Where to Go on a Date in Nashville This Spring
For everything from first impressions to anniversary celebrations, these dates are guaranteed to impress.
Like the flowers in the spring, romance blooms bright this time of year after a cold winter of being cooped up at home. Nashville offers so many opportunities for fun, from cheering on sports teams to experiencing art and music together to just getting out in the great outdoors for some fresh air and exercise. All you have to do is find somebody to enjoy it with and commit to taking advantage of everything Music City has to offer.
Downtown and East Nashville
Whether you’re a newbie to town and want to discover a new favorite restaurant or know the name of every sous chef in East Nashville, there’s something to learn on one of Walk, Eat Nashville’s insider food tours. With well-connected guides leading different itineraries in downtown and East Nashville, you’ll feel like a VIP at every stop as chefs prepare special treats for you.
The Country Music Hall of Fame is one of those attractions that locals forget about unless an out-of-town visitor asks for a tour. Then it’s like, “Why don't I come here more often?” You can remedy that by taking an afternoon to discover all the new exhibits at the museum, including American Currents, which showcases the latest hitmakers and their impact on the genre as well as specific exhibits dedicated to Florida Georgia Line, Whisperin’ Bill Anderson, and Martina McBride.
It’s tough to beat a night of music at Ascend Amphitheater, surrounded by the twinkling lights that draw the Nashville skyline. While the acts often skew to golden oldies making victory lap tours, this year’s lineup also includes more current performers like Jack White, Leon Bridges, Haim and St. Paul & the Broken Bones. And there’s nothing wrong with chilling out with some wine and listening to Sting run through his prodigious catalog of hits.
The dramatic and musical performances at the modern OZ Arts complex in West Nashville are usually designed to drag you at least a little bit out of your comfort zone, but that’s how you grow, right? March 24 - 27 they’ll be staging a performance from a group of performance artists from the UK and Germany called Gob Squad as they put on a wild re-creation of an obscure Andy Warhol movie that involves a lot of audience participation. Later this spring on April 29 - 30, they’ll welcome a Cuban contemporary dance troupe named Malpaso to show you what’s been happening in the arts world of the Caribbean nation.
Sip your way around a beer fest or two
Spring is the time to get outside and sample some brews with a few hundred of your friends at outdoor beer festivals. The local favorite East Nashville Beer Fest returns to East Park on April 9 with dozens of local and regional breweries sampling their wares along with food trucks, live music, and a ton of fun. On April 30, the Bacon, Eggs and Kegs fest makes a stop at First American Park in Germantown for a midday boozy brunch event featuring brunchy food stations, Bloody Marys, local beers and ciders, bands and outdoor games.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, Nashville has turned into a bit of a comedy mecca, with open mic nights popping up all over town and some local performers like Nate Bargatze and Josh Black blowing up on the internet and on tour. Both of them will be part of the Nashville Comedy Festival April 18 - 24 as part of a series of performances at Zanies, the Ryman, and the Opry House and Bridgestone Arena featuring local and national comics. Whether you’re looking for a comic who works clean or the raunchiest jokes imaginable, there will be something to make you laugh til you cry.
Cheekwood in Bloom showcases the amazing colorful floral displays as the flowers and trees at the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens show off their spring finery. More than a quarter million bulbs have been planted to create amazing artistic displays of flowers spread around the verdant grounds, and weekends feature live musical performances and educational seminars to help develop your own green thumb.
Deep down, Nashville is still a songwriters’ town, and Tin Pan South brings together some of the most talented songsmiths in the world for five days of performances at various sized venues around the city from March 29 until April 2. You can buy tickets to individual shows, but the power move is to buy the entire festival pass which offers priority entry to every show. Load up your Uber account and party like a VIP all weekend long.
After a multi-million dollar renovation, the Goo Goo Shop on 3rd Avenue has reopened as a must-see (and eat) destination. The walls of the new shop are covered with switches and levers that give off a definite Wonka vibe, and displays tell the stories of the history of America’s first combination candy bar, still a cult favorite. Kiosks allow you to design your own custom Goo Goo Premium bars for the talented confectionists to whip up, and you can enjoy a boozy milkshake while you wait.
Explore some of Nashville’s lesser-known museums
We’re big fans of the famous museums of Nashville like the Country Music Hall of Fame, the new National Museum of African American Music and the Frist Art Museum, but don’t miss out on some of Nashville’s more obscure collections. Make a day of visiting the huge collection of exotic vehicles at the Lane Motor Museum, discover the sidemen who made the legendary music at the Musicians Hall of Fame and more than you ever wanted to know about “The Dukes of Hazzard” at Cooter’s Place.
Embrace your inner-Lebowski
If your last bowling experience was in a dingy alley with questionable rental shoe hygiene practices, you definitely need to discover what modern bowling venues have to offer. At Brooklyn Bowl, you’ll find one of the best music venues in town along with first come/first served lanes that can be shared by up to eight bowlers. Popular new venue Eastside Bowl is a lot like Brooklyn Bowl, except in East Nashville, which come to think of it...
If you tried to drive or ride share between all the great breweries in Nashville, you’d probably end up, arrested, broke or both. Fortunately, Music City Brew Hop has the answer, with an all-day hop on/hop off trolley service running every hour between many of the city’s best spots for craft drafts. Just remember where you got on for your first stop or you might never find your way home.
Created as an early pandemic era way for patrons to enjoy art while maintaining social distancing, the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit has morphed into a franchise with various shows traveling around the country to delight fans of the Dutch master with trippy multimedia presentations of his artwork. Virtual reality puts you in the middle of the paintings, accompanied by music to stimulate more of your senses.
Take in some games with your local sports teams
Nashville’s spring sports teams are easy to love. The scrappy Predators are a young team that’s always entertaining to watch as they fight to make the playoffs in the NHL. In only their third season, the Nashville SC soccer club has emerged as one of the favorites to go far in Major League Soccer. A switch to the Western Conference brings a whole new group of visiting teams to root against, and the May 1 opening of their new home, the largest soccer-only stadium in the country, should be a real hootenanny.
Even if you tell yourself that you have no art talents at all, you like to drink wine, don’t you? A couple of glasses and classes into it at Dabble Events, and you won’t care at all whether your “happy little trees” actually look like angry bushes. The supportive attitude of the instructors makes any class a treat, and you’ll get to go home with a new creation to hang on your wall. Or in the back of the coat closet. No judging here.
East Nashville and West Nashville
With two locations, you’re never too far away from one of Climb Nashville’s rock-climbing gyms. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert climber, you’ll find all sorts of fun challenges as you scale the multiple routes up walls studded with grips and footholds. Safety is job one, so staff will be happy to help instruct you on how to safely belay your date in case of a slip up. Really, shouldn’t all dates start with all parties signing a waiver?
Keep your eye on the calendar for great events
Finding fun things to do is deceptively difficult -- even in a wild city like this one. That's why we keep a regularly updated, comprehensive calendar of the best possible events, activities, and things to do in Nashville. Some of your best date ideas will inevitably come from there.
Since TopGolf opened up across the river from downtown, it has been packed with golfers of all abilities trying to hit a round ball with a crooked stick into large illuminated targets spread out in front of them on a huge field. Whether you’re successful at that or not, you can always enjoy the energy of the crowd, some surprisingly good food and drink, and any playful teasing that comes with it. They’ve added a new Angry Birds-inspired game if you’d rather fight pigs than chase birdies.
Blend your own bottle
If you're both whiskey lovers, why not share your ardor by taking part in a really special experience at Pennington Distilling Co.? Every second Tuesday, small groups come together to actually blend their own custom bottles of their choice of bourbon, rye, or Tennessee whiskey. After tasting through samples from four barrels of each type of brown liquor, master distillers and blenders will take you through the process of creating your own blend of up to four whiskeys. While you enjoy a snack or take a distillery tour, the experts will take your choices and make a personally engraved bottle of your choice to take home. You can even purchase extra bottles if you want to show off your talents as a blender to your bourbon buddies. Nashville Barrel Company has also added a unique bottle pick program where spirits lovers can taste from four specially selected single barrels and pick their favorite to bottle and take home.
See the city's finest murals and Instagram the hell out of your relationship
From the angel wings in the Gulch to the Welcome to Nashville sign on the side of Reese Witherspoon’s building in 12 South, Nashville is a selfie city, so set up your own personal scavenger hunt of some of the most iconic street art in town. You’ll also discover that most of them are within a block of a decent bar, so make a drinking game of it!
Take a tour of the newest Nashville treasure
Lots of cities have thought about dedicating a museum to the impact of African-American performers on all sorts of musical genres, but Nashville was the first place to actually put a shovel in the ground and built one. The National Museum of African-American Music is a magnificent addition to Lower Broad with multiple galleries highlighting the role of Black musicians in art from the 17th century to today. It really is a marvel, and you should immediately add it to your to-do list.
Although it might be easier with a bigger group, the Escape Game will let couples play by themselves as they attempt to solve the clues within the allotted time to be released from a locked room, or you can take part in their online virtual challenges. Think of how proud your date will be of your teamwork and chemistry together—if you manage to figure it out.
Take a loop around the lake
If you've never had the pleasure, Radnor Lake State Park is a pristine natural area right in the middle of a Nashville suburb. Multiple trail options range from a flat and peaceful stroll around the lake to fairly rigorous trails that take you up on top of the rides for some breathtaking views.