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Spending the Holiday Season in Nashville

Your guide to spending the holidays in Music City this year

Festive lights and holiday delights! Whether you’re a local or passing through, Nashville is the perfect place to find holiday activities for the whole family. Make the most of your holiday visit with these activities:  

Since it is the season to make spirits bright, check out one of the many Holiday pop-up bars. Cozy up in heated igloos with themed drinks including a spiked hot chocolate bar at City Tap’s Winter Wonderland on the Roof. Join in on the Reindeer Games at HQ Beercade where they have transformed their space with all kinds of holiday décor, find signature events, themed cocktails, and more! Find yourself in a forest of Christmas trees while listening to live performances at Candy Cane Janes, the holiday pop up bar at Jane’s Hideaway (located one block from 21c!) Check out a list of all the Holiday Pop Bars in Nashville here 

What would the holiday season be without the lights? At the top of our list of must-see is the Holiday Lights at Cheekwood. This is truly the ultimate holiday experience all in one beautiful place. Over one million holiday lights throughout the 55 acres of botanic gardens featuring a reindeer village, children’s wonderland, and Dancing lights of TRAINS! The mansion on the grounds is also decorated to the 10s with holiday décor with a 20 foot tree made out of a stunning arrangement of orchids. If you drive a little ways outside of Nashville to the Wilson County Fairgrounds you can experience Tennessee’s largest Drive-Thru Light and Music Show, Dancing Lights of Christmas . After your drive thru you can stop in Santas Village for pictures with Santa, carnival rides (including a mechanical reindeer), sweet treats, and more! Also located just outside of Nashville in the adorable Historic Franklin is Franktown Festival of Lights. This is another great drive-thru light opportunity with over 200 displays, sweet treats, and a perfect photo opp with the 30 foot Christmas Tree. 


See your favorite Holiday stories and shows come to life. Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) will be putting on A Christmas Story at the Nashville Repertory Theatre. TPAC will also be hosting two versions of Nashville’s Nutcracker. From December 15-19 the performance will be accompanied by Nashville’s Opera and Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music. While the shows from December 21-24 with be with the Nashville Symphony. If you have little ones with you, they are sure to enjoy the Nashville Children’s Theater’s The Elves and the Shoemaker or TPAC’s A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage.  

With this being Music City, you know we have some great Holiday performances. The Nashville Symphony has a variety of Holiday Shows, check out if there is one happening while you are here! The iconic Ryman Theater has a residency with Amy Grant & Vince Gill for Christmas at The Ryman. One of the more unique Holiday performances comes from The General Jackson Showboat as they are hosting Tennessee Christmas. This midday cruise celebrates the tremendous legacy of holiday favorites from some of Tennessee’s greatest musical stars like Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire, Luke Bryan plus many more. 

With holidays right around the corner, that means holiday gifts are right around the corner too! Need some help with your holiday shopping list? While you are in Nashville, check out some of our favorite local spots to check off those lists. View our Community Shopping Guide here 

Other Holiday Events and Activities:  





Image Credits (in order): (The Tennessean, Nashville Guru, Cheekwood, Nashville Arts, General Jackson, Williamson Herald)

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