Looking for things to do in Nashville? Ms. Cheap has the ultimate list to keep your 2019 fun with free events.
Larry McCormack, [email protected]

A hot and steamy August weekend demands watermelon and other free fun. So here you go:   

Watermelon Throwdown 

The Nashville Farmers Market “Watermelon Throwdown” Night Market is 5-9 p.m. Friday,  with watermelon eating contests for children and adults, watermelon cocktails from The Picnic Tap, and live music by the Green Hillsbillies. Free. 


OZ Arts Family Day

The 6th annual “Family Day at OZ” is Saturday and the organizers have changed the price to $5 per person. This is a great chance to check out OZ, which is bringing in festival partners including Adventure Science Center and Vanderbilt University’s The Wond’ry, which highlights the force of technology.

There will also be special guests including animator and performer Miwa Matreyek, who “dazzles with phantasmagorical performances mixing live action with animation.” Plus performances by Sankofa Drum and Dance, Grupo Balança, and other ensembles. The artsy fun is from noon – 6 p.m. at OZ Arts, 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle. Children 2 and younger are free.  


Salsa de Cumberland

Metro Parks’ Cumberland Park, at 592 S 1st St. next to Nissan Stadium, is hosting a free salsa fest from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Sunday, with live salsa music from the Nashville Latin Allstars, and salsa dancing along the river.  This park has a splendid view of downtown Nashville. Free. Details: 615-862-8400 

Women’s Suffrage events 

The two-day free event, “Votes for Women – Commemorating Women’s Suffrage” which commemorates the 99th anniversary of the 19th Amendment ratification granting women in the United States the right to vote is from 10 a.m. to 4  p.m. Friday and Saturday at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. 

The free event, which is designed to raise awareness about the upcoming 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, which is in 2020, will feature living history interpreters, hands-on activities, and a walking tour of Women’s Suffrage sites. Free. 

Details: or 615-741-5280

Wilson County Fair 

The Wilson County Fair opens Aug. 16 with a half-off day Friday, ($6 instead of $12 for adult admission) The fair, at James A. Ward  Agricultural Center, runs through Aug. 24.


More: 2019 Wilson County Fair: What’s new, what returns and what you should know

Madame Tussaud deal

Madame Tussaud, in Opry Mills, has a great Woodstock promotion this week — $8 admission August 15-18, plus live music and other activities on Saturday. They are calling the event “Waxstock” and the $8 admission is what a one day ticket price for Woodstock was 50 years ago. And yes, they have some Woodstock figures. Ticket prices usually start at $19 so this is a goodie.  


Library puppet shows

The Nashville Public Library’s award-winning professional Wishing Chair Productions puppeteer troupe will perform “Hansel and Gretel” on Friday and Saturday, and again on Aug. 23 and 24 at the Main Library, 615 Church St.  Times are 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Details: or 615-862-5800

Hummingbirds and butterflies

Dunbar Cave State Park in Clarksville is having a free Hummingbird and Butterfly Festival from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday. There will be hummingbird banding demonstrations, children can enjoy free Arts and Crafts activities, and there will be hourly speakers on hummingbirds and butterflies. or call (931) 648-5526

Warner Park Nature Center is having an all age Celebrate Hummingbirds event on Aug. 24. More on that next week.

More: 19 things to know about hummingbirds

Big band dance

These family-friendly Saturday night dances take place in the event shelter at the back of Centennial Park from 7:30-10 p.m., with dance lessons at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The band for this Saturday is J. Bradley Big Band. You can take your own a picnic or snacks, and there are usually food trucks.

Details: or 615-862-8440. 

Sara Sells August sale dates

This popular monthly warehouse sale of high end furniture and home furnishings is Saturday and Sunday in College Grove.  August sale hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday at the warehouse at 8436 Horton Highway in College Grove.


More: High end, not high price: Sara Sells furniture warehouse is your new home decor haven

Live on the Green

Lightning 100’s Live on the Green concert series continues Thursday night at Public Square Park in downtown Nashville. The Aug. 22 lineup includes: Will Hoge, Amanda Shires, Mat Kearney and Johnnyswim. There will also be a four-day run over Labor Day weekend.


Summer Shakespeare 

The Nashville Shakespeare Festival has relocated its annual “Summer Shakespeare” to the Yard at oneC1TY, a new mixed-use development less than a half mile from Centennial Park. There six-week run of “The Tempest” and “Pericles” will have performances Thursdays-Sundays through Sept. 22. There will also be performances of “The Tempest” at Academy Park in Franklin on Sept. 26-29.  

The events include food trucks, a pre-show lecture, and family-oriented entertainment at 6 p.m., with the Shakespeare performance at 7 p.m. It’s all free, with a $10 suggested donation. Reserved “Noble Seats” are available for $30 and full “Royal Packages” with VIP treatment for $75. oneC1TY is at 8 City Blvd., which is just off the 28th/31st Avenue Connector and Charlotte Pike.


More: What to know about Summer Shakespeare’s new home: More shows, more food, more parking

Comedy Club fun for kids

Third Coast Comedy Club in Marathon Village has two kid-friendly interactive shows geared for 3-8-year-olds: “Raccoon Log Ride, which runs every fourth Saturday ” and “Gnu Tales,” every second Saturday. Both last about an hour and welcome kids to join the fun on stage. 

“Gnu Tales”, is a never before seen improvised fairy tale and “Raccoon Log Ride” is a musical sketch show for kids. Shows are at 10 a.m. 

Tickets are $10 per family and are available at the door (1310 Clinton St., Suite 121) or online at 

Reach Ms. Cheap at 615-259-8282 or [email protected]. Follow her on Facebook at, and at, and on Twitter @Ms_Cheap, and catch her every Thursday at 11 a.m. on WTVF-Channel 5’s “Talk of the Town.”

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