Best Holiday Events, Activities, & Pop-Up Bars in Nashville

December 7, 2019 | Advertising Disclosure | Our Sponsors may be mentioned in this article.

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.

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Top Holiday Activities

Gaylord Opryland Resort’s A Country Christmas

November 8, 2019 – January 1, 2020

Photo Credit: Gaylord Opryland

Over three million lights turn the Opryland Hotel and Resort into a magical destination. You can visit Opryland for free any day between November 8, 2019, to January 1, 2020, 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 many activities including:

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Holiday LIGHTS at Cheekwood

November 23, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Cheekwood Holiday LIGHTS-1

Holiday LIGHTS at Cheekwood is back again for the fifth year with a one-mile-long path featuring over a million twinkling lights. Pinnacles of Light, an outdoor display showcasing 17 custom-made LED trees with programmed lights, is new this year. 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. Holiday LIGHTS is a timed-ticketed event from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. The exhibit is open seven nights a week from November 23, 2019, to January 5, 2020 (except Christmas Day).  Admission ranges from $9 to $27 depending on membership status, time, and date.

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Cheekwood Holiday LIGHTS-11

Holidays at the Hermitage

November 23, 2019 – December 31, 2019

Venture to the home of the 7th President and take part in a variety of festive happenings this season during Holidays at The Hermitage from November 23, 2019, to December 31, 2019. Guests can expect holiday mansion tours, carriage rides, story time and song with Father Christmas and his wife, decorating, a holiday cabin, workshops, carols, and more.

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November 15, 2019 – February 2, 2020

Photo Credit: Kate Johns

Zoolumination: Chinese Festival of Lights is Friday, November 15, 2019, to Sunday, February 2, 2020, from 5:00pm to 9:00pm at the Nashville Zoo. This attraction is the country’s largest Chinese lantern festival featuring holiday-themed scenes, a 200-foot-long dragon, over 500 silk lanterns, and decorated displays with some of your favorite zoo animals. There will also be Chinese acrobats, hand-made crafts, and bites. Zoolumination is open nightly during December except on December 24, December 25, December 31, and January 1. Admission is free for children two and under, $14 for children two to 12, and $19 for teens and adults.

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Patrick Barlow’s A Christmas Carol

November 30, 2019 – December 22, 2019 

Patrick Barlow’s A Christmas Carol is November 30, 2019, through December 22, 2019, at TPAC’s Andrew Johnson Theater. Barlow’s theatrical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ famous story incorporates five actors, imaginative props, and captivating design. Get in the Christmas spirit during this classic performance. Tickets start at $49 and $25 for Nashville Repertory students.

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GLOW Nashville: Nashville’s Brightest Christmas Experience

November 22, 2019 – December 31, 2019

GLOW Nashville, Nashville’s Brightest Christmas Experience, is taking place from November 22, 2019, to December 31, 2019, at First Tennessee Park. This brand new Nashville experience will include one of the country’s tallest Christmas trees, millions of lights, a custom-built ice skating rink, a life-size Santa’s workshop, and more! This attraction is for all ages. Tickets range from $15.99 to $79.99.

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Drive-Thru Dancing Lights of Christmas

November 16, 2019 – Janunary 4, 2020

The 10th annual Dancing Lights of Christmas returns to The James E. Ward Agricultural Center. The light show will run from November 16, 2019, to January 4, 2020. 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 show opens nightly at 5:00pm, even on holidays.

Address: 945 E Baddour Pkwy, Lebanon, TN 37087 (map)

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Nashville’s Nutcracker

December 7, 2019 – December 23, 2019

The Nashville Ballet will be performing Nashville’s Nutcracker for the twelfth consecutive year from December 7-23, 2019, 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.

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Franktown Festival of Lights

November 22, 2019 – December 28, 2019

Franktown Festival of Lights is a nightly light display running from November 22, 2019, to December 28, 2019, 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.

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Holiday Pop-Up Bars

Miracle at Hidden Bar

November 25, 2019 – December 31, 2019

Miracle at Hidden Bar, an international holiday pop-up concept created by Miracle, is open select nights from November 27, 2019, to December 31, 2019, 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.

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Nordic Winter Village (Heated Igloos)

November 14, 2019 – December 31, 2019

The heated igloos on Bobby Hotel’s rooftop are back again in 2019, and they’ve stepped things up a notch. This year, the theme is Nordic Winter Village, which officially opens on November 14, 2019. There are heated igloos, two cedar cabins, bonfires, holiday trees and decor, cozy blankets, rugs, and festive menu items. Reservations are highly recommended.


Reindeer Games: A Christmas Pop-Up Bar

November 22, 2019 – January 1, 2020

Reindeer Games, an immersive holiday pop-up bar for adults over 21, is taking over Headquarters Beercade in SoBro this November and December. Guests can expect an experiential winter wonderland, 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, too.

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Winter Beer Garden at Von Elrod’s

November 18, 2019 – December 2019 

Photo Credit: Von Elrod’s

The Winter Beer Garden at Von Elrod’s is a good spot to go before or after GLOW Nashville at First Tennessee Park. The Winter Beer Garden features a heated and enclosed patio space, an outdoor “Alpine Forest” photo booth, a winter beer and cocktail menu (including the Mocha Mint Spiked Hot Chocolate), a S’mores Pretzel dipped in marshmallow and drizzled with Olive & Sinclair chocolate, and winter sausage platters.

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Winter Waldenland

November 15, 2019 – January 1, 2020

Walden, a friendly neighborhood bar in East Nashville, is transforming 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.

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Dream’s Gingerbread Bar

November 27, 2019 – December 29, 2019

Photo Credit: Dream Nashville

Parlour Bar inside Dream Nashville is transforming into a booze-infused gingerbread house starting Wednesday, November 27, 2019. The Gingerbread Bar will open nightly at 5:00pm featuring an edible gingerbread cookie wall, a life-size gingerbread bartender, snow on North 4th Street, holiday cocktails, seasonal baked goods, and tapas-style bites. Eat an edible ornament cookie off the tree while you’re there, and make sure to get complimentary hot chocolate during the week between 2:00pm and 4:00pm.

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Sippin’ Santa on 2nd (Hawaiian-Themed Pop-Up Bar)

November 25, 2019 – December 31, 2019

Photo Credit: Sippin’ Santa

Sippin’ Santa on 2nd, a Hawaiian-themed pop-up bar, is open nightly from 7:00pm to 11:00pm from November 25, 2019, to December 31, 2019, at The Hub at Bode Nashville. Guests can enjoy tiki-inspired cocktails like the Kris Kringle Colada and the Christmas Eve of Destruction, plus plenty of photo ops. The pop-up concept has multiple locations throughout the country.


Sugar and Spice: Holiday Cocoa + Cocktails

December 1, 2019 – January 1, 2020

Sugar and Spice: Holiday Cocoa + Cocktails is at Mason Bar inside Loews Vanderbilt Hotel from December 1, 2019, to January 1, 2020. Sit amidst the hotel’s holiday décor while sipping a specialty spiked cocoa called the Jingle Belle Meade made with in-house hot chocolate, local Belle Meade Bourbon, cardamom, and a toasted marshmallow on top. The cocktail is $11 and comes with a kid-friendly cocoa complimentary.

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Santa’s Pub


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.

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Top Holiday Events

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Holiday Party Ideas

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December Running Events

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