Celebrate Christmas In Nashville (includes November and December)

Does Nashville offer special Christmas activities? Indeed! Our celebrations start in November and culminate with our New Years Eve Bash featuring Keith Urban and fireworks. I’ve listed events in chronological order by start date but note that many have multi-day runs. #ChristmasInNashville (Photo credit: Gaylord Opryland Hotel)

A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland

The Opryland Hotel is the Nashville epicenter for a wide variety of holiday-themed activities. Walking through the spectacular lights is free and fun while some attractions can get pricey. #GaylordOpryland #ACountryChristmas

Opryland Lights

Nov. 8-Jan. 1–The hotel and front grounds are decorated with more than three million lights, plus a giant outdoor nativity walk-through. Also, don’t miss the Christmas Fountain Shows in the Delta area. #OprylandLights FREE


November 8-January 1–An indoor walk-through of two million pounds of ice sculptures where the temperature is kept at a teeth-chattering 9 degrees. Featured this year are scenes from the movie “A Christmas Story.” There’s also a nativity scene and a two-story ice slide (not much fun for bigger kids). Plan on at least 30 minutes.They even provide a parka so you don’t get hypothermia. #GaylordICE

Christmas Village

November 15-17–The Fairgrounds. This three-day charity event brings together more than 250 merchants to sell all sorts of wares. A few examples: clothing, furniture, food items, art, a wide variety of crafts and collectibles. Going strong after 50 years, vendors come from far and wide to participate. #ChristmasVillage

The Gift of Christmas with Trace Adkins & Friends

Nov. 16-24, Nov. 27-December 25–A two-hour dinner show with Trace singing holiday favorites. The first series of shows is staged downtown at the Wildhorse Saloon before moving to Opryland Hotel’s Tennessee Ballroom for Round Two. Prices range from $39.99-$159.99 (VIP seating). #TraceAdkins

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Credit: Gaylord Opryland Resort Convention Center

Nov.16-December 23; no shows on Thursdays–Grand Ole Opry House. The characters of the beloved stop-action animated special come to life in this 90-minute musical. The show runs Nov. 16-Dec. 23 (no shows on Thursdays). #RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer .

General Jackson Christmas Cruise 

Nov. 14-December 23–The grand paddlewheeler churns up the Cumberland to downtown Nashville while you enjoy a fine dinner and a top-notch musical performance. #GeneralJacksonShowboat

Also available @GaylordOpryland for a fee are inner tubing, ice skating, carriage rides, scavenger hunts, Build-A-Bear workshops and cookie-decorating classes.

Now let’s leave Opryland and discover other surprises…


Zoolumination @NashvilleZoo
Credit: Nashville Zoo/Jim Bartoo

November 15-December 30 and January 2-February 2,, 5pm-9pm. Also aglow is the #NashvilleZoo where you’ll roam among 500+ Chinese lanterns, touted as the largest such collection in the country. Though the lanterns aren’t holiday-themed, there’s also North Pole Village where Santa will be ho-ho-ho-ing each evening. Live music some evenings.

Dancing Lights of Christmas

Dancing Lights of Nashville
Credit: Dancing Lights of Nashville FB page

November 16-Jan. 4 (except Christmas) Clark Griswold would be impressed by the two million lights of this 2.5 mile drive-thru attraction which also features a Santa’s Village. Truth in advertising: it’s held on the Wilson County Fairgrounds in Lebanon, about 30 miles east of Nashville, but is a real wonderland. Carnival-type food available. $25 per car. (Hint: Tom’s Blue Moon Barbecue is right across the street and has good downhome grub.)

1,000 Voices of Christmas

November 17, @Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The Nashville Pops Orchestra and a 1,000-voice choir join forces  at the Ryman Auditorium for a rousing festive extravaganza featuring Kathie Lee Gifford as their special guest. #NashvillePops #KathieLeeGifford


November 22-December 31, 4-10pm. A new entry for the holiday, First Tennessee Park (home of the Nashville Sounds, adjoining Germantown) transforms into a winter wonderland with four million lights (who counts them?), a 32-ft tube ride, a skating rink and Nashville’s tallest Christmas tree. Food and craft vendors on-site. Prices start at $15.99 for children and $25.99 for adults. Visit the FREE Tennessee State Museum, then take the brief walk to the Christmas happenings. #GlowNashville


Holiday Lights at Cheekwood

Christmas lights at Cheekwood
Credit: Cheekwood

November 23-December 3, 5pm-10pm. An elegant tradition, this stately estate is a year-round attraction for gardeners as well as art enthusiasts. This time of year, you can stroll a one-mile trail aglow with decorations. Prices start at $21 per person with discounted packages available after 8:30pm. #HolidayLights #Cheekwood

Tokens: Thanksgiving

November 24, 7:30pm @Ryman Auditorium. Celebrating ten years of Thanksgivings, this delightful evening sets its sights above mere entertainment. Yes, there’s live music, storytelling and humor but its goal is to send you away with something to think about, to challenge the status quo, to consider those around you. Think of it as Nashville’s version of “A Prairie Home Companion.” Guests include Dave Barnes, Audrey Assad, Buddy Greene, Odessa Settles, J Lind, Bryan Sutton and the SONUS Choir.

Scott Hamilton & Friends On Ice

November 24 @Bridgestone Arena. Aside from being a very nice guy, Scott knows how to curate a highly entertaining ice show. Skaters include Meryl Davis, Charlie White, Katia Gordeeva, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje. Musicians include Kenny Loggins, Gavin DeGraw, John Elefante, Bart Millard of mercyme and others. Benefits Scott’s Cancer Alliance for Research, Education and Survivorship (CARES) Foundation. #ScottHamilton #KennyLoggins

Christmas 4 Kids Benefit Concert

November 25, 7pm @Ryman Auditorium. The line-up for the concert is Phil Vassar, Lonestar and Eddie Montgomery along with hit-making songwriters Craig Wiseman and Jeffrey Steele. The not-for-profit organization invites children in need to shop for presents. #PhilVassar #EddieMontgomer #Lonestar #CraigWiseman #JeffreySteele

Brian Setzer Orchestra’s Christmas Rocks!


Brian Setzer Orchestra
Credit: Wikipedia/Marcos C.

December 2, 7:30pm @Ryman Auditorium. Now celebrating his 16th Annual Christmas Rocks! tour, the former Stray Cat guitarist goes retro with a swingin’, rockin’ good time joined by a 19-member orchestra. Opening act: The Imagineries. #BrianSetzer

Brett Eldredge GLOW concert

December 4-5, 8pm, @Ryman Auditorium. Since finding success with his album “Glow,” country chart-topper #BrettEldredge has carried the torch forward with a brassy holiday show perfect for romantics who love big-band music. He’s joined by nationally recognized comedian Barry Rothbart.

Kellie Pickler and the Nashville Symphony

December 5-7 @ Schermerhorn Symphony Hall. American Idol alum #KelliePickler will bring her powerhouse vocals to a variety of Christmas favorites. Rumor has it that Santa will make a guest appearance. #KellyPickler #NashvilleSymphony

Nashville Christmas Parade

Floats in Nashville Christmas Parade
Credit: Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp.

December 7, starts at 8:30am. The route runs from 1st Ave. N. near the Metro Courthouse, turns at Broadway, passes through the honky tonk district and terminates at Rosa Parks Blvd. (aka as 8th Avenue). Expect floats, marching bands, balloons and performances. The parade route is FREE but you can purchase tickets for seating in a special viewing area. #ChristmasParade #Nashville

Holiday Spectacular and Sing-A-Long with the Nashville Symphony

December 7, 11am. Kid-friendly, sensory-friendly and welcoming to people on the autism spectrum, the Symphony invites you to come early for a variety of pre-performance activities. Prices range from $15-69. #NashvilleSymphony

Nashville’s Nutcracker

Dec. 7-23 @Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Matinee and evening performance times. Accompanied by the #NashvilleSymphonyOrchestra, the Nashville Ballet Company adds its signature touches to this holiday favorite.#NashvilleNutcracker

Dave Barnes Presents a Very Merry Christmas

December 8, 7:30pm @Schermerhorn Symphony Hall. You might not recognize his name but #DaveBarnes is a hot Nashville songwriter (Reba, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood and many more). He’s also an affable performer with a warm and funny stage presence. He promises to bring special guests–and as you can see, he knows some recognizable folks.

Drew & Ellie Holcomb’s Neighborly Christmas

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors Christmas concertWikiCommons: Abby Gillardi

December 9, 7:30pm @Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Along with Drew’s band The Neighbors, their concert will be a melding of Christmas favorites and original songs, along with fan favorites. If you don’t know their music, it’s a rootsy, bluesy Americana vibe that’s gained national cred. #DrewHolcomb #EllieHolcomb

Michael W. Smith with the Nashville Symphony

December 10, 7:30pm @Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Michael is a wonder at the piano smoothly shifting from song to song and he loves playing with the symphony. Special guest: Marc Martel. #MichaelWSmith

Home Alone in Concert

December 11-12, 7:00pm @ Schermerhorn Symphony Center. “Wheere’s Kevin?!” Kevin won’t be at the concert but the symphony will be performing John WIlliams’ score live while the audience views the film. #NashvilleSymphony

Amy Grant and Vince Gill

Amy Grant & Vince Gill: Christmas at the Ryman

Dec. 11-23. Nightly shows at 7:30, plus 3pm matinees on Dec. 15, 22 and 23. If Santa is Father Christmas, Amy is surely Mother Christmas with six mega-selling holiday albums to her name. A long-standing Nashville tradition, the Ryman Auditorium becomes Amy and Vince’s oversized den. Together, their show is sweet, sentimental, inspirational and funny, courtesy of Vince’s quick quips. Joining them this year is Rodney Crowell. Tickets go fast. #AmyGrant #AmyGrantChristmas

35th Annual Dickens of a Christmas

December 14 and 15. Franklin’s Main Street. Any day downtown Franklin feels like a throwback 50 or 100 years. Decorate it tastefully, add musicians, period costume characters and dancers to create a nothing-else-like-it Tennessee experience. Browse the stores, visit craft tents and enjoy food of all sorts. Your stroll back in time is FREE #FranklinTN #DickensOfAChristmas

Handel’s Messiah with the Nashville Symphony & Chorus

Nashville Symphony performance
Credit: Nashville Symphony Orchestra

December 19-22, various times @Schermerhorn Symphony Hall. If you don’t find this presentation of the “Hallelujah Chorus” magnificent, check your hearing. Always popular, don’t wait to buy tickets. #NashvilleSymphonyOrchestra #HandelsMessiah #Messiah

Jack Daniels Music City Midnight: New Years Eve

December 31 @Bicentennial Mall. Long before our signature musical note drops you can treat yourself to performances by Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Amanda Shires, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, The Struts, Dave Aude’, and DJ Case Bloom. Once again, Keith Urban will rock us into the New Year. We’ll cap things off with one of the nation’s largest fireworks displays. Festivities start at 4pm. #NashvilleNYE #MusicCityMidnight #KeithUrban #FiskJubilee Singers #JasonIsbell #AmandaShires #TheStruts FREE

Old Crow Medicine Show: NYE

December 31, 9pm @Ryman Auditorium. The boys of Old Medicine Crow Show have taken up residence in the Ryman for the last few New Years Eves for a rip-roaring evening of musical mayhem. Special guest: Yola. #OldCrowMedicineShow #OldCrow

John Prine: NYE

John Prine New Years Eve concert
Credit: JohnPrine.com

December 31 @Grand Ole Opry House. One of Nashville’s slyest, smartest songwriters will end your 2019 with a bang, joined by the Secret Sisters and Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives. #JohnPrine #MartyStuart #SecretSisters




Every bar and most music venues will be playing host to some form of special entertainment for New Year’s Eve. Consult nowplayingnashville.com for more detailed info.

Other helpful posts:

The Bluebird and Beyond: a round-up of singer-songwriter hotspots

Your Complete Guide to Broadway’s Honky Tonks

Getting Around Nashville: Transportation Tips


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