Ready to get in the holiday spirit? There are a lot of fun holiday events, activities, pop-up bars, and running events in Nashville 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 Music City.
- Holiday Activities (Daily/Nightly Options)
- Holiday Pop-Up Bars
- Holiday Parties & Events
- Holiday Running Events
Smashville Holiday Festival: Outdoor Ice Skating Rink
November 16, 2018 – January 21, 2019
Enjoy outdoor ice skating in Nashville this year! The Smashville Holiday Festival presented by Bridgestone Arena is at Ascend Amphitheater from Friday, November 16, 2018, to Sunday, January 21, 2019. The price is $16.48 for admission including skate rental or $13.73 for toddlers, military personnel, or if you bring your own skates. There is also 3-on-3 pond hockey every Monday and Wednesday night starting at 8:00pm. Pond hockey is $15 per person and advance registration is required. See the website for hours and session times.
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)
Franktown Festival of Lights
November 22, 2018 – December 29, 2018
Franktown Festival of Lights is a nightly light display running from November 22 to December 29 at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center in Franklin. Relax in your vehicle and wind through over 50 light displays and listen to synchronized Christmas tunes through your radio. Tickets are $25-$100 depending on the size of your vehicle.
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.
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.
Miracle at Hidden Bar
November 23, 2018 – December 31, 2018
Miracle at Hidden Bar, an international holiday pop-up concept created by Miracle, is open nightly starting Friday, November 23, 2018, at Hidden Bar inside the Noelle Hotel. Enjoy festive cocktails and surround yourself with extreme Christmas decorations in this secret downtown watering hole. Admission is free and reservations aren’t needed. Miracle opens at 4:00pm nightly.
Photo Credit: Emily Dorio / Noelle
Heated Igloos at Bobby Hotel
November 30, 2018 – remainder of winter
Cozy up, drink spiked hot chocolate, and play cards inside one of these heated igloos on Bobby Hotel’s rooftop. The igloos fit up to 10 people (8 comfortably) and are open to anyone over 21, but a food and beverage minimum is required. The minimum is $400 Sunday through Wednesday ($50 per person for a group of 8), and $750 Thursday through Saturday (about $94 per person for a group of 8). Rates are subject to change. Hours are Sunday through Thursday from 4:00pm to 10:00pm and Friday and Saturday from 4:00pm to 11:00pm. Igloos are first come, first served, but reservations are also accepted and encouraged. Call (615) 600-5400 or email email@example.com to reserve your spot.
Photo Credit: Bobby Hotel
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.
Alpine Winter at L27 Rooftop Lounge
Venture to the top of The Westin Nashville for an alpine winter experience at L27 Rooftop Lounge. The cozy space is decked-out with faux fur blankets and pillows, candlelight, holiday greenery, and heaters for the ultimate evening outdoors. See some of the best views of the city, enjoy live music inside, and sip cocktails on the 27th floor.
Photo Credit: Lisa Diederich / L27 Rooftop Lounge
November 26, 2018 – December 31, 2018
Walden, a friendly neighborhood bar in East Nashville, has transformed their space into a winter wonderland (a.k.a. Winter Waldenland) with over-the-top décor, a fireplace lounge, dancing Santas, peppermint Christmas trees, holiday-themed cocktails, and special events throughout the month. Don’t miss the advent calendar giveaways with prizes or the Paws & Pints happy hour!
While this isn’t a pop-up bar, Santa’s Pub is worth mentioning here. Most Nashvillians are familiar with this late-night, cash-only spot for karaoke and cold beers (or wine coolers). If you want a gritty holiday evening, stop by Santa’s Pub between 4:00pm and 2:30am any night of the week.
- Christmas Tree Lighting – Friday, November 30
- Christmas Parade – Saturday, December 1
- Annual Holiday Expo – Thursday, December 6
- 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
- Feliz Navidad – Saturday, December 15
- Drew & Ellie Holcomb’s Neighborly Christmas – Monday, December 17 and Saturday, December 22
- Tuba Christmas Nashville – Tuesday, December 11
- 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