As summer trudges on and the hot, steamy, humid weather has made itself at home for the time being in the Middle Tennessee area, you can say the “Dog Days” of summer have officially arrived and settled in. While some complain that it’s the most uncomfortable time of the year, we challenge you to use the “Dog Days” as a chance to get out and enjoy the area. Sunny skies, summer hours and Middle Tennessee at your fingertips? We can think of many worse situations to find yourself in. Here are some of our favorite ways to get out and enjoy this time of year.
KAYAKING OR RAFTING
There are very few things that feel better on the hottest of days than the cool temperatures of our local rivers. The gorgeous views you get while traveling along them by canoe, kayak or raft are a nice added bonus. The Cumberland River offers many opportunities for enjoying the river whether you live in downtown Nashville, Clarksville, or out east. Many parks and picnic areas line this river. Duck River is the most popular in the area, thanks to its calm waters and campgrounds dotted along its banks. For those just south of Nashville, the Harpeth River is an incredibly scenic and slow moving river perfect for beginners. Check out SkyAboveUs for their impressive list of rental companies and boat ramps.
SEE HOW THINGS WORK
The Dog Days of summer get a bad rap for being the “lethargic” and “lazy” days of summer. But nothing is lazy about taking advantage of some good ol’ AC and learning how things work at Middle Tennessee’s amazing science and discovery centers. Adventure Science Center is a staple of Nashville offering interactive exhibits on everything from space, natural disasters, and the human body. While mainly aimed at the younger crowd – there is fun to be had for all ages with an impressive lineup of events for adults, too! The Discovery Center is located in Murfreesboro and while there are events for adults, this is truly a mecca of interactive activities for the little ones and serves as the area’s children’s museum. The Discovery Center has everything from the five senses, to shadow play and fire trucks to explore.
CONCERT IN THE PARK
One of the best parts about summer days? The breezy summer nights that follow. Add in a little live music while lounging in the park and you’ve just gotten your summer night taken to the next level. To start, there’s Live On the Green, Nashville’s free outdoor music festival taking place Aug.10, 17 and 24, plus a three-day run over Labor Day Weekend on Aug. 31 – Sept. 2. Musicians Corner is a classic in Centennial Park with free concerts on Friday nights and Saturdays. Then we have Jazz on the Cumberland which takes place one Sunday each month during the summer, Murfreesboro Public Square hosts Friday Night Live, along with Music In the Vines at Arrington Vineyard and Pickin’ In the Park at Spring Hill just to name a few of the others. Try a quick Google search find live outdoor music close to your neck of the woods.
EXPLORE YOUR COMMUNITY’S PAST
Nashville has a storied past, and whether you’re new to town or want to brush up on a few old tales, there are many options to sneak in a little history in your summer. For a broad look back in time, there is the Tennessee State Museum. If you want to dig deeper into specific groups of people and time periods and you have Travellers Rest, The Hermitage, and Belmont Mansion. Looking for a little more emphasis on the “music” of Music City? There is always the fan favorite – Country Music Hall of Fame and the beloved Johnny Cash Museum.
NASHVILLE SOUNDS GAME
The sun goes down and the batters are up. Cheap tickets and a fun, relaxed atmosphere make the Nashville Sounds games a must-do to soak up those summer nights. Games are frequent and tickets can be bought at the gate, so there are no excuses on this one! Pro tip: Check their calendar for different promotions and theme nights to help you decide which nights you want to go.