The state capital of Tennessee is a happening place to celebrate a birthday. Famed for its vibrant music and entertainment scene, country and western is Nashville’s specialty, although other performing arts are also strong in the city. Whether you are young or old, Nashville offers a whole host of activities, attractions and venues that will help make your birthday celebration a special one to remember. .
Grand Ole Opry
Widely known as “Music City” Nashville has long been famed for top quality country music. The Grand Ole Opry (opry.com) is the city’s most popular attraction and is ideal for a birthday night out, especially if you are a visitor to Nashville. The world’s longest running live radio program doubles as a stage show showcasing old country legends as well as up-and-coming artists. At the time of publication, shows are held every Friday and Saturday night annually, as well as Tuesdays, March through December. The theater seats 4400. Tickets are available for purchase online. Ask about group discounts if you have over 20 people attending. Consider a package that lets you really soak up history with a backstage tour of 19 themed dressing rooms. Tours can be taken during the day or post-show.
Honky Tonk Bar Crawl
Nashville is littered with honky tonk bars where you and your guests will be entertained in true Southern style. Lower Broadway features a cluster of the country-themed drinking establishments. Most start cranking the music mid-morning and don't stop until the wee small hours. Cover charges are rare so it's possible to wander around until you find a spot that you like. Book ahead if you want to sit down for dinner. Popular spots are the Wildhorse Saloon, (wildhorsesaloon.com) where you can eat, drink and partake in free dance lessons and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge (tootsies.net), with its distinctive purple exterior. Other well-known honky tonks on Broadway include Rippy’s Smoking Bar & Grill (rippysbarandgrill.com) and The Stage on Broadway (thestageonbroadway.com).
The Tennessee Performing Arts Center (tpac.org) in Nashville features a range of entertainment, from popular musicals through to live comedy shows, ideal for a birthday night out. The center is the home of the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, the Nashville Opera and the Nashville Ballet as well as touring productions. A calendar of events is viewable at the center's website, while tickets can be purchased online or at the TPAC box office downtown. Lovers of orchestral music may enjoy a birthday trip to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center (nashvillesymphony.org), home of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra performs more than 100 classical, pop and special concert events each season. Choral, cabaret, jazz and blues are also presented at the Center's Laura Turner Concert Hall, one of the few concert halls in the U.S. to feature natural interior light through special soundproof windows. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.
Kids' Birthday Ideas
Birthday boys and girls are spoilt for choice in Nashville, Tennessee. The Adventure Science Center (adventuresci.com) has a planetarium show as well as interactive exhibits while Grand Old Golf and Go Karting (grandoldgolf.net) gives youngsters a real thrill. The Nashville Zoo (nashvillezoo.org) has special party packages, or kids can enjoy bouncing around on giant inflatables at BounceU (bounceu.com). The Music Playhouse (themusicplayhouse.com) offers parties perfect for younger children interested in music and movement, while older kids will likely enjoy a laser tag-themed party at Laser Quest (laserquest.com).
From New Zealand and now freelancing in London, Alice Hudson began her writing career in 2004, specializing in health and fitness, lifestyle and personal finance. Her work has appear in the "Hawke's Bay Today" daily newspaper and "The Herald on Sunday." Hudson attained a Bachelor of Arts and diploma in journalism from the University of Canterbury.