Things to do with kids in Nashville Indiana
Nashville, Indiana is the county seat of Brown County in Indiana. It’s an amazing town about 1.5 hours north of Louisville.
Have a ton of small business shops, restaurants, an amazing wildlife sanctuary, a great state park, and lots of family fun.
Recently, we headed up to explore things to do with kids in Nashville Indiana. We have heard people talk about Brown County so we wanted to see it for ourselves! Fall is their most popular time of year. The leaves are beautiful, and the shops of Nashville can get pretty crowded on the fall weekends.
The center of Nashville is made up of one, main street – Van Buren Street, that goes north to south (as well as a few other parallel streets). There are many intersecting streets from East to West. It’s laid out for very easy walking, and has wheelchair and stroller friendly sidewalks on both sides of the street.
Once you arrive in Nashville, you’ll need to find a parking spot (which can be challenging mid-day on weekends in fall). Some parking lots in the center of Nashville charge $2 to $10 to park, while other spots are free.
We ate breakfast at Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls and So Much More on East Washington Street. They do not have any seating indoors during Covid, but their walk up order window is inside out of the cool air. Ooey Gooey only has a few small tables outside, so get there early or be prepared to wait a little if you’d like to eat outside the restaurant. If you are looking for a treat, Ooegy Gooey cinnamon rolls were the best cinnamon rolls I have ever eaten. The coffee was delicious too! Definitely worth the stop.
We planned on eating lunch at Big Woods Pizza Company. We put our name in and were told it was an hour and a half wait (mid Saturday afternoon in fall). They text you when your table is ready, so we headed around town to visit local shops while we waited. (I highly recommend checking into your restaurant early. Then, do some shopping so your table is ready when you are ready to eat).
There were lots of stores by the restaurant, but my kids particularly enjoyed checking out Brown County Rock Shop’s fossils and rocks. And, panning for gems outside the Rock Shop. There were three different size bags at very reasonable prices. My kids shared a small bag for under $9. We saw someone pull a huge gem from one of the “mother load” size bags that seemed well worth the price and fun panning outside in the water.
Other fun shops include Rich Hill’s Magic & Fun Emporium, Wooden Wonders (chainsaw artist), Nashville General Store. There’s also the Bakery, Toy Chest, Mercantile, and Through the Looking Glass antique shop. We were pleasantly surprised by the reasonable prices of everything in the shops in town. Plus, we enjoyed supporting small businesses while we shopped!
Next, we headed over to the Brown County Historic Center. Considering parents’ concerns in 2020 related to education, it’s nice to find things to do with kids in Nashville Indiana in which they can learn!
This has some great artifacts from the 1800s through to World War II. The woman at the desk was very friendly and willing to tell my kids all sorts of information. She showed my kids how to dial a rotary phone for a party line.
Outside, you can look around Pioneer Village. This is definitely tops in things to do with kids in Nashville Indiana. There is a jail, community building, log cabin, black smith shop, and a doctor’s office. My kids found the Old Log Jail fascinating. The original Log Jail was built in 1837, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There’s information inside to tell you more of it’s interesting layout and history. Pioneer Village is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. They host occassional special events during which volunteers dress up in period costumes and provide hands on learning and education to visitors. Check the website for special events.
When looking for things to do with kids in Nashville Indiana, you must include treats! Included in all the great small businesses in town, there are also several great candy and ice cream shops. My kids loved our visit to The Candy Dish, Candy Emporium, Heritage Candy Store, Ice Cream Cottage, Miller’s Ice Cream House, and Fearrin’s Ice Cream and Yogurt Depot.
I did not particularly enjoy our visit to Nashville Fudge Kitchen. This place was PACKED with a line that looked an hour long to buy their multiple flavors of fudge and strange varieties of popcorn (I did really want to try the root beer float popcorn). I assume this is the best fudge in town by the line. If you want to pick up some fudge or popcorn from here, I recommend you stop here first thing in the day. The line was still twisting all the way through the store at closing time.
Speaking of closing time, Nashville shops tend to close at 5pm. There is one section of stores that prides itself on staying open until 9pm during October weekends. They host live music while you shop! Most attractions open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, followed by Saturdays.
If you plan a longer trip up, you may want to visit Nashville shops on a Tuesday or Thursday, and save Brown State Park, Zoo’Opolis, or indoor waterpark activities for the alternating days.
While we didn’t stay overnight in Brown County, there are a TON of really cute places to stay in town or right nearby. You have a choice of everything from camp sites to B&Bs, to cottages, inns, hotels, to a golf resort.
Next time my kids would really like to stay in Brown County State Park at the Abe Martin Lodge. Not only does it have a selection of rooms to cabin suites, it has so many things to do on site from bike trails, horseback riding, and a 12,000-square-foot indoor water park that includes a zero-entry pool, water slides, water sports, and a ten-person whirlpool with a waterfall.
On your way out of town, stop by the Bean Blossom Overlook on State Road 135 to see the changing foliage. Then, take a scenic drive to Bean Blossom Covered Bridge on your way out of town and take a quick photo. Interestingly, there are fewer than a thousand covered bridges left in the U.S. Bean Blossom is definitely worth the short detour. Bean Blossom Covered Bridge was originally built in 1880, but you can still drive through it today, one car at a time.
Related to 2020 and our current situation, all businesses required masks, and most of the crowd were wearing masks when we visited. We saw hand sanitizer posts spread around the town. However, we saw very little social distancing in most of the small shops and restaurants. You may want to visit during less busy times!
Surely, you see this and want to spend even more time in Brown County! Check out our post about Brown County State Park.