Sure, Christmas in Nashville is not exactly going to be a 'winter wonderland' experience. With the temperature normally in the mid-50s, it will be relatively mild for this time of year.
However, that doesn't mean the Music City can't get into the festive spirit. Head to Nashville at Christmas, and you'll have a whole host of events, parades, and parties to attend.
On this page, we want to look at 15 of the top things to do in Nashville during the holidays. Each of these events offers an entirely different experience, and most of them happen every single year.
We've tried to include a little something for everybody. So, whether you're looking for a fantastic light show, a festive train ride, or dancing the night away to some tremendous Christmas hits, you're in the right place!
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If you really, really want to get in the Christmas spirit, then we can't think of anywhere better than Christmas at Gaylord Opryland.
Step inside the convention center when their Christmas decorations have been set up, and you'll forget you're in Nashville. It's like you have been transported to the North Pole!
This is one of the top things to do in Nashville during Christmas for both tourists and residents alike.
The decorations change each year, and you never know what to expect. For example, in 2023, the Gaylord Opryland is going to be decked out in a Polar Express theme (the classic Tom Hanks movie)
Within the Gaylord Opryland, you'll also find awesome Christmas activities such as ice tubing and gingerbread making, and, yes, you'll get to meet Santa.
Address: 2800 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214
If you're looking for a more upper-class Christmas in Nashville, Christmas at the Belmont Mansion should be on the agenda.
This opulent building was once owned by one of the richest women in Nashville. It is now a museum, still retaining all the grandeur it boasted back in the 1800s.
There is plenty to see and do at the Belmont Mansion, and things do change from year to year.
The mansion is always decked out in incredible Christmas decorations, and every so often, you may find events dedicated to a Victorian Christmas or maybe a delicious feast or two.
As the Christmas season wears on, you may also find carol concerts, music around the piano, and more.
Address: Acklen Avenue at Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN 37212
The North Pole Express Excursion Train is an adventure for all the family. When you hop on the train, you’ll be greeted by Santa, his elves, and even a few carol singers.
Throughout the journey, you’ll listen to the train conductor recite the ‘Night Before Christmas’ poem in one of the most magical renditions possible.
There are numerous excursions on the train throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas, and if you want a fun and affordable Nashville Christmas with the family in tow, then this may be where you want to be.
Address: Tennessee Central Railway Museum, 220 Willow Street, Nashville, TN, 37210
Also Read: Top Nashville Attractions & Things To Do
Topgolf truly deserves its position on the list of places to visit in Nashville at Christmas.
This is because it is a great place to escape the slightly cold weather (if you live in Tennessee, it can be difficult to get used to the sub-50 temperatures), plus it is a whole lot of fun.
Topgolf is a climate-controlled building for the golf enthusiast. You'll have the opportunity to play various golf mini-games, most of which involve aiming the golf ball at multiple targets and scoring points. It is almost like bowling but a whole lot cooler.
When Christmas rolls around, Topgolf gets more festive with its decorations, which we love. It also develops a bit of a party atmosphere, which is also fantastic. We just love it because it is something completely different to do.
Address: 500 Cowan St, Nashville, TN 37207
Dubbed the ‘Merry Redneck’ bus, the Nashville Christmas Lights Bus Tour is a fun-filled journey through the Music City.
You'll meet at The Scoreboard Grill & Bar before venturing through a laughter-a-minute hoot. These guys are good!
Despite the hilarity, this is still a Christmas lights tour, so you'll be journeying through some of the best-lit locations in Nashville during Christmas.
Tours for this one do book up incredibly early. This may be an adventure for the adults, though.
Sure, children are perfectly welcome (and the humor is not insulting in any way), but some people drink alcohol on the bus (it is allowed in sealed containers), so you can only imagine what sort of revelry will happen a bit in the journey.
Whenever we’re in Nashville, we always enjoy a good dinner show, and when the Christmas Season in Nashville rolls around, the We Need a Lot of Christmas Nashville Dinner Show is one of our favorites.
This live dinner show is packed with dancing, comedy, and a lot of singing. All the while, you'll be teasing your tastebuds with some of the most amazing food available at a dinner show.
The show starts in November, but it books up incredibly quickly. For years, it has been a firm favorite of those in Tennessee, and once you’re at the dinner show, you’ll very quickly discover why.
We’ve been a few times (sometimes seeing the same show), and we swear we’ve always left with a smile on our faces!
Get more details on their website here.
Address: 7526 Swift Road Greenbrier, TN 37073
Also Read: Best Places to Spend Christmas in the USA
The General Jackson is a beautiful night cruise boat with a unique Victorian theater.
Throughout the year, General Jackson has all sorts of fantastic dinner shows, but the one that happens around Christmas is nigh on unbeatable.
On your short cruise, you'll listen to an eight-piece live band and a host of singers and dancers playing a stunning collection of old and new Christmas hits.
Besides the amazing music, one of our favorite things about the General Jackson Christmas Cruises is that it is so affordable.
We think this is one of the most affordable dinner shows in Nashville, and it is enhanced by the fact that you're viewing the show in a very unique location.
Love your Christmas lights? Well, from the end of November onwards, you will want to make a beeline for Cheekwood.
This location boasts a stunning 1-mile path rocking some of the most beautiful Christmas lights we've ever seen. The centerpiece is a gorgeous 20-foot-tall tree.
You can really get into the Christmas spirit while you're here too. There are s'mores, interactive exhibits, and a lot of Christmas fun.
This is something where you'll want to bring your family. Although to be honest, it would also be fantastic as a romantic stroll for a couple.
During the festive season, the Bobby Hotel introduces 'Camp Bobby'. It is a rooftop bar with various see-through 'igloos' where you can relax under a warm blanket with your friends and drink some awesome drinks.
When you are at the Bobby Hotel’s Rooftop Lounge, it really feels as if you’ve been whisked away to the North Pole. The decorations are so beautiful.
Do bear in mind that you can’t just turn up and sit in one of the igloos, though. You need to book in advance…and they book up very quickly.
Address: 230 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
We don't know about you, but a good Christmas for us always involves a glass of wine or two. So, when celebrating Christmas in Nashville, we always take a trip to the Arrington Vineyards.
A trip to the Arrington Vineyards will give you a tour of the winery and a ton of wine for you to taste.
The whole place is laced with Christmas decorations at Christmas, and you get to enjoy some unique wine pairings. For example, you can learn how to pair wines with Christmas chocolates.
Obviously, this is going to be one only for the adults!
Address: 6211 Patton Rd, Arrington, TN 37014
If you're looking for a famous Nashville Christmas event, look no further than Christmas at the Ryman.
In 2023, you'll be serenaded by Amy Grant and Vince Gill. This will be their 13th outing at the Ryman, and they seem to get better every single time we see them!
This husband and wife duo will sing you stunning Christmas classics, some of which will have that famous Tennessee country twang added to them.
It is the perfect place to head if you want to sing along to one of the most famous couples in the world of country music.
Address: Ryman Auditorium, 116 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
You'll need a car for this one, and it is a must-do in Nashville during the Christmas season, especially for families.
The Dancing Lights of Christmas can be found at the Wilson County Fairgrounds.
While here, you'll drive your vehicle through stunning light displays, including light tunnels and, as the name suggests, 'dancing' lights.
It is a beautiful light show and very cheap to do. For many families in Tennessee, this has become a place to visit at least once per year (although the awesomeness means that many people end up going multiple times!).
Address: 1033 Sparta Pike, Lebanon, TN 37087
Sure, it's just a Christmas Tree, but the Metro Christmas Tree is a pretty big one and has always been the centerpiece of the Christmas festivities in Tennessee.
If you want the best view of the tree, then make sure you attend the tree lighting ceremony (it is free, and the date changes each year, so make sure you check it!).
However we've never attended the tree lighting ceremony, but we still can't help but feel wowed by the dazzling lights of this stunning Christmas tree!
There isn't much to do here other than look at the tree and maybe snap some pictures for your socials, but we reckon you'll still love it a lot.
Address: Public Square, 3rd Ave N and Union St
This is another drive-through light speculator, but there is also a walking route if you don’t have a car with you.
The FrankTown Festival of Lights always has some of the best Christmas lights in the Tennessee area, and we love how they try to shake up how everything looks each year. You never quite know what to expect!
There are over 200 lighting displays here, and they'll be synchronized to music, which is incredible.
Yes. This is slightly outside Tennessee in Franklin, but it is not too crazy of a drive. Plus, Franklin always has extraordinary Christmas events.
Address: 4215 Long Ln, Franklin, TN
Talking of Franklin, let's wrap up with one of the most unique events in the Tennessee area - Dickens of a Christmas.
Running for over 20 years, this street event happens mid-December, and you'll have a tremendous time.
During Dickens of a Christmas, parts of Franklin get turned into an awesome Victorian street party.
As you can probably guess from the name, you’ll be meeting famous characters from Charles Dickens’s novels, but don’t worry, Santa is there too!
There are beautiful decorations and lots of food and drink. Kids and adults love it!
Address: Franklin's Main Street, 106 3rd Ave N Franklin, TN 37064
Christmas at the Gaylord Opryland is one of the must-sees if you are in Tennessee for Christmas. We also recommend a trip to Dickens of a Christmas in Franklin (check the times for that year).
Absolutely! Nashville has a wealth of Christmas activities, from lighting shows to Christmas carol concerts and parties.
At Christmas, Nashville sits typically in the mid-50s. It sometimes drops a little lower, but it still has a touch of warmth compared to other places in the US.
There you have it. If you’re looking for Christmas in Nashville, there is no shortage of places to visit. You have fantastic light shows, golfing fun, and Victorian street parties. Not bad for a place that doesn't see a drop of Christmas snow, right?