What’s New, Trending And Happening This Winter In Tennessee

Thursday, November 14, 2019 - by Jill Kilgore
New & Trending


Bledsoe County Geocaching Tour, Pikeville – Discover fascinating stories, spectacular views and great food as your GPS guides you on an adventure.

As part of this new geocaching tour, 44 geocaches are hidden at sites across Bledsoe County, the Sequatchie Valley and at Fall Creek Falls State Park.

Go West Young Man: Western Frontier Couture of Manuel Exhibit at Monthaven Arts & Cultural CenterHendersonville - Known as the “Stylist to the Stars,” Manuel’s signature designs are known for their elaborate, rhinestone embellishments which have covered Salvador Dali, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Marty Stuart, Dwight Yoakam and more. Manuel’s styles have awed audiences and fans around the world.

The Walls Art Park, Waverly – This art park is a one-of-a-kind park where artists can express themselves with their art by painting on the walls. Artists are invited to come out, pick a wall, and create whatever is in their soul.

 New Restaurant, Attraction & Shop Openings

 

Portland Pizza and Pub, Portland – This restaurant serves delicious, creative pizzeria and local brews.

Back Do/Mi Yard, Memphis - Inspired by many trips to Jamaica, local restauranteur Karen Carrier adds another concept to her brand. This restaurant is behind her other restaurant, The Beauty Shop, and highlights elevated takes on classic Caribbean food.

 

Coastal Fish Company, Memphis - This restaurant is making great seafood selections even more accessible to the Mid-South area. From the owners of local, fine-dining restaurants Flight and Southern Social, this venture’s menu features items like oysters with wasabi apple or passionfruit chili sorbets as opposed to the typical garnishes.

 

Marcy Jo’s Muletown, Downtown Columbia – Open November 2019, Marcy Jo’s Muletown, sister restaurant of iconic Marcy Jo's Mealhouse & Bakery, serves up home-cooked breakfast and lunch daily, and features monthly songwriters’ nights.

The Ice Cream Social, Gallatin - Unique ice cream parlor located inside Filly’s Game and Grill on the downtown Gallatin Square.

Cooking 101 Restaurant and Cooking Classes, Hendersonville - Enjoy a prepared meal or learn to make your own yummy dishes at this eatery.

SimplKnoxville – Owner and Executive Chef Kendall Ball serves up southern small plates made with locally-sourced ingredients, upscale takes on classic bar snacks and Instagram-worthy brunch fare.

Perk CityKnoxville This coffee shop offers a bottomless cup and baked goods including lavender blackberry cornbread. Inside, there are historic pictures of the area and a space for local artists and other “makers” to display their work. Each month, the shop offers a specialty drink to benefit a local charity.

Mountain Monster, Pigeon Forge - A 200-foot-tall drop tower featuring three rides in one, anchors the Tower Shops at Mountain Mile. The Tower Lawns at Mountain Mile are also open.

Monster Mash Burgers, Sevierville - The themed restaurant inspired by classic horror movies, serves up house-ground burgers, hotdogs, and out-of-this-world milkshakes.

Ogle Brothers General Store, Sevierville - Step back in time and shop for Christmas gifts. Local honey, jams and more line the shelves at this “farmer’s market” concept store.

 New Distilleries and Breweries

Gutter Bound Distillery, Hurricane Mills – American spirits crafted in the spirit of the American Craftsman. Each bottle produced at the first legal distillery in Hurricane Mills contains locally-produced, small-batch, handcrafted spirits.

 

Elst Brewing CompanyKnoxville – Elst was created by four Knoxville neighbors that shared an appreciation for great tasting beer and the process of creating a recipe, sourcing the finest ingredients and combining them with precision and science.

Junction 35 SpiritsPigeon Forge – Straight from the hills of The Smoky Mountains, Junction 35 Spirits is bringing a long-time family tradition to the public. The rich local history of making and running spirits diverging with the Master Distillery brings together a taste like no other.

 New Hotels

Arrive Hotel (Nov. 2019), Memphis –This boutique hotel will sit in the middle of the South Main Arts District, across the street from the National Civil Rights Museum. With 62 rooms, an onsite bakery (Hustle and Dough), bar (Longshot), and cocktail spot, this new hotel will mesh right into the neighborhood’s eclectic, Memphis vibe.

 

Central Station, Memphis - One of the city’s newest hotels stands in the 105-year-old Amtrak station in the heart of the South Main Historic Arts District. With 123 rooms, this property, which is also part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, combines historic and artistic elements to create an experience that is uniquely Memphis.

 

The Harpeth Hotel, Franklin - Opening in winter 2019, The Harpeth Hotel, a Curio by Hilton property, will become downtown Franklin’s most luxurious hotel featuring 119 rooms. With a nod to the local flavor, 1799 Kitchen inside The Harpeth Hotel will feature mouthwatering dishes and distinct cocktails.

The Historic Central Hotel (Feb. 2020), Sevierville – The boutique hotel is slated to open in historic downtown Sevierville. The luxurious two-bedroom units feature full kitchens, a fireplace, a private balcony and more. On the ground floor, find The Honeybee Coffee Co. as well as Prawns, a new seafood restaurant.

The Ridge Outdoor Resort, Sevierville - With 50 RV campsites, tiny home glamping and luxury tent camping, this truly is a unique place to stay. Look for more additions coming soon to The Ridge including a dog park, pickleball court and gaga ball courts.

 Winter Events Across Tennessee (November-February)

Gaylord Opryland’s “A Country Christmas”  (Nov. 8-Jan. 1), Nashville – Marvel and celebrate the season at Gaylord Opryland’s “A Country Christmas” featuring more than 3 million lights, nine acres of stunning décor, a Build-A-Bear Workshop, gingerbread decorating corner and ICE! featuring “A Christmas Story” in 2 million pounds of colorful, hand-carved ice sculptures and slides.

Zoolumination (Nov. 15-Jan. Dec. 30), Nashville - See the Nashville Zoo in a whole new light at the country’s largest Chinese lantern festival. Zoolumination features over 500 custom-made silk lanterns, elaborate displays with animals, holiday-themed scenes and even a 200-foot-long dragon.

Outdoor Ice Skating at Wilderness at the Smokies (Nov. 15, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020), Sevierville – Families can enjoy the tradition of ice skating during the holidays and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa at the 3,200 square-foot ice rink. Indoors, a variety of fun festivities take place, including visits with Santa, story time with Mrs. Claus, cookie decorating, crafts, games and shopping in specialty gift shops.

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland (Nov. 15, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020), Sevierville – Drive through LED lights, experience live music and fun activities for the kids, including crafts and photos with Santa at Smokies Stadium.

The Dancing Lights of Christmas (Nov 16, 2019-Jan. 4, 2020), Lebanon – Load up the car and see over 2 million lights dancing to the music on the radio at the Wilson County and the James E. Ward Agricultural Center.

Candy Christmas at Crave Golf Club (Nov. 20-Jan. 5, 2020) Pigeon Forge – The interactive mini-golf course transforms into a candy-themed winter wonderland with garland, wreaths, candy canes, Christmas trees and more lights than Willy Wonka would have ever approved.

Holidays Under the Peaks (Nov. 22-Dec. 24) Chattanooga – Nothing says “holidays” quite like wearing your PJs in public or seeing Santa Claus decked out in a wetsuit and fins. At the Tennessee Aquariumunderwater appearances by SCUBA Claus and the chance to sip hot cocoa and cuddle up in your coziest jammies while watching The Polar Express 3D are the most jingle-worthy of seasonal traditions.

Let It Glow Christmas Light Show (Nov. 22-Dec. 30), Union City - Drive through 50 acres of thousands of twinkling lights synced to classic songs at Discovery Park of America. The cost is $10 per car. Be sure to purchase a pair of 3D glasses to see dazzling displays.

GLOW Nashville (Nov. 22-Dec. 31) - Witness one of the country’s tallest Christmas trees, millions of lights, and a life-size Santa’s Workshop, ice skating, tubing experiences and plenty of holiday activities at First Tennessee Park.

Enchanted Garden of Lights (Nov. 22-Jan. 4, 2020), Rock City in Chattanooga – Immerse in this award-winning holiday lighting spectacular with live music, holiday treats like gingerbread cookies and hot cocoa, and delight in magical decorations.

Smoky Mountain Winterfest (Nov. 22, 2019-Feb. 17, 2020), in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville - Smoky Mountain Winterfest offers a spectacular display of lights and events to celebrate the season with light displays, shopping, award-winning shows and attractions — all while showcasing the winter beauty of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“Night of Light,” Christmas Tree Lighting on the Town Square (Nov. 23), Columbia - The much-anticipated tree-lighting ceremony features a majestic, 40-foot Christmas tree on the Courthouse Square. It’s a magical night of holiday music and entertainment sure to usher in the joy and splendor of the holidays. The special guest emcee is nationally-syndicated country radio personality Blair Garner who has captivated the airwaves for 30 years. Admission is free.

A Very Maury Christmas Holiday Market (Nov. 23), Columbia - This regional holiday market features over 30 quality vendors in downtown Columbia. A $5 donation is accepted at the door.

Colonial Coffee: A Revolutionary Drink (Nov. 23), Elizabethton - Roast up beans, use a hand mill to grind coffee, brew a pot over the open hearth, and enjoy a hot cup of history 11 a.m. at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.

Holiday Lights at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens (Nov. 23-Jan. 5), Nashville - Celebrate the season with 1 million lights, holiday concerts, cookie decorating, gingerbread workshops, s’mores stations, art and live reindeer.

 “A Christmas Carol” at the Roxy Regional Theatre (Nov. 28-Dec. 21), Clarksville -  Ebenezer and his ghostly encounters come to life in this lavish and thrilling musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ most well-known story.

Drive-Thru Christmas Lights at the Clarksville Speedway (Nov. 28-Dec. 31), Clarksville - Enjoy over one mile, and over 1 million lights from the comfort of your car.

Holiday Tea and Thanksgiving Marketplace (Nov. 29-30), Rugby - Relax from the hustle and bustle of the season 1-3 p.m. at Uffington House in Historic Rugby.  Tickets are $22 and $16 for children under age 12.

Downtown Peppermint Trail (Nov. 29, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020), Knoxville - Stroll downtown to see trees, windows, doors, and patios dripping in lights and dipped in peppermint. More than 100,000 lights and garlands throughout downtown create a winter wonderland; and restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, bars and boutiques offer peppermint specials.

Elf on the Shelf (Nov. 29, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020), Knoxville - Scout elves will land in Knoxville to begin the scavenger hunt. Children of all ages are invited to pick up a North Pole Pass at any of the participating businesses to help guide them through the adventure. There will be treats and prizes along the way until adopted scout elves return to the North Pole.

Christmas with the Annie Moses Band (Nov. 30), The Caverns in Pelham - On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, escape to the Cumberland Mountains to hear the Annie Moses Band, a classical-crossover string and vocal band made up of six virtuosic siblings. 

Festival of Lights at Drakes Creek Park (Dec. 1-15), Hendersonville - For the first time, the City of Hendersonville will host a drive-thru of Christmas light displays through Drakes Creek Park.

Christmas on the Cumberland (Nov. 26-Jan. 1, 2020), Clarksville - One million lights illuminate the half-mile Cumberland Riverwalk with captivating displays. Special crafts, dances, choirs and other activities will take plan on select Saturdays. This free event is a treasured tradition open 5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Christmas in Olde Jonesborough (Nov. 30-Dec. 21), Jonesborough – Tennessee’s oldest town features a month-long series of events and activities for the holiday season along with music, storytelling, visits from Santa and a Christmas Market. The series kicks off with Whoville and Small Business Saturday Nov. 30.

Christmas Carriage & Wagon Rides (Dec. 6-8, 13-15, 20), Cookeville – Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage or wagon ride in Dogwood Park down the grand sidewalk around the Christmas Tree while the music and light show plays.

Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes (Dec. 7), Murfreesboro – Usher in the holiday season with an enchanting tour of historic homes, distinctive churches the Oaklands Mansion while listening to the music of carolers from local schools and churches.

Candlelight Christmas (Dec. 14), Collinsville – Docents will take guests on guided tours of the pioneer settlement 4-8 p.m. See 16 structures from mid-19th Century adorned with primitive period holiday décor along with music, hot chocolate, food vendors and crafts for the kids.

Dickens of a Christmas (Dec. 14-15), Franklin - Middle Tennessee’s largest outdoor Christmas festival returns for its 35th year of filling Main Street with over 200 musicians, dancers and characters from Charles Dickens’ famed stories along with southern artisans and makers from across the South.

Elvis Presley Birthday (Jan. 8- 11, 2020), Memphis - Graceland gears up to celebrate what would have been Elvis Presley’s 85th birthday. With four event-filled days and appearances by Priscilla Presley, there’s no better way to celebrate The King!

 

Chocolatefest – (Jan. 25, 2020), Knoxville - Enjoy chocolate from area chocolatiers, restaurants & bakeries at World’s Fair Exhibition Hall.

“Home, Heart, Heritage: Black History Month Historical Art Workshops & Quilt Program” (Feb.2-23, 2020), Hendersonville - Celebrate and honor Black History Month at Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center and help create a quilt that tells the story of momentous African American figures and moments in history.

Rose Glen Literary Festival (Feb. 22, 2020), Sevierville – This festival at Sevierville Convention Center features premier southeastern authors, speakers and a book fair. The Keynote Speaker is Therese Anne Fowler (ZThe Well-Behaved Woman, A Good Neighborhood). Additional speakers include: Walter Ziffer (Confronting the Silence), Dr. Bill Bass (The Body Farm novels), Michael Knight (The Briarwood School for Girls), S.J. Dalhman (A Familiar Wilderness: Searching for home on Daniel Boone’s Road), and Paul Brown (Rufus: James Agee in Tennessee).

For a complete list of what’s happening in Tennessee, visit tnvacation.com/calendar 


Rock City Hosts 12th EarthDayz

State Parks Invite Visitors To Easter Feasts, Events

Historic East Nashville Church-Turned-Hotel Celebrates Grand Opening


Rock City Gardens will host its 12th EarthDayz event in celebration of Earth Day, April 17-18 and 24-25, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. New this year is a partnership featuring animals from the Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Five Tennessee State Parks restaurants will serve Easter meals Sunday, and visitors are invited to participate in various events over the Easter weekend at state parks across the state. “We ... (click for more)

Another historic East Nashville church has been renewed by Anchor Rentals into The Gallatin Hotel as a lodging hotspot that gives away a substantial portion of each night’s stay to local homeless ... (click for more)



Travel

Rock City Hosts 12th EarthDayz

Rock City Gardens will host its 12th EarthDayz event in celebration of Earth Day, April 17-18 and 24-25, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. New this year is a partnership featuring animals from the Chattanooga Zoo. Also, guests can toss flower flairs into the gardens, eat a cup of dirt cake, hear live percussionists, go on a virtual scavenger hunt with Rocky and look for “living” trees throughout ... (click for more)

State Parks Invite Visitors To Easter Feasts, Events

Five Tennessee State Parks restaurants will serve Easter meals Sunday, and visitors are invited to participate in various events over the Easter weekend at state parks across the state. “We have excellent food for our visitors, and we hope everyone will enjoy holiday activities at the parks,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Lee's $580 Million Budget Amendment Includes 2-Week Sales Tax Holiday On Purchases At Grocery Stores, Restaurants

Governor Bill Lee on Tuesday announced an amendment to the proposed Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget that will include a two-week sales tax holiday on all grocery sales, purchases at restaurants, and all prepared food. Governor Lee said, "The amendment includes $580 million in available funds as a result of fiscal prudence. These funds will be invested in strategic long-term projects ... (click for more)

Georgia Pausing Johnson & Johnson Vaccines After Some Have Blood Clot Complications

Following the guidance and recommendations of the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Georgia Department of Public Health is pausing Johnson & Johnson vaccinations in Georgia until further notice. Officials said the FDA and CDC are reviewing data involving six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot occurring ... (click for more)

Opinion

What Silverdale Baptist Academy Taught Me About Race

It was a cold winter morning when we stepped off the bus. Like any fourth grade student, taking a day off school to go on a field trip presented me with endless potential to have fun and get into mischief. I was told to line up while they gave out tickets, and I walked with my classmates into Memorial Auditorium talking with my friends about football, video games, and whatever else ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Promise: ‘It Works’

In 1926, which was three years before The Great Depression and 95 years before Chatttanooga will elect a new Mayor today, a strange but powerful “self- improvement book” appeared in Chicago entitled, “It Works.” It quickly sold a million copies with just the initials RHJ as its author and critics called the little red book “an astonishing classic of spiritual psychology: this brief ... (click for more)