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. 

Things to do with kids in Nashville, Indiana

Have a ton of small business shops, restaurants, an amazing wildlife sanctuary, a great state park, and lots of family fun. 

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.


It is very popular in the fall but also really lovely in the spring and summer. If you want fewer people and lower fees on accommodations, go in spring or summer. They have the 4th Friday Art Walk (4-7pm) from April – October so don’t think that you HAVE to go in the fall. 

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. There are two lots for free parking near the Salvation Army building if you want to GPS that. 


We ate breakfast at Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls. Ooey Gooey has a few small tables inside and outside, so get there early or be prepared to wait a little if you’d like to eat outside the restaurant. Again, if it’s spring or summer, you’ll wait less everywhere than in the fall. 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. You can take them to go, we ordered some on the way home and took them home as a treat. You can top them with so many flavors from peach to German chocolate. 

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). 

If you want to grab something quick, there’s Trolly’s BBQ. It’s at the corner of Van Buren and Gould. We ordered a half size nachos to split (with delicious and generous amount of  pulled pork) and they had toppings to add to them. It was very filling. We sat upstairs on their deck under an umbrella with a breeze. It was perfect for something faster than a sit-down restaurant.  

Trolly’s BBQ


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 (price may have changed!). 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, The Naughty Dog Bookstore, 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. There are many artisan co-ops to explore for unique gifts. Plus, we enjoyed supporting small businesses while we shopped!

Naughty Dog Book Store


Next, we headed over to the Brown County Historic Center. 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. For younger children, there are items for playing and learning (pictured above). 

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. Ring the bell at the little school house!

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 occasional 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. 

More Treats

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.

There were also multiple places to get flavored popcorns and fudge if that’s your treat of choice. 
Things to do with kids in Nashville Indiana

More Tips

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, or indoor waterpark activities for the alternating days.

For a fee, you can also hop on the ‘train’ that rides around town and learn from the guide. And, there was a horse drawn wagon taking people around for rides as well. 

Things to do with kids in Nashville Indiana


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. We booked through Moondance Vacation homes and avoided the fees that AirBnB and VRBO tack on. Check them out. 

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.
Things to do with kids in Nashville Indiana


Surely, you see this and want to spend even more time in Brown County! Check out our post about Brown County State Park.

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