String City: Puppets & Happy Kids

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Kristina Johnson and kids Audrey and Wesley visited "String City" and want to tell you all about it!

WHO: Kristina (Mom), Audrey (age 7) and Wesley (age 3) Johnson

WHAT: String City: Nashville’s Tradition of Music & Puppetry at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Downtown Nashville

WHEN: Through Saturday, July 14

Today, I braved the day with my testy toddler to check out String City at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. String City is a show featuring all sorts of puppetry including string puppets, hand puppets, and even shadow puppets depicting favorite country artists. The show is free to the public and does not require admission to the museum. It runs just over an hour, so it makes it worth the trip downtown, but not too long that it makes you lose interest.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly outing, you can do this one completely free if you arrive early enough to find free parking. There are limited spots for free parking along Korean Veterans Parkway and 4th Street. Or, you can park at the City Center on 6th and Demonbreun for $10 (up to 5 hours). The show runs daily until July 14; showtimes are 10 a.m. and 11:30 am. If you miss it this time around, the show plays twice a year, so be sure to check their website around Thanksgiving. 

Arrive Early

We attended the 11:30 a.m. Monday show and the theater was just about filled with roughly 190 guests in a theater that seats 220.  I contemplated staying home because I wasn’t sure the show would keep my 3-year-old son Wesley’s interest. I carried on for my 7-year-old daughter, Audrey, who is a big fan of theater shows. 

If your child is like mine and loves to sit front and center, I suggest getting there 30 minutes prior to showtime. We arrived at 11 and were the third family to secure a perfect front row seat. I worried about the early arrival with my 3 year old and his impatience for lines, however the staff was prepared with coloring sheets of different country artists and crayons to pass the waiting time.

    I was pleased to see multiple toddlers and babies which eased my fear of possibly having the problem child who might interrupt the show for the others. My stress was eased at showtime. Sound levels were just right for my children to be able sing or ask me questions without being a nuisance to the crowd.

The set list of music includes popular favorites and Audrey was in awe! Wesley made it till the end, dancing on my lap the whole way through. The show ends with the puppeteers coming out from behind the stage to interact with the audience — Audrey got up close and personal with Johnny Cash and Minnie Pearl! 

Although museum admission is not required to see “String City,” if you spring for it, your kids can also do a scavenger hunt to learn more about the musicians in “String City” and make their own puppets on the third floor, too!

It’s a Wrap

This was a great way to visit downtown and try something new with the family. If you have visitors from out of town this week or weekend, I suggest bringing them to see it while they’re here. When we left, Audrey looked up and asked, “Can we see it again tomorrow?” With it being so friendly on the wallet I agreed, “Why not?!

String City is at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 222 Fifth Avenue South, Nashville, 37201. For more information, call 615-416-2001 or visit  

Kristina Johnson is a mom of three living in Rutherford County. She loves to get out and about with her kids.



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