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Christmas in Nashville – The Best Nashville Christmas Events for 2023

Christmas in Nashville – The Best Nashville Christmas Events for 2023

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. Updated for 2023!

Nashville Christmas Events & Festivals in 2023

Jingle Beat

Jingle Beat is one of the top Nashville Christmas events for families

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 2023, 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.

A Country Christmas at the Gaylord Opryland

Ice Polar Express

Head to A Country 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.” This year’s event runs November 10, 2023 – January 1, 2024.

20% off ICE! tickets with code VALUE23 for Trekaroo readers through November 16, 2023. Book your experience now!

At the hotels signature attraction, ICE!, bundle up and walk through life-sized ice sculptures. You can slip down frozen slides and through frosted tunnels. This year’s theme is The Polar Express. This heartwarming story as a young child embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole while learning about friendship, bravery, and the true spirit of Christmas.

Gaylord Opryland in Nashville Christmas events

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 Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends. Or rock out at the Darryl Worley & Friend “Home for the Holidays” Dinner Show from November 23-December 25, 2023.

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. 

Christmas in Nashville should includde a visit to Gaylord Opryland to experience Ice!
Photo courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

North Pole Express Train Ride

Polar Express Train
Photo by flickr/Brent Moore

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 décor. 

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 18 – December 16, 2023.

Light Displays for Christmas in Nashville

Holiday LIGHTS at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

Christmas in Nashville - The Best Nashville Christmas Events for 2023 1
Photo Courtesy of Cheekwood Estates and 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, 2023 to January 8, 2024.

Zoolumination at Nashville Zoo

Zoolumination
Dragon Scene from Zoolumination, photo by Kate Johns, Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

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 16, 2023 to January 7, 2024. Advance tickets are required and some nights do sell out.

Christmas Lights Carriage Rides

Nashville Christmas 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.

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

Nashville Christmas Events include lots of great music events

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, 2023.

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 26 – December 18, 2023.

At Lipscomb University, start the season with the Lighting of the Green presented by FirstBank. Amy Grant. along with award winning choirs from Lipscomb Academy and Lipscomb University, serenade audience members with holiday classics. The event culminates with the lighting of the campus’s Christmas tree. Join in the festive fun on November 28, 2023.

The Nutcracker and Christmas Plays in Nashville

Christmas in Nashville - The Best Nashville Christmas Events for 2023 2
Photo courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

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 8-24, 2023.

In addition to The Nutcracker, Tennessee Performing Arts Center is a great place to catch a variety of holiday performances. This year they are presenting the classic, A Christmas Carol.

Nashville Christmas Events at Historic Homes

Christmas in Nashville - The Best Nashville Christmas Events for 2023 3
Photo by Ed Houk, Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

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 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 décor. The historic home transports guests to the 1800’s and offers a chance to see what the holiday season was like 200 years ago.