Halloween is over.  Before you know it everywhere you go will have Christmas displays at every corner and holiday music will fill every store. As much as the rush to sell Christmas bothers me, it really is one of my favorite times of the year.  I always get a little nostalgic around this time.  When I was little, around every Christmas my family would load up way too many people (it was the 80’s so it was ok) in the car ride around looking at Christmas lights and then head to Twitty City.  It seemed like some sort of holiday fantasy world.  My cousins and I would have a blast and the highlight was feeding the reindeer.  Nashville and the area around it has some great Christmas events.  Make plans to visit one or all of these 5 Nashville Christmas events you shouldn’t miss. Please Note: This post may contain affiliate links.


Nashville Chistmas Cheekwood

A Country Christmas (Nov 11, 2016 – Jan 1, 2017)

A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Resort has become a Nashville Christmas Tradition. Featuring over 2 million lights throughout the hotel and ground, you will be dazzled by these amazing displays.  The lights are just the beginning though.  There are many other events for the family including Ice!, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, Arctic Plunge Snow Tubing, and more.

A note, expect to wait in traffic if you plan on going at peak times.  This event draws a lot of people and can get pretty crowded.  Despite the crowd it is a fantastic place to make memories with your family.  For more information be sure to check the Gaylord Opryland Hotel’s website.


Cheekwood Holiday Lights (Nov 25, 2016 – Jan 1, 2017)

Nashville Christmas Cheekwood

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens also has a spectacular light display.  Starting in 2015 Cheekwood began putting on a Christmas light display using over a million lights throughout the gardens and have other events throughout the season.  Check out the Carolers in the Mansion, spend some story time with Santa, or warm up by the fire pit and have a gooey s’more.  However you decide to experience this event, you will enjoy it.

Advanced tickets for Adults are $20 for non members and parking is $5.  Tickets purchased at the gate are subject to a processing fee, so be sure to buy before you go.  For more information visit Cheekwood’s website.

Nashville Christmas Snowflake

Dickens of a Christmas (Dec 10-11 2016)

Franklin has hosted a Dickens of a Christmas for 32 years now.  This free festival recreates the time of Charles Dickens using Franklin’s Victorian architecture as the backdrop. Around 200 musicians, dancers and characters will fill the streets, including several from Charles Dickens’s stories. Festival goers are encouraged to dress in period garb as well to add to the overall feel of the festival. Expect to see Victorian era favorites such as sugar plums and roasted chestnuts, musical performances, and horse-drawn carriage rides.

The event is free and open to the public;, but some attractions will involve a small fee. For more information visit  Historic Franklin’s event website.

Nashville’s Nutcracker (Dec 3 – 23, 2016)

Another long running Nashville Christmas tradition is the performance of The Nutcracker at Tennessee Performing Arts Center. The Nashville Ballet performs this classic with a Nashville twist.  Blending the city’s history with this magical tale makes for a grand production that continues to draw a crowd year after year.

The Concept, Choreography, and Story treatment will be done by Paul Vasterling of the Nashville Ballet and the Music will be performed by the Nashville Symphony.  Expect a run time of around 2 hours.  For more information, visit TPAC’s event page.


Nashville Christmas Parade (Dec 3, 2016)

There is no Nashville Christmas tradition like the parades though.  Nashville has a great Christmas parade and almost every small town in Middle Tennessee has one too.  Seeing to pure joy on children’s faces as the floats go by throwing candy to the crowd can really only be topped by the excitement of Santa Clause himself arriving!  Some of my favorite holiday memories are from parades.

Nashville’s Christmas Parade will be held on December 3, 2016 at 9:00 am and the Grand Marshall will be Kelly Clarkson.  The parade will begin at the intersection of 8th and Broadway and head east down Broadway to Second Avenue North, and end at the base of the Woodland Street Bridge. The Parade will be televised live by NEWS 2, WKRN-TV in Nashville.

Be sure to check you local news papers and radio stations for details about your local Christmas Parade.  The one in Nashville is nice, but sharing the excitement of Christmas with your community is something special.


What are your favorite Nashville Christmas Traditions?  Is it the lighting of the tree, the parades, the lights, or something else completely.  Let us know in the comments. Also, Check out our gift guide before you head out shopping this year.

Nashville Christmas Events midtntravel.com

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