One of these things is not like the other... But she definitely belongs! This year over Michael's spring break we got to take a little family trip to Nashville, TN over a long weekend. Although it's surprisingly close, we'd never actually been to Nashville, so we had a lot to see. We started asking friends for recommendations on where to eat, stay, shop, etc., and soon realized that our trip was going to be quite different from theirs.
So we started searching things like "Nashville, TN family" and "Nashville with kids" and luckily, Michael stumbled across this awesome family site http://family.go.com/ which is a Disney site dedicated to, well, families. The site isn't exclusively travel advice. It includes things like seasonal crafts/activities, family friendly recipes, and even parenting advice. I haven't even begun to delve into all of the amazing resources, but we instantly fell in love with the travel planning help. The travel guides are arranged by city, so in our case, we went here to find advice on family-friendly activities in Nashville. Scroll down a bit and you will see a section titled "Suggested Trip Plan by Age" - this is real bread and butter of the site. Choose from babies, toddlers/pre-k, school age, and pre-teen/teens to see different things to do, places to stay, and places to eat based on the age of your kiddos. Cool, huh?
The site also give tips for taking each age group to each of the attractions, such as "stroller friendly" or "plan no more than 2 hours here." Based on the advice (and a little of our own searching/roaming), we were able to plan a pretty awesome family trip. Here's a few of the highlights:
1. Buying boots - because you can't go to Music City without bringing some home! With the help of a friend, we found a great little place on 2nd Ave. called Nashville Cowboy. They carry a big selection of styles/sizes, and even had kid's boots for Peanut. The best part - you pay for the highest pair and get two others free! Granted, they are pretty high-end boots, but totally worth it for the quality. Just to give you an idea, I wore mine for two days in a row right after buying them and no blisters or sore feet at all!
3. Country Music Hall of Fame - being huge country music fans, this was a definite must-see attraction. Aside from a couple staircases that Michael carried her down, it's fairly stroller-friendly and has lots of colorful costumes and activities for older kids. There's a lot to read and watch, but we didn't stop for too long for fear of wearing out our little one's patience.
4. Gaylord Opryland Hotel - we didn't stay at the resort, but we spent an evening there anyway, just to check it out. It has huge indoor gardens, water shows with light/music, restaurants, shops, and even boat rides. It was a perfect way to spend a few hours one night. Annalyn especially loved the pizza and all the other little kids running around. There are a range of restaurants from simple and kid-friendly pizza and burgers to more expensive/fancy options.
5. Cheekwood Botanical Gardens - This was probably my favorite part of the entire trip. The last day we were in Nashville was a perfect 70-something, sunny spring day. We spent the entire afternoon roaming the gardens, walking the sculpture trail, and just enjoying the beautiful surroundings. And, of course, Mama worked in a little photo shoot of my cutie :)