Many of the traditional family-friendly holiday events have gone virtual this year due to the pandemic, but if you are looking for some way to get out of the house and do something, here are three in-person activities you can enjoy this year.
Please check their websites before going as there are COVID-19 guidelines and required reservations for some activities. Activities offer a bit of history, a dose of honor to veterans, and a dash of fun.
Christmas at Oaklands Mansion
900 N. Maney Avenue
Event Hours: 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m.
Reservations Required, Admission Charge
An annual event, touring Oaklands over the holidays is a 50-year-old tradition. Small groups will be taken through the festively decorated historical home and landmark on a candlelight tour in the evening. It is a great way for kids to see what life was like before video games and cell phones.
“Ring in the holiday season by experiencing the magic of Christmas. Your ticket purchase supports education and preservation right here in our community,” said James Manning, Executive Director of Oaklands.
This year, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all tickets must be purchased in advance at oaklandsmansion.org. There are a limited number of tickets available for each night. When purchasing tickets, a time will need to be chosen, also. No tickets will be sold at the gate. Be prepared to show proof of payment at check-in.
All staff members will be wearing masks per all state, local and federal guidelines regarding COVID-19.
For everyone’s safety, use of Oaklands’ main drive will be limited to those being dropped off at the entrance or for ADA accessible parking in front of the Visitors Center. All other parking will be located at Oaklands Park Picnic Pavilion at 427 Roberts Street.
Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 6-11, and those under 5 are free.
Winterfest at Fountains at Gateway
1500 Medical Center Parkway
Days and hours are listed below
The magic of ice skating is back once again at the Fountains at Gateway. Instead of the water park so many enjoyed in the summer, the center courtyard is turned into a rink just awaiting family fun. And tucked next to the rink is the perfect place to get a hot chocolate after time on the ice. A true Hallmark moment.
Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for kids ages 4–12 and those 3 and under are free. This charge includes skate rental and 90 minutes on the ice.
Normal hours of operation are Wednesday and Thursday, 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.; Friday, 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.; Saturday, 12:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. From December 20 until January 4, the hours will be Sunday through Thursday, 12:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 12:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Holiday hours are: Christmas Day, 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.; New Year’s Day, 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.; and Martin Luther King, Jr Day, Christmas Day, 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Wreaths Across America
3501 Old Nashville Highway
Facebook: Wreaths Event
Hours: 11:00 a.m. until noon
Free to Public
Stones River Battlefield’s 8th Annual Wreaths Across America event will honor veterans during the holiday season at Stones River National Cemetery. The event was designed to honor the sacrifices of veterans, and to teach youth about the high cost of freedom. Local Civil Air Patrol Squadrons will conduct the Wreaths Across America program. The program will begin at 11:00 am at the cemetery rostrum. Parking for the event will be in the visitor center parking lot. Enter the park via the main entrance located at 1563 North Thompson Lane.
Specially designated wreaths for the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and those who are prisoners of war or missing in action will be presented and placed at the cemetery flag pole. Additional wreaths will decorate graves throughout the national cemetery honoring veterans from the Civil War through Vietnam. Wreaths can be sponsored for this event here.
The Wreaths Across America story began more than twenty years ago when the Worchester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine initiated a tradition by donating and placing wreaths on headstones of our nation’s fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery. Information about the Wreaths Across America program can be found at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.