Those dreaming of a white Christmas likely won’t get one in Tennessee this year, (UPDATE: Looks like we spoke too soon. The Nashville area welcomed snow on 12/25 for the first time in years!) but there are plenty of opportunities to experience a bright holiday season full of lights. Nashville and its surrounding areas have much to choose from in the way of festive displays, from the newly-reopened Opryland Hotel to the Sudekum Planetarium.
Closed since the devastating flood in early May, Gaylord Opryland Hotel reopened its doors on November 15th, just in time for their 27th annual A Country Christmas tradition. The over two million lights at the storied hotel draw thousands of visitors annually from across the Southeast and beyond. The festivities take place from November 19th through January 2nd and special events include holiday train and carriage rides, photos with Santa, and fun with genuine snow.
Enjoy a spectacular light display from the comfort of your own vehicle at Nashville’s Jellystone Park campgrounds, home of the famous Yogi Bear. From November 5th through January 2nd, the drive-through light and music show Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland can be experienced for $25 per car, with a nine person occupancy. Get a sneak peek of what you’ll see on YouTube.
This holiday season, do something a little different to get into the spirit with Laser Holidays, a high-tech animation and light show, at the Adventure Science Center’s Sudekum Planetarium. For this family-friendly event, the celestial stars are replaced with stars of the earthly variety, performing seasonal hits from Mariah Carey, Bing Crosby, and more. At $6 for members and $8 for non-members, this laser show is sure to impress.
View a million lights along the waters of the Cumberland River in Clarksville for free from November 23rd to January 3rd. McGregor Park’s RiverWalk stretches for seven-tenths of a mile for Christmas on the Cumberland and its decorations include a tunnel of lights and giant toy soldiers. Admission is free and pets are welcome.
Some of the brightest holiday lights this year are shining from the yards of everyday citizens in the neighborhoods of Davidson County. The Metro government holds the Ann Chapman Holiday Lights contest every year with district, regional, and overall winners. Check out last year’s competitors and get out there to see them; judging is held from November 29th-December 3rd.