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Things to Do in Nashville in January

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This post covers the top things to do in January in Nashville (updated for 2023).

We include nighttime activities, free things to do, and family-friendly options. We also have a post on the weather.

Be sure to read our master post on things to do in Nashville for even more ideas.


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN JANUARY

This top 10 list has concerts, events, attractions, and festivals to check out during January.

Don't forget to check out our popular Nashville posts: 


1. See a Concert

If you’re looking for a concert, Music City is usually the place to find it. Although January is a bit of a slow month, there are still some great musicians in town.

Click through to see what concerts are happening this January.

Here are just some of the performers you can see this month:

Keep an eye on the schedule at the Grand Ole Opry and the Nashville Symphony to see if they also end up having a few more shows this month.

Check out all the Nashville concerts here, or see what other nightlife you can find on our full post. 


2. Go to a Museum

Indoor activities are preferred on a chilly January day!

There are a lot of great museums in Nashville which are usually open during the day, and in some cases also at night.

Just some of them are:

Music Related

Other


3. Nashville MLK Day

Celebrate MLK Day in Nashville this January with a number of great activities hosted by the city.

In 2023, MLK Day falls on January 16th, although some activities take place around that date.

Nashville hosts one of the oldest Martin Luther King Day commemorative marches in the country, going on 32 years.

There will be some panels and a symposium in the lead up to the day at the The Legacy Continues: Lifting the Next Geration of Dreamers event.

Before or after the 16th, you might like to visit the Civil Rights Collection at the Nashville Public Library.

There is an MLK Labor/Human Right Observance on January 15th.

There's also an MLK Day Camp at Adventure Science Center.


4. Go on a Free Sightseeing Tour

Take one of the great walking tours available in Nashville.

The tours last 90 minutes and are led by a local Nashvillian.

You'll get a nice welcome to the city with many recommendations for other things to do and places to eat/drink/dance, but it is light on history.

There is a lot of history in downtown Nashville to cover in 90 minutes so if you’re interested in some of the hidden stories, check out our self-guided tour to downtown Nashville.


5. See the Harlem Globetrotters

The amazing and entertaining Harlem Globetrotters make an appearance at Bridgestone Arena.

For almost 100 years they have shown their basketball skills, while keeping audiences entertained and happy.

The fun takes place on January 28th, 2023, with shows at 2:00 pm and at 7:00 pm.

Tickets can be purchased here.


6. Attend Monster Jam

Who doesn't love monster trucks?

If you're a fan of motorsports, you'll be happy to hear that Monster Jam is coming to the Bridgestone Arena on January 7th and 8th, 2023.

This event features some of the biggest monster trucks in the world performing a variety of incredible stunts and competing in contests to see which driver is the most impressive.

Some of the competitions are voted on by the audience, which means you'll have the opportunity to take part in deciding who wins!

Purchase Monster Jam tickets or learn more.


7. Go to a Sporting Event

Nashville is a competitive city that loves its sports! Check out the teams playing in Nashville this January.

Ice Hockey

Football

Take a look at all the sporting events happening in January here.

For more family-friendly activities, check out our full post. 


8. Go to the Theatre or a Comedy Show

January is a quiet month in Nashville, but there are still a few shows that could keep you entertained.

Comedy

Theatre


9. Marshmallow Hikes

Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary is hosting hikes through the woods this January that conclude with hot chocolate and marshmallows, which we think is the perfect reward for a chilly activity!

This annual event takes place at 9:30 am on the first and second Saturday of the month.

Tickets are $10 early (online) or $12 the day of.

Click here to learn more and grab tickets for the hike.

For more family-friendly activities see below. 


10. Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

With all the exciting things there are to do in Music City, we suggest getting a tourist city pass for Nashville.

All-inclusive passes are available, and others can include up to 55% discounts on retail prices for select attraction admission, gift shops, and restaurants. 

Featured on Various Passes: 

See our full tourist attraction discount pass comparison here.

If you're already planned on getting a pass, you can purchase it here: Nashville Sightseeing Pass


THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN JANUARY

Nashville has some incredible things to do after dark in January, including the concerts at the venues we've listed in our top ten section above.  

Here are a few more night time activities for the month of January.

For more nighttime activities, visit our post on things to do at night in Nashville


Find a Film at Belcourt Theatre

Escape the January cold at the Belcourt Theatre. This is a nonprofit, historic movie theatre and film center that has been in operation since the 1920s. 

You can find showings for big Hollywood movies, small screenings from independent filmmakers, or special re-releases of classics.


Visit a Comedy Club

While most big cities have comedy clubs, each is unique to their location. It's a great way to meet locals and get a sense of a city.

In Nashville, Zanies has been around for over 30 years and it a great place to catch a stand-up routine.

Professional comedians from across the country pass through its doors, and you can catch a show almost every night of the week.

There's also food and drink available to turn it into dinner and a show. 


Adventure Science Center Star Gazing

Adventure Science Center is a great way to spend a day exploring science!

They also have the incredible Sudekum Planetarium, which is a giant 63-foot dome where you can see the stars and enjoy activities like laser shows, concerts, and even Yoga Under the Stars!

They are open Thursdays, Friday, Sundays and Mondays from 9 am to 3 pm, and on Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm.

Be sure to check out their website for special events. Their website also offers star charts if you want to explore the real stars on your own.


FREE THINGS TO DO IN JANUARY

Nashville has a bunch of free stuff to do year-round.

Here are a few more free things to do in Nashville in January.

For even more budget-friendly ideas, check out our post on free things to do in Nashville


Arts & Music at Wedgewood-Houston

This free art walk takes place on the first Saturday of each month and is a great way to get out and peruse the pop-ups, the studios, and art galleries in Nashville.

This is a great way to enjoy the evening. To see the lineup and plan your visit, click here


Hatch Show Print

A fun and unique thing to do in Nashville is visiting the Hatch Show Print, which has been in business since the late 19th century.

It's one of the leading printmaking shops in Nashville, and their posters can be found throughout the city.

Visiting the shop is free, and you can also go on a tour for $20 if you're interested. 

For even more budget-friendly ideas, check out our post on free things to do in Nashville


Visit Honkey Tonk Highway

With honkey tonks that line both sides of Broadway, a stoll down the street can give you access to loads of music.

The stretch starts at Legends Corner, at Fifth and Broadway, and lasts for four blocks.

If you want to stop in to particular bars, you of course can, though just absorbing live music from the street is truly an experience in and of itself.


Visit a free park

There are a few parks that you can visit for free, each of which is special in its own right.

Music City Walk of Fame is a public park located hear the Hilton Nashville Down. Here's you'll find granite stars honoring legendary music figures.

Centenial Park features gardens, volleyball courts, exercise and walking trails, historical monuments, and is home to the stunning Parthenon.

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park provides 11 acres in which to experience Tennesee history, including a 200-foot granite map of the state.


FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN JANUARY

Nashville is super family-friendly! Here are a few more kid-friendly things to do in January.

Be sure to read our master post on things to do with kids in Nashville for even more ideas.


Visit the Tennessee State Capitol

Visiting the Tennessee State Capitol is a great educational way to spend the day, plus it's free!

Built in 1859, it's one of the oldest state capitol buildings in the country.

You can even go on a free guided tour of the historic State Capitol and the grounds surrounding the building offered by the staff of the Tennessee State Museum.

Tours take place Monday-Friday on the hour from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (skipping 12:00 pm). 

For more free things to do in Nashville in January, check out our free section above. 


Storytime at the Tennessee State Museum

The Tennessee State Museum is a free museum and has the most comprehensive display of the state's history.

While great for all ages, they also host a storytime for children every Friday.

This event is geared towards children ages 3 to 6, and a staff member will read to the children. Free crafts are also supplied!

Be sure to read our master post on things to do with kids in Nashville for even more ideas.


Zoolumination

Visiting the zoo is a great family activity, but this January you can also enjoy over 500 silk lanterns in fun animal-shaped displays at night.

At Zoolumination you'll find custom Chinese lanterns on display until January 8th, 2023.

Tickets run between $19-$29 for adult and $15-$21 for kids, and can be purchased here.

It's truly an experience you won't want to miss.


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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: October 31st, 2022
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