Ready to get in the holiday spirit? There are a lot of fun holiday events and activities to get you in the mood for hot chocolate, candy canes, and cozy fires. Here are some of the top holiday happenings this year in Nashville.
Top Holiday Activities
Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas
November 9, 2018 – January 1, 2019
Over 3 million lights turn the Opryland Hotel and Resort into a magical destination. You can visit Opryland for free any day between November 9 and January 1 just to see the interior and exterior lights, or you can pay to do other fun activities. And, of course, you could stay the night for the ultimate experience!
A Country Christmas at Opryland has tons of activities including:
- Carriage Rides
- SoundWaves (an indoor/outdoor water experience opening December 1, 2018)
- ICE!® featuring Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas!
- Snow Tubing
- Ice Skating
- Gingerbread Decorating Corner
- Cirque Dreams Holidaze
- and more!
Photo Credit: Gaylord Opyrland
Drive-Thru Dancing Lights of Christmas
November 16, 2018 – December 31, 2018
The 9th annual Dancing Lights of Christmas returns to The James E. Ward Agricultural Center. The light show will run from November 16 to December 31. This has quickly become a Nashville tradition where attendees pile in a car and drive through an incredible dancing light show, which synchronizes with a special FM radio channel. The cost is $25 per car. The show opens nightly at 5:00pm, even on holidays.
Address: 945 E Baddour Pkwy, Lebanon, TN 37087 (map)
Holiday LIGHTS at Cheekwood
November 23, 2018 – December 31, 2018
Holiday LIGHTS at Cheekwood is back again for the fourth year with over a million twinkling lights across the property. Holiday LIGHTS is a timed-ticketed event with two time slots from 5:00pm to 7:00pm or 7:00pm to 9:00pm. The exhibit is open seven nights a week from November 23 to December 31 (except Christmas Day). There will also be real reindeer, s’mores pits, holiday carolers, Santa, gingerbread workshops, and cash bars with wine, beer, and hot chocolate. The Mansion will be decorated, so be sure to check it out while you’re there. Admission ranges from $9 to $22 for members and $14 to $27 for non-members.
A Christmas Story at TPAC
November 23, 2018 – December 22, 2018
A Christmas Story, a favorite story for many during the holidays, is at TPAC’s Andrew Johnson Theater from November 23 through December 22. This is the 10th and final year of the performance, so don’t miss your chance to see this classic movie performed live. This is a fun family outing before Christmas. Tickets range in price starting at $45.
December 1, 2018 – December 23, 2018
The Nashville Ballet will be performing Nashville’s Nutcracker for the eleventh consecutive year from December 1 through December 23 at TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall. Dancers will perform over a dozen magical shows for audiences. You’ll see beloved characters like the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Mouse King, and the Nutcracker.
Reindeer Games: A Christmas Pop-Up Bar
December 1, 2018 – December 29, 2018
Reindeer Games, an immersive holiday pop-up bar for adults over 21, is taking over Headquarters Beercade in SoBro this December. Guests can expect an experiential winter wonderland from December 1 to December 29, including 3D Christmas tree displays, thousands of ornaments, 2,000 feet of twinkling lights, a life-size Santa’s sleigh, and festive food and cocktails. Expect creative riffs on classic Christmas drinks and holiday flavors like the Naughty List cocktail (pictured below) featuring rye whiskey, maple syrup, oloroso sherry, almond milk topped with white cotton
candy and coconut snow. Get a sneak peek on November 30 at the grand opening.
Tim Rushlow & His Big Band
December 6, 2018 – December 15, 2018
Join Tim Rushlow & His Big Band for Classic Christmas, a 10-show holiday residency at Rudy’s Jazz Room on select nights during December. Guests can expect a high-end atmosphere, dinner, cocktails, and recognizable tunes by Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, and Bing Crosby. General admission and VIP tickets are available ranging from $55 to $250.
Top Holiday Parties & Events
- Christmas Tree Lighting – Friday, November 30
- Christmas Parade – Saturday, December 1
- Porter Flea Holiday Market – Friday and Saturday, December 7-8
- Music City Winterfest – Saturday and Sunday, December 8-9
- Nashville Santa Rampage – Saturday, December 8
- Dickens of a Christmas – Saturday and Sunday, December 8-9
- Drew & Ellie Holcomb’s Neighborly Christmas – Monday, December 17 and Saturday, December 22
- Tuba Christmas Nashville – Tuesday, December 11
December Running Events
- Rudolph’s Red Nose Run – Saturday, December 1
- 12 South Winter WarmUp – Saturday, December 1
- Jingle Bell Run/Walk – Saturday, December 1
- Music City Santa Dash – Saturday, December 8
If you are visiting or have guests coming to Nashville for the holidays, make sure to see the Where to Stay in Nashville Guide featuring the best hotels and vacation rentals!