Happy Holidays: Christmas & Year-End Events in the Tennessee Tourism Round Up

Celebrate the holidays with marshmallow hikes, hot chocolate, light shows, Christmas classic movies, plays and performances, concerts, gingerbread house workshops and visits with Santa. Tennessee is the place to be to ring in 2019 with special activities, parades and fireworks shows. Here’s a complete list of events across the state this holiday season.

Dec. 13

Nashville – Add some style to your happy hour, savor whiskey and small bites at Tomkats Barrel Blend Whiskey Tasting 6 p.m. on the 2nd floor of Acme Feed & Seed.

Murfreesboro – The Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra performs one of the most popular concerts of the year, Christmas at the Movies 7-9 p.m. at First United Methodist Church.

Knoxville – Enjoy Cookies with Santa on stage at the historic Tennessee Theatre. Doors open at 4 p.m. for cookie decorating, craft and coloring stations and photos with Santa.

Knoxville – Knoxville Opera will bring the sounds of the holiday season to Knox Area Rescue Ministries 6-7 p.m. at KARM Chapel, a gift of music of holiday favorites.

Dec. 13-16

Jackson – A church Christmas program spins hilariously out of control at The Ned with Christmas Belles, a southern farce about squabbling sisters, family secrets, a surly Santa and reluctant Elvis impersonator.

Nashville – Deck the halls with Christmas at the Mansion at Fontanel, share holiday laughs with performances of “A Tuna Christmas,” stroll among the decorated Christmas trees, have a festive beverage and enjoy live holiday music.

Knoxville – Relive Scrooge’s ghost-guided look into his past, present and future and his journey of redemption as Clarence Brown Theatre presents A Christmas Carol.

Jonesborough – Step back into the 1940s era with Jonesborough Repertory Theatre’s 1940s USO Christmas Show. The radio cast will broadcast live radio sits and sing & dance to patriotic and familiar Christmas tunes. Tickets are $16.

Elizabethton – Kick off the holidays at Sycamore Shoals State Park with great opportunities for holiday shopping at the Winterfest Art Show. The Watauga Valley Art League exhibition and sale begins with a reception Dec. 2.

Dec. 13-17

Adamsville – Discover the true meaning of the season as The Marty presents A Charlie Brown Christmas. Tickets are $5.

Dec. 13, 17

Jackson – All aboard the Polar Express at Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum 6-7:30 p.m. with a reading of the Polar Express with crafts, activities, cookies, hot chocolate and a special visit from Santa.

Dec. 13-23

Crossville – It’s Christmas Eve, 1941 and the unpredictable Sanders family gathers for one last holiday sing before son Dennis ships out for boot camp. A Sanders Family Christmas marks its final show through Dec. 23 at Cumberland County Playhouse.

Nashville – Hang out with Ariel, Flounder and Sebastian in the kingdom beneath the sea as Disney’s Little Mermaid takes the stage through Dec. 23 at Nashville Children’s Theatre.

Nashville – Ralphie, the leg lamp and frozen flag pole are back. Reaching year nine of the Nashville holiday tradition, Nashville Repertory Theatre presents A Christmas Story through Dec. 23 at Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

Nashville – Clara takes audiences on a journey through a spectacular dreamland as Nashville’s Nutcracker returns to Music City through Dec. 23 at Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

Nashville – A singing, swashbuckling adventure will have you flying high during Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirate’s Christmas at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

Murfreesboro – Usher in the holiday season with an enchanting Holiday Tour of Oaklands Mansion through Dec. 23. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $6 for children & students.

Dec. 13-25

Columbia – Experience the tunnel of lights, reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Christmas tree and light displays from the comfort of your car 5:30-8 p.m. at the Holiday Lights in Woodland and Fairview Parks. The driving tour of lights is free.

Dec. 13-28

Memphis – Starry Nights transforms Shelby Farms Park into a winter wonderland through Dec. 28. Drive through thousands of twinkling lights and holiday displays and spend time visiting Santa in the Mistletoe Village.

Dec. 13-29

Memphis – Bring the whole family for an amazing holiday experience at Zoo Lights at the Memphis Zoo on select nights through Dec. 29 with a holiday lights display, live reindeer, Santa Claus and Memphis Zoo on Ice.

Franklin – Experience Franklin’s Drive-Thru Christmas Spectacular 6-10 p.m. at Franktown Open Hearts’ Franktown Festival of Lights with a full mile of holiday illumination during the holiday season.

Dec. 13-30

Memphis – Experience snowy nights and lights under the stars during Holiday Wonders at the Garden select evenings 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Memphis Botanic Garden.

Nashville – Delight in the joy of the holiday season during Holiday Lights at Cheekwood. The Nashville tradition returns with 1 million lights illuminating the gardens for one of the prettiest winter strolls of the season.

Franklin – Studio Tenn takes an eye-popping spin on a “tale as old as time.” Bring the whole family to The Factory at Franklin for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Dec. 14

Memphis – The Graceland archivists created a new presentation full of stories and artifacts spotlighting Elvis Presley’s favorite time of the year: Christmas at Graceland. Watch the presentation at 3 p.m. at The Guest House at Graceland Theater.

Memphis – Christmas with Elvis at Graceland 8 p.m. at the Graceland Soundstage features Elvis’ holiday favorites with a full orchestra, featuring local Memphis musicians, vocalists, choirs and dancers.

Jackson – It’s time to gather round the ol’ Christmas tree for the fourth annual Our Jackson Home Holiday Show 6:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Center. A minimum donation of $10 is required and raises money for RIFA Jackson.

Crossville – Grinder House Coffee Shop presents “In the House,” a singer-songwriter show live 6 p.m. with performances by Margie Singleton and Joe Rucker.

Dec. 14-15

Memphis – Graceland’s Holiday Concert Weekend features three festive shows: Christmas with Elvis at Graceland – with a live orchestra; An Elvis Gospel Christmas; and Elvis Live in Concert with an all-star band featuring legendary guitarist James Burton.

Southside – Stroll through the earliest Lewis House, Batson Dogtrot House, smoke house, church/schoolhouse and wildlife center along the Candlelight Christmas Tour at Historic Collinsville. Tours depart from the visitor center every half hour 4-8 p.m.

Savannah – Christmas on Main in downtown Savannah brings the cheer with lights in the historic district, carriage rides, movies, ice skating, reindeer and crafts.

Dec. 14-16

Knoxville – Step through the wardrobe and enter the magical land of Narnia this holiday season as the Wordplayers & The Arts at Pellissippi present The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Clayton Center for the Arts.

Woodbury – Back by popular demand! The Ultimate Oldies Christmas Classics brings their sell-out Christmas show to the Arts Center of Cannon Co.

Dec. 14, 21

Nashville – Join Barre3 in the Gulch 4-7 p.m. for a 60-minute class followed by Holiday Happy Hour. Leave feeling strong, refreshed and happier. Bring a friend to class for free and enjoy complimentary drinks and nibbles after class.

Columbia – Enjoy late night shopping 5-8 p.m. during Fa La La Fridays downtown, including Needle & Grain, Muletown Pottery, Black Pearl, Faded Farmhouse, Asgard Brewing and more.

Dec. 14-23

Chattanooga – Give your child the opportunity to surprise loved ones. In the Holiday Shoppe at Creative Discovery Museum, children pick out, pay for gifts and wrap them, too. The shop is open 1-3 p.m. every weekend and some weekdays.

Dec. 15

Memphis – Enjoy a free screening of the Hallmark Channel’s “Christmas at Graceland” starring Kellie Pickler 2 p.m. at the Guest House at Graceland Theater.

Memphis – Legendary TCB Band guitarist James Burton presents an unforgettable concert experience, Elvis Live in Concert, performing the king of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest hits backed by an all-star band 8:30 p.m. at the Graceland Soundstage.

Memphis – A beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre. Tickets start at $25.

Shiloh – Shiloh National Cemetery at Shiloh Battlefield will honor the fallen during Wreaths across America Day 11 a.m. with a patriotic ceremony, followed by everyone in attendance joining in to help lay wreaths on graves.

Shiloh – Children can learn how Christmas was celebrated during the Civil War 2 p.m. at Shiloh National Military Park. Kids can make a Victorian Christmas ornament to take home and visit Santa during the event.

Union City – “Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!” The jolly man himself is headed to Discovery Park of America. Have your picture taken with Santa 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Dinosaur Hall.

Jackson – Lower Larue’s Breakfast with Santa downtown features an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, delicious biscuit bar, fun and creative pancake station, festive fruit, coffee/hot chocolate bar and children’s activities. Tickets are $15.

Bell Buckle – Santa and his sleigh offer free rides to all with a merry jaunt around the historic town. Bell Buckle’s Old Fashioned Christmas also sports a free s’mores bar set up around a fire pit, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cookies.

Leiper’s Fork – Enjoy a good old-fashioned country Christmas Parade 2 p.m. in the heart of Leiper’s Fork. The grand marshal is John Schneider, aka “Bo Duke.” See cows, goats, pigs, antique tractors and floats in this wacky and wonderful event.

Gallatin – Tell Santa your Christmas wishes during Saturdays with Santa at Bledsoe Creek State Park. Little ones and dogs are welcome. Visits are $5. Families can also enjoy a free winter hike on the trails.

Jonesborough – Christmas in Olde Jonesborough features carols and storytelling. Each Saturday features a different theme, including Whoville Christmas, Doggone Christmas, Fun with Frosty & Friends and Christmas Church Tour.

Bristol – Calling all musicians. The Birthplace of Country Music Museum hosts a full-on Community Jam Session 2-5 p.m. with a space for local musicians to gather, pick and collaborate.

Elizabethton – Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park’s Overmountain Christmas Open House 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is a festive time of period carolers, Christmas stories, an art show, activities and Christmas shopping at the new gift shop.

Dec. 15-16

Cornersville – Tour an antebellum mansion for Christmas at Lairdland Farmhouse and Civil War Museum. Tickets are $5.

Dec. 15, 22

Columbia – Get your Glow On in downtown Columbia with shopping, live music, fun & games, Santa Claus and the lights of the city’s new giant Christmas tree. There will be a cookie eating contest Dec. 15.

Dec. 16

Memphis – Grammy Award winner Chip Davis presents Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics along with a selectin of compositions from Chip’s groundbreaking Fresh Aire series 6:30 p.m. at Orpheum Theatre.

Nashville – Runaway June will headline a full day of activities that includes Songwriter Sessions with Pat Alger and Jamie Floyd, Hatch Show Print demonstrations, Historic RCA Studio B tours and more during the FREE Community Day at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Nashville – The Holiday Concert: Providence Pipes 2 p.m. at Frist Art Museum takes listeners back to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the early Baroque eras.

Gallatin – John Berry returns with his crowd-pleasant Christmas concert, “Christmas Songs and Stories with John Berry” 7:30 p.m. at The Palace Theatre.

Dec. 17, 22

Nashville – Drew & Ellie Holcomb and their band The Neighbors bring their annual Christmas celebration, Neighborly Christmas, back to Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

Dec. 19-20

Nashville – Celebrate the season with an evening of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s most beloved holiday tunes and hits. Terry Mike Jeffrey performs an Elvis Christmas with the Nashville Symphony 7:30 p.m. at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

Dec. 21

Memphis – Join a special Firepit Friday 4:30-6:30 p.m. in River Garden. Get last minute holiday gifts from the only Holiday Market on the river with fire pits, s’mores, hot cocoa, artisan cocktails, funky holiday tunes and great local artists.

Memphis – Drew and Ellie Holcomb and their band, The Neighbors, bring their Christmas celebration 8 p.m. to the Orpheum Theatre for a night of Christmas classics, holiday tunes and Holcomb favorites like “Fire & Dynamite.”

Nashville – It’s a true Flashback Friday at the Rubiks Groove live 80s & 90s dance party 8 p.m. at 3rd & Lindsley. Tickets are $17.

Nashville – A Renaissance Noel 6 p.m. at Frist Art Museum includes a variety of medieval and Renaissance songs from France, England, Germany and Spain. The concert in Frist Café is free.

Crossville – Five songwriters take the stage 6-8 p.m. for Grinder House Coffee Shop’s “In the House” live Christmas show with performances by Ted Graves, Nita Graves, Michael Debills, Robert Meza and Gerald Smith.

Brentwood – Bundle up and join Owl’s Hills Nature Sanctuary’s annual Winter Solstice Night Hike at 6 p.m. Come early to picnic in the Russel Gathering Pavilion, then go to the woods for a lesson in naked eye astronomy and calling wild owls.

Dec. 26-28

Murfreesboro – Listen to stories of soldiers; join a ranger to explore the places and people that make up the story at Stones River National Battlefield’s 156th Anniversary Programs.

Dec. 27

Shiloh – Happy 124th birthday, Shiloh National Military Park. The park will celebrate with ranger-led programs and a birthday cake.

Brentwood – Get out of the house and take a nice hike in the winter woods followed by hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows 10 a.m. at Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary for the annual Marshmallow and Hot Chocolate Hikes.

Dec. 28

Nashville – The 21st annual Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl pits Auburn against Purdue 12:30 p.m. at Nissan Stadium downtown.

Dec. 30

Chattanooga – Celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the Discovery at Ruby Falls. The first 90 guests to arrive at Ruby Falls will receive the original $2 rate, a souvenir postcard, as well as some lesser known facts and legends about the cavern.

Dec. 31

Memphis – The biggest party of the year happens on Historic Beale Street with live music, dancing, food, fireworks, drinks and more. Thousands will flock to Beale beginning 10 p.m. to watch the guitar drop at midnight. The event is free.

Memphis – The Peabody Hotel’s annual New Year’s Eve Party 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. features performances by Garry Goin Group, Seeing Red and DJ Epic. Tickets start at $50. $150 VIP passes includes the party, VIP lounge, hors d’oeuvres, Stella Artois, champagne and valet parking.

Union City – Spend your final night of 2018 at Discovery Park of America 8 p.m. at the New Year’s Eve Gala. Heavy apps, great music, drinks and company make for a wonderful way to ring in 2019.

Jackson – Join Habitat for Humanity at the New Southern for the Dream Builder’s Gala, an evening of dinner, music, games and a toast to the New Year. General admission and hors d’oeuvres will open at 8:45 p.m. with a champagne toast at midnight.

Nashville – Watch the Music Note Drop and spectacular fireworks at Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight with performances by Keith Urban, Brett Young, Peter Frampton, Devon Gilfillian, Fisk Jubilee Singers, Judah and the Lion and Caitlyn Smith at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.

Columbia – Toast at midnight, learn the new dance The Mule Trot Drop and ring in 2019 at the Mule Drop in historic downtown Columbia. The party starts at 11 p.m. and you can bring in the New Year with a $5 keepsake flute with sparkling cider.

Chattanooga – Ring in the New Year with Father Time at New Year’s at Noon at Creative Discovery Museum. Make a juice toast at the party created for families. The event is free with museum admission.

Chattanooga – Board the Chattanooga Riverboat Co.’s Southern Belle for New Year’s on the River with live entertainment, DJ, dancing and a midnight toast. Ring in 2019 at the new hotel, Moxy Chattanooga, featuring an open bar, music, party favors, heavy appetizers and more for Moxynooga Eve. Ice on the Landing hosts is Special Late Night Skate New Year’s Eve Party 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Lace up your skates, twirl around the rink, listen to music and make a sparkling cider toast at midnight.

Knoxville – It’s a party on Knoxville Market Square New Year’s Eve beginning at 10 p.m. The free event features a traditional ball drop at midnight, music, food and family-friendly activities to keep you entertained.

Gatlinburg – Welcome the New Year in style at one of the largest organized New Year’s Eve events in the nation. Nearly 50,000 people will gather at midnight to watch the New Year’s Eve Drop and Fireworks Show at the base of the Space Needle.

Ongoing

Statewide – Late night campfire s’mores, sky gazing, night hikes, gingerbread house workshops and Christmas storytelling programs: Tennessee State Parks has you covered for the holidays. Find a full list of events here.

Jackson – Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland takes over the Jackson General Ballpark, spreading Christmas cheer with its magical drive through light show. This year’s theme will take guests through the “Twelve Days of Christmas” through Jan. 6.

Union City – Hop in the car and head to Discovery Park of America for the Let It Glow Light Show. See thousands of twinkling lights and sing along to your favorite Christmas songs and remixes with the custom radio station through New Year’s Eve.

Clarksville – The City of Clarksville’s 20th year of Christmas on the Cumberland creates lasting memories with more than 1 million lights, seasonal crafts, dances and activities through Jan. 1 at McGregor Park.

Clarksville – Start a new holiday tradition with your family while enjoying twinkling lights from the comfort of your car during the Drive-Thru Christmas Lights through Dec. 31 at Clarksville Speedway and Fairgrounds.

Nashville – Celebrate the holiday season with Deck the Halls at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in December. Stop by for a family photo with Santa, cookie decorating, ornament making and holiday programs. Historic RCA Studio B will also come to life with a special holiday tour, followed by a concert of Christmas classics.

Nashville –A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland features Cirque Dreams Holidaze Stage Spectacular, ICE! featuring Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Trace Adkins Christmas, holiday lights and more through Jan 1.

Nashville – Hit the ice to get into the holiday spirit with public skate sessions during the Smashville Holiday Festival at Ascend Amphitheatre through Jan. 21.

Murfreesboro – Ice skate on the rink, enjoy beautiful holiday decorations and musical performances on the plaza during Winterfest through Jan. 21 at Fountains at Gateway.

Cookeville – The largest Christmas Light Spectacular in the Upper Cumberland continues your family tradition with a tour of the lights, bonfires on Saturday nights and visits with Santa & Frosty at Hidden Hollow Park.

McMinnville – Create new traditions with family and friends 333 feet below at Cumberland Caverns. Guests will receive a free limited edition Christmas ornament featuring the iconic Volcano Room chandelier if they book a tour now through Dec. 31.

Knoxville – Downtown restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, bars and boutiques feature peppermint specials through Jan. 6 including peppermint coffees, hot chocolate, desserts, cocktails, cookie decorating and glass blowing on the Peppermint Trail.

Knoxville – Be dazzled by hundreds of lighted displays and 68,000 lights at Light the Park starting at 5 p.m. at Founders Park at Campbell Station.

Chattanooga – Holidays under the Peaks at the Tennessee Aquarium features special programs like romping river otters, toad-ly awesome amphibians and the bearded dragon, a lizard so fast it could be a walk-on for Santa’s sleigh through Dec. 31.

Rock City – The award-winning Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights returns for its 24th season with more than 1 million LED lights and the largest, first-of-its-kind walk-through Christmas tree, open through New Year’s Eve.

Pigeon Forge – Head to Patriot Park for the 29th annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration. Draped in more than 5 million holiday lights, Pigeon Forge creates a winter wonderland for guests and locals through the end of February.

Pigeon Forge – Travel back in time and experience Christmas on the Titanic with holiday light displays, towering Christmas trees, festive décor and souvenir photos with Santa’s reindeer at the Titanic Museum.

Kodak – See one of the world’s largest LED drive through light spectaculars. Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland at Smokies Stadium is an orchestra of light and music during Smoky Mountain Winterfest.

 

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