On weekends when I know our grandchildren are coming to visit, I love to plan a fun outing to enjoy with them.

And this weekend with the grandgirls coming for a sleepover, I am in luck because there are so many free festivals to choose from. Plus, there is a unique outdoor event that is not free but looks interesting for outdoorsy families.

We haven’t made a decision yet on our weekend itinerary, but I am so happy to have so many wonderful child-friendly (and affordable) options to choose from. Here are some details:

The Nashville Earth Day Festival is back from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 23 at the Centennial Park bandshell. The free festival, which celebrates the environment and Mother Earth, will feature an entertainment stage with music and yoga. There will also be Kidsville activities, a family Storybook Walk and local food vendors.

Plus, there will be educational exhibits where you can explore recycled, reused, up-cycled, organic and all-natural products from sustainable local growers and makers, as well as exhibits manned by nonprofits and government agencies.

The Nashville Tree Foundation, through a partnership with Amazon, will distribute 500 trees on a first-come, first- served basis. The trees include red maple, white oak, sweetbay magnolia, American yellowwood and flowering cherry. Details: https://www.nashvilleearthday.org/

Pioneer Days at Cannonsburgh Village in Murfreesboro is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 23. This step-back-in time festival, which is in its 46th year, includes handmade crafts, hayrides, music by the Home Sweet Home Band and the Grasstime Band, and clogging by the Mid-State Cloggers.

There will also be art for sale from the Murfreesboro Art League, the Riverchase Posse will be on hand in its Western attire, and there will be blacksmithing demonstrations, a car show, food trucks and storytelling. Admission is free.

Historic Cannonsburgh, which represents about 100 years of early Tennessee life from the 1830s to the 1930s, is at 312 S. Front St. in Murfreesboro. Within the village is a gristmill, a schoolhouse, a telephone operator’s house, the University House, the Leeman House, a museum, a caboose, the wedding chapel, a doctor’s office, a general store, a blacksmith’s shop and the “World’s Largest Cedar Bucket.” Self-guided tours are always free. For more information call 615-890-0355 or email shodges@murfreesborotn.gov.

• The 38th annual Main Street Festival in Franklin is April 23-24. This is a free arts and crafts festival with more than 150 artisans along with family entertainment and food in downtown Franklin. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The festival, which attracts as many as 120,000 attendees, has been listed among the top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. It includes a Kid Zone, Pet Zone (Mutts on Main), beer garden and whiskey lounge. Details: 615 591-8500 or see https://williamsonheritage.org/event/mainstreet2022/

• Montgomery Bell Academy will host its 12th annual ENDADA, a student-run music and arts and crafts festival, which will feature emerging and established artists, live music, improv, and food trucks and chefs. The festival is free and open to the community. It is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 23 on the MBA campus at 4001 Harding Road. Details: https://www.endada.org

• The fifth annual Sylvan Park Puppy Play Day from noon to 6 p.m. April 24 at Richland Park is a free pop-up puppy event with dog-centric vendors, off-leash dog parks, adult beverages and, of course, hot dogs. Grab your pups and head to the park for this event, which is sponsored by Daddy Dogs and the Doug the Pug Foundation. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Doug the Pug Foundation. Details: Dougthepugfoundation.org

• One more weekend event to consider on April 23 is a “Budding Branches” community festival that is a fundraiser for A New Leaf, which is an all-outdoors preschool with campuses in West Nashville and Bells Bend. The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the preschool’s 28-acre 7520 Charlotte Pike campus and includes a chance to meet the school’s goats, fort building, a group hike, live music, face painting, drum circles, rocket flying and a falconry demonstration.

Admission is kinda pricey at $20 for adults and $10 for children in advance (or $25 and $15 at the gate), but the event sounds interesting. Details: www.anewleafnashville.org

What a good weekend for our grandgirls to come visit! No matter what we decide to do, I know we will have fun.

Stay cheap!

Mary Hance, who has four decades of journalism experience in the Nashville area, writes a weekly Ms. Cheap column. She also appears on Thursdays on “Talk of the Town” on NewsChannel5. Reach her at mscheap@mainstreetmediatn.com and follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/mscheap.

Recommended for you