2014 Holiday Hoopla

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The holiday festivities of 2014 gets a kick start in November with the arrival of Santa at Middle Tennessee malls along with illuminating displays around town and holiday happenings at Cheekwood and Opryland.

The joys of the Christmas holiday start ramping up this month! From visits with Santa at area malls to spectacular light displays and holiday happenings at Cheekwood and Opryland, here ya go for some ho, ho, ho!

Santa at Middle Tennessee Malls

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The Avenue Murfreesboro
2615 Medical Center Pkwy., Murfreesboro
893-4207
Sundays, Dec. 14 and 21
Meet Santa and participate in a variety of free activities at the Central Park area.

Cool Springs Galleria
1800 Galleria Blvd., Franklin
771-2050
Nov. 8 – 24
Hours are Mon – Sat 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (breaks from 1 – 2 p.m. and 5 – 6 p.m.), Sun 12 – 6 p.m. (break from 3 – 3:30 p.m.). A pajama party with Santa takes place Saturday, Nov. 8 at 9 a.m. Kids 12 and younger who wear their PJs will receive a special pillowcase to take home (while supplies last).

The Mall at Green Hills
2126 Abbott Martin Road Nashville
298-5478
Nov. 8 – Dec. 24
Santa’s arrival on Saturday, Nov. 8 is in conjunction with the Tiny Tutus & Tea event for children ages 2 – 8 that includes a tea party, an excerpt from Nashville Ballet’s Nutcracker, photos with Santa and more. Cost is $30 per child. Advance registration is required at the website.

Seasonal hours are Mon – Sat 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (breaks from 1 – 2 p.m. and 5 – 6 p.m.), Sun 12 – 6 p.m. (break from 3 – 4 p.m.).

Opry Mills
433 Opry Mills Circle, Nashville
514-1000
Nov. 8 – Dec. 24
Santa arrives at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8 with a special celebration that includes crafts, games and snacks for children.

Regular hours are Nov. 9 – Dec. 23: Mon – Sat 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (breaks from 1 – 2 p.m. and 5:15 – 6 p.m.), Sun 12 – 6 p.m. (break from 2 – 3 p.m.). Wednesday, Dec. 24: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (break from 1 – 1:45 p.m.)

Providence Marketplace
401 S. Mt. Juliet Road, Mt. Juliet
773-2298
Saturday, Dec. 13
Kids can share their wish lists with the jolly elf and enjoy stories with Mrs. Claus, carolers and carriage rides from 1 – 5 p.m.

RiverGate Mall
1000 RiverGate Pkwy., Goodlettsville
859-3458
Nov. 8 – 24
Santa’s arrival takes place from 12 – 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8 with the Frozen sisters, a parade and other special guests and activities.

A Morning with Santa Claus for Children with Special Needs is from 8 – 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16. This free event is sensory appropriate with no bright lights or loud music. Storytime activities will take place and gluten-free cookies will be offered. Go to the website to reserve a ticket, available in one-hour time slots.

Regular Santa hours are Mon – Sat 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (breaks from 1 – 2 p.m. and 5 – 6 p.m.), Sun 12 – 6 p.m. (break from 3 – 4 p.m.).

Stones River Mall
1720 Old Fort Pkwy., Murfreesboro
896-4486
Nov. 15 – Dec. 24
Nov. 15 – Dec. 11: Mon – Sat 12 – 8 p.m. (break from 3 – 4 p.m.), Sun 12 – 6 p.m. (break from 2 – 2:30 p.m.). Dec. 12 – 23: Mon – Sun 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (breaks from 12 – 12:45 p.m. and 3:45 – 4:30 p.m.). Wednesday, Dec. 24: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (1:15 – 2 p.m.).

Streets of Indian Lake
300 Indian Lake Blvd., Hendersonville
822-7627
Nov. 28 – Dec. 23
Nov. 28 – Dec. 7 hours are Fri – Sat 2 – 4 p.m. and 5 – 7 p.m., Sun 1 – 4 p.m.; Dec. 11 – 21 hours are Fri – Sat 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., 2 – 4 p.m. and 5 – 7 p.m., Sun 1 – 4 p.m. Hours Monday, Dec. 22 are 1 – 4 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 23 2 – 5 p.m.

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shop

SantaWonderland-BassPro

323 Opry Mills Drive, Nashville
514-5200
Nov. 15 – Dec. 24
Bass Pro Shop offers lots of holiday fun this season with the return of Santa’s Wonderland. More than 3,500 square feet of space heralds child-like Christmas cheer with several free activities every day for all ages to enjoy. Mingle with elves, write (and mail) letters to St. Nick, participate in holiday craft activities, take aim in the Red Ryder Laser Arcade and the soft gun range, drive slot cars, decorate cookies and have a complimentary photo snapped on Santa’s lap. Most activities occur during the store’s operating hours (Mon – Sat 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sun 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.), while others — like craft activities — take place on specific days of the week throughout the season. Free photos with Santa take place Mon – Fri 3 – 8 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sun 12 – 5 p.m. Visit the website and click on the local store for a complete schedule of day-to-day events and times that are subject to change.

Holiday Light Displays

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Gaylord Opryland Resort

Brentwood Luminaries
Various Neighborhoods
371-0060
Saturday, Dec. 13
Visit several neighborhoods to view twinkling lights and other delights. Light tours begin at 6 p.m.

Chad’s Winter Wonderland
791 Old Laguardo Road, Lebanon
449-0099
Nov. 27 – Dec. 31
More than 2 million lights illuminate the drive-through trail plus more than 350 pieces of scenery including Frosty’s house.  Roll down the windows when you get to Santa’s barn to give him and Mrs. Claus a shout out. The property is located at 791 Old Laguardo Road, Lebanon; Sun – Thu 5 – 10 p.m., Fri – Sat 5 – 11 p.m.; $10 per vehicle Mon – Thu, $15 per vehicle Fri – Sun, limos and church buses/vans are $20 daily.

The Dancing Lights of Christmas
Jellystone Park
2572 Music Valley Drive, Nashville
Nov. 7 – Jan. 3
Hundreds of thousands of LED lights dance to holiday tunes you can listen to through your car radio. This year features new displays, music and Santa’s Village. Jellystone Park, 2572 Music Valley Drive, Nashville; daily 5 – 10 p.m.; $25 per non-commercial vehicle.

Festival of Lights
Wilson County Fairgrounds
945 E. Baddour Pkwy., Lebanon
444-5503
Nov. 28 – 30, Dec. 4 – 7, Dec. 11 – 14, Dec. 18 – 31
Millions of lights illuminate several acres of Fiddlers Grove, including nearly 50 village houses lit up in the spirit of Christmas. 5 – 9 p.m.; $5 per car.

Franklin’s Holly Trolley
Franklin Transit Authority
708 Columbia Ave., Franklin
920-4956
Dec. 5 – 28
Board the trolley for a ride to view light displays in Franklin, Brentwood and other spots in Williamson County. A reception takes place 30 minutes prior to departure. Fri – Sun 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.; $16 (prepayment is required for seat reservations).

Holiday Lights Carriage Tours
Departing from Seventh Day Adventist Church
2800 Blair Blvd. at Natchez Trace, Nashville
Dec. 6 – 7
The Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood Association presents this horse-drawn carriage tour in which guests can view vintage homes sporting light displays. Along the way, enjoy hot cider, refreshments and music. Tours start every 30 minutes from 4:30 – 8 p.m. Admission is $22.50. Make reservations by Thursday, Dec. 4.

Opryland’s Christmas Lights
2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville
889-1000
Nov. 14 – Dec. 31
More than 2 million lights illuminate the grounds and inside of the Opryland Hotel during its “A Country Christmas” celebration. Admission is free. Sun – Thu 4 – 10 p.m., Fri – Sat 4 p.m. – 12 a.m., Dec. 22 – 23 and 28 – 30 4 p.m. – 12 a.m., Dec. 31 4 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Trinity Christmas City USA
1 Music Village Blvd., Hendersonville
822-8333
Nov. 1 – Dec. 31
The grounds of the former home of country star Conway Twitty are aglow with more than 1 million lights strung across nearly 30 acres. Walk or drive through from 5 – 9 p.m. daily. Admission is free.

A Country Christmas

ICE_Slide_Girl1Gaylord Opryland Resort
2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville
89-1000
Nov. 14 – Jan. 3
Nothing says “Christmas in Nashville” like Gaylord Opryland’s annual A Country Christmas celebration. The resort hosts lots of holiday events and activities, including the ever-popular ICE! exhibit that kids love. This year’s exhibit features ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, and little ones will love taking several zips down the ice slides! The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes is another family favorite, and it comes with new scenes this year. If you haven’t seen The Rockettes’ show before, this is your last chance as it’s the final year that the high-kickin’ ladies will be here for A Country Christmas. Other highlights include photos with Santa, the Christmassy DreamWorks Experience, Gingy’s gingerbread decorating, arctic plunge snow tubing, glacier glide ice skating, carriage rides, millions of Christmas lights, the Treasures for the Holidays Craft Show and more. Enjoy live entertainment and down-home country food during the Season of Harmony Dinner Show with Restless Heart as well. Dates, times and admission for individual activities vary.

Holiday at Cheekwood

DV IMAGECheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art
1200 Forrest Park Drive, Nashville
356-8000
Nov. 29 – Dec. 31
Once turkey time is over, your family can gear up for the Christmas season each weekend during Holiday at Cheekwood. New this year, your kids can meet live reindeer every day (Tue – Sun) from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Special activities take place Sat – Sun from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., including drop-in holiday ‘ART’ivities in the studio, Christmas cookie decorating fun, live holiday music (2 – 3 p.m.) and portraits with Santa in his workshop. In December, photos with Santa will also be available Fridays, Dec. 5 – 19 from 3 – 5 p.m. (photo package prices vary and are in addition to admission to the grounds). Holiday at Cheekwood is included with gate admission ($14 adults, $7 ages 3 – 17).

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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