By Lauren Means
The holidays are upon us here in Middle Tennessee and there is no shortage of activities and attractions to visit. There are many staples such as Gaylord Opryland’s “A Country Christmas,” but there are many wonderful events off the beaten path. These are just a few:
LOCAL LIGHT DISPLAYS
Chad’s Winter Wonderland: One of the three Tennessee families featured on ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight,” this stop boasts over 2 million christmas lights, a drive through Santa’s house, 8 acres of displays and a life-size nativity scene. It’s located at 791 E. Old LaGuardo Rd., Lebanon. Call 615.758.8300 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunnyside Drive Christmas Light Display: With thousands of Christmas lights, figurines, and even Santa handing out candy canes, this stop accepts donations for the Shrine Children’s Hospitals. It’s located at 1956 Sunnyside Drive, 37027 Brentwood. Visit sunnysidelights.com
Gill’s Bright Lights: This stop features more than 65,000 lights, and collects can goods for Second Harvest Food Bank. Located at 288 Lake Terrace Drive, Hendersonville, TN 37075.
TAKE A TRAIN RIDE WITH SANTA
The North Pole Express Santa Excursion Train is sponsored by the Tennessee Central Railway Museum. Passengers can ride on a restored classic streamlined stainless steel passenger train with Santa. It’s located at 220 Willow Street, Nashville, TN 37210-2159. Call (615) 244-9001 or visit www.tcry.org.
CUT DOWN YOUR OWN TREE
Blackjack Farms in Shelbyville, you can cut down your very own White Pine. Check out their selection of wreaths and have a cup of hot cocoa on the way out. Located at 3331 Hwy 231 N., Shelbyville, TN 37160. Call 931-437-2573 or e-mail email@example.com.
Country Cove Christmas Tree Farm in Rutherford County offers White Pines and Leyland Cypresses, wreaths and other holiday decor. They also offer ornament personalization, hay rides and a firepit. It’s located at 1189 Cut Off Road, Murfreesboro, TN 37129. Call (615) 848-8564 or visit www.countrycovetrees.com.
RUN FOR A CAUSE
8th Annual Two Rivers Ford Turkey Trot 5K & Family Fun Run: 8 a.m., 5K Run/Walk; 8:30 a.m., Fun Run Nov. 23 at Two Rivers Ford, 76 Belinda Parkway, Mt. Juliet. Funds benefit Compassion in Action of TN. Visit www.turkeytrot5k.org.
37th Annual Rudolf’s Red Nose Run: 8 a.m. Dec. 2 at Nissan Stadium, Titan’s Way, Nashville. Proceeds benefit NeedLink Nashville. Visit rudolphrednoserun.com.