It’s that time of year again. The time of year when friends and family come in from all over and you find yourself playing hostess and tour guide! In addition to shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating, wrapping, presents, working, oh, and keeping your sanity on top of it all with all the Christmas songs as background music to your already crazy life. Luckily, there are a lot of events happening in Nashville to keep your guests entertained without being touristy, so that you can enjoy the time with them as well! Sure, showing Nashville newbies all the honky-tonks on lower Broadway, the Ryman and the Grand Ole Opry are staples but Nashville has far more to offer than that. Especially during Christmas!
One of my favorite things to do is to walk around the Opryland hotel, it is absolutely gorgeous! Even though I always get lost (it’s easy to do), it’s always a good time but at Christmas time…it’s worth every adventure. From stunning outdoor light displays at the entrance to all the lights inside the hotel you will be able to entertain yourself for hours! Not to mention right next door to the hotel is the ICE! Attraction where you can make s’mores over a fire pit, have some hot chocolate and enjoy the latest theme of wonderfully crafted ice sculptures. This year’s theme is A Charlie Brown Christmas. Just keep in mind, even though they give you coats that make you feel like you are trekking through the arctic (which you basically are) it’s still FREEZING in there! And absolutely worth it! Just be sure to bring some gloves and a hat.
Dancing Lights of Christmas
As in most cases with things to do in Nashville, the Dancing Lights of Christmas will come with a little bit of a wait, you may have to get there early but you will be glad you did! This display of lights returns for its 8th consecutive year, formerly at Jellystone Park, will now be held at the Wilson County Fairgrounds in Lebanon, TN. The park opens nightly at 5pm and admission $25 (non-commercial) per vehicle. They also offer some shopping at the end of your drive with local vendors, food, a petting zoo and photo ops with Santa! This is something I always look forward to attending every year! So pack up the car with your family or a group of friends and enjoy a night under the (Christmas) lights!
Lights at Cheekwood
If you’ve ever been to Cheekwood you will know how beautiful it is and then throw in over a million lights and it is a sight to see! The light displays stunning, especially with the reflections off the water of the various ponds on the property! However, the light displays and gorgeous grounds of the property aren’t the only thing to enjoy. Cheekwood also offers gingerbread workshops (be sure to check their schedule when these are available), viewing of TWO of Santa’s reindeer, enjoy some treats at the s’mores pits and see the poinsettia tree that is crafted and built with over 500 poinsettias! If you aren’t convinced with lights, reindeer and s’mores check out their Instagram page to see more of all the wonderful sights of Lights at Cheekwood!
Christmas at the Mansion
The Fontanel Mansion has over 40 decorated trees, live music and numerous displays from various country artists like Big and Rich, Alabama, Jewel and more! There is no shortage of entertainment whether you are a fan of country music or not. Also, they have some pretty good festive cocktails to enjoy while you’re wandering about the property. Christmas lights and great drinks will get you off to a great start to your night, but don’t forget to throw in the Charlie Brown dinner theater! During dinner you will be treated to a live show finding the meaning of Christmas with Charlie Brown and a four-course meal with dining options available for both adults and children. If a dinner theater isn’t quite up to speed, they are also hosting a murder mystery dinner on Sunday, Dec 17th! There is no shortage of activities for the whole family at the Mansion! To help with parking, take advantage of the shuttle that will leave from the Nashville Palace (by Opryland).
Monell’s Victorian Christmas Dinner
Want to treat your family to a family-style dinner without doing the dishes? Look no further than Monell’s! I would recommend anyone to go there year-round but the Christmas themed dinner offers you and your guests to enjoy a family dinner without having to lift a finger to either cook, clean, dishes or taking out the trash. Or in some cases worrying about burning the dinner! After you have enjoyed your 5-course meal, featuring Tennessee Bread Soup, Stuffed Chicken and a chocolate mousse dessert served on fine china, the lights will be turned out for some caroling by candlelight! Keep in mind that Monell’s does have a few locations located around Nashville, but only the Germantown location will be offering the Victorian Christmas dinner and a reservation will be required.
These are just a few of the the great activities that are happening in Nashville for the holidays but no matter if you are traveling, staying in or looking to get out to enjoy any of the above mentioned activities, enjoy your time with your loved ones. Sometimes keeping things simple is just as good as going out. Start new traditions, try a new recipe, whatever you do enjoy it.
Wishing you and your family a happy, safe and healthy holiday season!