Thanksgiving without washing dishes, and what to do around the holidays 

Seasons to Believe

Seasons to Believe

Open on Thanksgiving

• The Hermitage Hotel's Capitol Grille (345-7116) will offer a three-course prix fixe Thanksgiving menu from 5 to 8 p.m. $52.50 per adult for brunch, $27.50 per child under 12.

• At the other end of the dining spectrum — our end — Cracker Barrel serves up Thanksgiving dinner for $9.99 per person ($4.99 for kids) starting at 11 a.m. Or serve up to six with Thanksgiving takeout for $54.99 — just make sure you give 24 hours' notice.

Ellendale's (2739 Old Elm Hill Pike, 884-0171) will have its Thanksgiving buffet available 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; cost is $31.95 plus beverage.

• The downtown Hilton (121 Fourth Ave. S., 620-2178) provides a buffet of roasted turkey, steamship ham, prime rib, a seafood station with smoked salmon and jumbo shrimp, and a "special children's buffet." Adults $46, children 7-12 $14; children under 6 eat free. Reservations recommended.

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• Sick to death of seasonal fare? Kiss turkey goodbye at the Indian buffets at Bombay Palace (2912 West End, 321-6140), Sitar (116 21st Ave. N., 321-8889), the recently opened Taj (3943 Nolensville Road, 750-3490) or their vegetarian counterpart Woodlands (3415 West End, 463-3005).

• Or opt for a hearty Italian meal at Buca di Beppo (1722 Galleria Blvd., 778-1321) or Maggiano's Little Italy (3106 West End, 514-0270) — which will both have turkey as backup just in case.

The Loveless Cafe (8400 Highway 100, 646-9700) offers its usual menu items as well as a Thanksgiving meal of roast turkey, dressing and homemade pies from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. All reservations are currently filled; an hour's wait or more is likely for limited walk-up seating.

Merchants (401 Broadway, 254-1892) provides Thanksgiving fare at both its downstairs bistro (open 11 a.m.-11 p.m.) and upstairs from 1-9 p.m., with the third floor available for large parties by reservation.

Mere Bulles (5201 Maryland Way, 467-1945) gives thanks in Brentwood with entrée and dessert for $34.99 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., with 50 percent off bottled wines all day. Seniors $28.99, ages 5 to 12 $14.99.

Monell's locations in Gallatin, Germantown and in the old New Orleans Manor on Murfreesboro Road will pass around the family-style platters of turkey, fried chicken and roast beef from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for $22.84 per person. Ages 4 to 10 are $11.90, while 3 and under eat free. (Gallatin will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m.)

• At the Opryland Hotel, you've got at least three options: the Old Hickory Steakhouse (458-6848), offering turkey, cranberry apple stuffing, country ham and more for $45; Ravello (458-6848), providing turkey along with its usual Southern Italian fare; or the Cascades Restaurant (458-6848), serving turkey and stuffing, country ham, potato-wrapped snapper and more for $48 ($17 for children). Whichever way, reservations are required.

• The Puckett's Grocery locations both downtown (500 Church St., 770-2772) and in Franklin (120 Fourth Ave. S., 794-5527) will lay out a Thanksgiving buffet of smoked turkey, holiday ham and fried chicken. Call or make reservations online, though the Nashville location is already full.

• That faithful fount of breakfast-buffet gluttony Shoney's has your steam-table Thanksgiving standing by at $10.99 for adults, $4.99 for kids.

• Nashville reliable Sperry's will be open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. at both its Belle Meade (5109 Harding Road, 353-0809) and Cool Springs (650 Frazier Dr., 778-5990) locations. $26 for adults, $13 for children. Reservations strongly recommended.

• Thanksgiving at Ted's Montana Grill (2817 West End Ave., 329-3415) features Ted's Traditional Roast Turkey meal starting at $25 per person; it can also be ordered in a half-sized portion for kids for $12. Also: select wines by the glass for $6 or by the bottle for $20.

Whole Foods Market in Green Hills and on McEwen in Franklin will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The hot bar will feature traditional Thanksgiving food items such as herb-rubbed turkey, gravies, stuffings, mashed potatoes, side dishes and more. As for catering, a smoked turkey dinner that feeds 6 to 8 runs $99.99.

Holiday events

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• More than 2 million lights will illuminate the Gaylord Opryland Resort as the hotel complex launches its annual A Country Christmas this weekend through Jan. 1. Included are the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes, the (literally) cool sculpted ICE! exhibit and Lorrie Morgan's Enchanted Christmas Dinner and Show. (2800 Opryland Dr., 889-1000)

• This Friday through Sunday, Nov. 15-17, some 270 merchants will converge on the Tennessee State Fairgrounds for Christmas Village, providing seasonal shopping and tchotchkes galore. Admission $10.

• So you need a crash course in Pie Crust 101 before the relatives arrive? Chef Hunter Briley of the Music City Pie Company leads a class in Sweet and Savory Pies at Casa Azafrán's Mesa Komal kitchen 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19. Cost is $20 for one or $32 for couples; reservations can be made at . (2195 Nolensville Road, 320-5152)

• The record that launched a thousand light displays comes live to TPAC's Jackson Hall 8 p.m. Nov. 23: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis. Tickets $30-$70.

• Come for Bernie's famous latkes, stay for the book fair, bounce house and more at Hanukkah Fest 2013, 3 to 6 p.m. Nov. 24 at the Gordon Jewish Community Center. Tickets $10 adults, $5 children; a $25 family ticket includes food and the on-site carnival. (801 Percy Warner Park Blvd., 354-1625)

• The Charlie Daniels Band delivers its annual Christmas 4 Kids show at the Ryman Nov. 25 with special guests Sawyer Brown, Justin Moore, Phil Vassar and Rodney Atkins. Tickets $32.50-$60.

• Earn those tryptophans at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day with the five-mile Boulevard Bolt, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year on Belle Meade Blvd. Registration is $35 by Nov. 18, $45 Nov. 19-27 and $65 day of race, with proceeds going to benefit homeless Nashvillians; see for more information.

• Looking for a cinematic escape hatch from Thanksgiving and Black Friday? Try a double feature of two of the most gorgeous movies ever made, both starring Catherine Deneuve: the beloved 1964 musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 1) — capped by a Christmastime denouement that'll have you grateful for Kleenex — and its effervescent 1967 followup The Young Girls of Rochefort (Nov. 28 & 30 and Dec. 1). They're part of The Belcourt's must-see retrospective The Films of Jacques Demy Nov. 22-Dec. 1.

• Live reindeer, holiday teas, gingerbread workshops, visits from Santa and the evergreen Nashville tradition of the Trees of Christmas highlight the annual Holiday at Cheekwood, running Nov. 29 through Dec. 31. See a full schedule and ticket information at

• For the fifth straight year, Tennessee Rep serves leg o' lamp with its live production of A Christmas Story, running Nov. 29 through Dec. 22 at TPAC's Johnson Theater. Tickets $45-$50.

• If you can't get to The Nutcracker, Christopher Mohnani and Dance Theatre of Tennessee will bring it to you, touring four counties with a spirited rendering of the Tchaikovsky classic. The dancing mice arrive in Nashville Nov. 29-30 for three shows at Ensworth High School Auditorium; tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children. (7401 Hwy 100,

• The mayor of Nashville, Karl Dean, and the mayor of Nashville, Teddy Conrad (aka Grand Marshal Eric Close), warm citizens with a double dose of municipal oversight Dec. 6 at the 61st annual Piedmont Natural Gas Nashville Christmas Parade. The fun starts 6:30 p.m. at Public Square Plaza with the lighting of the city's Christmas tree and fireworks, then proceeds at 7 p.m. down Second Ave. N. up Broadway to Ninth Avenue.

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• For homegrown seasonal spectacle, little compares to Nashville's Nutcracker, now in its sixth consecutive year at TPAC's Jackson Hall. The Nashville Ballet and Nashville Symphony Orchestra mount a lavish re-creation of bygone Nashville, featuring nearly 200 dancers and studded with cameos by local celebrities. The 12 weekend performances run Dec. 7-22, with tickets $35-$82.

The North Pole Express excursion by train to Watertown Nov. 30 is sold out, but tickets remain for the Dec. 7 and 14 rides to Lebanon. Tickets range from $32 to $75, depending on seating, with kids under 12 $21. See for more info. (220 Willow St., 224-9001)

• Only one person is busier this time of year than Santa: Brenda Lee. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer performs "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" Dec. 8 at a benefit for St. Cecilia Academy's Fine Arts Campaign. Tickets $50. (4210 Harding Pike, 383-3230)

• Ever seen a stray cat herd reindeer? The 18-piece Brian Setzer Orchestra puts some pep in Blitzen's step on their 10th anniversary Christmas Rocks! Tour Dec. 8 and 9 at The Ryman. Tickets $35-$55.

• Caffeine is a comedown compared to hearing Handel's rousing Messiah live. You can bask in the splendor of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra's performance at the Schermerhorn Dec. 11-13 with conductor Matthew Halls — tickets are $39-$138 at — or join voice with the Trevecca Nazarene music department at Nashville's Sing-Along Messiah Dec. 9 at War Memorial Auditorium.

• Speaking of the Messiah, War Memorial Auditorium hosts A John Waters Christmas, a one-man show in which the filmmaker, author, media personality and director of Pink Flamingos and Desperate Living leaves a little something extra in your stocking. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show Dec. 11 are $51.

• Ebenezer Scrooge, the original steampunk? Check out a new Industrial Age vision of the Dickens classic in Studio Tenn's A Christmas Carol, running Dec. 12-22 at TPAC's Polk Theater. Tickets $25-$52.

• Or step into a Victorian fairyland re-created on the streets of historic Franklin, as more than 250 volunteers provide a Dickens of a Christmas for as many as 50,000 visitors Dec. 14-15. There'll be horse-drawn carriage rides, a holiday bazaar, carolers — and what's this, a water harmonica? God bless us everyone! Admission free on the Franklin public square.

• The next best thing to slipping on a Christmas sweater straight from the dryer: Amy Grant and Vince Gill pack the Schermerhorn Dec. 19-21 for four performances of their annual holiday celebration joined by the Nashville Symphony. Few tickets remain at $50 and $78; see .

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• Avoid TV commercials and join in a holiday tradition: The Belcourt's annual screening of the most gloriously depressing Christmas movie of all time, Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, Dec. 20-26. And if by that point even one more ounce of Yuletide spirit is too much, the theater has an antidote: a Joel and Ethan Coen retrospective leading up to the brothers' newest, Inside Llewyn Davis, on Dec. 20.


More Holiday Guide

Fraught Blessings
Homeward Bound
Dish Network
Round and Round



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