Travel

Events in Tennessee

Kristin Luna
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Check out our calendar of events to discover holiday happenings in Tennessee.

Spectators admire a house on a tour of holiday decorated homes Jason Schneider

Visit these former (and current) residences for some history of Christmases past—and to enjoy Christmas present.

Murfreesboro’s Oaklands Mansion, whose history dates to the early 19th century, is decorated for the holiday season as part of the Annual Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes on Dec. 8–9, during which private homeowners in the area also open their home for tours. Also in Rutherford County, the Sam Davis Home—originally a log house built in 1810—is set among 168 acres and features a Christmas Open House on Dec. 2.

Nashville’s Cheekwood Estate & Gardens has as its centerpiece its 1930s mansion that boasts a 20-foot poinsettia tree. While you’re on the 55-acre grounds, nab a fire pit to roast s’mores, plus visit with Santa, see the model trains and walk the mile-long path featuring more than a million lights. Holiday LIGHTS runs from Nov. 18–Jan. 7, and getting tickets in advance is recommended. 

Now–Dec. 30 
A December To Remember

Granville transforms into a town worthy of a Hallmark movie with its Festival of Trees, Antique Toy Display and Christmas parade. Experience the family-friendly Mayberry Christmas Dinner Theater, showcasing a performance based on The Andy Griffith Show 

Now–Jan. 1
Christmas at Gaylord Opryland

Go all-out at this Nashville Christmas extravaganza that features ice tubing, gingerbread decorating, ice-skating and more than 2 million pounds of ice in what is a long-standing annual tradition for many Tennesseans. 

Now–Jan. 6
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas

This annual event in Pigeon Forge captures the magic of Christmas through 6 million festive lights, holiday-themed performances, food and a cozy atmosphere. After watching Santa at his workshop, guests can also enjoy the park’s rides and attractions. 

Nov. 11–12
Memphis Flyer Crafts and Drafts

Do some holiday shopping at the Crosstown Concourse in midtown Memphis, where mid-South vendors and crafters sell their works. 

Nov. 18, 25; Dec. 2, 9, 16 
North Pole Express

On select dates throughout the holidays, you can embark from Nashville on a two-hour round-trip train ride with Santa and his elves, departing from the Tennessee Central Railway Museum. The train is a unique way to experience the magic of Christmas, complete with hot chocolate and holiday treats available for purchase. 

Nov. 21–Jan. 1 
Christmas on the Cumberland

Stroll along Clarksville’s Cumberland River as more than a million Christmas lights illuminate the Cumberland RiverWalk. Free and open to the public, this event features holiday activities on the weekends and visits from Santa. 

Nov. 25
Downtown Maryville Holiday Market

Local artisans come together with indoor and outdoor booths, as well as live music, food trucks and visits with Santa. 

Nov. 25–Jan. 7
Candy Land Christmas

Enjoy the sights of more than 160 decorated Christmas trees, the aromas of local restaurants and breweries, and the sounds of Christmas music in Johnson City. 

Dec. 2
Smithville Christmas Parade/Christmas on the Square

Smithville’s Christmas Parade kicks off its holiday season as well as the annual live windows in downtown storefronts. Enjoy everything from sweet treats to story time and pet photos with Santa. 

Dec. 2
Sevierville’s 61st Annual Christmas Parade

This year’s theme is A Hometown Christmas, which kicks off with a parade, including various floats and marching bands, making the journey down the town’s main drag. 

DEC. 9–10
Cleveland Mistletoe Market

Mistletoe Market is held at Cleveland’s Bradley Square Mall, with crafters, vendors and holiday treats indoors and pony and train rides outside. 

DEC. 9–10
Dickens of a Christmas

Historic downtown Franklin transforms into the backdrop of Charles Dickens’ beloved novels for one weekend every December. Interact with characters, shop at local artist and vendor booths, eat themed food, warm up with piping hot beverages and listen to music at the Acoustic Stage. 

Dec. 16
Island of Misfit Crafts Show

This hand-curated craft show at the Coffee County Fairgrounds in Manchester features local homemade items, prizes, food and more. After taking photos with Santa, kids can participate in the Misfit Toy Treasure Hunt. 

JAN. 5–8
Elvis Birthday Celebration

Every year during Elvis’ birthday week, there’s a big to-do, Memphis-style, at Graceland, with concerts, birthday cake, screenings and more. 

Jan. 13–14
Sandhill Crane Festival

The Hiwassee Refuge in Birchwood hosts this annual festival that features the more than 20,000 sandhill cranes that migrate to the area for winter. Waterfowl, bald eagles and the endangered whooping crane all live around these waters, too. 

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