The holidays are over but that doesn’t mean it’s all gloom and doom from here on out. A new year brings new opportunities for fun and adventure. Grab your coat and a fellow adventurer or two and head out to enjoy the winter season in beautiful Middle Tennessee.
Image: ©Tennessee Photographs
There’s more to see than you might think on a winter hike—and it’ll be easier to see it without all those leaves and pesky mosquitoes. Bonus: this is a great way to make good on that New Year’s Resolution to exercise more.
Some of our favorite spots to walk in a winter wonderland include: Radnor Lake State Park, a natural oasis in Nashville that offer a peaceful ADA-accessible walk around the north side of Radnor lake. Bledsoe Creek State Park is described as “an ideal park for a winter.” You can enjoy rushing (or frozen?) water at the spillway on Lake Woodhaven before a relaxing hike along the creek on the spillway trail at Montgomery Bell State Park.
A little farther away from the Nashville area, you’ll find a short hike offering three waterfalls, numerous bluffs, and a historic site on the Greeter Falls Trail at Savage Gulf State Park. Or, check out the flooded cypress forest at Reelfoot State Park—which often freezes into natural ice sculptures in winter—and the thousands of American bald eagles who make it their home during January-February.
Image: Maxim Shklyaev
Tis the season to lace up your skates and hit the ice! You can skate outdoors at Winterfest at the Fountains in Murfreesboro through Sunday, January 28, 2024. Admission Includes tax, skate rentals, and 90 minutes on the ice. Or head indoors and glide around the rinks at Ford Ice Center or Centennial Sportsplex Ice Arenas. If you’d rather watch the pros than get on the ice yourself, check out a Nashville Predators hockey game at the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville.
ZOOLUMINATION – CHINESE FESTIVAL OF LIGHT
Image: Nashville Zoo
The Nashville Zoo invites you to see them in a whole new light at Zoolumination! Chinese artists have reimagined Chinese folklore in bright and colorful scenes throughout the Zoo at the country’s largest Chinese lantern festival. This walk-through experience, presented by Anheuser-Busch, features magical scenes of more than 1,000 custom-make silk lanterns, Chinese acrobats and entertainers, and more. Thursday-Sunday through Feb. 4. 5-9 pm
Even in winter months, farmers markets are a great place to get out and explore. The Nashville Farmers Market is open year-round; check the link for hours and directions. You can also pop over to Nolensville every Saturday from 10am – 10 pm for locally grown products, meat, eggs, baked goods and crafts in the parking lot of Mill Creek Church of Christ.
Image: Karolina Grabowska
If the weather outside is frightful, stay inside and enjoy a delightful cup of hot cocoa. Many area coffee shops offer hot chocolate as an option, but we’ve heard especially good things about Frothy Monkey and their Hatcher Hot Chocolate and Crema Coffee Roasters’ Askinosie Hot chocolate made with Askinosie dark chocolate sauce (learn more about Askinosie chocolate). However, there’s no need to brave the winter weather for a cup of chocolatey goodness. You can have Tennessee’s own Mama Lee’s Gourmet Hot Chocolate mixes sent to your home from the Bell Buckle Country Store.
No matter how you decide to enjoy this month, here’s hoping it’s a great start to 2024!