Sep 17, 2022 - Things to Do

9 must-do fall activities in and around Nashville

El Día de Los Muertos 2021. Photo by Caitlin Harris. Courtesy of Cheekwood Estate & Gardens.

El Día de Los Muertos 2021 at Cheekwood. Photo: Caitlin Harris, courtesy of Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

Temperatures are (slowly) starting to fall, and we can feel autumn approaching. It's a magical time of year — Nashville's rolling hills explode with color, pumpkin patches fill with families and beer gardens bustle.

  • We're pretty excited, and we wanted to share some of our favorite ways to celebrate this wonderful season the Nashville way.

1. Plan a day of fall fun at Gentry's Farm

The family farm in Franklin has plenty of pumpkins to pick, along with putt-putt, corn mazes, wagon rides, animals, a nature trail, tire swings and other kids' activities.

  • Hours are 1-5pm Sundays, 9am-1pm Mondays and 9am-5pm Saturdays in October.
  • Admission is $10 per person at the gate.

2. Go leaf peeping

If you're not feeling like a hike, a short drive down the Natchez Trace is a wonderful way to take in the season's beauty, all while blaring Taylor Swift (the Sad Girl Autumn Version) from the comfort of your car.

Here are some of the best spots to take in the fall foliage.

3. Spend a weekend in Franklin for the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival

Chris Stapleton and Brandi Carlile are headlining this year's festival, which runs Sept. 24-25 and features more than 50 artists.

  • Other attractions include the Lil' Pilgrims stage for kids, a village/market area to relax between sets, food and drink vendors like the Farm to Turntable food truck and shopping.
  • Tickets start at $159 for single-day passes, $219 for two-day passes and $989 for a VIP experience all weekend.

4. Go pick a pumpkin

You can cross several items off of your fall bucket list at Jackson's Orchard & Nursery. In addition to pumpkin and apple picking, it offers wagon rides, a petting zoo, pony rides and festive foods like caramel apples.

5. Hype up your favorite authors at Southern Festival of Books

The 34th annual festival is back in person after two years of virtual celebrations. The free event runs Oct. 14-16. and features live performances, food trucks and more than 60 publishers and booksellers.

6. Lean into spooky season at Gaylord Opryland Resort

This year's Goblins & Giggles lineup includes scavenger hunts with Spookley the Square Pumpkin, trick-or-treating, jack-o'-lantern displays, a haunted escape room, a spooky riverboat ride, seasonal speakeasy (ages 21+) and a Monster Mash Bash.

  • Prices and times vary.

7. See pumpkin houses at Cheekwood

Expect a pumpkin village featuring three pumpkin houses and other fall decor throughout the garden, starting today through Oct. 30. (1200 Forrest Park Dr.)

💭 Adam's thought bubble: Cheekwood memberships are one of my mom's go-to gift ideas, and if you're a frequent visitor, it quickly becomes a good deal. It's a wonderful spot to unwind with a new book or your favorite album on repeat.

house made out of pumpkins
Cheekwood Harvest 2021. Photo: Caitlin Harris, courtesy of Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

8. Take a road trip to Chattanooga

Chattanooga is about two hours from Nashville, tucked in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. You can:

Tennessee aquarium
Tennessee Aquarium. Photo: Alison Carmona Rau

9. Cheer on the Titans

Go ahead and block off Sunday, Nov. 27, when the Titans host the Bengals for a revenge game.

Tennessee titans
Photo: Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

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