots in Clarksville are Golly G’s with super-creamy hand-scooped flavors, Frozen Fuel where ice cream and sorbets are made in-house, La Michoacána Delicias where you’ll find dozens of fresh Mexican popsicle flavors, and Snowie of Clarksville with shaved ice and beautiful ice cream concoctions.
Plan your custom adventure today. Travel resources like a Things To Do with Kids webpage and an app where you can customize and build a trip suited to your specific needs and interests are available for free at www.visitclarksvilletn.com.