15 Best Things to Do in Lebanon, TN

Lebanon, TN
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Lebanon is a picturesque, mountainous Tennessee town roughly 25 miles east of Nashville.

Established in 1801, the city of Lebanon got its name from the biblical cedars of Lebanon.

The original settlers called the county seat of Wilson County “Cedar City.”

Aside from the Cedars of Lebanon State Park, Lebanon has many other popular attractions, including Wilson County Fair, Fiddlers Grove Historic Village, and Neddy Jacobs Cabin.

Lebanon has a rich history and a lively arts scene.

The National Register of Historic Places has also certified the town square, which brims with antique shops and collectible stores.

Here are the best things to do in Lebanon, TN.

Check Out the Wilson County Fair

Zipper ride in Wilson County Fair
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The Wilson County Fair is the largest fair in all of Tennessee.

It continues to grow every year with a focus on family fun and a safe atmosphere.

The ten-day event showcases the accomplishments of not only Wilson County but of the entire state.

The fair happens to take place at a spacious location with plenty of space for guests.

Deep fried food in Wilson County Fair
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There are many amazing rides you can hop on while visiting.

Most people tend to rave over the STINGER, by far everyone’s favorite ride.

During your visit to the Wilson City Fair, you’ll witness performances from Fiddlers Village artists at the old-time carousel.

You can also attend agricultural shows.

Otherwise, you can browse various items sold at the beautiful shops in the commercial corner.

Last but not least, you can enjoy some tasty food options ranging from grilling stations, fried treats, delicious desserts, and much more.

A ferris wheel in Wilson County Fair
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Join an Event at Farm Bureau Exposition Center

The Farm Bureau Exposition Center is within walking distance from Nashville International Airport.

Located on 275 acres and encompassing three flexible-use properties, the Farm Bureau Exposition Center hosts more than a million visitors each year.

The center offers events, entertainment, and activities for everyone, including horseback riding, educational programs, and competitions.

Farm Bureau is home to the largest county fair in Tennessee.

This beautiful facility also comes with an aesthetically pleasing design, entertainment stages, seven fully-equipped buildings, two on-site ATMs, and multiple green spaces for relaxation.

Visit Farm Bureau Exposition Center to see music festivals or other cultural events.

Cool Off at Don Fox Community Park

The Don Fox Community Park provides Lebanon locals and visitors with a wealth of amenities.

The City of Lebanon Recreation Department takes care of all kinds of maintenance and upkeep for the community’s park.

You can do rentals for events like parties, meetings, picnics, or other special occasions.

This lovely family park is home to a lot of outstanding amenities.

Nestled within its neatly kept grounds, it features several stunning pavilions, each boasting a grill.

You can also enjoy electricity and at least eight picnic tables, including a handicap-accessible table.

Throughout the rest of the park, you’ll find 61 other picnic tables, about 17 other grills, a 2.5-mile walking track, and even a 60-foot wading pool.

Marvel at the Dancing Lights of Christmas

The Dancing Lights of Christmas is the premier place for holiday traditions for your family.

This drive-through light display has become a fantastic sight since it moved to the James Ward Agricultural Center.

It has entertained families for decades with its unique and synchronized light display.

The Dancing Lights of Christmas takes place in the exact location of the Wilson County Fair.

There are Santa’s Village activities in the Dancing Lights of Christmas celebration as well.

If you ever get hungry, you can eat funnel cakes, kettle corn, Twinkies, deep-fried Oreos, and more.

Enjoy a Ball Game with the Family at Baird Municipal Parks

The city of Lebanon is a member of the Wilson County Park System.

Baird Municipal Park is a great park to visit with a variety of activities and services for the whole family.

The park isn’t known for just one feature or another.

It’s great to visit with friends and family; you can also go alone if you’re looking to get some fresh air.

The park has facilities like a BBQ picnic area or bathroom facility.

This is a fantastic place to play outdoor games like baseball, softball, football, or soccer.

There’s an area for children to play, as well as a concession stand.

Enjoy Authentic Entertainment at Capitol Theatre

The Capitol Theatre is more than just a place with four walls and a movie screen.

Located in the town of Lebanon, one can see all kinds of entertainment such as comedy shows, musicals, concerts, and classic films.

The theater focuses on preserving its rich past while keeping loved ones entertained through modern technology and performances.

It’s the perfect place to bring your whole family for a fun day out.

This well-maintained theater features comfortable seats and a concession with a good variety and fair pricing.

The Capitol Theatre can hold events of many sizes with a theater and a venue space.

You can even hold a wedding here.

Explore the Sellars Farm State Archaeological Area

The Sellars Farm State Archaeological Area is a Mississippian Period small mound-building site in Wilson County.

Sitting in a bend of Spring Creek, the Sellars Farm site is the only early Mississippian town complex along this river.

You’ll find a 4.5-meter-tall huge platform mound and town area on the site, with an embankment and ditch complex roughly oval in shape.

Between 1922 and 1939, experts found two pairs of Tennessee-Cumberland-style stone statues at Sellars Farm.

Sellars Farm also has terrific trails that are carting and enjoyable.

The trails wind around the property and follow along the bank of a beautiful creek.

Several trees and flowers grow here.

You can also find a big sign explaining the area's history.

Whenever you visit this place, you can join an archaeologist-guided tour, offered periodically.

The experts will lead you around an indigenous peoples’ settlement dating back to around 1300 AD.

Go Camping at James E. Ward Agricultural Center

In 1974, a motion passed at the county court to acquire 104 acres known as the Baddour Estate.

This purchase was a significant action that would become the origins of the outstanding James E. Ward Agricultural and Community Center.

Over time, the land expanded to 267 acres, allowing for several more activities on site, such as camping, RV parking, picnicking, biking, and hiking trails.

In 1938, James Ward’s trek through the western United States ended in Wilson County.

During a tour of the county, he met local farmers.

Soon, more farmers flocked to his educational presentations on farming techniques.

Ward made countless contributions to this area through agricultural methods.

These methods helped out farmers as well as local citizens throughout Wilson County, inspiring the center’s name.

Join the Southern Smoke BBQ Championship Games

During the spring, Smoke on the Shores Park is home to over 60 different competition BBQ teams, all sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS).

There are over 50 different steak cooking teams which are all sanctioned by the Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) as well.

Smoke on the Shores BBQ Championship presents BBQ enthusiasts with a chance to enjoy pit master interpretations of America’s great grilling tradition.

The four categories open to professional BBQ teams involve Chicken, Ribs, Brisket, and Pork.

Teams earn points toward the KCBS national BBQ team of the year title and total prize money of over $10,000.

KCBS is the organization to ask if you plan on organizing or participating in barbeque events.

The KCBS is one of the largest societies of barbecuers in the world, with over 19,000 members serving as judges for nearly 450 events each year.

Learn Wilson County Culture at Fiddlers Grove Historic Village

The picturesque old-style Fiddlers Grove Historical Village contains many structures of historical interest, such as preserved log houses and other pioneer buildings.

Among the exhibits are funky antique tractors and other personal vehicles from decades past.

Enjoy learning about Wilson County’s rich history and love for agriculture by joining living history reenactments and various outdoor family events.

This fairground preserves rural heritage by preserving artifacts, buildings, archival materials, and oral histories.

There are also educational programs here that engage the public in a better understanding of Wilson County culture.

Dr. G. Frank Burns is a famous local educator, publisher, and historian.

He named the village after the legendary fiddler Edward (Neddy) Jacobs.

Enter the World of Pottery at Silver Ridge Pottery

If you like art, you’ll love Silver Ridge Pottery in Lebanon.

A husband and wife co-own the local shop.

They have spent over 30 years adding all sorts of unique designs to their handmade pottery.

The melodic murmur of their hands shaping the earth reveals the lifeworld and rural landscape of where they live.

They have a trendy contemporary style with colors that perfectly fit your kitchen or living room.

At the same time, their style extends itself outside those rooms and into your heart.

Additionally, these items can take just about anything life throws at them.

They’re microwaveable and dishwasher safe.

As a result, Silver Ridge’s works have become popular and are now available in gift shops, boutiques, and kitchen cabinets.

Enjoy the Best Bowling Experience at Pro Bowl West

Whether you’re looking for a fun night out or some clean recreation with your family, Pro Bowl West has everything you need to make your time here fun and relaxing.

Nestled along West Baddour Parkway, Lebanon, this bowling alley offers 16 lanes with auto-scoring, free wifi, a covered patio, pool tables and arcade, and plenty of food and drink options.

You can also find the Sidewinders Pro shop inside Pro Bowl West.

The bowling alley offers pro shop services and party packages for interested parties.

It also hosts league games.

The staff here is approachable and ready to help any customer at all times.

Build Your Mini LEGO Figure at Music City Bricks

If you’re looking for a cute hobby store with cool toys to relax and play around with, then you should head on to Music City Bricks.

Inside, you can find fun new parts for exploring your imagination and creating something extraordinary out of seemingly random places.

You can also sell new and used parts and accessories to make the most of your imagination.

Music City Bricks specializes in parties and LEGO-related events.

You could host your birthday party or other special events there.

Visit the Lebanon History Museum

If you want to experience Lebanon’s past for yourself, there’s no better place than the History Museum.

The Lebanon History Museum showcases exhibits related to real-life experiences while providing information, events, and choices that have shaped the present-day city.

After ten years of inactivity, the Lebanon History Museum reopened in April 2021 with newly updated exhibits.

The museum resides in the former Castle Heights Military Academy, now known as the Lebanon City Hall.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Check Out the Car Show at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway

Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway is a short 0.596 mi (0.959 km) motor racing circuit with an oval layout.

You can find it in Nashville, Tennessee, 36 minutes from Lebanon.

The track has existed for decades, accumulating a rich history.

Many famous NASCAR figures have graced the track from time to time.

From 1958 to 1984, the NASCAR Cup Series (NASCAR Grand National/Winston Cup) used to take place here.

Many historical moments have occurred on this track, from car flips to hilarious crashes.

The track was once a dirt oval, which first featured “horseless carriages” and motorcycles back in 1904.

However, it also seems fair to assume that harness horse races may have taken place there at some point.

Final Thoughts

Lebanon, TN, is a warm, welcoming town bursting with fantastic sights.

Centuries-old landmarks make this place more inviting.

Lebanon is an excellent location for travelers to explore history, art, and culture.

This thriving city boasts terrific antique shops, breathtaking parks, charming art studios, captivating theaters, and much more.

Take advantage of this guide anytime you need it, and start planning your trip now.

Book your trip today!

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