Wanna Be Merry? Your Guide To A Nashville Christmas

Wanna Be Merry?

By now we’re guessing you’ve heard those sleigh bells jing-ling, ring-ding-ding-ling too. With the lovely ice sludge that graced our beautiful Nashville streets this morning and delayed the work day for an hour of pure, unadulterated nap time, we are all getting in the Christmas spirit! We don’t know if your Christmas countdown has been as obsessive as ours, but we are only FIFTEEN DAYS AWAY from Christmas. Bundle up with that super cool infinity scarf, grab some hot cocoa (or fair trade coffee – you do you), and put on your She & Him Christmas vinyl, kids. We’re bringing you the Wannado guide to our favorite Nashville Christmas activities to:

Gather Potential Christmas Grams (Instagrams, that is): 

Opryland Hotel

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You gram who you love, who you love.

WHERE:

As the title suggests, you’re going to wanna head to the famous Opryland Hotel for these festivities.

WHY:

Most Nashvillians and tourists alike know about this Christmas spot, but just because it is the obvious choice doesn’t mean it’s not a great one! If you’ve never been, here’s the rundown: Opryland is like Neverland – you never grow up. By that we mean everyone walks through the narrow pathways with the dexterity of a toddler (us included). Yes, everyone stops to take pictures of the beautiful, magical Christmas lights strung from pillar to pillar. It’s Nashville’s version of the foot traffic in Times Square. BUT it is 100% worth it. There’s something about walking through the trees past the winding indoor river that just fills up the soul until it is overflowing with Christmas cheer. And here’s the kicker: if you don’t have an Instagram account already – GET ONE. This is Nashville’s most grammable Christmas spot! There’s also a ton of activities – you’ll see Elvis impersonators crooning on balconies, an ICE exhibit, and some fancy Italian restaurants. Tis’ the season!

WHO TO BRING:

This ones open to all kinds of groups: a paramour (nothing like some twinkly lights to get you feelin’ starry eyed), a big group of your pals (we encourage taking a picture for your Friendsmas Christmas card), or the whole family (check out the ICE exhibit together or pop over to see The Rockettes next door).


Party Like It’s 1989:

12th & Broad’s Christmas Stay-Cation

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“I don’t know what to say, except it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.”

WHERE:

In the new, artistic 6 South District! South of the brand spankin’ new Music City Center. (Put on by the awesome 12th & Broad – definitely check them out!)

WHY:

Everyone can relate to the royal family of Christmas movies, the Griswolds. Whether or not you have a cousin like Eddie, we can all agree that sometimes you just gotta steer into the skid and celebrate your Christmas with the reluctant cheer of Clark Griswold/Chevy Chase. This party is the perfect cure for any yuletide struggles! Complete with a burnt-out tree (no cats will be killed in the process), this shindig requires you to dress in your Griswold/1990s best (although the movie came out in 1989…close enough). Break out those Coldwater Creek catalogs, order yourself a ribbed turtleneck, put on some Kenny G Christmas albums, and put on a thin layer of your Gingerbread LipSmackers chapstick – it’s going to be a 90s-loving Christmas. And of course, it isn’t a 90s Christmas party without My So-Called Band playing the Christmas hits from everyone’s favorite decade (the decade that gave us MARIAH’S Christmas – those whistle tones just scream “Happy Holidays). In the spirit of wacky cousin Eddie, bring hats to donate to Nashville Rescue Mission!

WHO TO BRING:

There’s strength in numbers! Bring some of your fun, Christmas loving friends and get ready to step-touch the night away. Bonus tip: don’t bring the friends that want to go all “Mean Girls” for their Christmas get-up. The event organizers discourage Santa-themed lingerie worn as an outfit (plus, GURL how do you not get so cold in that?)


Party Like It’s 1899:

Dickens Of A Christmas

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Everyone is so merry, there is not a Scrooge in sight. Except for the guy dressed as Scrooge.

WHERE:.

The most picturesque town square in all the land – Downtown Franklin!

WHY:

Bring out that inner literary nerd, Nashville. This weekend is Dickens of a Christmas! The ultimate quaint Christmas activity, Dickens Christmas has it all: horse-drawn carriage rides, a kid dressed as Tiny Tim (though Jebediah Atkinson had some harsh words for good ol’ TT), cider and chestnuts, kids who like to river-dance…you can’t go wrong! If you see a really pale dude walking around in chains, don’t worry: you haven’t stumbled into a bad part of town. It’s just one of the ghosts of Christmas past (or more specifically, probably someone’s dad who is getting paid to dress up as the ghost of Christmas past). This event is SO much fun. We highly encourage your attendance. Bonus: you can do some of your Christmas shopping at the shops! (For any lady friends, we recommend the super-affordable bath accessories from Bathos)

WHO TO BRING:

This is a great family event! Fun for all, but specifically great for the easily distracted – there’s so much going on. Take your fellow adventurers who don’t mind standing out in the cold (while you literally eat chestnuts roasting on an open fire).


Have The Best Night Of Your Life:

It’s A Wonderful Life Holiday Benefit

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We all wanna see George Bailey lasso the moon.

WHERE:

The grand, historic War Memorial Auditorium!

WHY:

We don’t want to be the oversell, but FOR REAL YOU GUYS – this event is special. We stumbled onto it for the first time a few years ago, and it was one of our favorite nights ever in Nashville. It’s A Wonderful Life is the most heart-warming Christmas movie ever (we dare you to disagree), and it gets the big-screen treatment at WMA. You’ll wander in for cocktail hour at 5:00, get some free old-timey popcorn, settle into your seat in the historic venue, and be transported to Bedford Falls (with a brief treacherous stop in Potterville). After the movie is over and you think it couldn’t get any better, there’s a big band playing “Buffalo Gals”, free drinks, and a silent auction. The whole event is free, but you should definitely bring a donation to the awesome It’s A Wonderful Life charity that benefits cancer patients and their families. If you find yourself staring blankly ahead while going on your 10000th window shopping trip, screaming “I wanna live again!” – this is for you.

WHO TO BRING:

Keep it small, y’all. This is a beautiful night for close friends or close special friends (*wink*). Kids are welcome, but the adult set will enjoy it more.


Have Some Christmas Spirits While Looking Intentionally Tacky:

Terrible Christmas Sweater Party

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Ugly it up in the spirit of Christmas.

WHERE:

The festive, rowdy Blue Bar in the heart of Midtown!

WHY:

Sometimes you just gotta put on your party pants, y’all. Or in this case, your terrible Christmas sweater. Head to Goodwill before all the good ones are gone (trick of the trade: don’t go to the sweater racks where things are picked over – check out the aisles sorted by color to find some hidden/hideous gems)! This is a yuletide gathering for the footloose and fancy free set. Bring 5 canned goods to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank (wonderful cause) for FREE BEER. No seriously. Not drink tickets, not half off…free beer until it’s gone. Think you probably won’t dress up? You reaaaally should. People bring their A game. We’ve seen folks dressed up as the 12 days of Christmas, an actual Christmas tree – we don’t mess around in Midtown. They’ve got the best DJs around, a killer dance floor, and Nashville’s premiere Brooks and Dunn cover band “Drooks and Brunn”. I mean, come on, y’all. Drooks and Brunn. You gotta go.

WHO TO BRING:

A big group of friends! Tis the season to be jolly, and you’re going to need multiple people to pull off your elaborate Christmas costume.


So avoid the weirdos singing on your doorstep demanding figgy pudding (though that scenario sounds kind of hilariously awesome) and get out of the house this holiday season! We’ll be out and about all December long, soaking up the season. Have a holly jolly Christmas, Nashville, and make sure to check Wannado for all your holiday happenings! We’ve got you covered.

– Your local guide.