It’s the most wonderful time of the year! There are many ways to celebrate the season in Middle Tennessee with tree lightings, holiday lights, parades, pub crawls and more. Begin planning your holiday fun with these 18 events:
1. First Saturday Art Crawl Holiday
December 1, Downtown Nashville
Join Nashville’s Art Galleries for a Holiday-themed Art Crawl in December. This event will feature a Holiday After Party inside The Arcade. The galleries are open 6pm-9pm and serve free wine and other refreshments. The gallery crawl is a great free night on the town!
2. Rudolph’s Red Nose Run
December 1, East Bank Landing
Rudolph’s Red Nose Run is a family-friendly event perfect for runners, walkers, joggers, and merry-makers of all ages and abilities. Music City’s most festive 5K invites elves, grinches, and sugar plum fairies to light the way for Santa’s arrival at the Nashville Christmas Parade.
3. The 65th Annual Nashville Christmas Parade
December 1, Downtown Nashville
Kid Rock will serve at the Grand Marshal for the 65th Annual Piedmont Natural Gas Nashville Christmas Parade presented by Tootsie’s! The parade will take place on Saturday, December 1, at 8:30 AM starting at the corner of North 1st Avenue and Brandon Street. NEW this year are Reserved Seat Tickets for the TV Performance Zone.
4. North Pole Express with Santa
December 1 – 8, Tennessee Central Railway Museum
Ride on a restored classic streamlined stainless steel passenger train with Santa and his Elves! Bring your cameras for some great photo opportunities. Passengers do not deboard in Lebanon. This is an out and back 2 hour, 64 mile round trip.
5. Dickens of A Christmas
December 8 – 9, Downtown Franklin
Each year, Main Street recalls the spirit of Christmases past when the Heritage Foundation throws its annual Dickens of a Christmas celebration. Some 200 characters, dancers and entertainers will fill the street, including several from Charles Dickens’s stories interacting with the public. Expect to see the nefarious Fagin from Oliver Twist; Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim Cratchit with his parents from A Christmas Carol; and of course, a Victorian Father and Mother Christmas with treats for children.
6. Sixth Annual Holiday Lights Carriage Tours
December 8 – 9, Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood
The Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood Association (HWEN) brings their sixth annual Holiday Lights Carriage Tours back to this historic neighborhood on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9. The event will feature horse-drawn carriages clip-clopping through the district known for gracious vintage homes and stunning displays of holiday lights.
7. Music City Winterfest
December 8 – 9, Centennial Park
Music City Winterfest returns to Centennial Park for the 3rd Annual event. Shop the Holiday Marketplace for unique gifts from local artisans, treat yourself to a variety of food and beverage vendors, make your own s’mores at one of the s’more stations, let your pet off the leash in the pop-up pup park, enter the Winter Beard Competition, play in the kid’s zone, and take photos with the horse-drawn carriage or with Santa and Mrs. Claus themselves! There is no shortage of fun for everyone.
8. Belmont Camerata Christmas
December 10, Belmont Mansion
A Camerata Christmas will be held in the Grand Salon in Belmont Mansion. Enjoy a holiday celebration with the beloved Corelli Christmas Concerto and favorite bluegrass style carols led by Kathy Chiavola, Ryan Joseph and Tammy Rogers-King.
9. Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirate’s Christmas
December 13 – 23, TPAC
This singing, swashbuckling adventure is performed in the high-flying style of a British holiday panto. Take off on a wild quest with Tinker Bell, Wendy, and Peter Pan at TPAC as they try to put a stop to the plot of some dastardly pirates who plan to kidnap Peter as a present to Captain Hook. Filled with big laughs, magic, dancers, and contemporary songs by everyone from Taylor Swift to the Bee Gees, this family show has a little bit of something for everyone.
10. Tacky Sweater Holiday Crawl
December 15, Buffalo’s Nashville
Wear your silliest sweaters and toast bad fashion and the fun of the holidays.This pub crawl features a fun-filled afternoon of day drinking, contests, games, drink specials at 7 bars, as well as favors and special activities.
11. The Ornaments Present A Charlie Brown Christmas
December 17 – 23, 3rd & Lindsley and Belcourt Theatre
The Ornaments will once again present Vince Guaraldi’s classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Led by by pianist Jen Gunderman, accompanied by bassist James Haggerty and drummer Martin Lynds, The Ornaments play the classic Guaraldi record live from beginning to end.
12. An Elvis Christmas
December 19 – 20, Schermerhorn Symphony Center
Celebrate the season with The King’s most beloved holiday tunes and hits. Veteran singer and multi-instrumentalist Terry Mike Jeffrey and his band join your Nashville Symphony for these favorites and more.
13. Nashville Repertory Theatre’s A Christmas Story
November 23 – December 22, TPAC’s Andrew Johnson Theater
Ralphie’s back! Reaching year nine of this Nashville holiday tradition, Nashville Rep exuberantly gives fans what they want – a hilarious, interactive winter treat. With a frozen flag pole, a ballet tribute to an iconic Leg Lamp, and many, many costume changes; the show more than delivers on its promise of laughs, heart-warming charm, and a child with a bar of Lifebuoy in his mouth. The Bumpus hounds will be ready and waiting for you.
14. Amy Grant & Vince Gill | 12 Days Of Christmas at the Ryman
November 28 – December 23, Ryman Auditorium
Amy Grant and Vince Gill will return to the Mother Church the 2018 Christmas season for an unprecedented twelve-night stand performing their beloved Christmas at the Ryman. The annual holiday tradition sold out ten shows in 2017 so two additional dates have been added this year to meet demand. The Nashville Ryman shows are the only place the superstar couple will perform the Christmas show together making it a destination for fans from far and wide.
15. Nashville’s Nutcracker
December 1 – 23, TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall
Nashville’s Nutcracker heralds the return of the holiday season in Music City as young Clara takes audiences on a journey through a spectacular dreamland with her magical Uncle Drosselmeyer. Weaving the awe-inspiring wonder of the classic tale with the city’s glittering past, Nashville’s Nutcracker is a beloved holiday tradition guaranteed to delight the young and young-at-heart.
16. Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
December 24, Ryman Auditorium
Directed and choreographed by Stanislav Vlasov, former soloist with the Bolshoi Ballet, and well known as a “Grand Dance Artist,” the inaugural six-week tour starred principal ballerina Lillia Sabitova. It also features the innovative rolling backgrounds first created by a St Petersburg Conservatory of Music producer, and which were the inspiration for Eisenstein’s cinematic technique.
17. Holiday LIGHTS at Cheekwood
November 23 – December 30, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
Delight in the joy of the holiday season during Holiday LIGHTS at Cheekwood. Nashville’s favorite tradition returns with ONE MILLION LIGHTS illuminating our gardens for the prettiest winter stroll of the season.
18. Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas
November 9 – January 1, Gaylord Opryland Resort
Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas is back this winter for its 34th year. Come enjoy this Nashville holiday tradition with the whole family! Enjoy exclusive holiday events to get you in the spirit of the season – including Cirque Dreams Holidaze, ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas, Snow Tubing, Diamond Rio Holidays & Hits Dinnner Show, and much more!