Events and Things to Do in Nashville in January

This post covers the top things to do in January in Nashville (updated for 2021), including nighttime activities, free things to do, and family-friendly options.

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

 

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TOP 10 EVENTS AND 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. Go to a Comedy Show

There will be a few comedians coming to Nashville in January 2021.

 

 

Some of these events may be canceled or postponed, but currently, they are still scheduled to take place.


2. Go to a Museum at Night

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

Indoor activities are preferred on a chilly January night, but it’s not just the bars open after dark.

 

 

The George Jones Museum and the Frist Art Museum stay open late! 

The Frist Art Museum is open until 9:00 pm on Thursdays and Fridays and the George Jones Museum open 10:00 am to 10:00 pm most days, and open until 1:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays.

NOTE: Some museums will either be closed or require you to wear masks and practice social distancing in response to the pandemic.


3. Nashville MLK Day

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

 

 

For one, Nashville hosts one of the oldest Martin Luther King Day commemorative marches in the country, going on 31 years.

Leading up to MLK Day are a number of activities as well, like the Worship Service, Labor Breakfast, and more. 

NOTE: Some of these events may change or be canceled due to the pandemic.


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 Atlantis Audio Tours self-guided tour to downtown Nashville.


5. 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.


6. 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 10:00 am, 11:00 am, and 1:00 pm, and tickets are $10 early (online) or $12 the day of.

To learn more and grab tickets for the hike, click here

For more family-friendly activities, check out our kids’ section below. 


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

Most sporting events will either be postponed or closed off from the public due to the pandemic, but if you’re lucky, they might lift some of the restrictions so that fans can see live games once again.

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

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


8. Enjoy the Theatre

Music City isn’t just all concerts. You can find theatre performances too!

 

 

Although there aren’t currently any theatrical performances scheduled for January 2021 in Nashville, this may change in the near future.

Currently, many events are being rescheduled or cancelled due to the pandemic.

If you’re looking for something else to do, it’s worth noting that there are some comedy shows still scheduled for this month.


9. Nashville Restaurant Week

A great way to get to know the cuisine of Nashville is Restaurant Week!

Over 60 local restaurants participate, showcasing a 3-course tasting menu for a set price. 

 

 

This is a great way to support locally-owned restaurants and make for a great date night or treating the whole family.

To learn more and plan your feasting, check out their website here

NOTE: It’s beginning to look like this event will be rescheduled for 2021 in response to the pandemic.


10. See a Concert

If you’re looking for a concert, Music City is usually the place to find it.

Click through to see what concerts are happening this January.

 

 

As of this update, there are not currently any concerts scheduled for January in Nashville. Most concerts have been postponed due to another spike in cases of Covid 19.

That said, this could change soon, and we recommend keeping an eye on the schedule at the Grand Ole Opry and the Nashville Symphony to see if they end up having a few shows this month.

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

 


THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN NASHVILLE

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


11. 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.

NOTE: Movie theatres may not be open in January 2021 due to the pandemic.


12. 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. 

NOTE: You may be asked to observe social distancing guidelines and wear a mask before entering the club.


13. 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 late until 9:00 pm on the second Saturday of every month, so 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.

NOTE: Due to the pandemic, this attraction might be closed off to the public temporarily. Even if it’s open, you will probably be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing. 


14. Celebrate the New Year!

Ring in the New Year in Nashville! With a number of parties and events to attend, there’s plenty to do to usher in 2019 with a bang. Some free events to attend:

 

 

Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight

This free event has country star Keith Urban headlining and has a lineup of some incredible performers. The event takes place at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and gates open at 4:00 pm. 

Walden Bar’s Onesie New Year’s Eve Party

Who says you can’t be comfortable at a New Year’s party? This event encourages guests dressed up in their favorite fuzzy onesie!

This free event takes place at Walden’s Bar from 4:00 pm on December 31 to 2:00 am on January 1, 2020.

It’s free to attend, although you can participate in their beer pong tournament for $30 per team. 

NOTE: Most New Year’s Eve and Day events will be canceled for 2021 due to the pandemic.

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


FREE THINGS TO DO IN NASHVILLE

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


 15. 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, as the event starts at 6:00 pm. To see the lineup and plan your visit, click here

NOTE: This event is currently postponed due to the pandemic.


16. Frothy Monkey Coffee Cuppings

Love coffee? Frothy Monkey Coffee has free “cupping” or coffee tastings every Friday at 2:00 pm.

This is a great way to support a local business and get a little caffeine boost! Learn about coffee and experience new flavors at this event.

While it’s free, they recommend RSVPing to make sure you have a spot in case it gets busy. 

NOTE: This event might be canceled due to the pandemic.


17. 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 $13 if you’re interested. 

TIP: Tickets are limited as they re-open after the pandemic, so make sure to order yours ahead of time.

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


THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS IN JANUARY

Nashville is super family-friendly! 

 

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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.


18. See Secret Soldiers at Nashville Children’s Theatre

Nashville Children’s Theatre is putting on Secret Soldier: Civil War Heroines in Disguise.

It is based on over 250 historical accounts of women who fought as Union soldiers and focuses on an injured, undercover female soldier. 

NOTE: All events at the Nashville Children’s Theatre have been postponed due to the pandemic.


19. 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.

Enjoy the custom Chinese lanterns on January 2 – February 2, 2020, from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

Learn more about the schedule here.

NOTE: This event has been postponed due to the pandemic.


20. 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). 

NOTE: These tours and the Tennessee State Museum are currently unavailable due to the pandemic.

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


21. 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 Thursday and Saturday.

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

NOTE: This will also be cancelled due to the pandemic.

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


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About the author

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.