Thanksgiving is early this year – which means that, for many of us, the next week will include at least one day of meal planning and shopping, and perhaps another day cleaning, preparing, and stocking bedrooms and bathrooms to welcome visitors from out of town. Even though the week ahead may feel abbreviated for some, a few of us still want ideas on things to do in the Nashville area (even if only to suggest activities to get others out of your home for a few hours). Here are my best suggestions:
Adopt an Angel – The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program is a Christmas Assistance program for families who need help providing gifts and and basic needs to their children at Christmas. Angel adoption trees went up in Rivergate Mall, Cool Springs Galleria and The Mall at Green Hills on November 11. When you “adopt” an angel, you’re given information about the child (first name, age, sex, clothing sizes) and told both what the child needs (a winter coat?) and what the child wants (a pony!) – and you try to find that magical balance in your holiday shopping budget. Keep in mind that more isn’t always better – because different children in one family may be “adopted” by people with different budgets and spending habits, shoppers are encouraged to exercise a bit of restraint (no ponies!) and/or “adopt” several children. All gifts need to be returned to the Angel Tree mall location – unwrapped – by December 9 at 8:30 pm.
Go for a Hike – You don’t have to wait for a guide to take you hiking in one of Nashville’s amazing public parks – but sometimes it helps to have a deadline. (As in, “You’d better go get some clothes on so you won’t be late for your hike at 10 at Warner Park.”) A word of caution, though – unless you’re very familiar with the trails where you’re hiking, bring a map and a cell phone. Fallen leaves can obliterate even the most well-worn trails! Here are some options:
- Warner Park – the Burch Reserve Saunter is scheduled for Tuesday, November 21 from 10am – noon. Take a peek at this beautiful new section of Warner Park on a naturalist-led hike. Age 13+. Call the Nature Center at 615-352-6299, or email email@example.com to register.
- Shelby Bottoms – The Giving Thanks Hike is scheduled for Wednesday, November 22 from 1 – 3pm. Hike and share the things for which we are grateful – in our lives, from nature, in the world, and whatever else is on our minds. All ages. Call 615-862-8539 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
- Radnor Lake State Natural Area – After Thanksgiving Hike – Harris Ridge Phase #3 Sunset Hike. Join Park Manager Steve Ward for a hike to one of the park’s newest ridgetops that was acquired in 2015. The hike will explore not only the natural environment but the cultural landscapes of the past as well. This 2.5 hour strenuous hike will be limited to 30 visitors, ages 14+. Reservations are required and open Monday, Nov. 20 at 10am. Email Lyndy Maness at email@example.com.
Go to The Frist – There are a couple of exhibitions worth checking out at The Frist Center for the Visual Arts right now. The museum is open 7 days a week, but will be closed on Thanksgiving. Admission is FREE to Frist Center members and people 18 and younger. Adults $12, College Students and Seniors $9, Active Military $7.
- World War I and American Art (Ingram Gallery) – Today, nearly a century after it ended, World Ware I (1914-1918) remains a start example of how far modern civilization can descent into violence. Even though the U.S. was involved in active fighting for a relatively short time, the war set into motion political and cultural changes still with us today. This exhibition features works from more than 70 artists, including George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, Georgia O’Keeffe, and John Singer Sargent.
- Nick Cave: Feat. (Upper Level Galleries) – Chicago-based artist Nick Cave (b. 1959) produces work in a wide range of mediums, including sculpture, installation, video, and performance. His creations, bursting with color and texture, are optical delights that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
- Lecture: Warrior Brain to Artist Brain, November 18, 11am (Frist Center Auditorium) – Richard Casper is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and the co-founder and program director of CreatiVets, a nonprofit organization that creates a safe, communal environment for veterans to make art and music. In his acclaimed lecture “Warrior Brain to Artist Brain,” he explores his own journey to recovery, after suffering traumatic brain injury and PTSD during a tour of duty in Iraq. This program is FREE.
Do the Country Music Thing – Its hard to find a native Nashvillian these days, but when you do, its surprising how many sheepishly admit that they’ve never been to the Grand Ole Opry or the Country Music Hall of Fame. Don’t you think it’s high time you found out what all the fuss is about? Yes, yes it is.
- The Country Music Hall of Fame Museum is currently featuring exhibits on the live and careers of Lynne Anderson, Loretta Lynn, and Shania Twain, as well as an exhibit called “Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City.” General Admission tickets cost $24.95 for adults, $14.95 for Youth (6-12), $22.50 for seniors, students, and AAA members. The museum is open daily from 9am – 5pm, but will be closed on Thanksgiving.
- The Grand Ole Opry – During the winter season, the historic Grand Ole Opry performs at The Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville. Not that there’s anything wrong with the Opry House, but if you want to get a great Opry experience, The Ryman can’t be beat. Shows are scheduled each Friday, Saturday and Tuesday evening. Visit www.opry.com/calendar to check out featured artists and buy tickets.