For young and old alike, seeing our community “light up” around the holiday season is a delight that few holiday traditions top. (Aside from maybe taking in Christmas lights with a cozy, hot cocoa in hand, of course). Just like everything else in the Nashville area, there’s impressive variety and quality ranging from the professional to the quirky; all with pleasant surprises and holiday treats. Below are some of Middle Tennessee’s favorite holiday lights, galore:
Hillsboro – West End Holiday Lights Carriage Tour
For the first weekend in December, take in this historical – feeling, magical carriage tour of the Hillsboro-West End neighborhoods that go “all out” when it comes to decorating their homes. Ticket money from this 30-minute carriage ride goes to the neighborhood association fund. Worried about being cold? Blankets are provided for those that request!
Cheekwood Holiday Lights
Arguable the most magical of the Nashville area, Cheekwood’s Holiday LIGHTS is an annual take-over of the Cheekwood gardens and mansion with “one million” lights along a one-mile walking path! As if the one million lights weren’t enough, Cheekwood has s’more pits, (real!) reindeers, hot chocolate and Santa each night, with special events scattered throughout the schedule. Open nightly from 5pm to 10pm, through December 30th (excluding Christmas day), there’s no excuse to miss it! (Be sure to check online for special “late night” pricing and group pricing, along with information on a shuttle bus for easy parking!).
Gaylord Opryland Hotel
Nashville’s Opryland Hotel turns into a holiday-themed fantasy-land this time of year. Boasting 3 million lights around “every bend” of the resort is just the beginning of their holiday celebrations. Along with the lights they have a holiday fountain show with lights and music, a Cirque Dreams Holidaze show, ice skating, carriage rides Grinch – themed activities and ice skating. This sounds like a “staycation” if we’ve ever heard of one!
Franktown Festival of Lights
For a truly comfy, cozy experience where you can stay in your car and wind your way through more than 50 light displays while listening to synchronized holiday classics, Franktown’s Festival of Lights in Franklin is your place. Open 7 days a week from 6pm to 10pm, through December 29th, it’s $25 per carload with proceeds going towards Franktown Open Hearts.
Chad’s Winter Wonderland
For a drive through lights-galore experience for those out towards Lebanon, Chad’s Winter Wonderland is open nightly 6pm – 10pm (except New Year’s Eve) for $15 a car (cash only). Going 37 years strong, this Lebanon staple has a true home-y feel, with special updates on Facebook on when there is no line, and Chad’s Winter Wonderland shirts and sweatshirts for sale at the entrance. Anything going on for 37 years in Middle Tennessee is worth seeing in our book!
Christmas on the Cumberland
For those living north of the city, Clarksville’s Christmas on the Cumberland is a family (and free!) favorite. Light displays containing over 1 million lights cover can be enjoyed while walking the 7/10ths of a mile through the McGregor RiverWalk. December 8th and 15th are special nights where there are crafts, dancers, carolers, and treats available! Want to bring the family’s four-legged favorite? Pets are allowed as long as they stay on leash and are cleaned up after!