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Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekend Getaway to Nashville - 3 Day Itinerary

We gratefully accepted the opportunity given to us by Comfort Suites to stay at one of their newly-renovated hotels and chose Nashville, TN for a three-day weekend.   Given we traveling in January, I went right to Nashville Fun for Families for ideas.  Local bloggers always know what's best!  Here is a little bit about what we did so you can plan a weekend getaway soon.




LouFamFun's Nashville Comfort Suites album on Photobucket

Hotel:
We stayed at Comfort Suites Airport which was really easy to find off a Briley Parkway. Coming from I-65/Louisville - it was very convenient.  It's between downtown and the Opryland area so it made it simple to get anywhere.   The hotel was nicely decorated and modern, clean as well.  Check-in was speedy and parking was no problem.  We stayed in a 2-bed suite and the kids loved it because it was so spacious.  They each had their own bed and I slept on the pull-out couch in the living area so I could relax after they fell asleep.  We had ample room to spread out our items, tuck things away in drawers and hang out together to watch TV.  I liked having the convenience of a refrigerator to store snacks we brought in and there was a microwave too, but we didn't use it since we were only there for 2 nights.

The best part about the hotel was the indoor pool and the complimentary breakfast.  The pool was quite large and when other families were swimming with us, we didn't feel like we were on top of each other.  It was clean, heated and the windows all around made it feel like a nice 80 degree getaway.  The breakfast was perfect.  The staff attended to it so closely to keep everything clean and stocked.  There were hot and cold options - more than plenty to eat and lots of variety so that each morning you can have something different.  My daughter says her favorite thing about the trip was being able to make her own waffles!  We did so much that weekend and the waffle maker at the hotel wins the prize.   I'm really glad I had this opportunity because at rates of around $99/night - I think I'll add Comfort Suites to my go-to for family-friendly affordable hotels.  I've stayed at hotels that run about $50/night more and there's nothing at those that make them better just because they are more expensive.


LouFamFun's Nashville 2015 album on Photobucket

Things to do............

Parks:
We enjoyed two parks recommended by Nashville Fun for Families.  The weather was amazing and it was lovely to get outside.  First, we went to Centennial Park to see the Parthenon and other statues, figures and assorted sights.  There's a huge train as well - the kids loved that. We walked the 1-mile path around the small pond and took 1,253 photos in-front of the very unique Parthenon.  Bonus - clean bathrooms in there. 

The other park we explored was Cumberland Park. This is a downtown park near the stadium and across the pedestrian bridge from the hustle and bustle of Music Row. This was our favorite of the two parks.  The kids were leaping and climbing all over the unique play structures, cool slides and rock wall.  The elevator up the walking bridge was great as well so we could get a quick peak from the bridge without having to back-track too much.  The views from this park are not to be missed.  If in Nashville with kids - go to this park.  There's a sprayground too - tuck that information away for summer visits. 

Dining:
We were a little bummed at some of the lines. We tried two "touristy" places that are always online as THE places to go and the lines were just too long.  We would have missed out on doing so much if we waited the entire weekend to eat.  We tried to go to the Pfunky Griddle and Puckett's but decided to leave and save that for a time when we might be in Nashville on a weekday and they aren't as busy.


The only place we waited for was the Aquarium restaurant because it's at the Opry Mills Mall and it was easy to just kill time walking around.  The wait for a Saturday night was just 25 minutes, not too bad.  They texted me when the table was ready - that made it really convenient to walk around the mall.  While walking around, we hit It's Sugar and got some treats for later.   The Aquarium restaurant was great!! It is a bit pricey but I think for a special place to eat on a weekend getaway, it's worth it.  They had a decent variety on the kids' menu and gave the kids an activity book for while we wait. Like the HUGE tank full of hundreds of fish wasn't enough?!  The kids ate up everything on their plates and I enjoyed my salad. The service was attentive and fast, the desserts looked amazing but we were full and tired so we didn't indulge.  Definitely memorable and since there are only a few of these restaurants in the country, check it out in Nashville.


Attractions:
The Adventure Science Center
The Adventure Science Center  ($35 for 1 adult, 2 children) was so fantastic - the best thing we did on the trip.  You can and will spend the entire day there and it will wear you out!  There are multiple floors of fun and in the middle, you can climb up to the tip-top of the glass ceiling on the building and look out over downtown Nashville.  I climbed with the kids and we all giggled the entire way up (and down).  We were there almost the entire time they were open and didn't even do everything so it warrants a return trip!

We did not partake in the BlueMax, shows or planetarium but we did LOVE the tinker area that they have set up in a temporary exhibit space.   The kids totally got into swinging hammers and creating something - my daughter made a cell-phone holder that we actually use now.  She's.....6.

The Opry Mills Mall
The Opry Mills Mall is gigantic and on a Saturday night, I can attest to it, 100% of Nashville is at this mall.  Amazing how popular it is.  Plan accordingly.  There's a large movie theater, Dave & Busters, The Aquarium Restaurant and pretty much any store you can imagine - an impressive place.  If you like to shop, you should definitely go.  My kids and I love browsing through malls and if it wasn't as crowded as when we went, we would have spent more time there.   So, we returned on a Monday right when they opened and went to Build-A-Bear.  It was calm and parking was easy therefore, go on an "off" time for the best experience.  I also noticed there are play areas and even a carousel - more to it than shopping!

Nashville Children's Theatre
The Nashville Children's Theatre had a production from the Mo Willem's book series of books about Elephant and Piggie.  I love those books, some of my favorite to read with my kids - hysterical.  Clearly, we had to see it.  Tickets were $58 for 1 adult and 2 children. Slightly on the high end but for a special show supporting this organization, I still felt good about it.  The theater itself was very nice with a large lobby set up with activities before the show - the kids and I were totally entertained while we waited.  The show itself was just about an hour-  right at the attention span level of most of the kids in the audience who tended to be young.  There was no bad seat since the theater was moderate in size and the actors were very engaging, we laughed and interacted with the show - an all around good time.  If you are in Nashville, it's worth a visit to see what show they are performing at that time.

With the proximity of Nashville to Louisville, I think it's a perfect weekend destination (or longer).  We definitely filled 3 days with ease and could have done even more so we will go back.  And, consider the Comfort Suites because as I mentioned, it was really catered to families and the price is right!


Stephanie

LOOK!

The winner is Chris Stilts!

WIN a TRIP Courtesy of Comfort Inn / Suites!
The winner will have a choice of staying in a Comfort Inn or Comfort Suites hotel from a list of premier properties in select cities across the country.

One reader will win a two-night free stay at a Comfort property (up to $400 in value). If you are willing to share photos following your trip (we'll post them on the LouFamFun Facebook Page), Comfort Suites will provide you with an additional $100 gift card!

To enter: Email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net and put COMFORT in the subject.  One entry per email address.

You must be 18 or older to enter and by entering, you agree to these terms.  Submit your email entry by the end of the day 2/25/15.
Winners will be selected at random and emailed by Friday 2/27/15

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