Nashville Family Christmas and Holiday Event Round-Up


“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”….. Temperatures are dropping, and the holiday season is upon us. November to New Year’s is my favorite time of the year because there are so many family-friendly fun events going on. We have gathered a list of everything you need to fill up your calendar with seasonal fun!

Nashville Family Christmas and Holiday Event Round-Up

2023 Nashville Family Christmas and Holiday Event Round-Up

Events and Festivities

Christmas at Gaylord Opryland  
Nov. 10, 2023 – Jan. 1, 2024
There is no better way to celebrate the holidays than gathering your family for Christmas at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville.

*ICE! Featuring The Polar Express
*Darryl Worley & Friends Dinner Show
*Ice Tubing
*Gingerbread Decorating
*Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends
*Ice Skating
*Merry Snoopy Christmas Scavenger Hunt
*Christmas Lights, Santa & More!

Holiday LIGHTS at Cheekwood

November 18, 2023 – January 07, 2024   |   5 – 10 PM

Nashville’s classic holiday tradition returns, featuring a one-mile walking path with elegant and creative displays of lights that set Cheekwood Estate & Gardens aglow. With over one million lights twinkling throughout the gardens, s’mores, seasonal libations and a Holiday Marketplace, Holiday LIGHTS is a memory-making experience for visitors of all ages.

Tennessee Residence 2023 Christmas Tours: “Heaven and Nature Sing”

Governor Bill Lee and First Lady Maria Lee invite you to celebrate the holiday season with Christmas at the Tennessee Residence. The Tennessee Residence will be decorated for Christmas and open for public tours on Friday, Dec. 1 – Sunday, Dec. 3 and Thursday, Dec. 7 – Sunday, Dec. 10.

The theme for the Christmas décor at the Tennessee Residence this year, “Heaven and Nature Sing,” will portray the larger-than-life magic that we experience in the delight and merriment of the holiday season, the beauty of Tennessee’s natural landscapes, and the joy of the coming of Christ and the salvation of the world.

Families, individuals and groups are welcome to register for a tour of Tennessee’s home that is sure to bring all the delight and merriment of the holiday season.

Self-guided tours are available at the Tennessee Residence during the dates and times indicated on the event sign up page. Tour reservations are required.

For more information, please see below or visit

Questions? Contact the Tennessee Residence at [email protected] or 615-399-4254.

Candy Cane Lane At Fifth + Broadway

Mark your calendar and bring the whole family to Candy Cane Lane at Fifth + Broadway on Sunday, December 10 from 11am-2pm.

  • First 200 people to visit Music City Shop will receive a custom Fifth + Broadway Stocking
  • Free Embroidery from Ranger Stitch (for stockings and select items)
  • Photos with Santa (12-2pm)
  • Kids activities courtesy of Preds, Sounds, Nashville SC
  • Gift Wrapping Services benefiting Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
  • Hot Chocolate courtesy of ELIXR Coffee Roasters
  • Holiday Shopping
  • Lunch Recommendations

The Dancing Lights of Christmas

November 10- December 31

1033 Sparta Pike, Lebanon
Sunday–Thursday 5-10 pm
Friday–Saturday 5-11 pm
$30 per family vehicle*

Santa’s Village and pictures with Santa also available (Santa available through Dec.23)

Franktown Festival of Lights

November 17- December 31, 5-9PM

4215 Long Lane- Williamson County Ag Expo Center in Franklin

The Festival of Lights is a rain or shine event that benefits FrankTown Open Hearts, a local nonprofit. This is the longest drive-thru holiday lights spectacular in Williamson County where we just added a half-mile extension! FrankTown Festival of Lights features over 200 displays that are synchronized to Christmas classics that guests can listen to on the radio as they enjoy the mile-and-a-half-long route.

In addition, every Wednesday is Walkin’ Wednesday, where guests can park their cars and walk the lighted route. Finish the night by taking photos at the giant tree and making s’mores over the fire pit! Walkers are allowed on the route from 5:00-6:30 pm. The route opens each of these nights at 7:00 pm for cars. They have special character nights as well on Dec 1, 6, 9, 19 and 22. Follow our Instagram and Facebook pages to keep up-to-date on all things FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS!

Dickens of a Christmas

December 9-10, Saturday 10A-6P, Sunday 11A-5P

Dickens of a Christmas presented by Wilson Bank & Trust recreates the time of Charles Dickens using historic downtown Franklin’s charming architecture as the backdrop. A variety of musicians, dancers and Dickens characters will fill the streets. Expect to see and interact with the nefarious Fagin from Oliver Twist; Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the rest of the Cratchit family from A Christmas Carol; and of course, a Victorian Father and Mother Christmas with treats for children. The festival is produced by the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County.


  • Arts & Crafts Vendors
  • Food & Beverage Vendors
  • Main Stage Entertainment
  • KidZone
  • Victorian Village with Holiday Dancers, Characters and Carolers
  • Acoustic Stage presented by Lipscomb University
  • Whiskey Lounge

Nashville’s Nutcracker

December 8-24, 2023

Inspired by the 2020 Emmy Award-winning film and named the best Dance Production of 2022 by Broadway World Nashville, this is Nashville’s can’t-miss holiday event. A uniquely Nashville Ballet rendition of the timeless classic, Nashville’s Nutcracker features original choreography by Artistic Director Emeritus, Paul Vasterling, stunning costumes and sets, live music by the Nashville Symphony, and plenty of holiday magic for the whole family to enjoy!

*Please note artists, performances, and dates are subject to change. Tickets are non-refundable.

East Nash Holiday Bash

December 1-2, 4-9P

This event is free and will include seasonal activities for all ages. Kick off the festive weekend at 6:30pm on Friday, December 1st. Everyone is invited to join in this free community tree lighting while enjoying holiday cocktails, local vendors, fire pits with a s’mores bar, live holiday music, food trucks and much more.

Enjoy a holiday cocktail while you shop for thoughtful gifts from the curated selection of local artisans, participate in a community tree lighting, capture the perfect group photo, warm up around a campfire while listening to live music, and so much more. Letters to Santa, Ornament Crafts, Fire pits with S’mores, And More!

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own ornament or make one onsite to decorate the tree that will be located in the lot next to Bongo East. The community tree will stay up through the holiday season!

Zoolumination at the Nashville Zoo

Nightly November 17-January 7
Thursday-Sunday January 11-February 4

See the zoo in a whole new light! Visit the country’s largest Chinese lantern festival featuring magical scenes of more than 1000 custom made silk lanterns!

Live Entertainment  |  Chinese acrobats and entertainers perform nightly at 6:00, 7:00 and 8:00 pm at the Amphitheater.

Animal Friends  |  Most of our animals go to bed before dark. However, Sumatran tiger and flamingos can stay up until 8:30 pm. Unseen New World will be open all night.

Beverages  |  Hot cocoa and cider (spiked available), beer, margaritas, specialty cocktails, coffee and soda will be available for purchase until around 8:00 pm nightly.

Food: Quills Cafe and Screaming Gibbon Pizza Kitchen will be open and festive sweet treats + classic Zoo snacks will be available at concession stands until around 8:00 pm nightly.

Meet Santa  |  Nov. 24 to Dec. 24, meet Santa at the barn behind the Historic Home starting at 5:30 pm

Know Before You Go: Advance tickets are suggested! Parking is $8. Members park free. This is a rain, snow or shine event. No refunds or rainchecks.

Christmas Parades

Franklin Kiwanis Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 2, 2-5PM

Winding through the streets of Historic Downtown Franklin, the Franklin Christmas Parade is a community celebration of the customs of Christmas and has been a Franklin holiday tradition for over 30 years. The Franklin Christmas Parade was the brainchild of the Kiwanis Club of Franklin which has presented the parade since its inception. The Franklin Christmas Parade has brought thousands of hours of pleasure to both the participants and the community at large as we gather to celebrate Christmas and herald the arrival of Santa Claus to Franklin.

The Franklin Christmas Parade is always held on the first Saturday in December (or the day after the City Christmas Tree lighting).

Beginning this year, our club, Downtown Franklin Rotary, has been entrusted with this legacy event and will be presenting the parade.

City of Goodlettsville Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 2, 4PM

The Annual Goodlettsville Christmas Parade will take place on Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 4:00pm. The theme for this year’s parade is Country Christmas.

City of Clarksville Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 2, 5-7PM

Spectators can enjoy the parade for free anywhere along the route which begins at Austin Peay State University and goes through Historic Downtown Clarksville. For safety purposes, spectators are asked to please stay off the roadway during the parade.

Downtown Clarksville, the theme is Holiday Songs!

Hendersonville Christmas Boat Parade 

Saturday December 2, 6P

The Hendersonville “Deck the Hulls” Christmas Boat Parade brings a ton of family fun and excitement to your holiday season! This holiday spectacular is great for all ages and attracts thousands of spectators seeking to enjoy the beautiful boat showcase. This event is organized by HolidayFest with cooperation from the Hendersonville Parks Department.

Columbia Main Street Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting

Saturday, December 2, 6-8PM

The City of Columbia, in partnership with the Columbia Main Street Corporation, invites you to attend the annual Columbia Main Street Parade and Tree Lighting! This night time parade kicks off at 6:00 PM beginning at the Trotwood/W. 7th Street split and marches eastward down the traditional parade route into downtown Columbia, lasting approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Then we transition from the parade to the tree lighting around 7:15-ish with live entertainment, announcement of parade winners, and Santa lighting Columbia’s 40-foot Christmas tree on the Courthouse Square!

Parade of Lights, La Vergne

Saturday, December 2, 5PM

The parade begins at City Hall and ends at Veterans Memorial Park, where the tree lighting ceremony and fireworks show will take place. This year’s theme is “Peace On Earth”. The grand marshal is Aaron Bock. Following the parade there will be Christmas carols, snacks, and pictures with Santa.

Watertown Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 3, 3PM

The parade will proceed down Main Street and end at Highway 70 and East Main Street. Don’t forget all of the other fun events in Watertown on December 3rd! Santa, Shopping, Live Music, and MORE! 

Bell Buckle Pet Parade

Saturday, December 2rd, Noon

The first Saturday in December means the ever-popular Christmas Pet Parade going right down Main Street! It’s a sight to see all those happy pets and their owners strutting on Main Street in their festive holiday attire!

City of Lebanon Christmas Parade

Sunday, December 3, 2PM

Theme: It’s a Rockin’ Christmas

Smyrna Christmas Parade

Sunday, December 3, 2PM

Spectators will gather along the parade route to watch floats, bands, classic cars, dancers, and Santa & Mrs. Claus, as they travel northbound on Lowry Street toward Sam Ridley Parkway.

*The Christmas Parade Food Drive is an important tradition in the Town of Smyrna.  We believe in neighbor helping neighbor, and we believe that no family in our community should experience food insecurity.  Please help us shatter our previous record of 82,384 items collected to benefit Nourish Food Bank.  Town personnel will collect food along the parade route

Leiper’s Fork Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 9, 2PM

Enjoy a good ole fashioned country Christmas parade in the heart of Leiper’s Fork. Hailed as “almost famous”, see cows, goats, pigs, antique tractors, floats and more in this wacky but wonderful event! Please arrive early as there is only ONE road thru the village and it will be closed at 1:50pm. Grand Marshall is Wynonna Judd and Cactus Moser.

Spring Hill Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 9, 5P

Come join us for the annual Spring Hill Christmas Parade, a festive event that brings the community together to celebrate the holiday season! Taking place on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 5:00 PM, this in-person parade promises to be a delightful experience for people of all ages Rain or Shine!

Gallatin Christmas Parade presented by The Goddard School

Saturday, December 9, 12-2PM

The Primrose School of Gallatin’s Gallatin Christmas Parade, powered by the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce, will take place on Saturday, December 9th.  The theme for this year’s parade is “The Spirit of Christmas.

Come enjoy this great Gallatin Tradition with your entire family!  it is a “not to be missed” event! The parade kicks off at 12:00 pm and will end with Santa Claus kicking off the holiday season!

City of Mt. Juliet Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 9th, 11AM

New Parade Route: Mt. Juliet League off of Lebanon Rd. to East Division Street off of N. Mt. Juliet Rd.
Theme: Tennessee Christmas
Grand Marshal: Chief James Hambrick

City of Eagleville Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 9th, 5-6PM

Theme: Christmas Past and Present

Murfreesboro Christmas Parade

Sunday, December 10, 2PM

Theme: Christmas Magic

Sights and sounds of the holiday season coming soon at the annual Murfreesboro Christmas Parade!

Floats, musical acts, and, of course, Santa and his sleigh will travel down Main Street beginning at MTSU and ending at the Historic Downtown Square.

Santa Sightings

Santa at Opry Mills

November 10th – December 24th
Park and enter at Entry 2, Santa will be waiting in between Coach and Ann Taylor.

*Caring Santa (sensory friendly event) is December 3rd
*Pet Photos is December 10th

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shop, Opry Mills

November 4th – December 24th
Experience the magic of Christmas at Santa’s Wonderland, reservations recommended
FREE 4×6 photo

Santa at Gaylord Opryland

November 10-December 24
Friday – Sunday 10am-8pm*
Monday – Thursday 12pm-8pm*
*10am-8pm daily from December 18- 21

Know Before You Go:

  • Tickets must be purchased in advance, online. No on-site box office.
  • Tickets are non-refundable. Optional ticket insurance is available for purchase.
  • Event location is Delta Atrium.
  • Additional fees for parking are non included in admission and charges will apply.
  • Personal Photography is not permitted.
  • Please arrive 5 minutes prior to scheduled time.
  • Other restrictions may apply

Santa at Cool Springs Galleria

November 9 – December 24
Visit Santa in the Center Court, lower level

  • Monday – Thursday: 11am – 7pm, Friday – Saturday: 10am – 8pm, Sunday: 12pm – 6pm
    *Please note: Santa takes a break to feed the reindeer from 3pm to 4pm on Monday thru Thursday, 1pm to 2pm and 5pm to 5:45pm on Friday & Saturday, and 2:30pm to 3pm on Sunday.
  • Pet photos with Santa: Mondays through December 18th
  • Character Appearances: Thursdays November 17, December 1, December 8, December 15; from 5pm to 7pm
  • Ginger-Snapped, a VIP Santa Experience: December 2nd, 9-11A
  • Titans Santa: December 7

Santa’s Flight Academy at The Mall at Green Hills

November 18th – December 24th
Upper level near Macy’s

Santa at Rivergate Mall

November 10th- December 23rd (make a reservation and skip the line!)
*Santa Cares (sensory friendly) December 12, 9:30-11A

Happy Santa at The Avenue Murfreesboro

Happy Santa is a special event for children with special needs and their families to visit with Santa in a sensory reduced environment.

This years Happy Santa will be held in Suite 1450 located near Sunglass Hut and Talbots from 9 am – 11 am on Saturday, November 11th.

Space for this event is limited, please reserve your time slot using the link below.

Happy Santa Reservation

Brunch With Santa at Assembly Hall
December 3, 2023 11A

Come join us for
Brunch with Santa on Sunday, December 3rd, from 11am to 1pm, to enjoy a delicious hot chocolate bar, write letters to Santa, and even meet the man himself. Nice and naughty list alike, come one, come all to the Hall!

Make sure to come hungry, because we’ve got quite the lineup of brunchy options to choose from… Walk on over to Whisk for your choice of crepe, savory or sweet! Check out one of our personal favorites, Cookies & Cream. Filled with cookie cream and strawberries, topped with chocolate sauce and ice cream, this crepe is sure to satisfy that pesky sweet tooth!
Brunch just isn’t brunch without The Liege Waffle Co., trust us. The Whip Di Parma is clearly a crowd favorite, how could it not be when it looks like this? Piled with whipped feta, arugula, prosciutto, and Mike’s hot honey, it’s the perfect savory choice to start your day with.
For another stop on the never-ending brunch train, we recommend stopping by Donut Distillery! Trust us, you simply cannot go wrong ordering the Cinnamon Sugar donut.

Snapshots with Santa at Crieve Hall
December 2, 11A
Crieve Hall Church of Christ, 4806 Trousdale, Nashville

Santa Claus is coming to town and will be at Brandon Leonard State Farm on December 5th from 5-7PM! Bring the family and enjoy free photos with Santa, hot chocolate, cookies, Christmas music and more!
This event is totally free and open to the public.
Brandon Leonard State Farm
7648 Hwy 70 S Ste 10
Nashville, TN 37221
For more info, call 615-866-5106 or email [email protected]

Santa at Liberty Station Murfreesboro 
December 23, 10A-2P
850 NW Broad Street, Murfreesboro

Milk & Cookie Pictures with Santa at Kid’s Corner
December 2nd, 9A-10:30A
2705 Old Fort Pkwy Suite K, Murfreesboro

Enjoy this magical moment forever with professional photos by Dani Jayden Photography. Each family will receive one fully edited digital image, with the option to purchase more. Tickets on sale starting 10/30 Four time slots are available, 9:00, 9:30, 10:00 & 10:30

Free Pictures with Santa at Baxter’s Mercantile of Columbia
November 11th, 11A-2P
808 S Garden Street, Columbia

Join us for our annual free pictures with Santa! Kids & pets welcome. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

 Know a great place we missed? Let us know in the comments!


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