Fun abounds for families and kids
Family time often means play time in Williamson County, with many activities kids of all ages enjoy. There are recreation centers, youth sports, library programs and parks, plus dining and shopping options that especially cater to families and kids.
One of the newest attractions is Kings Bowl America, which opened in 2016 in CoolSprings Galleria with 16 bowling lanes and a four-lane private rental bowling room to host everything from kids’ birthday parties to grownup events at night.
Work on Your Short Game
For golf enthusiasts, the Nashville Golf & Athletic Club in Brentwood hosted the first Nashville Golf Open in summer 2016.The PGA-affiliated event will be held annually at least through 2020. The mid-June tournament is a Web.com Tour stop and benefits Franklin-based First Tee of Middle Tennessee, which promotes golf and the game’s life-enhancing values, with an emphasis on teaching youth and the disadvantaged.
Also in Williamson County, Golf House Tennessee and its on-site The Little Course at Conner Lane (a nine-hole, par 3 venue) is situated next door to Vanderbilt Legends Club. The Little Course provides a learning environment for kids and is also a favorite practice venue for some of the area’s top players, including the Belmont and Vanderbilt University golf teams.
“Holes can be set up as short as 65 yards and as long as 224 yards, and the course can be played in 90 minutes or less,” says Scott Flynn, Golf House Tennessee director. “We are open daily from March through December and even offer a Golf House Tennessee Learning Center with world-class coaching and development programs for children and adults.”
Williamson County also has top training facilities, including places like D1 Sports Training and the Franklin Family YMCA. D1 provides clients with full-scale training and coaching regimens for a variety of sports, and has helped train NFL players such as Steve McNair, Tim Tebow and Michael Oher.
Franklin Family YMCA is part of YMCA of Middle Tennessee, which also includes two facilities in Brentwood. The Franklin center completed a renovation in February 2017 that included upgrades to the lobby, the youth development area (for ages 6 months to 6), and another area that accommodates youths from 6 to 12 years old.
“We are a fitness facility and are bringing in programs like dance, crafts, arts, music and more,” says Drew Freeman, Franklin Family YMCA executive director. “In addition, we started an After Breast Cancer program for women in Williamson County. Our YMCA is all about caring for the body as well as the spirit and mind.”
Other Fun Activities
Also in Williamson County are the Franklin Farriers, a baseball team that is part of the Tennessee Association of Vintage Ball men’s league. Teams throughout Middle Tennessee participate in vintage spring and summertime baseball games that mimic how the games were played in the 1860s.
For nature lovers, Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary is a 160-acre preserve in northern Williamson County that has 10 miles of hiking trails, two ponds, a creek and several education programs.
“We welcomed a record 11,000 visitors in 2016, which is about the maximum we can take because we are a nature sanctuary and not a park,” says Mary Catherine Mousourakis, Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary development director. “Besides the land, we have wildlife attractions like six non-releasable owls, a corn snake, salamander, turtles and a sassy millipede named Maxwell.”
Outdoor events include a guided Free Hike Day every second Saturday of the month, while the first Tuesday and Wednesday of every month is a Knee-High Naturalists adventure outing for kids ages 3-5 and their parents.
“We have a summer Music in the Meadow concert series as well as a Sustainable Tastes workshop where people learn about wines,” Mousourakis says. “Our staff of four full-timers, two part-timers and a fleet of volunteers oversee a lot of activities.”