It is summertime in Middle Tennessee again, which means kids are out of school! There are all kinds of things offered for kids in Murfreesboro and surrounding areas. Most of these are targeted towards younger kids, but all have something to offer older kids as well. All are within 20-25 minutes of downtown Murfreesboro, with the exception of the Nashville zoo. These are both mom tested and kid approved. From parks to bounce places, your kids should never be bored in the summer.

1. The Splash Pad

Our top summer time favorite is the splash pad at Gregory Mill Park located in Smyrna, Tennessee. The times of operation vary, so please check their website before going. This is targeted to all age kids, from toddler to grade school. Think of it like a huge concrete pad with tons of water spouts, water buckets being dumped and sprinklers. Seriously, whoever came up with it is genius! There are certain times of day that it is absolutely packed, and there are other times when there is no one there. So far, the best time we have found is right when they open because there are only a handful of kids there. The kids love it and we’ve already been four times since they opened this year. We’ve never spent less than an hour there, so make sure your kids are covered in sun screen. Best part? There’s only one way in and one way out. No little escapees here! Oh, another great thing, it’s free!

2. Bounce U

Bounce U of Murfreesboro is definitely a top spot for the kids. It’s located right off Middle Tennessee Boulevard, so it’s a central location to anywhere in Murfreesboro. This is an indoor facility with at least 10 different bounce houses and slides. For two hours, the kids get to jump their little hearts out. From past experience, the time frame given is more than enough time for the kids to get tired and ready for nap. One great thing is that they offer different bounce sessions, so you never need to be afraid of your kids being trampled by older kids. Some of the different sessions are: open bounce for all ages, preschool bounce for age 7 and under, home school bounce, cosmic glow bounce and even a parents’ night out! They do offer a summer pass for kids to bounce all summer and discounts for siblings. You can find all the pricing and times on their website.

3. The Discovery Center

Another top spot is The Discovery Center in Murfreesboro! This is located right off Broad Street. This is a two-story building with all kinds of neat activities for all different ages. Just to give you a few awesome details, there is a two-story slide, a little pretend grocery store, an interactive water station, an outside play area and even an old fashioned fire engine. They do have different themes throughout the year, so definitely check out their website before going. One of the best reasons to go here is because it offers education in a fun way. I would suggest getting a membership because the daily pass could rack up if your kids really love this place. Directions, hours, themes and pricing can be found on their website.

4. Barfield Crescent Park

If you’re looking for a park, Barfield Crescent makes the list. There are different playgrounds for different ages, open fields, Frisbee golf course, baseball fields and more. The reason why this is one of the best parks around is because of how clean and open the area is. There are usually very few people at this park, so it is not as crowded as others. The little kid’s playground is all fenced in with seating inside the fence. There is an awesome walking trail and has a great section shaded by trees. Throughout the year, there are many different carnivals and events happening here. Another perk of this park is the Wilderness Station. They offer different educational programs and events. While all public parks do close at dusk, the Wilderness station has their own operating hours.

5. Nashville Zoo

Lastly, if you haven’t been to the Nashville Zoo, pack your family and a lunch and go. This does take about an hour to get to, depending on what part of Murfreesboro you’re coming from, but it is definitely worth the ride. They have over 25 exhibits, from reptiles to mammals, even birds. One of the neatest exhibits is the kangaroo exhibit. You can go inside their enclosure and even pet the kangaroos if they’re close enough! The zoo also offers a huge playground for the kids. Multiple slides, nets, swings, swing bridges and even a little padded area for the younger kids. This is another place that I highly suggest getting a membership. If you plan on going more than once, the membership pays for itself. A few awesome perks about being a member is you get invited to member only events, a small discount on food and items from the gift shop, free parking and discounts to other zoos and aquariums. Their hours vary by the season, so again check their website before going.

With all of these things offered in Middle Tennessee, there is no reason for your kid to be bored this summer. Parks are always free, splash pad is free and everything on this list, excluding the zoo, is less than $10 a person. If you decide to get the memberships, it would be even less than that. Making sure your child has a fun packed summer and remember that even educational trips don’t have to break the bank! Just be prepared for it so sound like a broken record when they start asking to go back!