Winter is usually a time to hunker down inside, but in Nashville when the winters are mild, there’s no need! That makes Nashville a premier spot for outdoor wintertime dates. What should you do with your sweetheart this winter?
Here are the top outdoor Nashville winter date ideas:
- See the holiday lights
- Ride the Old Town Trolley
- Do some window shopping
- Take a food and sightseeing tour
- Catch a game at Nissan Stadium
- Stroll through Porter Flea Holiday Market
- Go ice skating at Gaylord Opryland
As the list above shows, the fun never has to end in Nashville. Whether you’re on a first date, a second date, or an anniversary date with your sweetie, these wintertime date ideas will add some spice to your life!
1. See the Holiday Lights
When the holidays are on the horizon, Nashville comes alive, becoming aglow in lights.
Sure, you’re unlikely to ever see a white Christmas here, but that doesn’t matter. The city is still in the spirit!
There are so many light attractions scattered throughout the city, so let’s take a look at the spots to explore for some holiday cheer.
The Dancing Lights of Christmas
Okay, so technically, the Dancing Lights of Christmas is a drive-through rather than a walk-through show, but you’re still outdoors, so it counts.
The show with music is the biggest of its kind in the state. While the days of availability vary from year to year, the Dancing Lights of Christmas usually starts in mid-November and lasts through early December.
The historic Sam Davis House in nearby Smyrna, which honors the eponymous Confederate soldier, is worth exploring to the fullest if you’re looking for indoor date options in Nashville.
Since you want to keep your activities outside, you can see how the house looks when twinkling with colorful lights by visiting during the holidays.
Cheekwood Holiday Lights
The Cheekwood Botanical Gardens are never more beautiful than they are around the holidays.
The 55-acre art museum and botanical garden features twinkling lights that enwrap trees and foliage.
You and your date will be dazzled as you walk through, and any lingering cold chill in the air will seem to dissipate!
Christmas at the Belmont Mansion
Belmont Mansion, or Acken Hall as some call it, is another Nashville historic mansion at the Freeman Hall Admissions Office.
Its replete with architectural wonders any other time of the year, but in the darkness when it’s illuminated by rows upon rows of glowing lights, it’s truly a special sight to behold.
You and your sweetie will feel especially sentimental.
Opryland Christmas Lights
We already recommend the Gaylord Opryland Resort for its other outdoor winter entertainment, but don’t miss the drive-through attraction full of holiday lights!
The event starts late in November and runs through early January. More than two million holiday lights are on display!
2. Ride the Old Town Trolley
Walking through Nashville on foot may be satisfying, but it’s tiring as well. You want to have enough energy to enjoy your date, which is why we suggest hopping on the Old Town Trolley if the mood strikes.
The trolley is a mere two-minute walk if you’re near the Johnny Cash Museum. The location is 201 Broadway.
As a hop-on, hop-off trolley, you can jump aboard when you and your date wish and then exit when you want to do something else or explore an area more thoroughly.
The Old Town Trolley stops at 13 locations on its route. It operates all day no matter the weather, even in the rain.
The open-air vehicle has stadium-style seating so you can get some exceptional views of Nashville.
If you and your date are new to the area, then you can learn a lot by riding the Old Town Trolley.
Even if you’ve lived in Nashville for years, the real-time narration of factoids about the city will make you see it in a whole new light.
Some of the stops on the route are as follows:
- Ryman Auditorium
- Legislative Plaza
- Musicians Hall of Fame
- Centennial Park
- Belmont Mansion
- The Gulch
- Country Music Hall of Fame
3. Do Some Window Shopping
Around the holidays, life gets so busy and hectic that it can feel hard to find a moment to catch your breath. A night of window shopping throughout Nashville with your date is a surefire way to get some holiday gift ideas and enjoy a calmer atmosphere.
Nashville’s eclectic variety of well-known retailers and local shops means that there’s probably always going to be something that catches your eye and makes you want to stop inside. There’s nothing wrong with that!
What if you’re deep into the doldrums of winter and in post-holiday mode? Well, you’re probably broke from all the holiday spending and cheer, so window shopping is a perfect activity.
You can breathe in the crispness of the Nashville air after dark, get some exercise, and beat back the emotional moodiness that tends to take hold this time of year.
Bookend your window shopping experience with a warm, yummy, filling meal at one of Nashville’s many restaurants, or at least pick up a coffee to go so your hands stay toasty.
4. Take a Food and Sightseeing Tour
Nashville Food Tours is one of the top food tours in the city, and you’ll quickly see why when you and your date sign up for a tour.
The walking tour takes your tastebuds on a culinary adventure as you sample the Bushwhacker cocktail, Nashville hot chicken, slow-roasted barbecue, and other foods that are pure Nashville.
The tour not only takes you to an assortment of bars, pubs, and eateries, but you’ll also stroll by Nissan Stadium, East Nashville’s Five Points, the Cumberland River, Germantown, Sounds Stadium, Bicentennial Mall, and the Capitol on your route.
These tours can sell out quick, so if you’re interested in going on a food and sightseeing tour for a date, be sure to register early.
By the way, if you want to impress your date to the Nth degree, Nashville Food Tours offers custom and private tours. These are more expensive than the standard fare, but you can set up something truly special that neither of you will ever forget!
Tell your date to wear comfortable shoes and a warm coat. Oh, and of course, they should bring their appetite!
5. Catch a Game at Nissan Stadium
Speaking of Nissan Stadium, it’s an excellent place for a wintertime date in Nashville if your sweetie is into sporty things.
The multi-purpose stadium is mostly a football stadium, especially in the winter. You can see the Tennessee Titans play here at an NFL game. If you like college football, the Tigers of Tennessee State University play at Nissan Stadium all the time.
In December, the stadium plays host to the TransPerfect Music City Bowl, the postseason college football game.
Soccer games and concerts regularly occur at Nissan Stadium as well, but mostly in the summer rather than the winter.
Whatever you’re craving when you’re here, Nissan Stadium has it.
On the 100 Level, you can chow down at Yee-Haw Brewing Co., The Coop, Puckett’s Trolley, Nashgrille, Martins Bar-B-Que Joint, Slim + Husky’s Pizza, Party Fowl, Twice Daily, or Bent Buckle BBQ.
On the 200 Level, you can order at Three Star Chicken, Southern Smoke, or Cumberland River Grill. There’s also another Slim + Husky’s Pizza and a second Nashgrille.
Up on the 300 Level, you’ll find additional Slim + Husky’s Pizza, Party Fowl, Nashgrille, and Bent Buckle BBQ locations.
The excitement of a live sports game and the electricity of the crowd will make you forget all about any cold in the air!
6. Stroll Through the Porter Flea Holiday Market
Nashville has more than its fair share of flea markets, but the Porter Flea Holiday Market is the one that most Nashvillians look forward to each and every year.
The flea market begins in December with limited dates available.
Founded in 2011, Porter Flea has “a focus on celebrating modern handmade goods.”
For nine years and counting, the semi-annual market run by Matt Alexander (the owner of HollerDesign) and Katie Vance supports small businesses and invites a community shopping atmosphere.
In 2012, Porter Flea was declared by Nashville Scene as the Best Artisan Market.
Here, you can cross off your entire holiday shopping list by exploring all the local vendors and artisans.
The goods run the gamut from clothing to housewares, jewelry, art, carpeting, home décor, handbags, food, baby clothes, coffee, ceramics, candles, fragrance, and cosmetics.
There’s always something special here!
7. Go Ice Skating at Gaylord Opryland
The last activity that we recommend for an outdoor Nashville winter date is ice skating at Gaylord Opryland.
This resort, which is part of the Gaylord Hotels brand, offers outdoor ice skating across 9,000 spacious square feet.
The ice rink is indeed covered in real ice, not the fake stuff! By the romanticism of moonlight, this is one of the best dates you can take someone on in Nashville by far.
The skating begins in January and runs until late February most years, so finally, this is an outdoor wintertime activity you can do even if the holidays have come and gone.
Do you and your date not know how to skate? No problem! Lessons are available.
Your fee onto the ice rink includes unlimited same-day skates and skating, so there’s no need to bring your own gear (except a coat, a scarf, and some mittens, of course).
Nashville has the fortune of never being freezing cold, which makes outdoor winter dates totally viable!
We hope the activities we explored in this guide inspire you and that special someone in your life to get outside and enjoy the day.