Now that things are opening up across most states, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy your freedom and the beautiful spring weather. Here are fun things to do in spring with your spouse, friends or the entire family.
Fun things to do in spring out of doors
Many of us have developed a new relationship with the out of doors over the past year, since many indoor venues were closed. Here are some great ways to extend and grow your relationship with nature.
Plant a garden (or even just a plant or two)
Planting a garden, and then caring for it throughout the summer and fall, is a wonderful way to spend more time outside. You can plant functional plants, like fruits, vegetables and herbs, that you can harvest and eat. Or you can plant flowers that beautify your yard and home.
The first thing you need to do is determine your region’s planting schedule. That will determine what you can start planting and when. A good rule of thumb is that if you live in a place that has cold winters, you want to plant your annuals after the danger of frost has past. For Middle Tennessee, which is in planting Zone 7, this is after April 15th. So now is the perfect time to start!
If you want to plant vegetables, now is the optimal time to plant almost anything: beans, cucumbers, brussel sprouts, carrots, corn, kale- you name it! If you want to plant annuals, marigolds, impatiens, sunflowers, zinnias and begonias all thrive in Zone 7. If you love flowering shrubs, you can grow all the prettiest ones in Middle Tennessee: hydrangea, roses, azalea, rhododendrons and forsythia are just a few examples.
To both get your spring gardening started and keep you on track, check out our Spring Gardening Checklist.
Play a round of golf
Golf is extremely popular for a reason: it allows you to get some exercise and challenge yourself while enjoying nature. If you have never played before, we recommend you start with a few lessons. This will help you learn the basics and get the mechanics of your swing down before you hit the links. Once you are ready to start playing, you are in luck! Tennessee has some of the best golf courses in the country, such as the Jack Nicklaus designed Bear Trace course at the Cumberland Mountain State Park. Just an hour and a half drive from Sparta is the PGA’s highest recommended golf course in Tennessee: the President’s Reserve at The Hermitage, located along the banks of the beautiful Cumberland River. An additional bonus for residents of The River Club is that golf in Tennessee is extremely well priced. In fact, according to the National Golf Federation’s survey of green fees, Tennessee was the fifth cheapest state in the country to play golf, with an average greens fee of $37.40.
If you don’t want to invest the time or money in playing regular golf, you can always try mini golf. It is accessible for all, and you don’t even need to buy clubs. One of the best places in Tennessee is Grand Old Golf and Go Karts, located in Nashville. Rather than the typical putt putt courses that feature windmills, creepy clowns and scary dinosaurs, it has three separate courses that are all designed to highlight Tennessee’s beautiful landscape.
Go for a picnic in a Tennessee State Park
There are more than 50 state parks in Tennessee, each with its special charm and appeal. Located just 35 minutes from The River Club, Fall Creek Falls State Park was named one of the five best state parks in the Southeast by Southern Living magazine. The park is the largest state park in Tennessee and home to the highest waterfall east of the Rockies. There are no park entrance fees for The River Club owners, making it the ideal place for a spring picnic.
If you are going for a picnic, we recommend making a day of it. Start by making a lunch that includes things easy to eat with your fingers, such as these delicious homemade chicken nuggets from Southern Living.
Make sure to bring a blanket, ample cold beverages and some games to play in case people get bored. Finally, make sure to have a bug plan! Aside from bringing mosquito repellent, pack and/or serve food and drinks in containers with lids (Mason jars, for instance), pack mesh covers and bring along some aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
Feed the ducks
What kid doesn’t like to feed the ducks? Most adults like it too; you can even get some great photos for your Instagram account, if so inclined. Nashville’s Centennial Park, located in midtown, Nashville, is ranked one of the best places in Middle Tennessee to feed ducks. While there, you can also go for a stroll, visit the replica of the Parthenon, visit the Centennial Art Center or even go fishing.
When you feed the ducks, remember to feed them something good for them. Bread is actually really bad for ducks (swans and geese too). It can make them very sick, and even cause deformities if fed to ducklings. Here is a list of food that is good for ducks:
- Grapes (cut in half to prevent choking)
- Cooked rice or chopped lettuce
- Cracked corn, barley, oats, birdseed or other grains
- Frozen peas or corn kernels (defrosted first, but no need to cook)
- Duck feed pellets
- Or this terrific duck food recipe we came across online!
See the flowers at Cheekwood
Cheekwood is considered one of the finest American Country Place Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the extraordinary 1930s estate has a Georgian mansion and 55 acres of cultivated gardens. There is the wildflower filled Howe Garden, the Martin Boxwood Gardens (with a Wisteria Arbor and reflecting pool), the dazzling Bradford Robertson Color Garden, an authentic Japanese Garden, an Herb Study Garden and even a Dogwood Garden (heavenly in the spring!).
Tips: Make sure to buy your tickets in advance, as you must reserve your entry time. If you just want to visit the gardens, you can get a reduced price ticket.
Fun things to do in spring indoors
Perhaps you have allergies and have to limit your time outdoors? Or maybe you just prefer to stay inside, or still aren’t comfortable leaving your home. If so, here are a few fun things to do in spring that you can do inside.
See all the recent Oscar winning movies
The Oscars just happened last Sunday. This year had a really diverse set of winners, from The Father to The Octopus Teacher. If you missed some (or all!) of them at the theater, you can watch many of them on Netflix and other streaming platforms.
Don’t forget the popcorn and snacks! If you want to mix things up a bit, try one of these 50 Flavored Popcorn Recipes, like this French Onion Dip popcorn:
Decorate your house for spring
If you haven’t done so already, you can start with a good spring cleaning. Next, add some fresh flowers. If the flowers in your garden aren’t ready for picking, most supermarkets have good selections of tulips, daffodils and ready made bouquets.
Now you are ready to start with more serious decorating. Target has very reasonably priced throw pillows, blankets, poufs and other decorative items in spring colors. Or, you can get a jump start on summer with their summer collection. If you want to go more upmarket, Pottery Barn rarely disappoints.
We love this idea from Good Housekeeping: “Peel-and-stick wallpaper is a simple way to turn a blank wall into an Instagram-worthy accent piece.”
Mix up a pitcher of spring cocktails
Now that your home is so beautifully decorated for spring, why not mix up a pitcher of spring cocktails and invite a couple friends over to catch-up? You can go for something traditional, like margaritas, or try something more original. We love this beautiful Garden Rose Cocktail:
1 oz Volcan de mi Tierra Blanco
.75 oz St Germain
.75 oz simple syrup
.75 oz lemon juice
4 shakes rose water
1 muddled strawberry
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into coupe glass. Top with Cava or Prosecco and garnish with mixed dried flowers.