Nashville/Davidson County is a large Metropolitan area full of free things to do for the holidays (in fact, I once wrote a poem about it). One of my favorite free things to do is to walk around downtown Nashville, sauntering down Broadway, past all the decorated honky-tonks, making my way down to Riverfront Park which almost always has a large tree lit for the holidays. Then I turn left on 2nd Avenue, and stroll past the small stores in the historic district, admiring the decorations and wares. I usually end up eating at Old Spaghetti Factory, San Antonio Taco Company, or Demos’ which is the only cost (except parking) to my free holiday night out. There are several parking garages downtown, and one is right between Demos’ and San Antonio Taco Company.
Another annual Christmas tradition of mine is Gaylord Opryland’s “A Country Christmas,” which started on November 14 and continues through January 4th. The entire resort hotel, which is the size of a small town, is all lit up for Christmas with sensational decorations, entertainment and some of the most delectable food anywhere. Attractions feature the Radio City Christmas Spectacular®, ICE!™, the Louise Mandrell Christmas Dinner Party™, and more. Walking through the hotels botanical gardens and viewing the decorations is free. Some of the entertainment has a ticket price, so call if you want to do more than stroll around the vast, decorated complex. You will want to dress so you can enjoy the lights both inside and outside the complex. There is plenty of parking on site, but the free parking is at Opry Mills Mall, and easy walk to Opryland Hotel. Phone: 888-OPRY-872.
Something I try not to miss is the annual Nashville Christmas Parade. The 55th Annual Nashville Gas Christmas Parade will showcase Nashville’s rich history of musical entertainment on Friday night, December 5th at 7:00 P.M. Colorful floats will roll down Broadway, holiday lights will illuminate the night sky, bands will march down our streets and all the magical sounds of the holiday season will be heard. The Nashville Gas Christmas Parade will kick off at 7th and Broadway, march east to 2nd Avenue and then across the Woodland Street Bridge to the LP Field. Vistors can park at any of the downtown parking garages and walk a block or two down to Broadway.
Nashville has several mansions like Cheekwood and Belle Meade Plantation which are beautifully decorated for the holidays. Although there is a charge to tour the mansions, it is free to drive up, admire, snap a picture and leave!
Some other free holiday events in and around Nashville include:
11/29 – Manchester Christmas Parade.
11/30/2008 – Hanging of the Greens Service at Bellevue Baptist Church, 7400 Highway 70 South, Nashville (Bellevue). This special evening worship service where the Christmas decorations and greenery is freshly hung is in preparation for Christmas and is free. Church parking is free.
12/5 – Nashville Christmas Parade.
12/6/2008 – Mansker’s Station Yulefest at Moss-Wright Park, Goodlettesville. Saturday evening from 6-9 there will be historical song and period costumes on display at historic Mansker’s Station. The event is free to the public. There will also be a winter encampment throughout the weekend. For information on these and other events, visit www.manskersstation.org.
12/6 – Fairview Christmas Parade. Enjoy the festivities of this annual holiday parade along Fairview Boulevard. City of Fairview, Highway 100 at 1pm.
12/6 – Franklin Christmas Parade, 2pm West Main and Main Street Franklin TN. Local bands and a colorful display of floats designed by schools, scouts, businesses and more.
12/6 – Hendersonville. Lighted Boat Parade – Christmas on the Creek: Mallard Point at Drake’s Creek, Hendersonville. Featuring crafts, food, and entertainment from 2:00pm – 6:00pm. The boat parade begins at 6:00pm. For more information call the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce (615) 824-2818.
12/6 – Mt Juliet Christmas Parade. Mt. Juliet and the Department of Parks and Recreation will be having their Christmas Parade and their 3rd annual Christmas in the Park Saturday, December 8th. The parade will start at 12:00 coming from the little league park into Charlie Daniels Park. The Christmas in the Park will start after the parade enters the park and last until dark. There will be arts and crafts vendors, games, and much more. For booth rental call Jan or Rose at 758-6522.
12/6 – Christmas Parade – Gallatin. . The theme is “Storybook Christmas”. For more information call the Chamber of Commerce (615) 452-4000.
12/7 – Youth Drama for Christmas at Bellevue Baptist. 6PM.
12/7/2008 – Lessons & Carols at St. George’s Episcopal Church, Nashville. St. George’s will present its annual Festival of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 7, at 6:00 p.m. Based on the traditional nine lessons from Scripture, this service will feature St. George’s Choir, St. Gregory’s Choir and St. Dunstan’s Choir led by Mr. Gerry Senechal. Musical selections will include works by Rutter, Mathias, Sandstrom and Bibel, to name a few. The Festival is free and open to the public. St. George’s Church is located at 4715 Harding Road. Childcare is provided for children under 5 years old; space is limited, so please call 385-2150, extension 262, for childcare reservations. Deadline for childcare reservations is 12 pm Monday, December 1, 2008. For further information contact: Debra Waters 615-385.2150 x 253 or email@example.com.
12/7/2008 – The Music of Christmas at Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville. The Music of Christmas Sunday, at 6:00 PM at Christ Presbyterian Church, 2323 Old Hickory Blvd Nashville, TN 37215. FREE ADMISSION – Doors open at 5:30 PM – Open seating At twilight on Sunday, December 7th, at 6:00 PM, you are invited to gather and hear the music of Christmas flooding out for as many to hear as possible. Christ Presbyterian Church Adult Choir and Orchestra will host: the CPA High School “Vision” Ensemble, Middle School Concert Choir, CPC Children’s Choirs and special guests Michael O’Brien and Shelley Jennings. Come early or stay late and enjoy Christmas cookies, coffee, cocoa and fellowship pre-program from 5:00-5:45 PM or following from 7:45-8:30 PM. Located near the Warner Parks on Old Hickory Blvd, between Hwy 100 and Hillsboro Road, at the Chickering Road traffic light. Call 615-646-7063 or contact www.christpres.org. Church parking is free.
12/7 – Lebanon Christmas Parade, starts at 2pm.
12/14/2008 – Adult Christmas Music Program at Bellevue Baptist Church, 7400 Highway 70 South, Nashville (Bellevue). Special Christmas music will be presented by the Adult choir. Church parking is free.
12/14/2008 – Sing Joy… A Christmas Celebration at Siegle High School Auditorium, off of Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This holiday production features music by The Kingdom Living Worship Team and Choir, EMI Gospel Recording Artists Antonio Neal and Merche’ Moore. Comedy drama “Away With The Manger” performed by nationally known comedian and actor, Steve Wilent. Admission is FREE. Doors open at 5:30. Christmas reception with cookies and snacks immediately following.
12/24/2008 – Christmas Eve Lord’s Supper Worship Service at Bellevue Baptist Church, 7400 Highway 70 South, Nashville (Bellevue). The church present its annual Christmas Eve Service and Candlelight Lord’s Supper. Church parking is free.
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