Visit Nashville for the Holidays: Key Events & Dates

Welcome to the holiday wonderland of Nashville, where the temperatures are cool but still remain pleasantly mild compared to the frosty states North of us. Whether you’re traveling with the whole family or planning an adult getaway, Music City has something special to offer everyone during the holiday season. We’ll touch on enchanting festivities, vibrant cultural experiences, and heartwarming traditions that make Nashville a top destination for holiday cheer. So, put on your boots and get ready for a warm and festive adventure in the heart of Tennessee!

Holiday Weekends in November/ December: 

  • Veteran’s Day Weekend 
  • Thanksgiving Day / Weekend 
  •  Hanukkah
  • Christmas Day 
  • New Year’s Eve 

Nashville Area Holiday Events: 

  • Cheekwood Holiday Lights (mid-November – January):
    • Don’t miss the dazzling Cheekwood Holiday Lights display from mid-November through January.
  • Christmas at Gaylord Opryland (November 10- January 1):
    • Visit the larger-than-life ICE! sculptures, frozen slides, and explore ice tunnels. Inside the hotel, they have stunning holiday decorations. 
  • Zoolumination (November 17 – January 7):
    • The nation’s largest lantern festival, held at the Nashville Zoo.
  • Country Christmas at the Opry (November 26 – December 18):
    • Get tickets for Opry Country Christmas, the show series that turns the Opry House into a winter wonderland and brings your favorite Christmas songs and country artists – like Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery, Lady A, Chris Janson, & more – together for nine nights of music and merriment.
  • Nashville Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting (December 2):
    • Music City’s very own Christmas parade runs from 3:00-6:00pm and is followed by city tree lighting. Parade starts at Freedom Drive.
  • Leiper’s Fork Christmas Parade (December 9):
    • A quintessential, small town holiday parade but with a big-name Grand Marshal,
      Wynonna Judd, and her husband Cactus Moser. This is a short, 45 minute drive outside of Nashville but well worth it if you’re in town. 
  • Dickens of a Christmas Festival, Downtown Franklin (December 9-10):
    • One of our absolute favorite annual events, Dickens of a Christmas is held in historic Downtown Franklin’s annual Victorian-themed outdoor street festival. Dickens of a Christmas recreates the time of Charles Dickens using historic downtown Franklin’s charming architecture as the backdrop. A variety of musicians, dancers and Dickens characters will fill the streets. 
  • Music City Bowl (December 30):
    • College football bowl game that is scheduled to be played on December 30, 2023, at Nissan Stadium.
  • Jack Daniel’s New Year’s Eve LIVE: Nashville’s Big Bash (December 31):
    • Ring in 2024 in Nashville with hours of live music, fireworks, and the signature midnight Music Note Drop. Thomas RhettLainey Wilson, and Lynyrd Skynyrd will headline the FREE main stage event at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.

More Holiday Happenings: 

Don’t sweat it if you can’t make it here during one of the festivals (or if they’re already sold out). There’s still plenty of things to do that aren’t date specific. 

Catch a Game: Professional sports teams are in the thick of their season this time of year, offering exciting games in November/ December. 

  • Tennessee Titans Football (Sept – Jan, Nissan Stadium) – Catch the Tennessee Titans in action at Nissan Stadium throughout the fall season. Join the enthusiastic fans and experience the thrill of NFL football.
  • Predators Hockey (Oct– April, Bridgestone Arena)- Get ready for some intense NHL action with the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena throughout the fall and winter.

Visit a Holiday Pop Up Bar: Yes, bars change over for the season and pop up holiday bars are a thing here. There are too many to list but these have been our favorites in year’s past (their themes change annually): 

  • Hidden Bar 
  • Jane’s Hideaway 
  • Camp Bobby 
  • Hampton Social 
  • Nicky’s Coal Fired Pizza (bar/ restaurant)

Meet Santa: Santa makes a lot of appearances throughout Nashville this season. Here are some of the best Santa’s we’ve seen that aren’t event-based: 

  • The Big Event (seated, scheduled photos with Santa. This is our favorite Santa but you have to book in advance. Once you’ve taken your photo, walk around the Christmas store nextdoor).
  • Cheekwood Estates 
  • Green Hills Mall
  • Bass Pro Shop 

Walk, Hike or Bike: The mild winter weather is a great season to go walking, hiking or biking and soak in the last of the changing fall foliage. Some of the best views are: 

  • Warner Parks
  • Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
  • Radnor State Park
  • Shelby Bottoms Nature Center 
  • Nashville Greenways
  • Centennial Park (be sure to visit the Parthenon) 
  • Stroll through some of Nashville’s most popular neighborhoods and people watch: 12 South, East Nashville and Germantown are among our favorites

If you prefer a guided tour instead of venturing through these areas on your own, we suggest the Fat Tire Electric Bike tour. 

Nashville’s holiday season is full of exciting events and things to do that will create lasting memories for you and your friends and family. If you are still in the planning phases of booking your trip to Nashville, we would love the opportunity to host you at one of our Nashville Airbnb / vacation rentals. You can view our availability and book directly right here on our website. 

PS: Nashville fun isn’t limited to fall! Be sure to check out our What to Do Nashville guide for year-round inspiration. 

NOTE: Dates referenced are for the year 2023. 

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