Traveling with Kids to Leiper’s Fork
Kid-Friendly Things to Do in & Around Leiper’s Fork
Leiper’s Fork is a family- friendly town with a variety of outdoor activities to partake in. However, the surrounding areas have a variety of things to do for children of all ages. There are a few areas in particular where you can easily spend several hours or even an entire day with the family:
Step back in time in Leiper’s Fork Village
- The village has been described as “easy like Sunday morning” and certainly earns that name. It is a small area but worth taking it easy one day with limited cell service and lots of together time. Take note that the majority of businesses are closed on Monday and Tuesday in the village.
- Almost all stores are easy to walk through with children but it’s the areas BEHIND the stores that really shine for kids. Most have back deck areas that overlook the creek where children can run around and play while caregivers take turns shopping.
- Fox & Locke for breakfast or lunch doesn’t have a set kids menu but their normal menu is easy for children (our son is a huge fan of their chicken fingers and fries). They also have high chairs. Try to catch it when they have live music as the kids love to sing and dance around.
- There is a grassy field just to the side of Fox & Locke that also runs behind the shops on that side of the street. It’s a place where they can run wild and free and you can grab a picnic table to enjoy your meal outside.
- Wines at the Fork and Leiper’s Fork Distillery are both family-friendly and dog-friendly and offers a way for adults to enjoy their beverages while the kids are occupied playing.
- Before heading home, be sure to stop for Ice cream and the playground at Leiper’s Fork market.
- If you are in town over the holidays, the Leiper’s Fork Christmas Parade is a must for kids. People come to the area from all over Middle Tennessee and beyond so if you do plan to go, get there early and plan to make a day of it. The parade usually begins in the early afternoon.
Explore Nature & the Great Outdoors
- Middle Tennessee and especially Leiper’s Fork are known for their rolling hills, greenery and trails.
- Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary is 300 acres of hills, forests, a creek, a pond, and meadows – plus, you guessed it… an owl sanctuary! Your little ones will love to explore here. Be sure to check for events as they offer them year round and are a local favorite.
- Walk, hike or bike on the many trails of the Natchez Trace Parkway Two of our favorites for families are Garrison Creek trail which is a relatively easy and short hike (located at marker 427.6) and Fall Hollow where you can take a paved trail to overlook a waterfall – and then a short hike to many more.
- Explore the Harpeth river by canoe or kayak. We suggest Foggy Bottom rentals. The owners are a gem and we always have a fun time. Their canoes are well cared for and the staff is friendly.We highly suggest not just showing up and booking well in advance! Don’t forget fido on this one – they’re pup friendly, too!
- Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is a must visit the whole family can enjoy. The gardens are beautiful and with a large childrens play area, the kids will be entertained for hours. Throughout the year, there are various exhibitions and events as well like family fun days, Harvest, Lights and more so be sure to check the calendar for those when visiting. Entry is paid and most events are an additional cost.
Stroll through Downtown Franklin
- This is a quaint small, downtown area about 20 minutes from Leiper’s Fork.
- You can grab any meal of the day here as well as snacks or pastries or ice cream in between. You can even have a seat at one of the other local bars during the day – most of them and the shops are kid- friendly, too. The entire area is stroller friendly, though some of the smaller shops may be difficult to navigate with a double or larger stroller.
- Midnight Sun Scavenger Hunt, developed by VisitFranklin is a family-friendly self-guided scavenger hunt. This is so cute to do with the little ones, offers a bit of history/ education and a nice way to explore Downtown Franklin. This is part of an entire Digital Passports Series. Visit the site to download the map + there are also free downloads for coloring pages and activity pages. If you finish the hunt, there’s a little prize at the end, too!
- Be sure to check the events calendar to see if your trip coincides with one of the many festivals held in Downtown Franklin. Main Street Festival, Pumpkin Festival & our absolute favorite, Dickens of a Christmas Festival are all held here annually and some of the best family events anywhere.
Spend a Day in Downtown Nashville
- Downtown Nashville is about 45-60 minutes from Leiper’s Fork, depending on traffic and time of day.
- A fun way to explore Downtown Nashville and hit some of our family-favorite spots is on the Old Town Trolley Hop On/ Hop Off Tour (our guests receive 10% off with code 849). While it isn’t necessary to explore our suggestions below, it makes it more convenient. The kids love the trolley ride since you don’t have to shuffle them in and out of the car.
- Nashville Public Library in Downtown (closest trolley stop would be Ryman Auditorium which is about a 5-7 minute walk). We suggest starting here as most days there are storytimes, puppet shows and other events in the morning. Even without an event, the kids floor is worth the visit with a train table, mini rock climbing wall and miniature Downtown area for the kids to explore.
- Honky Tonk by day (closets trolley stop would be Lower Broadway or Ryman Auditorium). The majority of Honky Tonks are family-friendly during the daytime. We suggest going either just before or around lunchtime during the week before things get a bit more wild. Our kiddo loves watching the live music and dancing to his favorite tunes at The Stage, Tootsies or any of the other favorites.
- Check out 5th & Broad Assembly Food Hall (also across from the Ryman) for lunch. Everyone can choose what they want and the casual atmosphere if perfect with kids in tow.
- Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park (Farmer’s Market stop on the trolley would be the closest). Burn off a ton of energy walking through the park which doubles as a history guide, leisurely walk. You’ll enjoy views of the Capitol in the background. If weather isn’t cooperating, head over to the Tennessee State Museum instead – or if time permits, do it, too. They have a great kids area and entry is free. If you want a drink, snack or sweet treat, the Nashville Farmers Market is right there, too and open 7-days a week.
Our Kid-Friendly Favorites
- View our favorite places to eat, drink, and have sweets with kids!
- Leiper’s Fork Library
- Noble Springs Dairy Farm
- Lucky Ladd Farm
- Cumberland Kayak & Adventure
- Franklin Hop Trolley Tour
- Adventure Science Center, Nashville
- Nashville Zoo
- Carter House, Franklin
- Lotz House Museum, Franklin
- Tennessee State Museum, Nashville
- Lane Motor Museum, Nashville
- Leiper’s Fork Market playground
- Pinkerton Park, Franklin
- We Rock the Spectrum (indoor) Kid’s Gym, Franklin
- Soar Adventure Tour, Franklin
Place to Stay:
- Lyric at Leiper’s Fork by Southbound Stays
Pediatric Urgent Care & Emergency Information:
While we certainly hope you do not need it but in the event that you do, we suggest:
- The nearest Emergency room to Leiper’s Fork (all ages) is at Williamson County Medical Center
- The nearest Children’s Hospital is Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital in Nashville
- For urgent care, we recommend any of the Vanderbilt After Hours Clinics (the closest location is the Spring HIlls location)