Things to do in Clarksville, Tennessee (with kids!): A Weekend Itinerary

If you’re on the hunt for a great family weekend getaway, see my itinerary of things to do in Clarksville, Tennessee. We visited with our 2 sons, and love how scenic it all is, and how family-friendly!

Situated along the Cumberland River, Clarksville, Tennessee is a bit of a hidden gem with a great blend of history, outdoor activities, and the classic “small town charm”.

Perfect as a weekend trip out of the Cincinnati area, Clarksville has attractions for all ages and interests. Check out our family weekend itinerary:

Things to do with kids in Clarksville Tennessee. Family friendly activities.

I’d like to thank Visit Clarksville, Tennessee  for sponsoring this article. As always, all opinions are my own! Also, some links in this post are affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something, I may earn a commission.

Clarksville General Info:

Home to the intriguing Dunbar Cave, a great downtown Farmer’s Market, Historic Collinsville Pioneer Settlement, and Fort Defiance Civil War Park, the city also has a historic, walkable and charming downtown.
With lots of parks and green space, it can be very picturesque.🌳I was also impressed with all the local restaurants, delicious southern cooking, and boutique shops.
One thing that really struck me was the true friendliness of its residents. 😊 I’m not exaggerating that in every place we went, we had strangers strike up conversation. It has the true definition of southern hospitality!
Clarksville is a 4.5 hour drive from the Cincinnati area, 3 hours from Louisville, 1.5 hours from Bowling Green, and only 1 hour from Nashville. 🚙

Our Clarksville Itinerary:

Day 1- Arrival & Distillery Dinner

Once at your hotel (we stayed at the Holiday Inn Clarksville -in a perfect location!), it’s time for dinner! We chose Old Glory Distilling Co. and Silo Park, and love its big outdoor area with fire pits, music, and children’s play area.
They also offer whiskey samples and distillery tours, which my husband of course took advantage of! We ordered some street corn appetizers, and admired the decor made from bourbon barrels.
old glory distilling company and silo park in clarksville tennessee. family friendly spot for dinner

Day 2- Parks, Museums & Shopping

Parlor Doughnuts We started our day out strong with breakfast here. They serve up some gourmet donuts with creative toppings. I got the “peanut butter cup”, my husband tried their “maple bacon” and my 3 year old had the “carnival”. 🍩parlor doughnuts in clarksville tennessee
McGregor Park & Riverwalk– Next up was this riverside playground, which has a 4 mile trail that goes along the Cumberland River.

There are scenic swings and benches as you go, and part of it goes to an abandoned rail bridge. A part of the trail also has public art and gardens. 🌳
While most of the trail was underwater when we went (recent flooding), we still walked part of it. We saw a huge fish jump out of the water, 🐟 and a few herons.
mcgregor park cumberland river walk
The river was much higher than usual during our visit!
Customs House Museum & Cultural Center– We headed to Clarksville’s historic and walkable downtown next, and towards a very recognizable building. The Customs House Museum has very unique architecture, and was built in 1898.customs house museum and cultural center in clarksville tennessee downtown
It’s a general history museum, and is very child-friendly. There are plenty of pieces there to keep the adults entertained too though!
They have a hands-on learning areas for kids, and our son LOVED the model train display. 🚂 He was also a fan of the fishing and puppet show activities, the bubble cave, 🫧 and arts and crafts room.customs house museum and cultural center kids area kids museum activities. things to do in clarksville tennessee
The Choppin’ Block, Inc. – We got our lunch to-go from this local spot, and WOW the staff here is so friendly! By the time we got our sandwiches, I felt like I had some new best friends.
Rotary Park– We took our deli sandwiches and headed here for a picnic lunch. 🧺 This park has plenty of green spaces, picnic tables, hiking trails, and a scenic creek where local kids come to swim and play. rotary park in clarksville tennessee. things to do with kids in clarksville.
We also went in the on-site Wade Bourne Nature Center to see their museum, butterfly garden, and nature discovery area. Our toddler loved the fish tank and all the interactive activities! 🦋
We also went to one of the playgrounds at the park. It is big and has fun tandem style swings which were perfect for our 9 month old!
Wade Bourne Nature Center in Rotary Park in Clarksville Tennessee Kids Area
playground at rotary park in clarksville tennessee. one of many great things to do there with kids.
Golly G’s Ice CreamPlaying at the park is hard work, so of course we had to swing by this ice cream spot to cool down. This place has dozens of hand-dipped ice cream flavors, and I’d say a big hit with the family! 🍨
golly gs ice cream in clarksville tennessee
Miss Lucille’s– If you love vintage finds, handmade art, collectibles and antiques, then this is the place for you! This is a huge space where local makers and artists (they have over 200 vendors) sell their items in individual stalls.  🛍️
Miss Lucille's Vintage and Antique Goods in Clarksville Tennessee
The Thirsty GoatWe finished out our day at this fun spot with handcrafted pizza, cream soda, and some delicious adult peach slushies.
We sat in the fenced in patio area in the back, and liked that there was space for kids to run around and play while waiting for the food. 🍕thirsty goat restaurant in clarksville tennessee. good place to go with kids.

Day 3- Markets, Caves and History 

The Downtown Market One of the best things to do in Clarksville is to come to this fantastic weekend farmer’s market. It’s easily the best one I’ve ever been to!
It’s a popular market, and definitely big. We arrived early (about 8:30am) and it was already filling up, but parking was luckily not an issue. They have live music, and a petting zoo, and then of course many stalls.
downtown market clarksville tennessee
Selling things like homemade bread, fresh veggies, artisan soaps, and crafts, this place is a feast for the eyes. They also have several food truck vendors. 🍴
We grabbed our breakfast from Bondi Bowls, and I had my first ever try of acai!clarksville tennessee weekend farmer's market or downtown market
Clarksville Starry Night– This mural, in the style of Van Gogh, is a fun and quick photo opp! The image features two of Clarksville’s iconic buildings. 🌃

clarksville tennessee starry night mural

Dunbar Cave State Park–  This park is perfect for adventure seekers, and to make it even more appealing, this cave is home to prehistoric Native American cave art from the 1300s (which is incredible to think about)!
The native Mississippian tribe believed the cave to be an actual portal to the underworld, and viewed it as a sacred place. 🦇
dunbar cave state park in clarksville tennessee
The surrounding park has 3 miles of hiking trails, wildlife spotting opportunities, and places to picnic. It’s a unique habitat as it is a combination of wetland and restored prairie. We had fun looking for herons and turtles out on the lake. 🐢
You can book guided tours of the cave during weekends in May, and daily during June-August. They offer them four times each day (9, 11, 1, 3), but be aware they are only for ages 5 and up.things to do in clarksville tennessee with kids - one of the best ideas is to visit dunbar cave
Wild Flour Bake ShopWe had lunch here, and loved that delicious home style cooking. Our servers were so kind, we definitely made some new friends by the end! My husband had some great avocado toast, 🥑and I had a pesto panini.wild flour bakery in clarksville tennessee
Historic Collinsville Pioneer SettlementThis place is a historic pioneer settlement on some seriously beautiful property. It “showcases life in the 19th century with 16 authentically furnished log structures on 40 rural acres”. 🪵
There are employees dressed in period attire doing a variety of demonstrations too. I got to learn how to use a spinning wheel, and we enjoyed some live fiddle music. 🎻If you’re a history lover like me, this place is a must! I think this was my favorite thing we did on this vacation.clarksville tennessee things to do with kids. historic collinsville pioneer settlement
Our toddler actually loved it here, and had so much fun exploring all the buildings. He was asking endless questions about the old farming tools, and loved playing games in the old school house!
old lantern at a cabin in historic collinsville pioneer settlement
♦Strawberry Alley & Franklin StreetAfter driving back into town, we decided to explore a bit of the historic downtown commons area.
These two streets are my favorite, and have fountains, public art, boutique shops and restaurants, and more. There is also Liberty Park and Imagination Playground nearby! 🛝
The Clarksville Collection– We popped in to this uniquely decorated boutique so I could get some souvenirs (I have a magnet from every trip I’ve been on!). This store has so much to look at, you definitely need to go inside.downtown boutique shop clarksville collection
Strawberry Alley Ale Works– We decided to have dinner here based on recommendations from all the locals we’d been talking to that day, and their food did not disappoint! 🍓
I got a burrito bowl, and my husband tried some traditional southern cooking. Their mason jar desserts were the best, and the staff were so friendly to our kids.
We walked around the charming streets at sunset afterwards, and wrapped up a great final evening during our visit to Clarksville, Tennessee!

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Things to do in Clarksville Tennessee on a weekend trip with kids. Family friendly things to do.

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