Everything You Can Do in Nashville This Weekend

Bluegrass brunch and a haunted distillery hayride.

As the weather finally begins to feel a little more like fall, it’s time to (safely!) get outside and enjoy some seasonal fun at events like hayrides, fun runs, and a trip to the zoo. After you work up an appetite doing that, there will also be some excellent carryout dining opportunities to fill up your tank for more fun, plus plenty of live music events. Get ready for some autumnal entertainment.

Take a ride on a wagon at the Haunted Hayride at Short Mountain

Friday, October 16 - Saturday, October 17
It’s a bit of a schlep out to the Short Mountain Distillery in Woodbury, but it’ll be worth it for an enjoyable evening of haunted stories and scary tableaus along the trail on this mile-long hayride. Buy the whole bench on the wagon for $60 to receive a picnic basket with a blanket, popcorn, chocolate oatmeal cookies and hot apple cider for four. You never know who’ll pop out of the fields, but rumors are that Bigfoot is sharing a tent with Charles Manson, so it could get bizarre.
Cost: $60 per bench

FreeBird KMG pop-up at Insert Chef Here

Friday, October 16 - Saturday, October 17
12 South
The former location of Sloco Sammies in 12 South has been converted into a dedicated rotating pop-up space for new food concepts looking for a permanent home. This weekend, they’ll host FreeBird KMG, a group that specializes in the Thai street food specialty of khao man gai. More than just chicken and rice, you can even try a special Nashville hot chicken version of KMG if you’re looking to add a little spice to your life. It’s carryout only, so plan to drive home fast while it’s still hot.
Cost: Free

Get funky with Friday Jazz and Jambalaya at Mayday

Friday, October 16
Mayday Brewery is one of those rare craft beer makers who don’t take themselves too seriously. If you ever get the chance to take the Sunday brewery tour led by owner Ozzy Nelson, don’t miss it, because it’ll be the most entertaining hour of your entire week. Plus, beer! Friday nights are for live music, and the brewery will be serving up bowls of jambalaya to accompany the groovy stylings of The Lilliston Effect.
Cost: Free

It’s all about banjos and booze at the Bluegrass Brunch at Sutler

Saturday, October 17 - Sunday, October 18
This is an easy sell. Whether you’re a fan of bluegrass music or not, the bottomless mimosas, hot biscuits, savory smoked beef brisket hash, biscuits and gravy, and breakfast tacos should be enough to convince you to roll out of the rack early enough to snag a spot at this popular weekend diversion. The great bands don’t hurt, either!
Cost: Free

Help out the puppies and kitties at Mars Petcare St. Patrick’s Day Run

Saturday, October 16 -  Sunday, October 25
A St. Patrick’s Day run in October? Yeah, 2020. But the organizers of this event have probably figured that they can’t keep rescheduling it any longer and wanted to just finally go ahead and make it a virtual run so that they can raise some money to help homeless pets. Sign up to run and hassle your friends to sponsor your efforts as you tackle a one mile, 5K, 10K, or half marathon run at your own pace and your own convenience to support the Pedigree Foundation’s disaster relief efforts plus annual shelter and rescue grants. 
Cost: $35

Take part in the “Hope for Healing at Home” Heimerdinger Dinner

Saturday, October 17
Mike Heimerdinger was a beloved offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans back in the day when they were perennial contenders in the NFL. Since he passed away from cancer, the community has banded together to help raise funds to provide meals and nutrition education for others suffering from the disease. This virtual edition revolves around education, too, as chef Skylar Bush will take participants through a healthy cooking class using meal kits that will be distributed in advance. There will also be live music and the opportunity to buy a bottle of wine to go with the meal.
Cost: $100 and up

Celebrate Nashville Pride at the Dining with Divas Drag Show

Saturday, October 17
City Winery opens their outdoor tented Music City Wine Garden for this outdoor soiree featuring some of the queens of Nashville’s drag performance community. These extremely talented performers will entertain you while also showcasing their prodigious singing abilities, but don’t sit in the front row if you don’t want to be savaged. (That’s actually a big part of the fun!) Proceeds benefit the Nashville Pride’s efforts to support full equality for LGBTQ+ people here and everywhere.
Cost: $25

Pay kudos to the culinary community at James Beard Taste America

Sunday, October 18
The prestigious James Beard Awards were placed on hiatus for 2020, but there’s still a way to recognize culinary talent thanks to this virtual dining event. Local hero (and James Beard finalist for Best Chef: South) Julia Sullivan of Henrietta Red is creating a three-course menu for you to enjoy at home along with wine pairings and a whiskey tasting while you watch a national broadcast of cooking demonstrations and speakers supporting independent restaurants.
Cost: $150

Rock the vote online with “Voice Your Vote”

Sunday, October 18
This star-studded online concert organized by City Winery is a fundraiser for Fair Fight and Movement Voter Project’s Black-Led Organizing Fund, two organizations working to fight against voter disenfranchisement. Performers will include Brittany Howard, Back Pumas, Lizz Wright, Allison Russell, and many others. Help make a difference from the comfort of your couch.
Cost: $15 and up

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Chris Chamberlain is a food, drink and travel writer based out of his hometown of Nashville. Find him on Twitter @CeeElCee