Things to Know About Centennial Park

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photo by Jim Wood

Located at 2500 West End Avenue, Centennial Park sits on 132 acres in Nashville.

As you drive down West End Avenue, you can’t miss the Parthenon. It’s one of the main attractions at the park. Listed on the National Register for Historic Places, there’s lots to do at this park. Centennial Park is owned by the city of Nashville and managed by Metro Parks and Recreation Department. Centennial Park Conservancy serves as the nonprofit support group of the park and Parthenon in a public-private partnership with Metro Parks. Hours for the park are dawn until 11 pm.

Here are a few things to enjoy at the park.

  • Enjoy the one mile walking trail.
  • Visit the Sunken Gardens-it’s a small maintained garden area of the park. It’s also the location of the new Taylor Swift bench the City of Nashville recently placed.
  • Take a look at Lake Watauga. It was created in 1897 and named after the first settlers of Tennessee. There will often be ducks at the lake to visit, and springtime brings loads of butterflies. On the island, in the middle of the lake, is a beehive – you can buy the honey at the gift shop on site.
  • Look inside at the Parthenon – The Nashville Parthenon stands as the centerpiece of Centennial Park and Nashville’s iconic landmark. The building is the only full-scale replica of the Athenian original and includes an art museum and 42-foot statue of Athena. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for youth ages 4-17.
  • Enjoy the playground – The playground in Centennial Park is surrounded by trees that offer a large and shady place for families to explore and play in a beautiful park setting.
  • Bring your four-legged friend to the dog park – Centennial Dog Park is located across from the main area of the park on 31st Avenue North on Parthenon Avenue and Park Plaza with separate areas for small and large breed dogs to socialize, play, and explore in the fenced area.
  • Centennial Park features a 19-acre great lawn that was restored in 2020 with an underground drainage system. Two 20-foot wide pedestrian promenades were introduced on each side of the lawn to provide more space for pedestrians and enable visitors to travel from the park’s West End Avenue entrance to the Parthenon.
  • The Pavilion is located near the corner of 28th Avenue North and Poston Avenue and available to rent. This covered shelter is an ideal spot to reserve for family gatherings and picnics.
  • Centennial Park contains two outdoor sand volleyball courts. Adult volleyball leagues play on the courts.
  • The Centennial Park Bandshell was originally built in 1928 and later re-built in 1963. The location has hosted a variety of concerts and artists throughout the years and the Nashville Shakespeare Festival. Nashville native Kay George Roberts became one of the first African American women to conduct a professional symphony in the U.S. when she guest conducted the Nashville Symphony at the Bandshell on May 30, 1976. Other notable performances include: Bruce Springsteen, Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Jimmy Buffet, Pat Boone, Roy Acuff, and Flatt and Scruggs.
  • Centennial Art Center is located on the 25th Avenue North and Park Plaza corner of the park. The building currently features an art gallery and visual arts teaching studios for painting and pottery.
  • Centennial Performing Arts Studios hosts music, theatre, and dance programs for adults and children, including the Centennial Youth Ballet and Centennial jamBands.

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