With the economy in the slump right now and gas prices almost $4.00 a gallon, many families are not taking vacations this year. So, a few other blogs and I are coming together to post about our cities and surrounding areas. We want to give people the opportunity to have a reasonably inexpensive and fun staycation close to home. If you are tuning into my blog from another state or city, no worries; go to my Year of the Staycation, post and see over 75 other cities with staycation ideas. Please feel free to add to the comments section of this page adding some other great ideas that I may have missed.
Lets first start with some local business’ and services in the area for tour ideas:
Rutherford County P.A.W.S (pet adoption & welfare services) – Great for the would be pet owner. You will see many cats and dogs available for adoption, but a guide can normally show you the clinic and explain the needs of a pet. Caution – Be prepared to have children “fall in love” with one of the animals while they are there. P.A.W.S. is located at 285 John Rice Boulevard in Murfreesboro, TN. They are open for adoptions, reclaims, and animal viewing Monday through Friday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Saturday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. They are open for pet surrender Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. The shelter is closed on Sundays and holidays. PAWS website
Banks – Some banks will give you and your family a “behind the scenes”, look at automated teller machines, bank vaults and drive-thru window chutes. You could take a tour of certain banks and then open a savings account for your child. Some of the banks in this area are – SunTrust, Pinnacle Bank, Wilson Bank & Trust, Regions, MidSouth Banking, and many more. Call ahead and see if they will give you a tour of their location.
Rutherford County Courthouse – begin your history lesson here and then go visit the Courthouse and see for yourself the history firsthand. While you are there visit the City Council Chambers & Meeting Rooms, the Mayor’s Office, and Statues.
Murfreesboro Fire Department – Station tours and engine visits are set up all during the year. Contact them here, and set up a tour or find out when the next open house is. They even have a Citizens Fire Academy (CFA), which is a six week program that offers a small group of area residents the opportunity to view and participate in the activities and services provided by the Murfreesboro Fire Department (MFD). Academy participants will receive an insider’s view of the MFD’s operations, but the program is not employment related.
Petco – Located off of Medical Center Parkway in the Avenue. Petco offers a program called, “The Fur, Feathers & Fins, which allows children to learn about the characteristics and habitats of fish, reptiles, birds, and small animals. The FREE Fur, Feathers & Fins field trip will help children in grades K-8 develop and enhance skills in:
Basic needs for animal care
Animal habitats and characteristics
Environmental issues and animal survival
Math, reading and science
Trained tour leaders modify the field trips to be grade appropriate.
For primary students (K-2nd)
Field trips introduce simple concepts related to animal characteristics, animal habitats and animal care. During this hands-on experience, students discover animals are a lot like people. Animals and people both need a healthy diet, a comfortable home, social interaction, exercise and play. Respect and responsibility lessons are reinforced throughout the tour.
For intermediate students (3rd-8th)
Higher level thinking related to animal science and animal care will be introduced on this field trip. While interacting with different animals, students discover interesting details and facts about the animals’ traits, behaviors and habitats. The trip also covers the basic needs animals and humans share and will help increase students’ respect for all animals. Responsibility lessons taught on this field trip impact students not only at home with their pets, but also in their global environment.
The field trips are 60-90 minutes in length and are limited to 30 participants per tour. (Number of participants may vary by store.)
To schedule a field trip, or for more information, call 800-987-6409 or schedule an online appointment.
Local Businesses, Venues, Attractions, and Play Places…
There were too many places to mention of things to see and do, so here are my highlights.
Maple Hill Sports Center – When you walk in the door,and see the glow-in-the-dark carpet and bright colorful decor you will know you are in a place where the fun begins and never ends! The Center has batting cages, miniature golf, aeroball, an arcade game area, concessions, a party room, picnic area and an inflatable fun house available for party rental. They are located at 105 Carver Lane in Lebanon, TN., just behind Zips Market at the corner of W. Main Street and Carver Lane. Website: Maple Hill Sports Center.
BounceU of Murfreesboro – Kids flip for their unbelievably cool bounce stadiums (imagine the ultimate children’s playground experience in a safe, indoor setting), but they also can’t get enough of the games, the food, and sharing the spotlight with family and friends. You’ll love the looks on their faces when they walk in, and nothing beats leaving with the feeling that your big day has been a truly special event. It’s no wonder they are one of Tennessee’s favorite party places for kids! Call or visit their website for open bounce times. Website: BounceU.
Oaklands Historic House Museum – An elegant mansion caught in the crossfire of the Civil War – This nationally registered, historic landmark reflects a time of prosperity in the Old South, as well as the hardships suffered during the Civil War. For events and contact info, visit their website: Oakland House.
Rutherford County Farmers Market – The market is open from 6:00 am to 11:00 am on Tuesday and Friday of each week (including holidays) from the 2nd Friday in May through the last Friday in October. It is operated from the Lane Agri-Park Community Center located at 315 John R. Rice Blvd. in Murfreesboro. Vendors sell locally grown produce, plants and certain processed foods. Contact the Rutherford County Extension office (615-898-7710) for operating guidelines or other Farmers Market information.
Murfreesboro Saturday Market – Main Street Saturday Market in downtown Mufreesboro begins June 4, 2011! This is a farmers market held on the square in downtown Murfreesboro, TN, just steps from the historic courthouse. Check them out on Facebook – Murfreesboro Saturday Market.
Lanes, Trains, & Automobiles – Bowling, Bumper Cars, Laser Tag, Arcade, Billiards, and a Restaurant. SPRING HOURS: SUNDAYS: 12PM – 11PM, MONDAYS / TUESDAYS: 10AM – 11PM, WEDNESDAYS:10AM – 12AM, THURSDAYS / FRIDAYS / SATURDAYS: 10AM – 1AM. Website: Lanes, Trains, & Automobiles.
Moonlite Drive-in – They have two screens with two shows per screen. Pricing: Adults $6.00, Seniors $5.00, and Children $4.00. Gates open @ 6:30pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They are located in Woodbury, TN – take Highway 70S to Woodbury. Drive-In is located behind Flea Market and Dollar General Market. Entrance is Located just Past Police Department on Other Side of Drive-In Sign. Website: Moonlite Drive in.
Middle Tennessee State Parks
These are parks within the Middle Tennessee area that would be not to far away to take a mini vacation to go camping, hiking, boating, etc. With each park listing is a brief description of what there is to do at each park. For more information click on the website link or call them directly.
Bledsoe Creek State Park – 400 Zieglers Fort Road, Gallatin, TN 37066 (615-452-3706). They offer: boating, camping, fishing, hiking, and picnic facilities. Website: Bledsoe Creek.
Burgess Falls State Park – 4000 Burgess Falls Drive, Sparta , TN 38583-8456 (931-432-5312). They offer: boating, fishing, hiking, natural area, and picnic facilities. Website: Burgess Falls.
Cedars of Lebanon State Park – 328 Cedar Forest Rd., Lebanon ,TN 37090 (Office: 615-443-2769, Fax: 615-443-2793, Cabins Reservations: 800-713-5180). They offer: camping, hiking, horseback riding, picnic facilities, and swimming. Website: Cedars of Lebanon.
Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park – 1300 Cordell Hull Memorial Drive, Byrdstown , TN 38549 (Office: 931-864-3247, Fax: 931-864-6389). They offer: hiking and picnic facilities. Website: Cordell Hull.
David Crockett State Park – 1400 West Gaines, Lawrenceburg , TN 38464 (931-762-9408, 1-877-804-2681). They offer: biking, boating, camping, fishing, picnic facilities, and a restaurant. Website: David Crockett.
Dunbar Cave State Park – 401 Old Dunbar Cave Road, Clarksville , TN 37043 (931-648-5526). They offer: fishing, hiking, natural areas, and picnic facilities. Website: Dunbar Cave.
Edgar Evins State Park – 1630 Edgar Evins State Park Road, Silver Point , TN 38582 (931-858-2446, Toll Free: 1-800-250-8619). They offer: boating, camping, fishing, hiking, picnic facilities, restaurant, and swimming. Website: Edgar Evins.
Fall Creek Falls State Park – 2009 Village Camp Road, Pikeville, TN 37367, (Office: 423-881-5298, Inn & Cabin Reservations: 1-800-250-8610, Inn & Cabin Local: 423-881-5241, Camping: 1-800-250-8611) They offer: biking, boating, camping, fishing, golfing, lodgings, hiking, horseback riding, picnic facilities, restaurant, and swimming. Website: Fall Creek Falls
Harpeth River State Park – Hwy. 70, Kingston Springs , TN 37887 (615-952-2099), They offer: Boating. Website: Harpeth River.
Henry Horton State Park – 4358 Nashville Hwy., Chapel Hill , TN 37034 (Office: 931-364-2222, 1-800-250-8612). They offer: camping, fishing, golfing, picnic facilities, restaurant, and swimming. Website: Henry Horton.
Johnsonville State Historic Park – 90 Redoubt Lane, New Johnsonville, TN 37134 (Office: 931-535-2789, Fax: 931-535-3776). They offer: fishing, hiking, and picnic facilities. Website: Johnsonville.
Long Hunter State Park – 2910 Hobson Pike, Hermitage, TN 37076 (615-885-2422). They offer: boating, fishing, group camping, hiking, picnic facilities, and swimming. Website: Long Hunter.
Montgomery Bell State Park – 1000 Hotel Avenue, Burns, TN 37029 (Park Office/Visitor Center: 615-797-9052). They offer: biking, boating, fishing, golfing, hiking, picnic facilites, lodging, restaurant, and swimming. Website: Montgomery Bell.
Mousetail Landing State Park – Rt. 3 Box 280B, Linden, TN 37096 (931-847-0841). They offer: boating, camping, fishing, hiking, picnic facilities, and swimming. Website: Mousetail Landing.
Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park – 732 Stone Fort Drive, Manchester, TN 37355 (Office: 931-723-5073). They offer: camping, fishing, golfing, hiking, and picnic facilities. Website: Old Stone Fort.
Port Royal State Park – 3300 Old Clarksville Hwy., Adams , TN 37010 (931-358-9696). They offer: boating, fishing, hiking, and picnic facilites. Website: Port Royal.
Radnor Lake State Park – 1160 Otter Creek Road, Nashville , TN 37220-1700 (615-373-3467). They offer: hiking and natural areas. Website: Radnor Lake.
Rock Island State Park – 82 Beach Road, Rock Island , TN 38581-4200 (931-686-2471). They offer: cabins, camping, picnic facilities, and swimming. Website: Rock Island.
Sgt. Alvin C. York Historic State Park – Highway 127, Pall Mall , TN 38577 (931-879-6456). They offer: picnic facilities. Website: Sgt. Alvin C. York.
South Cumberland State Park – 11745 US 41, Monteagle , TN 37356 (931-924-2980, Stone Door: 931-692-3887, Savage Gulf: 931-779-3532). They offer: camping, hiking, picnic facilities. Website: South Cumberland.
Standing Stone State Park – 1674 Standing Stone Park Hwy., Hilham , TN 38568-6610 (931-823-6347, 800-713-5157). They offer: boating, camping, fishing, hiking, picnic facilities, and swimming. Website: Standing Stone.
Tims Ford State Park – 570 Tims Ford Drive, Winchester , TN 37398 (Office: 931-962-1183, Cabin Reservations 800-471-5295). They offer: biking, boating, camping, fishing, golfing, hiking, picnic facilities, and swimming. Website: Tims Ford.
Websites for more info for the Rutherford County and TN State Areas