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Wanna Be Festive? Your Guide To A Nashville Fall


Wanna Be Festive?

Pumpkin loaf. Pumpkin Spice lattes. Pumpkin scones. Pumpkin scarves. Pumpkin boots. Pumpkin leaves. Pumpkin life.

If you’ve been on Facebook at all in the last week and a half, you’ve seen about a million statuses: musings from every Nashvillian imaginable about crisp air, breaking out those boots and scarves, and buying pumpkin themed EVERYTHING. Sure, you can let it get overwhelming. Or…you can let love in, and frolick in every leaf pile you come across. We choose that. So here it is, Nashville…the best way to:

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Be Quaint As Can Be:
Spend A Day In Franklin


Nothing says love like a pumpkin. Or a really, really good casserole.


The town of beautiful rolling hills, wide open spaces, country star mansions, and the cutest little historic houses you’ve ever seen…Franklin, of course!


The fall activities in Franklin are family-friendly (say that ten times fast). Bring the kids, the grandparents, the cousins…you’re gonna have a Kodak moment! Though for the young single set, just take your roommate. We’ve done it – you’re practically family, and you’ll need a picture for your ironic Christmas card.


Start your day at Gentry’s Farm and pick out a pumpkin, y’all! This charming place is full of the most festive activities. Get your corn maze on, take a hayride, and wade through the hundreds and hundreds of pumpkins till you find the perfect one. Make sure you bring practical shoes (we’ve heard of someone who wore heels and regretted every single step), because there’s some climbing around involved. After you’ve enjoyed the country flair, head into Downtown Franklin and get some southern comfort with a home-cooked meal. You can’t go wrong with the restaurants on the strip, but we are particularly fond of Merridee’s Breadbasket. That chicken and artichoke casserole? Swoon. After lunch, it’s time for some window shoppin’! We suggest you just embrace it and go crazy – get that pumpkin spice candle. End it with a film or concert at the historic Franklin Theatre! We spent a weeknight in there watching Charade, and it was absolutely magical.

Drink Whilst Wearing Liedherhoshn:
Oktoberfest In Germantown

Image courtesy of Chris Chamberlain at Nashville Scene

Image courtesy of Chris Chamberlain at Nashville Scene

Because we’ll never say “auf wiedersehen” to seasonal beer.


We don’t mess around in Germantown. Just to the right of downtown Nashville, this historic area is booming with fall fun. The festival is October 11-12!


Obviously when you’re thinking Oktoberfest, you’re thinking beer. However, there really is fun for the whole family here – even the young-ins’! A love for baked goods knows no age group…it’s universal, y’all. AND it is an excuse to dress your little kids up like the Von Trapp children (which is the dream). For the more adult activities, bring some rowdy pals with a lot of upper body strength. You’ll understand why soon, we promise.


Well, first of all, it is F-R-E-E. The most beautiful word in the English language. And free parking, which is more rare than a neighborhood without a coffee shop in this fine city of ours. So here’s a brief, non-exhaustive run down of the 2 day festival activities: face painting, clowns (if you’re scared of them like us, you don’t have to engage), pony rides, antique booths, tour of historic churches, bratwursts GALORE, German music (yodeling for days) and much, much more. But here’s the thing that has us pumped: Stein Hoisting. What is it? Well, here’s where your gym time is going to pay off, folks. This competition requires you to hold out both arms whilst holding two 1.5 liter Samuel Adams beers. Whoever holds them out the longest wins a 4 day trip for 2 to Munich, Germany to attend Oktoberfest 2013. No, seriously. That’s real. So get that pull up bar out of the attic and start werkin’ it, so you can hold two beers up for an indefinite amount of  time. It will totally be worth it. And BRATWURSTS. Am I right?

Get Haunted:
Nashville Ghost Tour: Haunted Pub Crawl

ghostWe just really want to hang out with Bill Murray and bust up some ghosts.


A place filled with lovers of bedazzled jeans, Nashville shot glasses, and hats that say “Whiskey Makes Me Frisky” (but don’t let that count you out)…the bars of downtown Nashville!


This is perfect for a group of friends! Even coworkers would be a good fit. This tour is a natural icebreaker – you don’t talk to just anyone about ghosts over a beer. I mean, we aren’t saying it never happens…but what a bonding experience, right? Tell your pals to bring a plus one and make it a big ol’ group outing! You’re going to want people’s arms to hold on to when things get scary.


Ghosts and beer. Beer and ghosts. With a dash of trivia. If that isn’t a recipe for fun, we kind of don’t know what is. And tis’ the season to get spooked! Nashville Ghost Tour has a couple of different kinds of tours – you can do one that covers all of downtown Nashville, or even a traveling tour where you ride around in a hearse. You’ll start by meeting your friendly tour guide. Then, along with your fellow ghost hunters, grab a beer, gear up for some trivia, and get ready to GET HAUNTED, you guys. Apparently, there’s a ghost at an old Nashville honky tonk that will take your pack of cigarettes and put them directly under your chair. We might have seen it happen, and we might have screamed a little. Wear comfortable shoes and your big boy/girl pants. Also, for a ridiculously haunted honorable mention, The Carnton Plantation in Franklin gets weird at night. Civil War ghosts. Not for the faint of heart.

Be Straight Up Enchanted:
Cheekwood’s “Light” Exhibit

Image Courtesy of Aquinas College
Image Courtesy of Aquinas College

If you don’t just weep at the majesty of this, we don’t get it.


Out towards the truly lovely Belle Meade area, adjacent to Percy Warner Park. This part of town is a unique combo of the set of Walk The Line (charming, large southern estates) and Middle Earth (mossy trails in one of the best parks in Nashville).


This exhibit is great for everyone, but we think it would be smart to invite someone along who is comfortable with awed silence. You might not want someone yelling in your ear during this peaceful night! And we’d say keep it small, y’all. You want to have freedom to roam!


First we have to say: Cheekwood does have a specifically fall-oriented exhibit, and it is absolutely wonderful. Scarecrows And Pumpkins is a great Nashville tradition, and you should definitely attend. Now, we also have to say: the “Light” exhibit is such a beauty. It only lasts till November 10. You have to go. Brought to you by acclaimed British artist Bruce Munro, this is the second ever installation in North America. We are talking hundreds of miles of glowing, fiber optic lights. You will be transported to Middle Earth, Narnia…heaven. And not in a nerdy way (though if it’s nerdy to love Narnia, we would hate to be cool). Take in the beauty of the fall weather and the beauty of just being alive. Go!

Get In The Halloween Spirit:
Belcourt Theatre

Image Courtesy of Diana Springfield

Be scared/amused at all these spooky films with your fellow hipsters. It’s deliciously ironic.


The historic theatre with a heart of gold (in the heart of Nashville, Hillsboro Village) – The Belcourt Theatre.


Remember Fun Bobby that Monica dated on Friends? Fun Bobby would have totally gone to a Halloween movie at the Belcourt. All that to say: bring someone who isn’t afraid to let loose and have a good time. It gets semi-rowdy and fully awesome.


Is your favorite holiday Halloween? Do you celebrate all month? Do you plan out your costume months in advance? The answer is yes. The place to truly celebrate this holiday all month is The Belcourt (not a house party with a lot of girls in mouse ears, duh)! On the weekends you can catch the Weekend Classic series and get schooled in suspense with the master, Vincent Price. The true main event though (as far as we’re concerned), is the Midnight Movie. This month, there are classic horror films shown as double features – Rosemary’s Baby, Gates of Hell, Creepers, and more! Here’s why we’re excited: Rocky Horror Picture Show. If you know anything about the movie, you probably know it is interactive. Bring toast, toilet paper, and a deck of cards. Awww, here it goes! (We’ve been waiting to make a Kenan & Kel reference since this blog began, so there it is).

Grab your scarves and your senses of adventure, and head out into Nashville this fall! Between ghosts and beer and yodeling, you’ll be glad you did. Go out of your way to step on a crunchy leaf. Tis the season to be jolly. Get the Wannado app to plan out all your seasonal adventures, and we’ll see you outside.

– Your local guide.

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