If you asked me if Nashville is good to visit in December, I'd say sure, come on down. Nashville doesn't stop just because it gets cold outside. However, it also depends on what you're into. If you want to come to Nashville for a party on the streets, just be prepared to need some warm clothes. It certainly doesn't stop the New Years Eve revelers who flood the streets to rock the new year in.
So, if you've ever wondered “is Nashville worth visiting in December?” I'd say…
Nashville is worth visiting in December. If you can handle the cooler weather, then you’ll get the advantage of cheaper flights and hotels due to the off-season rates. It also depends on what you want to do. The weather is fickle and it may be too cool to enjoy the outdoor bars and rooftops, but Nashville has a lot of seasonal Christmas events that only occur in this month.
On top of the vast array of Nashville attractions that operate year round there are special Christmas events and shows that you'll only catch at this time of the year.
Nashville's slowest season is November – March when the chilly weather sets in. The weather can be a little unpredictable, you can get mild to warm days or snow and ice. Nashville is the kind of place where you will probably want to walk around outdoors, visit all the attractions and enjoy the outdoor eating and drinking spots. Therefore, if you plan to come in the winter, I suggest your bring warm gloves, coats, and hats!
I've highlighted below some events that are unique to December in Nashville. Remember to also check out the 25 best things to do in Nashville, the must-visit Broadway bars and the best hotels to stay in Nashville.
Is Nashville Cold in the Winter?
The weather in Nashville begins to cool significantly at the end of October and early November. The last two weeks of October are the most spectacular in Tennessee for fall color. The good news is that the coldest months in Nashville are from January to March. There's not often a lot of snow accumulation during December. Between December 15 and January 1, the average high ranges from 49 to 47 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average low ranges from 31 to 29 degrees Fahrenheit. December has at times been a rainy month with the occasional sleet and/or ice storm event. Interestingly, one of the largest snow storm events in Nashville was on New Years Eve in the 1960's when we received 10 inches, but that is unusual.
What to Wear in Nashville in December?
Since the Nashville weather during December ranges from cold to mild, you should wear long pants that are comfortable to walk in with some waterproof shoes. A wind-proof, warm winter jacket is recommended for the outdoors with a possible sweater for layering. For colder days you should bring a warm hat and gloves. If you have room, consider an umbrella.
You'll also want to pack some some lighter clothing for the mild weather that we sometimes get in winter. Boots and jeans are always good options.
Is Nashville Fun in December?
Nashville is fun, regardless of the time of year. It’s a 365 days a year town. The bars and honky tonks on Broadway will be filling the streets with music almost every day from 10am until the early hours of the morning. If bars, party buses, or dancing are not your thing, places like the Musicians Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, The Grand Ole Opry and other major attractions will also be open during this season.
Things to do in Nashville in December
A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland
Gaylord Opryland puts on a stunning show every year. In 2022, from November – January Gaylord Opryland hosts “A Country Christmas”. Featuring ICE!, this event holds more than 2 thousand pounds of ice that are carved into huge sculptures to tell the story of Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. Come and see the 3 million Christmas lights and acres of decorations for free. Also on offer at Opryland are Ice Tubing, Gingerbread decorating, ice skating and an Oak Ridge Boys Christmas in Tennessee dinner show.
This is only scratching the surface of all the things that Gaylord Opryland puts on. For more information, click here.
New Year's Eve in Nashville
For New Year's Eve, Nashville always puts on a great show. Join thousands this year for the Jack Daniel's New Year's Eve Live Show: Nashville's Big Bash. The event is completely free and held at the Bicentennial Capital Mall State Park. Here's the 2022 New Year's Eve Lineup:
- Zac Brown Band
- Brooks & Dunn
- Kelsea Ballerini
Here is a list of the top hotels within easy walking distance of Bicentennial Park:
- The Germantown Inn
- Hotel Indigo
- Homewood Suites
- Dream Nashville
- Sheraton Grand Nashville
- Bobby Hotel
As well as the fireworks and music celebrations at Bicentennial Park, many bars throughout Broadway and Downtown have special New Years Eve parties.
More Options for New Year's Eve
The official Nashville New Year's Eve bash isn't the only place to be. I would highly suggest you make a stop in Downtown and Lower Broadway.
- Redneck Riviera's New Year's Eve Party
- Starting at 9 pm on New Year's Eve, you can expect live music, express entry, champagne or whiskey. The ticket prices vary. Learn more here.
- Roaring Into '23 New Year's Eve Celebration
- Starting at 9 pm at Noelle Nashville – the party is a roaring 20's inspired party that will feature an open bar, dancing, live music, food, and a balloon drop at midnight. Learn more here.
Music City Lights
Zoolumination – Chinese Festival of Lights
In 2022 at the Nashville Zoo there will be over 500 silk lanterns spread across 60 acres. This will be the largest Chinese lantern festival. and will include Zoo animal displays, holiday scenes and a 200-foot-long dragon. Zoolumination will be open from Nov. 18 to Jan. 8 on Thursdays-Saturdays from 5-9pm. Learn more here.
Cheekwood's Holiday Lights
Cheekwood Estate and Gardens are a 55-acre botanical garden featuring art galleries, season festivals and a breathtaking wedding venue. Each year they celebrate the holiday season with a one-mile long walking path that set the gardens glowing. It's a great place for the kids with s'more stations, bar for the adults, holiday marketplace, and a 20-foot-tall poinsettia tree. Learn more here.
Jingle Beat Nashville is a walkable, multiverse holiday experience that features a 100,000 sq ft Christmas experience. You can hear, see, and journey on the Jingle Beat for yourself. Join DJ Cris Crunkle in a high-energy North Pole party, walk through an otherworldly botanical garden with Yule Helios, or chill out and ice skate in the glittering Crystal Caves. Learn More here.
Enchant, presented by the Hallmark Channel is an animated light sculpture display and Christmas village in Nashville. Located at First Horizon Park you'll find story-themed Christmas Lights Mazes, forest of lights, tiny shops, artisan vendors, crafts and boutiques. Learn more here.
Drive-Thru Dancing Lights of Christmas
You read that right, this event features a drive-thru lights display at the Wilson County Fairgrounds. This has become a must visit Christmas destination for adults and kids where families can pile in the car and enjoy the show. The lights display synchronizes with an FM radio channel. Tickets are $30 per vehicle, open at 5pm and runs from November 11 – January 1.
Nashville Tour Buses
If the cold weather is not your thing, a good option may be a Nashville tour bus. Gray Line offers a very popular 1-hour tour of Nashville aboard a double-decker bus. It includes both open-air and an air-conditioned, inside space. If features over 100+ Nashville points of interest with a live, professional driver and in person commentary from a local guide. It departs from the Riverfront Train Station on 1st Avenue South and ends at the same location. If it's too cold to ride on the upper deck, you can enjoy being driven around Nashville to learn all the sights and history. This the most popular of Nashville tours and comes highly recommended from thousands of reviews. Learn more here.