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December is always a busy month, and this year is no exception. There is plenty of holiday fun to be had all around Nashville — from dazzling lights and local holiday markets to visits with Father Christmas himself. ‘Tis the season for enjoying the final days of 2020 with these can’t-miss December events!

A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland Resort, a Nashville event in December 2020

There are plenty of Nashville events to get you in the holiday spirit this December. Image: Gaylord Opryland Resort

23 Nashville Events & Happenings: December 2020

*And, as we are in a rise in COVID cases, these suggestions are all made with social distancing in mind and each is subject to change. Please look at websites and social media for updates.

Through December 26, 2020: 3rd Annual Franktown Festival of Lights

Head to the Williamson County AG Expo Center through December 26 for the 3rd Annual Franktown Festival of Lights. This year’s event is in a drive-through format and includes all new light displays. Hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night, and tickets start at $25 per vehicle.

Through December 31, 2020: Reindeer Games: A Christmas Pop-up Experience

Reindeer Games, Headquarters Beercade’s immersive Christmas pop-up experience, has returned for another season. Through December 31, visit the downtown bar for plenty of Christmas fun. In addition to holiday-themed cocktails, take a ride through the North Pole in Santa’s sleigh, sit upon your very own naughty or nice throne, or enjoy a photo opp with colorful gifts.

Through January 3, 2021: A Country Christmas

There is no better way to celebrate the holiday season in Nashville than gathering your family for socially distant holiday fun during “A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland Resort. Explore acres of twinkling lights and decorations and more than 17 hours of exciting holiday activities, shows and events — from ice tubing and ice skating to The Oak Ridge Boys’ “Christmas in Tennessee” dinner show. This year, you can also experience the all-new “I Love Christmas Movies” immersive pop-up event. You can walk through 13 movie scenes you know and love in this interactive experience, featuring Elf, The Polar Express, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, and A Year Without Santa Clause. Hours and ticket prices vary based on the activity.

RELATED: 6 New Cookbooks You’ll Want This Holiday Season

Through January 10, 2021: Holiday LIGHTS

Cheekwood’s annual Holiday LIGHTS is back again to get you in the holiday spirit. From November 20 through January 10, 2021, the gardens are decorated from top to bottom in twinkling lights. Tickets start at $26 for non-member adults and $16 for member adults.

December 1 – 24, 2020: Caroling for Kids

The Fannie Battle Day Home for Children Caroling for Kids fundraiser has gone virtual. Participants can fundraise by virtually campaigning alone or with a group, competing or voting in the teacher caroling competition on December 18, or giving directly on Fannie Battle’s website. Raise $50 and receive a reusable Caroling for Kids tote, raise $125 and receive a tote and t-shirt, and raise $250 or more to receive a tote, t-shirt and limited edition Hatch Show Print event poster. Register to fundraise through November 30, and campaign December 1 through 24.

December 3, 2020: One World, Many Journeys

In relation to the Frist Art Museum’s Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World exhibit, the Global Education Center performs dance traditions from different cultures to showcase stories of migration, identity, interactions with the natural world and the connections between all people. The production takes place over Zoom on December 3 at 5:30 p.m. The performance is free to view, but registration is required.

December 3, 2020: Woods Aesthetics Virtual Holiday Event

Each year, Woods Aesthetics holds a Holiday Event with 20% off skincare products and services. At this one-day-only event, you can pre-pay for services to last the whole year (botox, fillers, and more!) or simply buy a new bottle of your favorite skincare serum. This year, the event is virtual. Shop online at on December 3. See their Instagram for giveaways as well:

December 3, 10 & 17: Holiday Movie Series

There’s nothing like a classic Christmas movie and a cold brew. Head to TailGate Brewery’s headquarters on December 3, 10 and 17 for its holiday movie series. Each film is played in the brewery’s indoor barn, and showings include Elf (December 3), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (December 10) and Home Alone (December 17). Cheers!

December 4, 2020: Christmas at The Hermitage

Celebrate the holiday season at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage on December 4 at 5:30 p.m. The evening includes Christmas carols, holiday shopping, tours of the mansion, photos with Santa, a bonfire, food and drinks. It’s sure to be a fun-filled night for the entire family. Tickets for adults are $25, and tickets for children (ages 5 to 12) are $12.

December 4 – 31, 2020: JINGLE BEAT Presented by EAMOTION

Experience the magic of the holiday season at JINGLE BEAT, a contactless, drive-through holiday light experience at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Presented by EAMOTION, the event features large-scale, multi-sensory installations with thousands of lights that blink in rhythm to all of your favorite Christmas songs. The two-mile outdoor course includes a 50-foot pyramid with cascading images and 400-foot-wide projection-mapped surfaces. The production team behind the event is known for their work with award-winning artists like Kacey Musgraves, Billie Eilish and Lizzo. The event runs from December 4 through 31, and hours are Monday through Thursday, 4:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday through Sunday, 4:45 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tickets range from $45 to $60 per vehicle.

December 4, 2020 – January 3, 2021: Margaret Ellis Jewelry Holiday Sample Sale

Margaret Ellis Jewelry’s Holiday Sample Sale is the event you’ve been waiting for! This year, you have the option of shopping in-store or online. The event begins Friday, December 4, at 9 a.m., with four guests inside at a time for the ultimate private shopping experience. Save up to 75% off on old favorites, unique tweaks and one-of-a-kind pieces until everything is gone. You’re sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list — and snag several pieces for yourself, too! This is the perfect time to start or add to your ME collection. Curbside pickup and shipping services are available, and if you spend $200 or more, you can receive personal delivery within a 10-mile radius of the store.

December 5, 2020: Nashville Christmas Parade

The show must go on! The Nashville Christmas Parade takes place virtually on December 5 at 9 a.m. Gather the family and tune in to WKRN, Nashville’s News 2, to watch all the festivities from the comfort of your couch. The program includes stories from patients at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, sponsor spotlights and highlights from past parades.

December 5 & 6, 2020: Porter Flea Holiday Market

Finish up any last-minute holiday shopping at Porter Flea’s virtual market pop-up. Shop anything from jewelry and apparel to home decor and sweet treats. This year’s vendors include gold + ivy, Cotton & Moss, Bloomwolf Studio, Alison Holcomb Creative and more. The free event starts December 5 at 10 a.m. and ends December 6 at 5 p.m.

December 5 & 19, 2020: Breakfast with Santa

Grab the kiddos and head to the Nashville Farmers’ Market on December 5 and 19 to have a delicious breakfast with Santa. In addition to a yummy meal, families can also get their pictures taken with Father Christmas. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. both days.

December 5 – 27, 2020: East Nashville Holiday Market

The East Nashville Holiday Market takes place every weekend in December and features goodies from local vendors, such as candles, vinyl records, jewelry and more. In addition, the event includes live music and local food trucks. Admission is free, and the market is located at 400 Davidson Street.

December 5 – 27, 2020: Nutcracker High Tea

Throughout the month, The Hermitage Hotel hosts its Nutcracker Afternoon Tea event. Enjoy beloved recipes that have been passed down through generations and are complemented by a delicious array of teas. In addition, the event features holiday delicacies and music from The Nutcracker. Tickets are $60 for adults and $35 for children (ages 10 and under), and the event begins at 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

December 6, 13 & 20, 2020: Cookie Decorating Workshop

Nothing says Christmas quite like decorating delicious cookies. Head to Pies By Gigi in Brentwood on December 6, 13 or 20 to participate in a festive cookie decorating workshop. Tickets start at $25 and include everything you need to decorate seven Christmas cookies.

RELATED: 4 New Nashville Bakeries to Try — All Locally Owned!

December 8, 2020: Have a “Holly Jolly” Cooking Class

Whip up some delicious food inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on December 8 at 7 p.m. As part of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s “Salon Series,” this virtual workshop is led by Gray & Dudley’s Chef Matt Bell and features step-by-step instructions on how to make roasted winter squash, roasted chicken, and crêpes. Registration is free and closes December 5 at 5 p.m. Meal kits can be picked up from Gray & Dudley on December 7 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and December 8 from noon to 3 p.m.

December 9, 2020: Soundcheck Nashville’s Drive-Thru Toy Drive

Soundcheck Nashville’s annual toy drive is now in a drive-through format. On December 9 at 3 p.m., head to their parking lot to donate new, unwrapped toys. Plus, if you donate early or on the day of the event, you are entered to win exclusive prizes from Acreman Guitars, Taylor Guitars, Fender and more. The event also offers beverages, cookies, music and Chrismtas lights. If you can’t make the event, Soundcheck Nashville also accepts toys via mail.

December 11 & 18, 2020: Nashville’s Nutcracker

Join the Nashville Ballet on December 18 at 7 p.m. for the free televised premiere of Nashville’s Nutcracker. The two-hour production can be viewed on NewsChannel5 and includes exciting new additions, such as narration by former Tennessee Titan Eddie George. An exclusive behind-the-scenes look can also be viewed on NewsChannel5 on December 11 at 6:30 p.m.

December 12, 2020: An Evening in Harmony

The 2020 Nashville Symphony Ball is a go! Presented on WSMV-Channel 4 on December 12 at 7 p.m., “An Evening in Harmony” provides viewers the opportunity to donate to the symphony via text message. A virtual reception with food and drink also takes place at 6 p.m. This year’s recipients of the Harmony Award are country artist Maren Morris and contemporary blues artist Keb’ Mo’.

December 17, 2020: Have Yourself a Rockin’ Little Christmas with Lucinda

Join award-winning singer Lucinda Williams for her latest musical endeavor at City Winery: Lu’s Jukebox. The series includes themed music performed by Lucinda and her band, and on December 17 at 7 p.m., she takes the stage to play her favorite Christmas songs. The concert takes place via live stream, and tickets begin at $20.

December 30, 2020: TransPerfect Music City Bowl

The 2020 TransPerfect Music City Bowl airs live from Nissan Stadium on December 30 at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN. The participating teams have yet to be announced, but in-person tickets are on sale now, starting at $74.

Here’s to a festive and fun holiday season in Music City!


To see even more great Nashville events, visit our Happenings page.

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