November is here, and it very well may be my favorite month of the year! Not just because football season is in full swing and basketball season is just tipping off, but also because it officially starts the holiday season too. Of course, the major holiday I am talking about is my birthday, but those others like Thanksgiving are kinda popular too. If you too are blessed with a November birthday and have seen a turkey overshadow your special day for years, be sure to check out these fun ways to celebrate your special day in Franklin, Tennessee.
Aside from holidays, November is a special time around Franklin filled with moments of reflection, making family memories, and of course getting ready for Christmas! Here are just a few of the ways you can do each of those this November around Franklin.
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Take in the Fall Colors at Owl’s Hill or Deerwood Arboretum & Nature Center
The fall leaves traditionally are showing their peak color the first few weeks of November, so what better time for a hike with the family – or by yourself if you’ve already had enough family time! The Deerwood Arboretum features paved winding trails that take you through the leaves and around their pond, while Owl’s Hill lets hikers pick from miles of trails as easy or challenging as you’d like. Either way, both are a great way to let life slow down a bit and just take in nature’s fall beauty.
Experience the Battle of Franklin Illumination
Hearing the stories of The Battle of Franklin is one thing, visiting the historic homes and sites involved in the battle add another level of appreciation, but for me at least, the true scope of what happened during the Battle of Franklin truly hits home when you see 10,000 luminaries stretched across the battlefield. Each of the luminaries represents a life lost on that November 30 night in 1864, and hearing the name of each soldier killed or wounded in the battle read aloud reinforces what a somber time that was in both Franklin’s and our country’s past.
Sip on Hot Chocolate from Kilwins
When temperatures start to fall one of the first places I turn to is Kilwins! As one of those rare unicorns known as a “non-coffee drinker,” winter is when I can join the mug-clutching fun and show off my experienced palate of hot chocolate knowledge. Whether it is the classic “straight chocolate” variety or greats like mint chocolate or peppermint chocolate you are guaranteed to have a better day while sipping on a Kilwins cup of goodness.
Take a Historic House Tour
If you’re like me, you learn best when you experience something instead of just reading about it. There is no better way to learn the full extent of what happened during the Battle of Franklin than by walking the grounds on which it happened and touring the houses where so much of the history is still preserved today. Whether you visit Carnton, Carter House, or Lotz House (or all three!) you will see first hand how the armies made tactical decisions, and hear the stories of the families whose homes became the site of a battle.
Attend the Veteran’s Day Parade on Main Street
Thousands of people, young and old, with flags in hand, lining the sidewalks as each heralds the sacrifices and successes of our nation’s greatest heroes. This is one of my favorite sights every year and as an American, there is hardly a sight any sweeter. The Veteran’s Day Parade in Franklin is truly a sight to behold each year. As the generations of heroes parade down the classic Main Street of this idyllic town, my favorite thing to watch is the schoolchildren as they watch for their mom or dad, or grandparent, or whomever they are looking for to wave to in the parade and point out their friends. The pride on their ecstatic faces is just contagious and makes you even more thankful for the sacrifices of all our Veterans.
Buy All The Things at MADE SOUTH Holiday Market
While Thanksgiving is the holiday of the month in November, we all know that Christmas is just around the corner and shopping for those loved ones and their stocking stuffers gets tougher every year. If you are like me, the thought of shopping day after day at the big box stores if far from exciting. I really enjoy finding something unique for gifts I give, something with meaning and if possible local. That’s why I LOVE the MADE SOUTH Holiday Market. The creator Chirs Thomas goes to great lengths to bring together great makers, artists and chefs from across the south to showcase their talents. Get your tickets quick and my recommendation, opt for the Friday night VIP. Shopping with a cocktail in hand and southern food samples from great chefs around each turn? Sign. Me. Up.
Sit by a Fire Pit in Leiper’s Fork
Few things are better than sitting by a fire pit in the fall while sipping on a drink and enjoying time with friends. You see fire pits dotting the entire village of Leiper’s Fork and they are there to be used! You are also likely to find some marshmallows and s’mores sitting next to the fire as well. Gather your friends and settle in for a night of relaxing and storytelling in “The Fork.”
SHOP, SHOP, SHOP!
If you love the traditional shopping of the season and thrive when waking up way too early on Black Friday then Franklin is also the place for you. With Middle Tennessee’s largest mall, CoolSprings Galleria, you have all the national brands you are looking for with special stops like American Girl all in one stop! Like your mamma always told you though, “don’t spend it all in one place.” Save some of the shopping for Shop Small Saturday on Main Street and those exclusive deals on Cyber Monday. There are even a few awesome deals coming soon to the Visitor Center, so make sure you are signed up for our newsletter to be the first to know.
Lace Up Your Running “Boots” for a Good Cause
Grab your family, friends, or your normal running buddies and lace it up for a great cause – or Military and Veterans. This isn’t your average 5K though. For the Boots for Troops race, you’re not limited to just lacing up your trusty pair of running shoes. You can also participate in a Ruck Walk/Run with full pack and combat boots on. Think you can handle it? Give it a shot and know that no matter what, all the proceeds from the day are going to support our military and the “Medals of Honor” program.
Take in a Classic Movie at The Franklin Theatre
After Thanksgiving has passed, many have the tradition of skipping the shopping hitting the theater for a movie. Well, there is no better place to see a holiday classic like Miracle on 34th Street than at a classic like the Franklin Theatre. Settle in for an afternoon showing of your favorite holiday classic and be sure to snag a Franklin Theatre signature chocolate bar too.