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Franklin Through an Eight Year Old’s Eyes

Article by By Harper Walton and Kellie Walton

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

With endless options for food, shopping and dessert, a stroll through Downtown Franklin is the perfect way to spend time together as a family. There are hidden gems around every corner waiting to be discovered, from rubber ducks floating in a tucked-away fountain to an ice cream shop with toppings that change seasonally. 

On your next Downtown Franklin adventure, grab your favorite Frappuccino from Starbucks and walk in the footsteps of a resident eight-year-old. 

Play in the Duck Pond

With Starbucks in-hand, head across the Five Points intersection to the courtyard of the old post office. There you’ll find a fountain with blue rubber ducks inside with the FirstBank logo on them. Play a game called catch and release, where you pull all of the ducks out of the fountain as quickly as you can, then count them and throw them back in. Careful, you may get splashed! 

Shop ‘Til You Drop

Start walking down Main Street toward the square, stopping in all of the charming shops along the way. We particularly love our family’s store, Walton’s Antique and Estate Jewelry. They have marvelous pieces like diamond rings and earrings, but they also have pins and brooches shaped like animals that are fun to try on. 

The Registry is also a favorite, packed with delicate dishes and gifts. In the back corner sits a house with adorable fabric mice inside – some are taking a bath, others are cooking and enjoying tiny macarons around a tiny table. The Registry is dazzling, but be careful not to touch anything breakable!

Then head to Rock Paper Scissors, a craft store with lots of accessories, notebooks and colorful party supplies. Try on a sparkly headband and pose for a photo in front of the wall draped with colorful streamers. This is the perfect place to find a gift for your next birthday party. 

The Purple Butterfly is located in a historic home off of Second Avenue. It has an entire wall of bows and hair clips, with a separate area called the Chrysalis Room that’s specifically for tween girls (ages 8-12). It has clothes, initial patches and accessories like jewelry, headbands and bags, plus a sitting area with a neon sign and a separate fitting room just for tweens. 

Eats and Treats

Stop for lunch at Mellow Mushroom to enjoy a slice of pizza (the gluten free pepperoni is the best). Another great option downtown is Meridee's, which has a wide variety of sweets alongside their sandwiches. 

Speaking of sweets, Sweet Haven (which used to be Baskin Robbins), has frozen yogurt and ice cream with toppings that match the seasons – red sprinkles for Valentine’s Day, pastels for Easter, ice cream cones that look like Christmas trees in December. You can try as many flavors as you’d like, then pick up to two to put in a cup, cone or milkshake. There are plenty of charming places to sit down and enjoy your treat. 

Another great dessert option is Kilwins, where the treats go beyond ice cream. Sometimes you can see the workers making fudge in all kinds of flavors, and they also have gummy candies and caramel apples. 

Whether you’re eight or 80, Downtown Franklin is the perfect place to play, shop, share a meal or enjoy a sweet treat. 

Harper Walton is entering third grade at Hunters Bend Elementary School, where she’s taken a particular interest in creative writing. She’s eager to follow in the footsteps of her aunt, Kellie, who is a regular contributor to Franklin Lifestyle magazine and works as a freelance writer in the food and travel space for publications across the country. Together the pair set out to discover all the best hidden gems Franklin has to offer for kids and tweens, and are proud to present this guide for folks of all ages to enjoy. 

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