Yes, we know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but we just can’t wait. There’s something magical about Christmas lights twinkling in the darkness. While it’s fun to pile in the car and wander around the neighborhood, there are many ways and places to enjoy the sights of the season. Keep reading to see a few of our area favorites, from interactive kid-friendly options to romantic carriage rides.

FRANKTOWN FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

Image: WilliamsonSource.com

The only drive-through holiday lights spectacular in Williamson County! Features over 200 displays that are synchronized to Christmas classics you can listen to on the radio as you enjoy the mile-long route. Check out Walkin’ Wednesdays (Dec. 1, 8, 15), when you can walk the lighted route from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. (car tours start at 7:00 ). Proceeds support the work of FrankTown Open Hearts.

Nov. 25 – Dec. 26, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm nightly at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center. Learn more.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS AT CHEEKWOOD

Image: Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

You’ll be walking in a winter wonderland when you stroll through a mile of enchanting holiday lights glowing throughout the gardens. From the Peppermint Path to the interactive Pinnacles of Light display, to the trains, there’s something for everyone—including a Holiday Marketplace and a special mailbox where kids can drop off letters to Santa. Choose between a “Gardens Only” or “Gardens & Mansion” ticket, which adds access to the historic mansion and museum, beautifully decorated for the holidays.

Nov. 20 – Jan. 9, 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm nightly at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens. Tickets and information.

MUSIC CITY CHRISTMAS LIGHT RIDE

Image: The Redneck Comedy Bus Tour

Because it’s hard to drive and look at the lights at the same time, leave the driving to someone else and have a very merry evening with all your kin. The folks behind The Redneck Comedy Bus Tour promise a fun-filled festive adventure featuring merry rednecks, drunken reindeer, and some of the purtiest lights in Music City, be they on double-wides or McMansions. Tour is rated PG-14. BYOCC – Bring your own Christmas Cheer. Coolers containing Christmas Spirits welcomed.

Weekends Dec. 2 – Dec. 30 (no tours Christmas Eve/Christmas Day) Tickets and information here.

GAYLORD OPRYLAND

Image: Gaylord Opryland

Even if the weather outside is frightful, inside Gaylord Opryland is delightful this time of year. Explore acres of twinkling lights, plus more than 17 hours of exciting activities, shows, and events. Enjoy ice skating, photos with Santa, ice bumper cars, ice tubing, and an all-new Gaylord Hotels Original Experience, Mission: Save Christmas featuring Elf™.

Nov. 12 – Jan.  2. Learn more here.

THE DANCING LIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS

Image: Dancing Lights of Christmas

Billed as “Tennessee’s largest drive thru light and music show” the Dancing Lights of Christmas is a family-owned and operated event in Lebanon. It features a 2.5-mile route with over two million lights dancing to the music on the radio so each visit is a new experience. Be sure to check out Santa’s Village while you’re there! Note: they tell us weekends can have long wait times, so consider a weeknight outing.

Nov 12 – Jan 2, open Nightly from 5:00 pm at Wilson County Fairgrounds in Lebanon. Information and tickets here.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS CARRIAGE RIDES

Image: Sugar Creek Carriages/Groupon

It’s the next best thing to a one-horse open sleigh! Sugar Creek Carriages offers private narrated rides through downtown Nashville in their beautiful horse-drawn carriages. You’ll clip-clop past the sparkling City Christmas Tree along with other decorated hotspots such as the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, The Country Music Hall of Fame, The Bridgestone Arena, The Johnny Cash Museum, Riverfront Park, and much more.

Thurs. – Sun., Nov. 26 – Dec. 31, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm.  Book your ride.

However you decide to enjoy the sights and sounds of the season, please remember to stay safe out there. Happy holidays!

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