There’s truly never a dull moment in Nashville—and 2018 will be no different. Here are some of the most exciting openings and events to look forward to in the new year.
August Moon Drive-In
Springtime will bring a revolutionary movie-going experience to the city, and it’s—literally—huge news. Essentially a sprawling closed movie set, August Moon Drive-In is a seven-story dome that houses the country’s largest non-IMAX screen, viewing options ranging from classic cars to stadium seating, 50 full-size trees, a bar, a lounge and so much more.
Woolworth on Fifth
Would you like a side of history with that order? Tom Morales’ latest concept is a former 1930s five-and-dime that served as the site of pivotal Civil Rights sit-ins. The restaurateur breathes new life into this downtown spot with a lineup of healthy soul food. Look for Woolworth on Fifth in late January.
In addition to hosting Predators home games (and—fingers crossed—playoffs), Bridgestone Arena will welcome Lana Del Rey on February 6, The Eagles on March 23 and 24, a rescheduled Foo Fighters show on May 4, U2 on May 26, Harry Styles on June 12 and Shania Twain on July 21. Nissan Stadium has just two music events scheduled outside of June’s CMA Festival: Kenny Chesney on August 11 and Taylor Swift on August 25. (Good luck getting those Reputation tour tickets.)
A Pair of Iconic Food Chains
Pizza lovers are already mentally placing their first orders at Gino’s East, the beloved Chicago deep-dish chain that’s slated to take over SoBro’s longstanding Sole Mio space by summer. As if that weren’t exciting enough, Shake Shack just announced that it, too, is branching out to Nashville. The cult-favorite burger joint will debut its first Tennessee location in Green Hills; no opening date has been announced yet.
The New (New) State Museum
New year, new home. The third site of the Tennessee State Museum, near the capitol on Bicentennial Mall, will be the institution’s first standalone location when it opens in late 2018. Be on the lookout for interactive upgrades like the Tennessee Time Tunnel, where visitors can walk back in time through many of the state’s historical milestones.
The area’s biggest waterpark is getting even bigger, thanks to an interactive family-friendly playground debuting on Percy Priest Lake come summer. Aqua Park is a giant series of connected floating elements like monkey bars, action towers and hurdles—be careful, please.
6th & Peabody Entertainment Complex
Yee Haw Brewing Company, Ole Smoky Distillery, and Music City Roots are teaming up for the ultimate entertainment complex in the SoBro neighborhood, just a block away from the Music City Center. The venue will feature a brewery, distillery, live music, bars, tasting rooms, and beer and bottle shops. Music City Roots, a weekly live musical radio show, is uprooting from The Factory at Franklin to these new digs in Nashville, and will continue to deliver the same top-notch performances and production. The project is slated to open in the second half of 2018.
Charlotte Pike’s makeover continues with the 50,000-square-foot Factory Marketplace, which overtakes a 1920s hosiery factory and will host restaurants, shops, office space and a food court. What it lacks in an official opening date and vendors, it makes up for in an official hashtag: #FoodFunFactory.
It’s a very “Nashville” situation: Country artists can’t stop opening live entertainment venues on Broadway. Joining Florida Georgia Line’s FGL House and Alan Jackson’s AJ’s Good Time Bar, both of which opened just last year, are Blake Shelton’s Ole Red (named after his 2002 hit song), Dierks Bentley’s fourth Whiskey Row location and John Rich’s Redneck Riviera. All are expected to open in early 2018.
All Kinds of Exhibits
Throughout 2018, the Country Music Hall of Fame will spotlight a handful of notable acts, like Little Big Town, The Judds and Emmylou Harris; meanwhile, its American Currents exhibit will showcase country music highlights from 2017. The Frist will unveil several highly anticipated features of its own, including Rome: City and Empire, Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century and the works of Korean artist Do Ho Suh, who takes household appliances from mundane to masterpiece. Finally, Cheekwood’s upcoming exhibits involve giant inflatable bunnies (courtesy of Aussie artist Amanda Parer) and other animal species created from recycled plastic (Cracking Art).