I’m a Nashville native and I stand by “home is where the heart is.” I left Nashville in 2012 and moved to Chicago to complete my Master’s Degree at Northwestern University. After that, I moved to Minneapolis in 2014 for a wonderful role at General Mills as a Marketing Communications Planner. After almost 5 years away, I knew I needed to get back home closer to my friends and my family to really be happy. Last week marked a full year of me being back home. I can honestly say, without hesitation, it has been the best year of my life.
Many friends that I grew up with in Nashville are not fans of the “New Nashville.” It’s probably because I moved away to bigger cities, but I am LOVING New Nashville and all it has to offer (minus the traffic). I think growth is good and change is inevitable. Change must be embraced and that’s what I’ve done the last year I’ve been back. I’ve embraced new bars, restaurants, people and experiences in the city. I am a summer baby, born smack dab in June one of the hottest months in the South. Summer will always be my favorite time in Nashville as you’re basically outside on a patio, in the park, or at the pool almost everyday. One of the reasons I was happy to leave the mid-west is Chicago and Minneapolis slow down and almost shut down in the winter. Nashville keeps on booming as the leaves fall and as the temperature drops.
Winter fun at Opryland Hotel in 2012
Here are a few of my fall event favorites in Nashville each year along with a few new things I’m excited to try.
This event happened this past weekend, but the best part is all of the great local vendors have online or physical shops you can do your holiday shopping at. Nashville is not just home to amazing musicians and singers, but other great artists that create killer clothing, home goods and jewelry. Some of my favorite local vendors are Project 615 (the event was sponsored by them), Native in Nashville, Crafted by Heart & Maker Table Metal. Check out these local shops and others that participated. Remember to always support local!
Opryland Hotel transforms into a winter wonderland in November. A Country Christmas at Opryland has tons of activities including: Carriage Ride, ICE!® featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas Store, Snow Tubing and Ice Skating. You can spend a whole weekend at Opryland Hotel during the holidays. It actually might take you 1-2 weekends to get through everything. From ICE to the lights outside there are plenty of family friendly activities. There are great restaurants in the hotel and you can make it a date night if you want to.
Saturday, December 2 one of the best beer festivals of the year is back in Sevier Park. Winter Warmer is presented by Woodland Wine Merchant is back for it’s seventh year. I have only been once before, but it was a great day. The festival features 35(ish) hand-selected local, regional, nation craft breweries, and select imports. It’s early December so you will have to bundle up, but the weather really isn’t that bad.
This is a great FREE family event. It takes place, DEC 9 at Centennial Park. It’s an all-day event featuring a Holiday Market full of unique gifts from Nashville craft artisans, live music by local performing groups and some of your favorite Nashville food trucks.
This is one of the first events I attended last year after moving back. I’ve been waiting for this event to come back around. It’s a FREE bar crawl on Saturday, December 9 at 7:00PM with over 1,000 Nashvillians dressed in Santa and other holiday gear. It’s as simple and as amazing as that. It’s officially unofficial which is part of it’s magic. Join me and 1,000 other Santas this year.
Other fun activities include:
- Nashville Christmas Parade
- A Christmas Story at TPAC
- Nashville’s Nutcracker
- Holiday Lights at Cheekwood
- Fontanel Mansion
Let me know what fall/winter activities you plan to attend on this list. Do you have any other recommendations? Leave them below in the comment section. It’s only the most wonderful time of the year if you make it. Be sure to get out and enjoy all that Nashville has to offer.