Where to Go on a Date in Nashville This Winter

It's cuffing season.

Just because temperatures are getting colder doesn’t mean you can’t turn up the heat on romance. It’s prime snuggling weather here in Nashville, and the city is rife with opportunities to stoke the fires of love in a long-term relationship or set a new one ablaze. Make one of these perfect plans to spend some quality time together and see what happens next.

SoBro
After a multi-million dollar renovation, the Goo Goo Shop on 3rd Avenue has reopened as a must-see (and eat) destination. The walls of the new shop are covered with switches and levers that give off a definite Wonka vibe, and displays tell the stories of the history of America’s first combination candy bar, still a cult favorite. Kiosks allow you to design your own custom Goo Goo Premium bars for the talented confectionists to whip up, and you can enjoy a boozy milkshake while you wait.

Germantown
Even if you tell yourself that you have no art talents at all, you like to drink wine, don’t you? A couple of glasses and classes into it at Dabble Events, and you won’t care at all whether your “happy little trees” actually look like angry bushes. The supportive attitude of the instructors makes any class a treat, and you’ll get to go home with a new creation to hang on your wall. Or in the back of the coat closet. No judging here.

Cheekwood
Cheekwood

Get lit at Cheekwood and Gaylord

Donelson and West Nashville
It’s no surprise that a town known for rhinestones is into twinkling lights. At the botanical gardens at Cheekwood, they’ve strung more than a million bulbs for their Holiday LIGHTS extravaganza. Stroll the grounds and stop to enjoy a hot toddy or some s’mores around the firepits strategically scattered around the premises. At Gaylord Opryland, they think Cheekwood’s million lights are precious, bless their hearts. The resort finishes unstringing their three million lights in early summer, and starts putting them back up in July, just to give the trees a little break from holding up all those strings. It is truly a marvel to wander around under the artificial firmament indoors and out at Gaylord.

Have some fun on ice

Various locations
Once every four years when the WInter Olympics roll around, people become temporarily obsessed with the odd sport of curling, which is sort of like shuffleboard on ice. After a few minutes of watching, someone will invariably say, “I could do that!” Now’s the time to put your money where your broom is, because Nashville has its first official curling center with Tee Line in West Nashville. If you’re looking for a more traditional date night on ice, both of the Ford Ice Centers in Bellevue and Antioch offer public skating sessions, but you’ll need to register in advance.

House of Cards Nashville
House of Cards Nashville

Rekindle the magic

SoBro and Downtown
Music City becomes Magic City (sorry, Birmingham) over the holidays with some pretty impressive prestidigitation opportunities downtown. The speakeasy vibe of House of Cards hidden beneath the Johnny Cash Museum is home to a fantastic bar, pretty decent chophouse menu, but most importantly, several different magic shows as part of the cost of your meal. Dress to impress and enjoy close-up magic and a larger performance in the showroom. At the luxe Dream Hotel, you can take the magic to your room with their “Magic in Music City” package. The deal includes an overnight stay in a suite, with wine and appetizers delivered to your room before a private one-hour magic show by in-house illusionist, Michael John. After that, the magic is up to you.

Germantown
Germantown north of downtown certainly boasts a great concentration of restaurants, bars and shopping opportunities all within walking distance. But if you weren’t smart enough to invest in a home ten years ago before real estate prices skyrocketed, you still have to go home at the end of the night. Wouldn’t it be great to wake up in the hip enclave and go to sleep in a comfy bed as soon as the party was over? Take advantage of the special December staycation special at The Germantown Inn, a cozy boutique hotel that is celebrating five years of lowercase luxury with discounted room rates all months. Stay right in the middle of the action and make a long weekend of it.

Frist Art Museum
Frist Art Museum

Explore some of Nashville’s lesser-known museums

Various locations
We’re big fans of the famous museums of Nashville like the Country Music Hall of Fame, the new National Museum of African American Music and the Frist Art Museum, but don’t miss out on some of Nashville’s more obscure collections. Make a day of visiting the huge collection of exotic vehicles at the Lane Motor Museum, discover the sidemen who made the legendary music at the Musicians Hall of Fame and more than you ever wanted to know about “The Dukes of Hazzard” at Cooter’s Place.

Embrace your inner-Lebowski

Various locations
If your last bowling experience was in a dingy alley with questionable rental shoe hygiene practices, you definitely need to discover what modern bowling venues have to offer. At Brooklyn Bowl, you’ll find one of the best music venues in town along with first come/first served lanes that can be shared by up to eight bowlers. Popular new venue Eastside Bowl is a lot like Brooklyn Bowl, except in East Nashville, which come to think of it...

Various locations
If you tried to drive or ride share between all the great breweries in Nashville, you’d probably end up, arrested, broke or both. Fortunately, Music City Brew Hop has the answer, with an all-day hop on/hop off trolley service running every hour between many of the city’s best spots for craft drafts. Just remember where you got on for your first stop or you might never find your way home.

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit Nashville
Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit Nashville

Downtown
Created as an early pandemic era way for patrons to enjoy art while maintaining social distancing, the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit has morphed into a franchise with various shows traveling around the country to delight fans of the Dutch master with trippy multimedia presentations of his artwork. Virtual reality puts you in the middle of the paintings, accompanied by music to stimulate more of your senses.

Take in some games with your local sports teams

Various locations
Don’t look now, but Nashville is becoming a bit of a sports powerhouse with three professional teams coming off of playoff runs in the Titans, the Predators and the Nashville SC soccer club. Since this is Nashville and there are plenty of other activities going on, it’s usually not too hard to score tickets to one of our home teams’ games for an entertaining fan experience. And if you’re a fan of Vanderbilt football, let’s just say that premium seats are still available and bless your heart.

Climb (Nashville West, TN)
Photo courtesy of Climb (Nashville West, TN)

East Nashville and West Nashville
With two locations, you’re never two far away from one of Climb Nashville’s rock-climbing gyms. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert climber, you’ll find all sorts of fun challenges as you scale the multiple routes up walls studded with grips and footholds. Safety is job one, so staff will be happy to help instruct you on how to safely belay your date in case of a slip up.

Keep your eye on the calendar for great events

Various locations
Finding fun things to do is deceptively difficult -- even in a wild city like this one. That's why we keep a regularly updated, comprehensive calendar of the best possible events, activities, and things to do in Nashville. Some of your best date ideas will inevitably come from there.

East Nashville
Since TopGolf opened up across the river from downtown, it has been packed with golfers of all abilities trying to hit a round ball with a crooked stick into large illuminated targets spread out in front of them on a huge field. Whether you’re successful at that or not, you can always enjoy the energy of the crowd, some surprisingly good food and drink, and any playful teasing that comes with it. Since the hitting bays have always been socially distanced for safety since before it was cool, you’ll feel better about being out and about.

Pennington Distilling Co.
Photo courtesy of Pennington Distilling Co.

The Nations
If you're both whiskey lovers, why not share your ardor by taking part in a really special experience at Pennington Distilling Co.? Every second Tuesday, small groups come together to actually blend their own custom bottles of their choice of bourbon, rye, or Tennessee whiskey. After tasting through samples from four barrels of each type of brown liquor, master distillers and blenders will take you through the process of creating your own blend of up to four whiskeys. While you enjoy a snack or take a distillery tour, the experts will take your choices and make a personally engraved bottle of your choice to take home. You can even purchase extra bottles if you want to show off your talents as a blender to your bourbon buddies.

See the city's finest murals and Instagram the hell out of your relationship

Various locations
From the angel wings in the Gulch to the Welcome to Nashville sign on the side of Reese Witherspoon’s building in 12 South, Nashville is a selfie city, so set up your own personal scavenger hunt of some of the most iconic street art in town. You’ll also discover that most of them are within a block of a decent bar, so make a drinking game of it!

Downtown
Although it might be easier with a bigger group, the Escape Game will let couples play by themselves as they attempt to solve the clues within the allotted time to be released from a locked room, or you can take part in their online virtual challenges. Think of how proud your date will be of your teamwork and chemistry together—if you manage to figure it out.

The Candle Bar
The Candle Bar

Make your own candles

Berry Hill
You never know when Nashville will get struck by another ice storm and the inevitable power outages that accompany the icepocalypse. The light on your phone won’t hold out forever, so you’re gonna need some candles. Make your own artistic and fragrant tapers at Paddywax Candle Bar where you can design custom candles using a variety of aromatic oils. You might as well at least smell nice while you’re huddling in the dark waiting for the utility crew to arrive.

Take a loop around the lake

Oak Hill
If you've never had the pleasure, Radnor Lake State Park is a pristine natural area right in the middle of a Nashville suburb. Multiple trail options range from a flat and peaceful stroll around the lake to fairly rigorous trails that take you up on top of the rides for some breathtaking views.

National Museum of African American Music
National Museum of African American Music

Take a tour of the newest Nashville treasure

Downtown
Lots of cities have thought about dedicating a museum to the impact of African-American performers on all sorts of musical genres, but Nashville was the first place to actually put a shovel in the ground and built one. The National Museum of African-American Music is a magnificent addition to Lower Broad with multiple galleries highlighting the role of Black musicians in art from the 17th century to today. It really is a marvel, and you should immediately add it to your to-do list.

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Chris Chamberlain is a food, drink, and travel writer. If Nashville was the Love Boat, he’d like to think he’d be Julie, your cruise director. In truth, he’s probably more of a Gopher. Join him on the Lido Deck on Twitter @CeeElCee.