Crank up the Monkees’ “Last Train to Clarksville” as you roll into this Tennessee town. Fittingly, it’s not hard for the kids to get their groove on Clarksville. This friendly town on the Cumberland River has plenty of family fun to enjoy.
Clarksville has plenty of outdoor space for kids to explore. Bring bikes or skates to travel the paved trails of the Clarksville Greenway (cityofclarksville.com). The level trail at the main trailhead is good for less experienced riders and skaters, but adventurous kids will want to veer right from the parking lot to enjoy the not-too-steep hills on the more challenging trail. In the summer, families flock to the swimming pool at the Sawn Lake Sports Complex (cityofclarksville.com). Kids can play on the playground, fish in the 10-acre pond or play soccer on the field at Liberty Park (cityofclarksville.com) at the Clarksville Marina. Download a butterfly or dragonfly checklist from the Dunbar Cave State Park (tn.gov) website, and encourage your kids to identify as many winged creatures as they can at the park. Stop at the playground so the kids can burn some energy as you stroll the 2-mile boardwalk at the Cumberland River Walk (cityofclarksville.com).
Learn About the Past
Young train lovers will be enthralled by the model trains at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center (customshousemuseum.org). Look for Thomas the Tank Engine and the Hogwarts Express among the collection. Older kids might be interested in the museum’s exhibits chronicling Clarksville’s history while younger kids will enjoy hands-on arts projects during the museum’s special family programs throughout the year. At the Fort Defiance Civil War Park and Interpretive Center (cityofclarksville.com), kids can learn more about life in the Union-occupied South during the Civil War. Clarksville was captured by the Union forces early in the war and became a destination for runaway slaves -- a fact that will interest kids studying the Underground Railroad.
Kids climb, slide, bounce and crawl their way through the three-level indoor playground at Kids-N-Play (kidsnplay.com). Kids can pretend to be shopkeepers, doctors and other workers in the pretend-play Kids Town or hone their shooting skills in the Canon Blaster arena. The second Saturday of the month is Lego play day at the Clarksville-Montgomery County Library (mcgtn.org). The library also has story times and occasional special kids’ programming. Check the online calendar for upcoming events.
See a Show
At the Roxy Regional Theatre (roxyregionaltheatre.org), shows such as “The Little Mermaid Jr.,” “Peter Pan” and “Disney’ High School Musical” have kid-appeal. If your child falls in love with the spotlight, sign her up for classes at the theater’s school of the arts -- at the end of the session, she’ll be part of an on-stage performance. In addition to the usual movies, catch screenings of ballet and opera performances at Clarksville’s Carmike Cinemas (carmike.com).
- City of Clarksville: Clarksville Greenway
- City of Clarksville: List of Parks
- Tennessee State Parks: Dunbar Cave State Park
- Cumberland River Walk
- Customs House Museum and Cultural Center
- City of Clarksville: Civil War Park and Interpretive Center
- Clarksville-Montogomery Public Library
- Roxy Regional Theatre
- Carmike Cinemas: Events and Arts at Carmike
- Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images