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SB NOTE: As we are experiencing 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, and check the most up-to-date CDC guidelines for the latest safety recommendations.


A new year brings a fresh batch of events. As you begin to map out your 2021 calendar, be sure to include these can’t-miss events happening in and around Music City. From hikes and fun runs to new art exhibits and live music, here’s what you have to look forward to this month.

Nashville January event: Orchids in the Mansion

Cheekwood’s Orchids in the Mansion exhibit is just one of the many events happening in Nashville this month. Image: Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

20 Nashville Events & Happenings: January 2021

Through 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 runs through January 3, and four guests are allowed inside at a time for the ultimate private shopping experience. Save up to 75% off on old favorites and one-of-a-kind pieces until everything is gone. It’s 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.

January 1, 2021: First Day Hike 2021

What better way to kick off 2021 than with some fresh air? Head to Montgomery Bell State Park on January 1 at 10 a.m. for a free nature hike on Jim Bailey Trail. The excursion is led by Ranger Tim and includes discussions about the area’s history and nature.

January 2, 2021: Frostbite 5K/10K

Embrace the cold weather this season with YMCA of Middle Tennessee’s Frostbite 5K/10K. On January 2, join fellow runners as you make your way through the YMCA’s surrounding hills. The race begins at 7:30 a.m. at Sumner County Family YMCA, and registration starts at $45. There is also a virtual race option that takes place January 1 through January 3 for runners who wish to participate at a pace and course of their choosing.

January 2, 9 & 16: Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary Marshmallow Hikes

Join Owl’s Hill for its annual Marshmallow Hike series. After strolling through the nature sanctuary’s winter woods, treat yourself to some hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. Hikes take place on January 2, 9 and 16 at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Registration is $10 per hiker and must be done in advance online.

RELATED: 5 Southern Winter Hikes to Take This Year

January 3, 2021: Twelfth Night at Historic Travellers Rest

Historic Travellers Rest’s annual Twelfth Night event takes place virtually this year. The program features a tour of the house as staff members discuss holiday traditions from the early 19th century. The one-hour event takes place on January 3 at 4 p.m. Registration is a monetary amount of your choosing, but the suggested donation is $15.

January 5, 2021: Soul Workout

Join GRAMMY Award-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum on January 5 at 6 p.m. for his virtual Soul Workout class. Kirk walks attendees through the techniques and concepts that make jazz musicians “soul communicators.” Registration is $35 and must be completed by January 3.

January 7, 2021 – December 30, 2021: Alive & The Bluebird

Every January for the past 28 years, The Bluebird Cafe and a host of songwriters have helped raise funds for Alive Hospice. This year’s Alive & The Bluebird series consists of 15 live-streamed shows from The Bluebird. Performances stream every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in January and the first Thursday of each month thereafter. Tickets cost $20, and attendance is limited. Note that you need to create a account before accessing tickets.

January 7, 2021: Ketch Secor’s Folk City

Join Ketch Secor, a founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show, for an exclusive evening of stories and songs. The event also includes a performance by special guest Waylon Payne. Presented by WMOT Roots Radio, the show takes place at 3rd and Lindsley on January 7 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.

January 8, 2021 – January 9, 2022: A Landmark Repurposed: From Post Office to Art Museum

The Frist Art Museum kicks off its 2021 season and 20th anniversary with A Landmark Repurposed: From Post Office to Art Museum. The exhibit highlights the building’s role as a post-office-turned-art-museum. Photos, videos and interviews walk guests through the building’s unique architecture and history. The exhibit also addresses how historic buildings can be repurposed through connections with American Art Deco: Designing for the People, which takes place in the Ingram Gallery from October 8, 2021, through January 2, 2022. Admission is free for members and visitors under 18. Non-member tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors (ages 65 and up), and $8 for military members.

January 9, 2021: Virtual Event with Andrea Williams, Author of Baseball’s Leading Lady

On January 9 at 2 p.m., authors Andrea Williams and Andrew Maraniss host a free Facebook Live event. Presented by Parnassus Books, Andrea discusses her book Baseball’s Leading Lady, which tells the story of Effa Manley — the first and only woman inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

January 10, 2021: Pink Floyd: The Wall Sunday Matinee

Nashville’s Hard Rock Café hosts a Sunday matinee viewing of Pink Floyd: The Wall on January 10 at 4 p.m. The 1982 film is based on the rock band’s famous album, The Wall, and is driven by music alongside imagery and symbolism. The showing is 18-and-up, and tickets are sold on a pay-what-you-can basis.

January 14, 2021: Elvis is in the Building

Join Avenida Cools Springs as they celebrate The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll! On January 14 at 4:30 p.m., test your Elvis knowledge with trivia to win fantastic door prizes. In addition, private in-person tours are also available for those who wish to learn more about Avenida Cool Springs and its Professional Referral Program. Call (615) 599-3000 by Tuesday, January 12, to reserve your spot. Note that space is limited, and CDC guidelines are to be followed.

January 14, 2021: Heels & Handshakes Holiday Party

Celebrate the end of 2020 at Virgin Hotel Nashville’s Heels & Handshakes Holiday Party. The event includes drinks, food, music from Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos, and a photo booth. The celebration takes place on January 14 at 4 p.m., and tickets are $45. Masks are required for entry.

January 16, 2021: Northern Lights Bob Ross Workshop

Have you ever wanted to paint like Bob Ross? Now’s your chance. On January 16, Certified Ross Instructor Quintin Burlingame teaches Bob Ross’ famous wet-on-wet painting technique. Fit for all skill levels, participants walk away with a completed 12-by-16-inch painting of the Northern Lights. The class takes place on January 16 at 1 p.m. at Metro Parks Centennial Park Center. To purchase tickets, call (615) 862-8442.

January 18, 2021: Grand Opening of the National Museum of African American Music

On January 18, the long-awaited National Museum of African American Music finally opens in downtown Nashville. The museum features seven main galleries, each one taking visitors through the history of music that was created, inspired by, or influenced by African Americans. These exhibits include the Roots Theater and exhibits like Rivers of Rhythm Pathways, Wade in the Water, Crossroads, A Love Supreme, One Nation Under a Groove and The Message. Tickets are $24.95 for adults, $13.50 for youth (ages 7 to 17), and $18.75 for seniors (ages 65 and up), teachers, students and military members. Multi-day tickets are also available for $37.50.

RELATED: Marie Sueing on Nashville’s Newest Cultural Hotspot

January 24, 2021: Flower Power

Escape the January cold and transport yourself to a sunshine-filled garden. On January 24 at 10 a.m., head to Art & Soul for a one-day art workshop. Art instructor Lisa Paige Binder teaches everything you need to know about creating colorful abstract flowers and landscapes using acrylic paints, paint pens, and collage and altered papers. Students can bring their own materials, or extras are available for an additional $15. The class fee is $100, and Art & Soul members receive a 15% discount.

January 26, 2021: FYI Naturalist: Save Food; Waste Less in Nashville

Join members from Metro Public Works and the Nashville Food Waste Initiative on January 26 at 6 p.m. to learn about how you can use less waste and help Nashville reach its zero-waste goal. The virtual panel discusses how to prevent food waste, rescue surplus food by volunteering with nonprofit organizations, and recycle food scraps. Registration is free and can be completed online.

January 30, 2021: RiseUp! Women’s Summit 2021

Join the Junior League of Nashville on Saturday, January 30, for its inaugural RiseUp! Women’s Summit. Starting at 9 a.m., the virtual event features panel discussions, workshops and presentations — all created to inspire women of all ages, backgrounds and locations to pursue their passions. The event also features guest speakers who discuss topics like wealth creation and managing personal finances as well as personal and professional development. Speakers include Tiffany Taylor-Chen (president and co-founder of Tiff’s Treats), Shannen Stewart (founder and president of Heels & Handshakes), Kathy Thomas (founder and CEO of Collective615) and many more. Regular tickets are $35 and include an all-access pass and a $10 gift, and patron tickets are $100 and include an all-access pass and a $30 gift.

January 31, 2021 – February 6, 2021: Virtual Zoo Run Run

Lace up your running shoes because the annual Zoo Run Run is back for another year! The 5K is now in a virtual format, so you can participate from anywhere you like starting January 31. In addition to the run, the event also hosts a costume contest and a timed option. Early bird registration ends January 10, and all proceeds benefit the Nashville Zoo. Registration starts at $35 for adults and $25 for children (ages 5-12). A 1-mile fun run option is also available for $5.

January 31, 2021 – February 28, 2021: Orchids in the Mansion

Starting January 31, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens presents its third annual Orchids in the Mansion exhibit. From floor to ceiling, the historic mansion and loggia are decorated with colorful orchids and tropical foliage. The display continues throughout various rooms and galleries. The exhibit runs through February 28, and admission is $24 for adults, $22 for seniors (ages 65 and up), $20 for college students, $17 for children (ages 3 to 17), and children under 2 are free.

Happy New Year, Nashville!


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

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