From timeless classics to new works, Nashville has a show for everyone this holiday season

‘Tis the season for friends, family and performing arts!

nash nut

Nashville’s Nutcracker returns to Music City as young Clara takes audiences on a journey through a spectacular dreamland with her magical Uncle Drosselmeyer.

In Music City and its surrounding areas, we’re spoiled each holiday season with a diverse array of shows to enjoy with our loved ones.

For a town that oozes artistic talent, it’s no wonder so many performances exist — both of the musical and theatrical variety.

Some shows serve as classic traditions for families to re-experience year after year. Other shows are new, progressive works reflecting the great cultural boom of our city.

Dubbed the latest “it city”, Nashville’s ever-growing arts scene is the perfect complement to other festive events and activities in the city Southerners flock from all around to enjoy.

So, after you get the obligatory annual “mall Santa” visits and Christmas light tours out of the way, remember that one thing’s for sure.

Nothing compares to seeing the magic and wonder of live art created before your very eyes. Give that gift to the people closest to you this holiday season.

Connect with Michael Aldrich on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @michaelwaldrich.

A listing of Nashville holiday shows:

NPNc-Elf-300x240Nov. 1 – Dec. 21
Cumberland County Playhouse

221 Tennessee Ave
Crossville, TN 38555

Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth.

With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Showtimes: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 1 p.m.

Contact: 931-484-5000

Tickets: $32 adult, $30 senior, $16 student/child


Nov. 14 – Dec. 29
Auntie Claus
Nashville Children’s Theatre

25 Middleton St
Nashville, TN 37210

Book and Lyrics by Marcy Heisler
Music by Zina Goldrich
Adapted from the book by Elise Primavera ©1999 in arrangement with the author 

There’s something mysterioso about Sophie Kringle’s glamorous great aunt. She serves Christmas cookies at teatime, even in July and there’s always that secretive “business trip” every year around the holidays. Determined to get to the bottom of Auntie Claus’ eccentric ways, Sophie embarks on an adventure that leads straight to the heart of the holidays. This world premiere musical was commissioned for Nashville audiences and is a holiday event for the whole family.

Showtime: Nov 29 at 10 am and 2 pm (Fri), Nov 30 at 10 am and 2 pm (Sat), Dec 1 at 2 pm (Sun), Dec 4 at 1 pm (Wed), Dec 7 at 2 pm (Sat), Dec 8 at 2 pm (Sun), Dec 14 at 2 pm (Sat), Dec 15 at 2 pm (Sun), Dec 18 at 1 pm (Wed), Dec 20 at 7 pm (Fri), Dec 21 at 10 am and 2 pm (Sat), Dec 22 at 2 pm (Sun), Dec 24 at 10 am (Tue), Dec 26 at 10 am (Thu), Dec 27 at 10 am and 2 pm (Fri), Dec 28 at 10 am and 2 pm (Sat), Dec 29 at 2 pm (Sun)


Tickets: $23 for adults, $19 for seniors/military/educators, $17 for youth (ages 3-17)

NPN-Carol-300x149Nov. 15 – 24
A Christmas Carol
Encore Theatre Company

6978 Lebanon Rd
Mt. Juliet, TN 37122

Transcribed from the original December 23, 1938 Radio broadcast of Orson Welles and Campbell’s Theatre Playhouse.

Showtimes: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Contact: 615-598-8950

Tickets: $10 general admission

NPN-Wonderettes-300x240Nov. 15 – Dec. 22
Winter Wonderettes
Cumberland County Playhouse

221 Tennessee Ave
Crossville, TN 38555

This seasonal celebration finds Cindy Lou, Missy, Suzy, and Betty Jean entertaining at the annual Harper’s Hardware Holiday Party. When Santa turns up missing, the girls use their talent and creative ingenuity to save the holiday party! Featuring great ’60s versions of holiday classics such as “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Run, Rudolph, Run,” and “Winter Wonderland,” the result is, of course, marvelous! This energetic and glittering holiday package is guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages.

Showtimes: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 1 p.m.

Contact: 931-484-5000

Tickets: $30 adult, $28 senior, $16 student/child

GO_Rudolph_Musical_Logo_450x250-300x167Nov. 16 – Dec. 27
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical
Grand Ole Opry House

221 Tennessee Ave
Crossville, TN 38555

The beloved TV classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season.  Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abomnable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in a 90 minute production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.  It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Don’t miss this wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us.

Showtimes: Fridays – Wednesdays at 7 p.m., Fridays – Sundays at 2 p.m. 

Contact: (615) 889-1000

Tickets: $24.99

a Christmas carolNov. 29 – Dec. 22
A Christmas Carol
Nashville Repertory Theatre 

505 Deaderick St
Nashville, TN 37243

Join the Nashville Repertory Theatre for the holiday party of the year! The Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future journey through time to remind an iron-hearted Scrooge what Christmas is truly about.

This thrilling adaptation by Patrick Barlow brings Charles Dickens’ most beloved characters to life using five actors, imaginative props, and mesmerizing design. A true celebration of theatre and the holiday season, Patrick Barlow’s A Christmas Carol is a magnificent twist on this timeless story of redemption.You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll leave Nashville Rep full of holiday cheer!

Showtimes: Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Contact: 615-782-4040

Tickets: $29 

NPN-Tuna-Christmas-300x150Nov. 30 – Dec. 21 
A Tuna Christmas
Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre 

8204 Highway 100
Nashville, TN 37221

In this hilarious sequel to Greater Tuna, it’s Christmas in the third smallest town in Texas! Many colorful Tuna townsfolk, some you’ll recognize from Greater Tuna and some appearing here for the first time (all played by two actors!), join in the holiday fun. Don’t miss it, y’all!

Showtimes: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays at 12 p.m. Meals are served 2 hours prior to curtain, although orders cut off 1/2 prior to curtain.

Contact: 615-646-9979 Ext.2

Tickets: $37 for adults, $22 for youth and $15 for children under 12 

event-featured-Greg-Wilson-1572545998-300x200Dec. 5 – 14 
A Christmas Carol – A Live Radio Play
Actors Point Theatre Company at Myers Front Porch in Hendersonville

8204 Highway 100
Nashville, TN 37221

Actors Point Theatre Company presents “A Christmas Carol – A Live Radio Play” at Myers Front Porch restaurant. The Charles Dickens holiday classic comes to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast, complete with vintage commercials for fruitcake (extra-fancy), and the magic of live sound effects and musical underscoring. A handful of actors bring dozens of characters to the stage, as the familiar story unfolds: three ghosts take Ebenezer Scrooge on a thrilling journey to teach him the true meaning of Christmas. A charming take on a family favorite that will leave no one saying “Bah Humbug!”

Showtimes:All performances at 7:30 pm with a dinner option at 6:30pm.

Contact: 615-431-9620

Tickets: $18/Show-only ticket (discounts available for seniors/students/children), $36/Dinner & Show ticket (VIP dinner packages available)

NPN-Sanders-2-300x185Dec. 5 – 21 
Sanders Family Christmas
Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre 

8204 Highway 100
Nashville, TN 37221

In this sequel to the ever-popular hit Smoke On The Mountain, the Sanders Family returns to Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina, home of the Mt. Pleasant Pickle Factory. It’s Christmas Eve 1941. Reverend Oglethorpe has invited them to the Baptist Church to sing and witness, getting the congregation in the down home holiday spirit before the boys, including one of Sanders own, are shipping off to World War II. More than two dozen Christmas carols, many of them vintage hymns, and hilarious yuletide stories from the Sanders family keep the audience laughing, clapping and singing along with the bluegrass Christmas favorites.

Showtimes: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays at 12 p.m. Meals are served 2 hours prior to curtain, although orders cut off 1/2 prior to curtain.

Contact: 615-646-9979 Ext.2

Tickets: $37 for adults, $22 for youth and $15 for children under 12 

NPN-Wonderful-300x249Dec. 5 – 22 
It’s A Wonderful Life
The Larry Keeton Theatre 

108 Donelson Pike
Nashville, TN 37214

It’s a Wonderful Life, the Musical is based on the beloved 1946 film and faithfully follows Gorge Bailey’s life from his childhood dreams to his midlife disappointments and beyond, as we journey with him to discover whether life matters at all. Cinematically scored and theatrically staged, this adaptation breathes musical life into a familiar story, while retaining the warmth, humor, and pathos of the original, making it a new holiday classic for devotees and newcomers alike.

Showtimes: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.

Contact: Website

Tickets: $30/Adult Dinner & Show, $25/Adult Show Only, $20/Child Dinner & Show, $15/Child Show Only

twelve dates of christmasDec. 6 – 15 
The Twelve Dates of Christmas
Tennessee Women’s Theater Project 

2301 Rosa L. Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37228

Celebrate the return of the incomparable Tamiko Robinson Steele to the Tennessee Women’s Theater Project holiday production, The Twelve Dates of Christmas!

Ginna Hoben’s side-splitting one-woman play opens with Mary, visiting her family at home in Ohio for Thanksgiving. She switches on the Macy’s Parade and spots her fiancé back in New York kissing another woman on national TV! We follow Mary’s year-long stumble back into the dating world, as romance lurches from weird and creepy to absurd and comical. Finally, in an unexpected encounter, Mary discovers a new perspective on life and love. Salty Language Alert: because of adult language, this show is not recommended for small children.

This is a limited run show — just 7 performances — so get your tickets early.

Showtimes: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Contact: 615-681-7220

Tickets: $25

NPN-Christmas-Carol-300x164Dec. 6 – 8 & 13 – 15
A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley
Springhouse Theatre Company

14119 Old Nashville Hwy
Smyrna, TN 37228

Directed by Robert Kiefer, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol—written by playwright Ronnie Meek—represents a faithful, fast-paced version of Charles Dickens’ iconic tale. All the favorite characters are there, from Tiny Tim to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

Charles Dickens’ novella, A Christmas Carol, first published in England on December 19, 1843, was almost single-handedly responsible for rejuvenating the old Christmas traditions of England, such as carol singing, while at the same time celebrating new traditions like the Christmas tree and sending Christmas cards.

While the Christmas traditions portrayed in the novella are bursting with images of light, joy, warmth and life, it also contains strong images of darkness, despair, coldness, sadness and death, embodied by the story’s miserly protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge. Ultimately, it is a tale of redemption and spiritual awakening to the needs of one’s fellow man.

Since its original publication, A Christmas Carol has never been out of print. Its popularity has continued to swell for more than a century and a half, and it has been repeatedly adapted in a variety of artistic mediums including ballet, opera, films, Broadway musicals, a chamber orchestra presentation and even a mime production. There are, of course, multiple stage play adaptations of this beloved tale, each with its own particular spin on the story.

Showtimes: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Sundays at 3:30 p.m.

Contact: 615-852-8499

Tickets: $15 adults, $12 seniors and $10 students/children

NPN-White-300x257Dec. 6 – 21
White Christmas
Pull-Tight Players

112 Second Ave South
Franklin, TN 37064

Based on the perennially popular 1954 film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen, this nostalgic musical celebrates “The Greatest Generation” as two WWII veterans and showbiz stars follow a duo of singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge – which just happens to be owned by their former army general. Can the lodge (and Christmas) be saved? The sparkling score features beloved songs like “Sisters,” “Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep),” “Blue Skies” and, of course, “White Christmas.”

Music by Irving Berlin • Book by David Ives and Paul Blake
Directed by Pat Street

Showtime: Wednesdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Contact: (615) 791-5007

Tickets: $18/Adult, $16/Senior, $12/Child or student


Dec. 6 – 22
Closed For The Holidays
Lakewood Theatre Company 

2211 Old Hickory Blvd
Old Hickory, TN 37138

In this heartwarming and hilarious holiday play, a group of strangers find themselves stranded at a community center when their town is shut down thanks to a blizzard. The cast of characters include a drama teacher with a bus full of students, a couple on the way to their wedding, and a bored Sheriff. Join the fun this holiday season by seeing Closed for the Holidays!

Showtimes: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Contact: 615-847-0934



Dec. 6 – 29
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Studio Tenn

230 Franklin Rd
Franklin, TN 37064

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, the Tony Award®-winning family-fun musical that will delight audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. Fully equipped with an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more— this production will transport you back to a time of fairy tales and fairy godmothers! Rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago” in this enchantingly romantic experience for anyone who’s ever had a dream!

Showtimes: Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m.

Contact: (615) 541-8200

Tickets: $35-$90


Dec. 7
Nashville Christmas Parade
Downtown Nashville 

The Nashville Christmas Parade will include celebrity performances, elaborate floats, helium balloons, mass performing groups featuring singers, dancers and choirs; and marching bands from multiple states. The parade route travels along the scenic “Musical Mile” and is flanked by tens of thousands of enthusiastic spectators anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus.

The parade will step off at 8:30 AM and reach the Reserved Ticketed Seating area for LIVE broadcast at 9:00 AM. Guests are asked to be in their seats in the Reserved Ticketed Seating Area by 8:45 AM. The Reserved Ticketed Seating Area is located at the cross sections of BROADWAY and 5th Avenue. The parade will take place rain or shine. Proceeds benefit The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. View the Route.

Tickets: Free

Nashville's Nutcracker

Dec. 7 – 23
Nashville’s Nutcracker
Nashville Ballet

505 Deaderick St
Nashville, TN 37219

Concept, story treatment and choreography by Paul Vasterling
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Live music performed by the Nashville Symphony

Usher in the most wonderful time of the year with Music City’s favorite holiday tradition – Nashville’s Nutcracker returns to delight both the young and young-at-heart. Join Clara and her magical friends on a journey through a spectacular dreamland.

“A joyous celebration from start to finish, Nashville’s Nutcracker captures all the wonder of the holiday season. Don’t miss it!” – Amy Stumpfl, Tennessean (2017)

Showtimes: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m.

Contact: (615) 782-4040

Tickets: Starting at $35

michaelwsmith_1440x680-300x142Dec. 10
Michael W. Smith with the Nashville Symphony
Nashville Symphony

One Symphony Place
Nashville, TN 37201

One of Christian music’s biggest stars returns to ring in the holiday season with your Nashville Symphony. Get your tickets early for this sell-out show and bring the family for a very special evening of holiday favorites and original tunes, including:

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year | I’ll Be Home for Christmas | The Spirit of Christmas | Joy to the World | O Holy Night

Showtime: 7:30 p.m. 

Contact: (615) 687-6400

Tickets: Starting at $106

Aladdin's Winter Wish Give Kids PantoDec. 12 – 22
Aladdin & His Winter Wish
Tennessee Performing Arts Center

505 Deaderick St
Nashville, TN 37219

“Magic for the holidays, a fun family ride!” raves the Los Angeles Times. The age old fairy tale of Aladdin is given a modern twist with pop music, from “Treasure” by Bruno Mars to Ray Charles “You Don’t Know Me”, magic and comedy.

Helped by the magical Genie, Aladdin meets and falls in love with the Princess and later has to save her from the clutches of the evil magician Abanazar. With his hopeless brother Wishee Washee alongside him, will Aladdin defeat the evil magician and make all of his dreams come true?

From the producers of last years hit Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, ALADDIN AND HIS WINTER WISH is the perfect family show all ages will wish to see this holiday season!

Showtimes: 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturdays, 3 p.m. Saturdays and 12/5 p.m. Sundays

Contact: (615) 782-4040

Tickets: Starting at $40

homealone_1440x680-300x142Dec. 12 – 13
Home Alone in Concert
Nashville Symphony

One Symphony Place
Nashville, TN 37201

Nashville Symphony & Chorus | Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor | Tucker Biddlecombe, chorus director

This hilarious and heartwarming holiday tradition is perfect for the whole family. Experience John Williams’ delightful score performed live while the movie is shown on the big screen.

Showtimes: 7 p.m. 

Contact: (615) 687-6400

Tickets: Starting at $110

winter concert theater bugDec. 12 – 15
Winter Concert 2019 On Air
Theater Bug

4809 Gallatin Pike
Nashville, TN 37216

Join 55+ of Nashville’s talented young performers for a night of music, dance and fun at Winter Concert: On The Air. This is a perfect way for all ages celebrate the Winter Season together.

Artwork by MA2LA featuring Elle Wesley & Jalen Walker.

Showtimes: 7 p.m. Thurs-Sat, 2 p.m. Sat & 6 p.m. Sun


Tickets: Online: $5 Children under 12, $10 Adults & children 12+, Door (if available): $7 Children under 12, $12 Adults & children 12+

everychristmasstoryDec. 12 – 15
Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!)
Nashville Shakespeare Festival at Belmont University

2100 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37212

Nashville Shakes knows you have a lot of choices this holiday season, so why not see all of them in one night? Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!), a comedy by Michael Carleton, Jim FitzGerald, and John K. Alvarez, directed by Jim Warren, is a non-stop thrill-ride through all of America’s favorite “BHCs” (Beloved Holiday Classics).

Three actors play dozens of characters including Scrooge, the Grinch, Rudolph, Frosty, George Bailey, Yukon Cornelius, and many more. The evening promises not be your average night at the theater, but a big holiday party complete with free cookies and hot cocoa, door prizes, a gift exchange, an ugly Christmas sweater contest, and (for a touch of the real Christmas spirit) an opportunity to help other important non-profits like Nashville’s Room in the Inn.

Showtimes: Thurs and Sat at 7:30 p.m., Sun. at 2:30 p.m. 

Contact: 615-852-6732

Tickets: $30/Advance, $33/At Door, $27/Pre-sale

Dec. 13 – 15
Amahl and The Night Visitors
Nashville Opera

505 Deaderick St
Nashville, TN 37219

Three traveling kings stop for the night at the humble home of a shepherd boy and his mother. As the precocious Amahl entertains the peculiar guests, he learns that true generosity of heart can be a miracle in itself. Since its Christmas Eve premiere on national TV in 1951, Amahl and the Night Visitors has charmed children and adults alike. Full of humor, wonder, and enchanting melody, Amahl became a Christmas classic, and Nashville Opera is rounding off the evening with glittering carols, singalongs, and family activities.

Music by Gian Carlo Menotti

Directed by John Hoomes
Sung in English with projected English titles

Showtimes: Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m.

Contact: 615-832-5242

Tickets: $26-$85


Dec. 13 – 22
The Santa Diaries
Encore Theatre Company

6978 Lebanon Rd
Mt. Juliet, TN 37122

When a successful and self-absorbed Hollywood actor is forced to return to his small hometown and direct the community holiday play, he rediscovers the joy of Christmas, finds a lost love, and learns to embrace his inner Santa. This musical comedy celebrates unique small-town culture while exploring universal themes It has delighted audiences of all ages, who have responded with both tears and laughter.

Showtimes: Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 2:30 p.m.

Contact: 615-598-8950

Tickets: $10

best20christmas20pageant20ever20tkts-e1573082290757-300x197Dec. 15
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever – A Play
Franklin Theatre

419 Main Street
Franklin, TN 37064

In this hilarious Christmas tale, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids– probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won’t believe the mayhem– and the fun– when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on!

This production is performed by the youth of the Act Too Players.

Showtimes: 4 and 7:30 p.m.

Website: link

Tickets: $13-$25

messiah_1440x680-300x142Dec. 19 – 22
Handel’s Messiah with the Nashville Symphony
Nashville Symphony

One Symphony Place
Nashville, TN 37201

Nashville Symphony & Chorus | Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor | Tucker Biddlecombe, chorus director

Featuring the resounding Hallelujah Chorus, it’s Nashville’s grandest Messiah – full of passion, drama and stunning beauty. Celebrate the season as your Nashville Symphony & Chorus perform one of the most inspiring works of music ever written.

Showtimes: 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Contact: (615) 687-6400

Tickets: Starting at $133

mannheim steamrollerDec. 28
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

505 Deaderick St
Nashville, TN 37219

30 years ago, Grammy Award-winner Chip Davis created a show that features Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics along with a selection of compositions from his Fresh Aire series which introduced the distinctive Mannheim sound to all of America.

The program celebrates the group’s recent anniversary of 30 years since the first Christmas album and 40 years since the first Fresh Aire album and includes dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting. Experience the magic as the spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller. Their holiday CDs have become synonymous with Christmas and continue to occupy top spots on Billboard’s Seasonal Charts every year!

Showtime: 8 p.m.

Contact: (615) 782-4040

Tickets: $40


Page Tags: