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Nashville Events & Happenings: December 2021


Nashville Events & Happenings: December 2021

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 holiday markets to visits with Father Christmas himself. ‘Tis the season for enjoying the final days of 2021 with these can’t-miss December events!

Through January 2, 2022: A Country Christmas

Celebrate Christmas the Nashville way at Gaylord Opryland Resort’s annual A Country Christmas event. Explore acres of twinkling lights and decorations along with other exciting holiday activities, shows, and events — from ice tubing and ice skating to The Oak Ridge Boys’ “Christmas in Tennessee” dinner show. New this year is Mission: Save Christmas featuring Elf™, where guests are invited into a multi-sensory experience to prepare for Santa’s arrival and help save Christmas. Events like the Christmas lights, Christmas fountain show, and Wildlife Rescue are free to attend, and ticketed events begin at $4.99. The fun runs through Sunday, January 2.

Through January 9, 2022: Holiday LIGHTS

Cheekwood’s annual Holiday LIGHTS event returns to help get you in the holiday spirit. Through Sunday, January 9, the gardens are decorated from top to bottom with thousands of twinkling lights. Additional events include a reindeer village, children’s wonderland, holiday workshops, a brand-new holiday marketplace, and more. Evening tickets start at $26 for non-member adults and $16 for member adults.

December 1 – 4, 2021: Yearly Co. Holiday Shopping Event

Stop by Yearly Co. on December 1-4 to knock out some of your holiday shopping. The event includes champagne and light bites, classic Yearly Co. pieces along with an exclusive vintage collection, and a few holiday surprises (including savings and giveaways!). The event is free to attend and takes place during regular store hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

December 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29: Standard Proof Whiskey Unplugged Music Nights

Head to Standard Proof Whiskey Co.’s tasting room every Wednesday for a night of live music and a special cocktail menu. Enjoy delicious libations as you watch some of the best local artists and songwriters perform at the downtown Nashville microdistillery. Music runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Follow @standardproofunplugged to see each week’s lineup.

December 2 – 5, 2021: Steal Away

Inspired by traditional spirituals and art songs, Steal Away is a music-dance-opera hybrid that tells a story of hardship, redemption, and renewal. From December 2-5 at OZ Arts’ expansive warehouse, dozens of Nashville artists ages 8-78 are featured in the multigenerational cast. The show is a dynamic collaboration between composer Dave Ragland, choreographer Shabaz Ujima, Inversion Vocal Ensemble, Diaspora Orchestra, Rejoice School of Ballet, Friends Life Community, and shackled feet DANCE. Tickets begin at $20.

December 2 – 31, 2021: Stephens Valley Festival of Trees

The holidays are here, and Stephens Valley is back with a festive experience for all ages! The community transforms into a magical winter wonderland from Thursday, December 2, through Friday, December 31. Experience countless holiday lights, your favorite food trucks, classic Christmas movies, and unique Christmas trees decorated by surrounding businesses in the area. Though the event is free each night, the community is collecting food and donations for Bellevue Food Bank. Event hours are daily, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

December 2, 2021 – January 1, 2022: Spend the Holidays at The Hermitage

Spend the holidays at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage to learn more about a leader who shaped a young nation’s future. Tour the Greek Revival-style mansion, enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride, stroll through the garden, hike the trails with your four-legged friend, eat lunch in the new on-site café, Bailey & Cato Family Restaurant, and sample local wine and craft beer in the on-site tasting room, Natchez Hills Winery. Hours are Thursday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Note: The Hermitage is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.)

December 3, 2021 – January 2, 2022: Margaret Ellis Jewelry Sample Sale

The annual Margaret Ellis Sample Sale is back and not to be missed! The studio opens at 9 a.m. on Friday, December 3, for first dibs on a variety of favorites, unique tweaks, and one-of-a-kind handmade artisan jewelry at up to 75% off. The sale continues online and in the studio through Sunday, January 2 — or until everything is gone! You’re sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday list, and at these unbelievable prices, be sure to snag several pieces for yourself, too. The studio is open Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, December 4 and 18, noon to 4 .m. (Note: The ME studio is closed December 24-January 2.)

December 4, 2021: 40th Annual Rudolph’s Red Nose Run 5K

Now in its 40th year, Rudolph’s Red Nose 5K is a family-friendly event that benefits NeedLink Nashville, a nonprofit organization providing short-term assistance to those in need. The race begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, December 4, at Nissan Stadium. Be sure to stick around after the race for holiday-themed goodies and photos with Rudolph. Plus, wear your best Rudolph costume for a chance to win the event’s costume contest! Registration is $40 and includes a quarter-zip pullover. (Note: A virtual option is also available.)

December 4, 2021: Lillian’s Floral Studio + Solana Holiday Pop-Up

As a part of Lillian’s Floral Studio’s annual holiday pop-up series, the studio hosts Knoxville-based Solana on Saturday, December 4, at 10 a.m. Enjoy mulled wine as you peruse all-natural, hand-poured beeswax candles, sustainable bath and body products, and non-toxic home and cleaning solutions with zero-waste refills. The pop-up is free to attend.

December 4, 2021: The Winter Warmer

As Nashville’s only winter beer festival, the annual Winter Warmer is not to be missed. Hosted by M.L.Rose Craft Beer & Burgers, the festival takes place at Sevier Park and hosts 35+ breweries offering everything from sours to stouts, porters, wine, and more. The event begins at 11 a.m., and general admission tickets are $100. Proceeds benefit the Oasis Center Bike Workshop, which allows local youth to build their own bikes from the frame up.

December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, & 19: 3rd Annual East Nashville Holiday Market

The East Nashville Holiday Market takes place every weekend in December leading up to Christmas. In addition to hosting local vendors, the event offers live music and local food trucks. Select weekends include photo-ops with Santa, door prizes, and ornament-making classes. Admission is free, and the market is located at 400 Davidson Street. Event hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 6 & 13, 2021: Third and Home Monday Night Football Watch Parties

On Monday, December 6, and Monday, December 13, head to Third and Home, Germantown’s bar with a ballpark, for a Monday Night Football watch party. Doors open at 4 p.m. for happy hour before the 7:15 p.m. kickoff, and attendees can enjoy buy-four-get-the-fifth-free on Bud Light or Bud Light Seltzer all night long.

December 9 – 24, 2021: It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

The holiday classic, It’s A Wonderful Life, comes alive through a live 1940s radio broadcast on WAKM. With the help of an ensemble of five actors who bring a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. Tickets are also available for in-person events at the Jamison Theater in Franklin, TN, beginning at $35. Showtimes vary based on the day.

December 10, 2021: Mistletoe Mixology

Ring in the most wonderful time of the year on Friday, December 10, as you learn the art of mixology, the flavor wheel, and how to balance your own cocktail creations. Hosted by J. Jackson Mobile Mixologist, participants also have the chance to make three holiday-themed drinks while enjoying Christmas music, trivia, and more festive fun. All tickets include a stainless-steel bar tools kit (valued at $49). The event takes place at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage at 7 p.m., and tickets are $70 for Hermitage members and $75 for non-members.

December 10 & 11, 2021: Porter Flea Holiday Market

Finish any last-minute holiday shopping at the Porter Flea Holiday Market. Shop everything from jewelry and apparel to home decor and sweet treats. This year’s vendors include Alice Rise, Blanket Fort Studio, ELT collective, Hue Nails + Beauty, and more. The free event takes place at the Nashville Fairgrounds, and hours are Friday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Note: Masks are required at this indoor event.)

December 11, 2021: Santa Sips, Presented by Middle Tennesse Honda Dealers

Santa Claus is coming to town … and the Nashville Zoo! On Saturday, December 11, the zoo hosts Santa Sips, an adults-only, holiday-themed celebration. Attendees can enjoy unlimited samples from adult beverage purveyors, festive holiday drinks, live music, food trucks, animal encounters, and a special animal-themed gift shop. The event begins at 5:30 p.m., and general admission tickets are $80.

December 11, 2021: 2021 Symphony Ball

The 2021 Nashville Symphony Ball returns to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Saturday, December 11. The 75th-anniversary concert includes performances by the Nashville Symphony and violinist Itzhak Perlman. The concert begins at 8 p.m., and complimentary beverages and a dessert reception follow. Tickets start at $150.

December 11 & 12, 2021: 36th Annual Dickens of a Christmas

Presented by The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, the annual Dickens of a Christmas event takes place in historic downtown Franklin on Saturday, December 11, and Sunday, December 12. The festival includes classic holiday decorations, dancers, live music, characters from A Christmas Story, and, of course, Father and Mother Christmas. Event hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 12, 2021: Jazz AM: Ella Fitzgerald

The Nashville Jazz Workshop presents Jazz AM, a fun, interactive concert for families. The Sunday, December 12, installment takes place at the Frist Art Museum and brings Ella Fitzgerald’s legacy to life through live music, performance, and song. Certified American Sign Language interpretation is also provided for this presentation and is generously supported by Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Memorial Foundation. The event is free to attend, and registration is required. (Note: Face coverings are required for guests ages 2 and older.)

December 14 & 16, 2021: Ho Ho H[ONA] Open House Party

Have a skincare guru in your life? Gift them top-of-the-line skincare products this season. Ona Skincare’s holiday open house takes place on Tuesday, December 14, at their East Nashville location and Thursday, December 16, at their Belle Meade location. In addition to giving away goodie bags to everyone who attends, you can also enjoy small bites and drinks. Event hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

December 15 – 24, 2021: Nashville’s Nutcracker

One of Nashville’s best holiday traditions returns to TPAC’s Jackson Hall on December 15-24. Nashville’s Nutcrackerincludes choreography by Paul Vasterling, stunning sets, and dreamy costumes. Plus, a special orchestra presented by Nashville Opera and Vanderbilt University Blair School joins Nashville Ballet for the first week of performances, and the Nashville Symphony accompanies the final week of performances. Showtimes vary based on the day, and tickets begin at $35. (Note: Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test administered within three days are required for individuals ages 12 and up.)

December 23, 28 – 31, 2021: 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 Thursday, December 23, and December 28-31 at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. Registration is $10 per hiker.

December 30, 2021: TransPerfect Music City Bowl

The 2021 TransPerfect Music City Bowl returns to Nissan Stadium on Thursday, December 30, at 2 p.m. The participating teams have yet to be announced, but in-person tickets are on sale now, starting at $25. If you’re unable to attend the game in person, you can also watch it live on ESPN.

December 31, 2021: Jack Daniel’s New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash

Nashville’s New Year’s Eve bash is a must-attend event. This year’s celebration includes all of the usual fun — from the midnight Music Note Drop to live music and fireworks. The 2021 musical lineup includes performers like Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown Band, Sam Hunt, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, and more. If you can’t make it to the in-person event, New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash is also televised on CBS, starting at 7 p.m. (Note: If you’re attending the in-person event, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test are required.)

December 31, 2021: New Year’s Eve with Studio Tenn

You can also ring in 2022 in downtown Franklin with Studio Tenn, The Franklin Theatre, and The Harpeth. The celebration kicks off at The Franklin Theatre with music and live performances and is hosted by Patrick Cassidy with special musical guests. The fun continues at The Harpeth hotel, where attendees can enjoy dancing, entertainment, a premium bar, hors d’oeuvres, and a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets for The Franklin Theatre show begin at $110, and afterparty tickets start at $280.

Happy December, Nashville!