It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when Music City sparkles with twinkling lights and holiday melodies drift through the air. Christmas in Nashville invites visitors to experience dazzling winter wonderland displays, cheerful musical performances, and unique Nashville Christmas events. Don’t miss out on any of the magical holiday experiences happening this year.
Nashville Christmas Events & Festivals
The annual Jingle Beat event transforms the Nashville Fairgrounds into a one-of-a-kind immersive experience. Travel with Santa to different dimensions, including the twinkling stalactites of Crystal Caves and the 40 foot Christmas tree of Electric Evergreens. Then dance on the 360-degree dance floor in Santa Land or skate on the ice rink among projected artwork.
Over 100,000 square feet of exciting adventures await both indoors and out in three distinct dimensions. There is also food and cocktails available for purchase. For 2022, this event runs Wednesdays through Sundays, starting November 25th through December 31st. Purchase your tickets in advance online.
Check out our guide to the best things to do in Nashville with kids.
Christmas at the Gaylord Opryland
Head to Christmas at the Gaylord Opryland for family-friendly activities and shows the whole holiday season. Enjoy wintertime favorites like carriage rides, skating, and ice tubing. Kids can sign-up to participate in gingerbread decorating and mom can take millions of pictures with numerous “Holiday Selfie Spots.”
Check out the Parade of Trees in the Garden Conservatory and Cascades atriums. Then watch the synchronized display of lights and water at the Christmas Fountain Shows.
In addition to activities and décor, Gaylord Opryland features top-notch holiday dining. Mingle with beloved Christmas characters at Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Breakfast. Or rock out to the annual Country Christmas dinner show. The Oak Ridge Boys will perform Christmas classics, plus new and timeless favorites from November 23-December 25, 2022.
Another exciting way to dine is on the General Jackson Showboat Holiday Cruise. Live holiday music plays as you dine on southern style cuisine and sail Nashville’s Cumberland River. For cruising without a meal, hop about the Delta Riverboat Christmas Cruise around the resort’s Delta Atrium.
ICE! returns to Gaylord Opryland for 2022, with two million pounds of artfully crafted ice sculptures. Experience the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer through giant sculptures before sliding down a slide entirely made of ice. This will be on display from November 11th to January 1st.
North Pole Express Train Ride
At the Tennessee Central Railway Museum, ride the rails on the magical North Pole Express Train Ride. Journey with Santa and his elves in a restored stainless steel passenger train. During the two hour train ride to Lebanon and back passengers will enjoy a story read by the conductor, Victorian carolers, and festive decor.
Elves keep kids entertained the whole trip. And of course there are plenty of photo ops, especially when Santa and Mrs. Claus visit your train car. Souvenirs and snacks are available for purchase on board. The train runs select Saturdays during the holiday season, November 19 – December 17, 2022.
Get lost in the winter wonderland of Enchant at First Horizon Ballpark. The world’s largest Christmas light maze and village offers ice skating, entertainment, dining, shopping, and of course lots and lots of sparkling light displays.
In the maze, search for Santa’s lost reindeer while marveling at the larger-than-life displays and 100-foot-tall Christmas tree along the way. Afterward visit the Little Elves Play Place where kids can play games, make crafts, and hear a story from Mrs. Claus. Santa will be waiting in Santa’s Landing to hear what you want for Christmas this year.
Enchant is presented by Hallmark Channel in select locations around the US and will run in Nashville, Tennessee from November 25 to December 30, 2022. Tickets can be purchased online.
Light Displays for Christmas in Nashville
Holiday LIGHTS at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
Join locals in the classic tradition of Holiday LIGHTS at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens. Wander the one-mile path among creative and elegant light displays, stopping to play with interactive light features, make some s’mores, and gawk at the 20-foot-tall poinsettia tree. The event will run nightly from November 19, 2022 to January 8, 2023.
Zoolumination at Nashville Zoo
The annual Zoolumination at Nashville Zoo is unlike any other “zoo lights” experience. As the country’s largest Chinese lantern festival, visitors witness colorful scenes created from over 1,000 custom-made silk lanterns. Mythical creatures illuminate the night in magical displays. There is even a North Pole Village where guests can visit Santa during December.
The zoo will glow nightly from November 18, 2022 to February 4, 2023. Advance tickets are required and some nights do sell out.
Christmas Lights Carriage Rides
Some of the best light displays are in Downtown Nashville and one of the funnest ways to see them is with Christmas Lights Carriage Rides by Sugar Creek Carriages November 26 – December 31, 2022.
Travel in style past the city’s Christmas tree, decorated hot spots like Riverfront Park and The Country Music Hall of Fame, and other tourist attractions. Festive holiday lights adorn each carriage and your driver will regale you with stories of the city.
Christmas Concerts in Nashville
Celebrate the season with Music City Christmas with the Nashville Symphony. This holiday tradition features Broadway singers, dancers, and even Santa Claus all in the splendor of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. This year’s performance is hosted by country music star Mickey Guyton and runs December 15-18, 2022.
Every year The Ryman presents a variety of excellent classic and contemporary Christmas concerts. The most beloved is the annual Amy Grant & Vince Gill “Christmas at the Ryman” residency. Music fans flock from across the country to hear this husband/wife duo perform Christmas favorites like “O Holy Night” and “Tennessee Christmas”.
The annual holiday show series, Opry Country Christmas Show, combines country music stars and your favorite Christmas songs for eight festive performances. The lineup changes each night and often includes special guests and big surprises. It will play on select date November 27 – December 22, 2022.
At Lipscomb University, start the season with the Lighting of the Green presented by FirstBank. Award winning choirs from Lipscomb Academy and Lipscomb University serenade, along with special friends, audience members with holiday classics. The event culminates with the lighting of the campus’s Christmas tree. Join in the festive fun on November 29, 2022.
The Nutcracker and Christmas Plays in Nashville
Partake in the musical tradition of Nashville Nutcracker, presented by the Nashville Ballet at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. The unforgettable costumes, choreography, and characters excite audiences year after year. And the exquisite sounds of the Nashville Symphony linger in audience’s memories. See this performance December 9-24, 2022.
In addition to The Nutcracker, Tennessee Performing Arts Center is a great place to catch a variety of holiday performances. Their 2022 lineup includes Christmas with C.S. Lewis, Elf the Musical, and Mannheim Steamroller Christmas.
If traditional ballet is not your style, check out Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle at Lighthouse Artspace. This 30-minute show presents classic songs like “The March of the Toys” and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” through immersive projections.
Magical special effects and photo ops invite families to experience the tradition of The Nutcracker in an untraditional way. Immersive Nutcracker opens November 19 and runs through December 31, 2022. Tickets should be purchased in advance online.
Nashville Christmas Events at Historic Homes
Travel back in time to a Victorian Christmas with a seasonal tour of the Belmont Mansion. See the traditional décor and experience a truly classic holiday. Belmont Mansion will also present A Holiday to Remember one-man recitation in the Grand Salon this year on select dates in November and December.
At the Two Rivers Mansion, families are also invited to take a Christmas tour to learn about the history of the property and enjoy the holiday decor. The historic home transports guests to the 1800’s and offers a chance to see what the holiday season was like 200 years ago.