Christmas on the Cumberland

As these days get dark and the weather turns cold, this next week brings some opportunities to stay toasty. In light of Thanksgiving, there’s the chance to see the film "Gather" at the public library, and a meteor shower viewing tied to a thankfulness-themed bonfire. There’s also the chance to see one of many John Updike-inspired puppet shows. And it wouldn’t be November without some chances to see Santa and get that perfect holiday card photo. 

As part of our fall series on free and cheap things to do with the family, here are a few ideas for spending time together over the next week:

Toasty & Thankful + Leonid Meteor Shower Viewing

On Nov. 17, Bells Bend Outdoor Center is hosting an after hours bonfire and viewing of the Leonid meteor. The event lasts from 4-9 p.m., includes s’mores, and is free, but you must register ahead of time. 

Native American Heritage Film: Gather 

At the Richland Park branch of the Nashville Public Library, they’ll be hosting a screening of the film "Gather" in honor of Native American Heritage Month on Nov. 17. The film shows the stories of “natives on the frontlines of a growing movement to reconnect with spiritual and cultural identities that were devastated by genocide,” according to the library. “The featured stories combine to show how the reclaiming and recovery of ancient food ways is a way forward for native Americans to bring back health and vitality to their people.”  

Public Paint Day

At this free event in Smyrna (that’s also the same day they’re handing out free grilled cheese sandwiches), you can eat some delicious sandwiches while creating your own personalized tote bag. The event will have a variety of materials and there will be two sessions on Nov. 19.

A Child's Calendar

Beginning on Nov. 18 and then running through the first two weeks in December, the Nashville Public Library’s puppets will take on John Updike’s collection of poems for children. Each one will depict poems in musical puppet show form in a score by Sarah Hart and Brian Hull.  

Christmas on the Cumberland

The City of Clarksville will begin its Christmas on the Cumberland display on Nov. 22. The nearly milelong display includes thousands of Christmas displays and more than one million Christmas lights. On Dec. 10 and 17, the event will have a visit from Santa Claus, which also includes free hot chocolate and crafts.