Although we believe Nashville has some of the best and brightest sunshine-filled days, we know it has a fair share of rainy ones, too. But why dread the dreary weather when there are plenty of indoor activities to do in and around Music City? From arts and culture to dining and drinking, check out our list of things to do on a rainy day in Nashville.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Rainy days in Nashville call for the chance to see the city’s best museums and art galleries. Frist Art Museum has several exhibitions running this season, all of which are worthy of a visit. If art tickles your fancy, make your way from The Frist to 5th Avenue of the Arts and pay a visit to The Rymer Gallery, Tinney Contemporary and Blend Studio. (Of course, if it’s a first Saturday of the month, there are even more art stops to check out — see the First Saturday map here.) This is only the beginning of the list of art galleries around town. Other notable options to add to your list include Bennett Galleries and OZ Arts Nashville.
Music (City) Museums
Whether you’ve lived here forever or are new to town, a few places that may seem like tourist destinations deserve a visit from locals. The Country Music Hall of Fame is a must, as it will shed light on the rich music history that put Nashville on the map. Another impressive option is the Johnny Cash Museum, which showcases an entire collection of items from the artist’s 48-year music career, as well as personal items from his time in Arkansas and the U.S. Air Force. For the true music aficionado, we recommend you line up a tour of the “Mother Church of Country Music,” more commonly known as The Ryman. Take a self-guided or backstage group tour, and let the venue’s incredible history send chills down your spine. Lastly, check out the Musicians Hall of Fame, where you can get up close and personal with some of history’s most famous artists from all genres.
History Buffs Unite!
Historians will appreciate the way our history has been preserved in intriguing stops like the Belle Meade Plantation, The Hermitage and the Belmont Mansion (click here for even more historical sites you can visit). You’ll also want to check out the newly renovated Tennessee State Museum! For your inner child who might still marvel at trains, both real and model, a visit to the Tennessee Central Railway Museum should be on the agenda. The museum is small but impressive; even more impressive are the offered train rides, which provide an authentic experience as one would have had in the mid-20th century. While not necessarily historic in the truest sense, all ages will enjoy a tour of the Lane Motor Museum, which features the largest collection of European cars and motorcycles in the United States, new and old.
Need something more hands-on? Skip the trip to Michael’s, and rally the troops and head to Dabble Studio or Sips n Strokes — both places where you can paint, sip a little wine and leave with a masterpiece.
Brushfire Pottery Studio in Green Hills is great for all ages. Select a piece of pottery from more than 400 available pieces and paint it using the large supply of colors. Brushfire fires it, and your work of art is ready for pick up within a week.
Located on Woodbine Street, Craft South is another option for getting crafty. The shop provides fabrics, yarns, embroidery supplies, tools and more. They also open the space for classes, workshops, lectures, kids’ camps and events. Located in the Franklin area, Craft Love is a DIY workshop that allows you to test your hand at personalizing signs and wooden pieces. Lastly, The Clay Lady has classes of all kinds! Check the calendar and get signed up for a pottery class or workshop.
The Big Screen
Following its major 2016 renovation, Nashville’s beloved Belcourt Theatre continues to attract audiences throughout Tennessee. With over 3,200 screenings per year, impressive concessions, new ways to interact with movie lovers and filmmakers, the nonprofit film center captures hearts around the city and beyond.
Another historic cinema is about 20 minutes south on I-65. The Franklin Theatre boasts not only an impressive lineup of movies but also live music and theater. Check out the complete calendar here. If you’re looking for a fun activity for the kids, take them to explore the Virtual Reality or Space Chase exhibits at the Adventure Science Center, and then grab tickets to a show at the center’s Sudekum Planetarium.
Live Music Options
Hit one of Nashville’s many live music venues (Marathon Music Works, Exit/In, Ryman Auditorium, The Basement, Acme Feed & Seed, Mercy Lounge, Station Inn and 3rd and Lindsley to name a few) and see up-and-coming and established artists, making their way through Nashville! For a full listing of local shows, download Nashville Live Music Guide. You can even shop and listen to live music at Two Old Hippies in The Gulch!
If you prefer less seasoned performances, karaoke is always a fun way to “get your jam on” in Music City — start at Printer’s Alley or Broadway.
Good Old-Fashioned Fun
Bowling has been elevated to a whole new (and cool) level thanks to Pinewood Social, where you can have coffee, a cocktail, any meal of the day and bowl a few games. Check out The Gulch’s newest gaming hot spot, Pins Mechanical Company to take your shot at duckpin, pinball and more! Head south to Kings in Franklin where you can bowl, shoot pool or play a little foosball, air hockey or shuffleboard. Try your luck at ping pong, foosball and shuffleboard while dining at Hi-Fi Clyde’s. If you’re committed to bowling as your activity of choice, we always trust spots like Tusculum Strike & Spare, Donelson Strike & Spare or Franklin Family Entertainment Center. Games, beer, food and friends make any rainy day in Nashville a bit brighter.
Use the rainy day excuse to engage in some friendly competition with friends and family at Music City Indoor Karting, or head downtown and play a game of laser tag at Laser Quest. Get your jump on at Jumpstreet in Cool Springs, offering ample opportunities to bounce around. Meanwhile, for the uber-competitive American Ninja Warrior-type crew, check out Defy in Brentwood, where you can climb, bounce, swing, joust and annihilate the competition — all in the name of fun, of course! If you’re looking to spruce up your golf game, turn to Topgolf to get in some swings, even when its raining. Lastly, grab your crew and put your skills and smarts to the test at the Escape Game or the Breakout Games, where you can fight the clock and “break out” of a challenge room.
If you prefer a more zen-like activity, perhaps a climbing gym is more appealing. Climb Nashville has two locations — one on the East Side and one on the West — where you can get in a solid workout, challenge yourself and, of course, tag the bell at the top. South of town in Cool Springs, you can get your climb on at The Crag.
If you want to get a good workout, check out the class schedules at some of Nashville’s fitness facilities. High-intensity workout options can be found at these fitness studios, found in the SB Guide: Orangetheory Fitness and Iron Tribe. Master the machines at Lagree Fitness facility, Studio Novo, or challenge your body and mind at Sumits Yoga.
Any time of year is great for skating. Head to Centennial Sportsplex for an ice-skating outing or head to Brentwood, where you can throw it back to your youth with an afternoon on roller skates at Brentwood Skate Center.
For the Clothes
You may get a little damp as you wander in and out of Nashville’s best boutiques, but we promise you won’t melt. There are too many fantastic local shopping destinations to list, so consult our Fashion Guide or download the SB App where you can navigate to the best shopping (plus, restaurants and events). You can sort by what you’re looking for or where you’re located.
Update Your Vinyl & Book Collections
Are you a vinyl fan? There are ample opportunities to explore the new and used record scene in Nashville. Cool Stuff Weird Things has tons of vinyl (and some of the coolest metal signage in Nashville), as does long-time used media hotspot The Great Escape, both on Charlotte. Closer to Bellevue, find the vintage vinyl store, Alison’s Record Shop, or shop books and CD at McKays. Grimey’s and The Groove in East Nashville are fantastic for “new and pre-loved” music.
Prefer reading over records? Get out and find your next best story! Here are some of Nashville’s best used bookstores. Or you can always pay a visit to the Downtown Nashville Public Library and take advantage of its selection of books, as well as an art gallery, civil rights room, conference center and archives. We also recommend Parnassus Books for a fantastic selection of new reading material.
If rain has washed out your plans, check out the SB Guide, and find a spa or salon where you can wallow away the day with a facial, massage, skin treatment or haircut and color; or get your makeup done and hair blown out for a quick pick-me-up!
DINING & DRINKING
Looking for something specifically for adults? There are plenty of distillery tours to check out in town or nearby — Corsair Distillery, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Prichard’s Distillery at Fontanel and George Dickel Distillery should keep you busy at least an afternoon!
The Motherlode for a Rainy Day in Nashville: Opryland Hotel
The city under glass. With forests, rivers, a huge spa, restaurants and waterfalls and geysers that dance to music … this place has even has a delta. It can be a refuge for a mom pulling her hair out with restless children or someone trying to entertain out-of-town guests and just wants to be someplace, besides a mall, for hours and hours. Heck, rent a room and stay the night!
Grab Dinner & a Drink
Finally, if none of the above grab your attention, well, you have to eat, right? Slip on your Wellies and grab your slicker because there are so many great restaurants to satisfy. Check out our Restaurant Guide or the SB App to find your next best meal. Or if you prefer just to drink the rainy day away, check out our Brewery Guide.
There is no reason to wallow in pity over a damp day in Nashville. Get out and explore your hometown — it’s a pretty fabulous place to live!
As always, keep up with the best Nashville events, festivals, fundraisers, concerts, store sales and more in the SB App!