I’ll be honest– August is typically my least favorite month in Nashville. Summer’s shine has worn off, the heat has settled in, the kids have gone back to school so you can’t even leave town for a fun vacation, and it’s just plain hot and humid and sweaty and gross.
And that makes it a perfect time for Nashville Shores.
I’ve heard mixed reviews about Nashville Shores from my friends. I went with my stepdaughters a few times and enjoyed it, but that was years ago– It was time to check it out again with our second round of kids and find out how our local waterpark had withstood the test of time.
The verdict? Still fun… and still worth visiting at least once a summer if you live in Nashville. But there are definitely some things you need to know before you go.
First off: the ticket prices. Nashville Shores is expensive, given the size of the park– and this is a major complaint I hear from locals. Regular admission for adults is $36.99 and admission for seniors and kids 52 inches and under is $28.99. Kids 2 and under are free.
That said, you’re crazy to pay full price for tickets. Buy your tickets online and you’ll get your tickets for $26.99 per ticket– ten dollars off the gate price. Come after four (the park is open until eight pm) and you’ll pay $21.99. If you don’t live far away and think you’ll go three or more times in a season, buy season passes before next summer rolls around. Season passes are $64.99 each and include two free tickets for friends as well as a book of discount coupons for waterpark concessions and more. Once you’ve got your tickets, be prepared to pay another $9 for parking, plus $10 for a locker to keep your things inside.
Now that we’ve got the cost out of the way, the real key to making Nashville Shores worth your while is to go midweek, when attendance is lowest, and to get there the moment the gates open. Ride the most popular waterslides right away, before lines have formed.
We did this all wrong– We got there on a Friday afternoon at around one and the place was PACKED. Lines for most rides went all the way down to the bottom of the structure and it was tough finding beach chairs. If I were going to do it again during the summertime, I’d go on a Tuesday or Wednesday and start early in the day, rather than late.
I would also recommend packing a lunch in a cooler to save money. Once you’re ready to eat, you can get a re-entry bracelet at the gate and head out to the parking lot, where there are several picnic tables in a shaded area.
As for the park itself, there are eight water slides, an interactive children’s play area, a large wave pool and a lazy river. It’s certainly not the best waterpark I’ve ever been too, but it’s not bad for a local attraction and I can promise that your kids will enjoy it. Also, lines for most of the rides actually move pretty quickly, which helps a little when you’re stuck in a long one.
If all else fails, put your kids underneath this ginormous bucket (which my son LOVED) and watch them get knocked down by the force of the water. That’s always good for a few laughs.
Oh! One more important tip– Be sure and wear water shoes, The pavement gets really hot. My daughter’s tender feet were sore for a few days after our trip.
Nashville Shores will be open seven days a week until August 14th (Homeschoolers can get a special deep discount rate if they go as a group between August 1 and 14th), and on weekends until September 11th. Once school starts, I think the crowds will go WAY down- August and September seem like an optimal time to go.
Got any Nashville Shores tips or opinions you’d like to share? Have at it in the comments!