Holiday Events in Nashville 2022

Now through New Years, Nashville sparkles with holiday events, Christmas displays and lots of live music. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s happening in Music City. (Photo: Gaylord Opryland)

Christmas at Opryland 
Now-January 1

Spectacular lights at Marriott Opryland Hotel
Source: Marriott Opryland Hotel

So many holiday attractions, you can’t throw a snowball without hitting something seasonal. First off, they go nuts with decorations. More than three million lights are glowing on the property. You can zip down icy slides or crash with ice bumper cars, build your own gingerbread house or visit Santa. Here are the highlights but the website will give you full details.

  • ICE featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!¬†The beloved animated series is remembered with elaborate ice carvings in a walk-through display.
  • The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas in Tennessee Dinner Show. It’s a fabulous meal prepared by Opryland chefs followed by the Oaks performing their hits and songs of the season.
  • Celebration on Ice live skating show. And you can hit the ice yourself during open skating hours.

Due to the high volume of foot traffic, this year they’ve instituted some restriction on when they welcome visitors who are not guests of the hotel. Read up before you embark.

The Dancing Lights of Christmas
Now-January 1–Wilson County Fairgrounds

Dancing Lights exhibition

This drive-through experience includes more than two million lights as you travel a route 2.5 miles long. Tune into their holiday soundtrack on car radio.  Dancing Lights is located on the Wilson County Fairgrounds just a couple of minutes off I-40 in Lebanon. The cost is $30 per carload. Check the website for special events and discounts. They recommend that, if possible, you come on a weeknight when traffic is lighter. Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 5-10pm, Friday-Saturday, 5-11pm.

Holiday Lights at Cheekwood
Now-January 8, 5-10pm

Cheekwood Christmas lights
Credit: Cheekwood.org

More than a million lights await you as you stroll through the gardens of Cheekwood. Additional attractions include a 20-ft. tall Poinsettia tree and the popular TRAINS! exhibit. Cheekwood is fascinating by day, magical by night. Advance reservations required. Nighttime admission is $26 with discounts for students and youth. A $2 upcharge will gain you admission to the mansion, decked out for the holidays.

Zoolumination
Now-January 8–Nashville Zoo

Zoolumination @NashvilleZoo
Credit: Nashville Zoo/Jim Bartoo

Though not specifically a holiday exhibit, expect to be dazzled by the nation’s largest Chinese lantern display. There’s also a Christmas-y pathway with a Polar Express train, polar bears and other more American-familiar imagery. Check out the photos on their website for a genuine Wow factor.

Jingle Beat
Now-December 30–Nashville Fairgrounds

Walk-thru holiday events
Photo: JingleBeat Nashville website

Here’s what they say about their 100,000 sq. ft. walk-about experience: “an interactive installations, an outdoor projection-mapped ice rink, immersive laser, light and video spectacles, curated food & cocktails, performers, dancing, and more!” Plan on 60-90 minutes to take in this holiday extravaganza. General admission is $36 for adults; $28.80 for children 3-12. There are also VIP offerings and military discounts.

Immersive Nutcracker
Now-December 31–Lighthouse Artspace

Offered by the same company that presented giant projections of Van Gogh’s art, you might find yourself a little overwhelmed the depictions of this fanciful imagery. Tickets are $30.

Enchant
Now-December 30–First Horizon Park

ice skating area covered with amazing lightened trees

The home of the Nashville Sounds becomes a winter wonderland with more than four million lights. Stroll through a maze, take a selfie in front of the 100-ft. Christmas tree, take a spin on the ice skating rink, visit Santa and visit the merchants marketplace. Children might like the Little Elves Play Place. Unlike most light displays, Enchant promises live entertainment and sale of alcoholic beverages. Prices start at $20 for children 3-17 and $34 for adults. Special offers on Wednesdays. (Photo: EnchantChristmas.com)

Elf! The Musical
December 21-January 1–Tennessee Performing Arts Center

Buddy and his buddies spread some unhinged holiday joy with this adaption of the hit movie. Tickets start at $50.

Mannheim Steamroller
December 30–Tennessee Performing Arts Center

Just typing their name makes the syntho-version of “Deck the Halls” play in my head. In Andrew Jackson Hall, the performance will be more intimate than its arena predecessors but still a full-on multi-media experience. Tickets start at $45.

What else is there to do in Nashville?

 

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