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12 Best Holiday Activities to do in Nashville

December 14, 2017

A Christmas Carol The Sparkle

The Sparkle 

The first of the holiday activities will take you on a pathway illuminated by lanterns. It has a wonderful light display of the classic Dickens tale A Christmas Carol. Giant structures and thousands of lights bring you through this delightful/sort of frightening story (just me? The ghost of Christmas future is legit scary tho.) Fully equipped with hot chocolate and food trucks to keep you toasty during your walk. My favorite part? The six story LED Christmas trees that play awesome Nashville tunes!

(Ticket prices vary on time.)

Piano Fontanel Mansion

Decor Fontanel Mansion

Christmas at the Mansion 

The Fontanel mansion is an iconic spot here in Tennessee. This log mansion opens its doors to the public for a tour of its stunning Christmas decor. They have over 40 Christmas trees throughout the space, which you can enjoy while sipping a holiday beverage from their bar. The rooms are pretty incredible with memorabilia from country artists Big and Rich, Alabama, Kenny Chesney and many more. Honestly though, the bathrooms were my favorite part. Not using them, just the decor…  

(Tickets are $25/person, $18/person for a group rate and children under 10 are free!)

The Dancing Lights of Christmas

Over one and a half million dancing lights to Christmas tunes all while staying in a warm car?? Yes please! This year the dancing lights will be at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center 

(Tickets are $25/car.)

Gazebo Cheekwood

Carolers Cheekwood

Cheekwood Holiday Lights

Cheekwood in general is a beautiful botanical garden, but they do an excellent job at making it a magical for the holiday season. We started off our stroll with a delicious hot cider and caramel whiskies, but you can stop off at any of their food trucks or other bars for a “road soda” as we like to call them along the way. The way the lights reflect off the pond is absolutely breathtaking as well as the fully covered gazebo, which was my favorite. Make sure you take the kids inside to meet Santa and don’t forget to pet Jolly and Joy Santa’s most trusted reindeer assistants. They have carolers inside in front of the poinsettia tree at the Cheekwood mansion (who take requests.) Best part? S’more pits located along the walk! YUM. 

(Tickets are $22/person for non-members.)

The Nutcracker

Can anything get you more in the holiday spirit than The Nutcracker? I didn’t think so. Admittedly, I cry every time I watch the ballet. But that is neither here nor there. The Nashville Nutcracker adds in elements to make it a true Music City Nutcracker. We hear they even make it snow over the audience!  The show runs until the evening of December 23rd at either 2pm or 7pm. Make sure to check their schedule here for the complete list of shows.

(Ticket prices range based on day and time.)

Public Skate at Ford Ice Center (where the Preds train!)

That’s right, you can skate where the Predators practice! Just like a pro. We’re big Predator fans now that we’re here in Nashville. (Hockey players are so hot despite the whole missing lots of teeth thing…) Sharpen up your skates and hit the ice. Too bad they don’t allow you to do triple axels during public skate. I can do them, they just won’t let me. 

(Adults are $7.50 and children are $6.50. Skate rentals are $3!)

Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas:

This massive hotel offers quite the display of holiday lights and activities! It is worth just going to see the spectacle, I highly suggest taking part in all they have to offer (which is listed below!)

*Snow tubing 

They have created an epic 5 lane tubing hill for you and to slide down! Perfect for those with a jolly, yet competitive spirit around the holidays. 


An indoor ice experience, but don’t be fooled it is still quite chilly inside as they keep the space at 9 degrees! You can expect lots of ice sculptures (this year depicting the story of A Charlie Brown Christmas,) an ice nativity scene and two giant ice slides!  

*Santa’s Snow Throw

The team at Gaylord have packed the perfect snowball and for $8.99 you can whip them at moving presents and elves! The perfect opportunity to do your best Buddy the Elf impression!

*Ice Skating

One of the many places for public skating in Nashville. We love the Gaylord rink because you can purchase a package deal with some of the above listed attractions, so it will be cheaper. Plus, they have beautiful lights at the rink! 

(Ticket prices vary for the above listed activities, but they have some great package deals!) 

Cocktails Big Band Show

Big Band at The Palace

Tim Rushlow and His Big Band

The Palace recently transformed its back room into an incredible Home for the Holidays 1960’s Vegas style Supper Club 22 piece big band show! We sipped delicious cocktails, everyone was dressed up! We feasted our stomachs on their dinner menu and our ears on some holiday classics. You truly feel like you are transported. I always make fun or my mom for saying this, but it really did feel like a movie. 

(Tickets are $75 for dinner and the show!)

Happy Nashville Holiday’s everyone! 

Xx, Emily