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Hot Winter Activities To Try In Nashville This Holiday Season


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  • December 14, 2018

Check out the list below and plan some festive fun for the whole family!

Written by: Melissa Coker, Above Photo: Gaylord Opryland’s “A Country Christmas” Website

Even though Music City rarely dips below freezing in winter, there’s still lots of cool activities that will delight visitors this December. Check out the list below and plan some festive fun for the whole family! We found activities perfect for the Nashville natives as well as the lucky tourists visiting Music City during the most wonderful time of the year.

1) Gaylord Opryland’s “A Country Christmas”

ICE! Ice tends to feel twice as nice inside and you’ll experience tons of bundled-up festive fun as part of “Ice!” and many more of Gaylord Opryland’s “A Country Christmas” wintry mix of events. There’s a chill in the air as you walk throughout the 2 million pounds of sculptures – and it’s not just because How the Grinch Stole Christmas is this year’s theme. The room is kept at a steady nine degrees that features four two-story tall ice slides and a crystal-clear Nativity. Other activities you’ll flip over include ice skating on an 8,000 square-foot rink, ice tubing on the lawn, carriage rides and an on-so-sweet gingerbread decorating corner. You can enjoy a delicious meal and meet the Grinch while you’re feasting! The interactive dining experience includes a buffet of Who-ville- inspired items and table-side visits with The Grinch. There’s still more to discover and too many “A Country Christmas” events for which to quite capture the essence here so please visit the resort’s official site for all of the information your holiday heart desires. Many package deals and discounts are available for adults, children, military and more.

Elsewhere on Gaylord ground, every light in and outside (there’s at least 3 million of the holiday variety) of Gaylord Opryland’s house is on as country superstar Trace Adkins performs featured standards from his 2013 release The King’s Gift on select dates in the resort’s Tennessee Ballroom through Christmas Day. There’s even a special menu – featuring fare like “Noel” chocolate custard. Get your tickets HERE!



Photo Credit: Gaylord Opryland’s “A Country Christmas” Website

2) Walmart’s Holiday Spectacular

It may not be Santa Claus or Candy Cane Lane, but on December 17 the Walmart at 204 North Anderson Lane in Hendersonville intends to festively rival these names. How? Well if you follow the wheels on the loads of tour buses that typically go round and round you’ll find that they’re opening up their doors as part of the annual Christmas 4 Kids outreach in the store’s holi-dazed paradise of a parking lot. From 5 to 9PM, fans will get an opportunity to meet some stars and climb aboard their parked tour buses. The annual bus show raises money to fund holiday shopping sprees at Walmart for more than 400 local school children. Those scheduled to appear include 3 Doors Down, Adairs Run (who recently performed on USA Network’s Real Country); talented songstress Ashton Shepherd (with top 20 singles “Takin’ Off This Pain,” “Sounds So Good,” and “Look It Up” to her credit), Craig Wayne Boyd, Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town, Tennessee favorites The Young Fables (who’ve also performed on Real Country), Lee Greenwood, rockabilly renaissance man Eric Heatherly (whose new album Matchbook Rendezvous will be released next year) and many more. Hunter Hayes will be there for one hour only from 5-6PM. For the complete list please, click HERE!

3) The Oak Ridge Boys’ Shine the Light On Christmas Tour

Spruce things up with a special show from some iconic country crooners. The one-of-a-kind Oak Ridge Boys are wrapping their holiday tour season up in style as their popular Shine the Light On Christmas Tour arrives on December 23 at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center. If the previews are any indication then the Boys are more prepared to pull out all the stops and then some at this jubilant event (presented without orchestra). This show is nearing sold-out status so hurry and get your tickets at nashvillesymphony.org to avoid a blue Christmas.  

Speaking of which – - - feeling Elv-ish? Catch some Christmas classics of The King’s (of Memphis – not Bethlehem) courtesy of Terry Mike Jeffrey and complete with symphony for only $25 on the 19th and 20th with “An Elvis Christmas” at the Schermerhorn.

4)  Vince Gill and Amy Grant at the Ryman

Harmonious husband-and-wife duo Vince Gill and Amy Grant are settling in for so many of their famed Christmas shows at the “Mother Church” that they may as well be pitching a tent (or paying rent). Rodney Crowell, John Jorgensen and Hannah Sutherland open. Remaining dates of their 12 days/nights stand are December 16-20 and once more on the 23rd. “These holiday tours have become our favorites,” chimes Vince. Tickets HERE!


5) Cheekwood Botanical Gardens’ Holiday “LIGHTS” Experience

Brighten up the season: Stroll in and around Cheekwood Botanical Gardens’ Holiday “LIGHTS” experience featuring one million bright bulbs along the one -mile walking path. Visit with reindeer, enjoy seasonal drinks such as hot chocolate and cider, be crooned by carolers, see a 500+ poinsettia tree, roast a marshmallow and maybe even meet Santa! Check out the official website HERE!


Photo Credit: Cheekwood Botanical Gardens’ Website 

6) The Country Music of Hall of Fame and Museum

Hall aboard! The Country Music of Hall of Fame and Museum is gifting an impressive display of offerings to visitors during its Deck the Hall events. “Tour and Concert: A Legendary Holiday” gets underway December 15 with a tour of historic RCA Studio B and music from Jason Coleman and Meagan Taylor. Shake things up and make mini-museum exhibit snow globes in the Hall’s creative zone, or take in a movie with a screening of the legendary “Whisperin’” Bill Anderson’s 1968 A Country Christmas on December 23 from 11AM to noon. More “Deck”-designed happenings HERE!


Photo Credit: The Country Music of Hall of Fame and Museum’s Website

Speaking of flicks, on a (loosely) related note we would be remiss not to mention everyone’s favorite classic Christmas film Die Hard. It’s bursting onto the Belcourt screen with a vengeance on December 15 at midnight. 

7) Bring Your Pets to Meet Santa!

If you’re in the vicinity of Goodlettsville and want to extend the warm and fuzzy feelings along to your furry friend then chin up! Good tidings for you. RiverGate Mall is hosting Pet Photos with Santa in front of JCPenney on December 18 from 6-9PM. It’s a special night just for pets and you can reserve your time online HERE!


Photo Credit: Pet Photo Nights with Santa

8) The Old Crow Medicine Show

Feeling a dreary winter cold coming on? Cure it with a good fix from the Old Crow Medicine Show. On December 30 and 31 the much-beloved Americana-ian band of merrymakers are building a Nashville nest for themselves as the Opry-member and GRAMMY-winning group swoop into the Ryman Auditorium for a two-night residence to close out the year. Curious as to just what kind of raucous Ryman nights you might experience with these fowl folkists? Here’s a quote from lead vocalist Ketch Secor (upon OCMS’s Opry induction) to give a good glimpse.

“We the Old Crows are just so proud to be entrusted to carry on the traditions of the Grand Ole Opry’s good-natured riot.”

Their newest album Volunteer was released earlier this year and is available HERE. Tickets to both shows (featuring The War and Treaty) are available via Ryman.com.

9) John Prine at the Opry House 

Lastly but not leastly, if the thought of ringing in the new year gives you hot and cold fever (and, ya know; leaves you in a cool cool sweat) then you’re in luck. John Prine plus prime openers Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats (with special guest Iris Dement) take the Opry House stage at 8PM on December 31. More info and tickets HERE. To further set the tone you can also see performances from Prine plus Rateliff and the Sweats’ steamy number direct from the 2018 Americana Music Festival by streaming CMT’s hour-long Americana Fest special for free through select cable providers.

**If booking an area hotel stay, consider choosing Music City’s “Holiday Memories in Nashville Package” where you can choose from a list of area events through the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation and have a one-of-a-kind “Spirit of Music City” (including lots of sweet treats) gift box to show for it. Click HERE for more info. 

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