The first Christmas I spent in Nashville after moving here from New York I was very homesick. I was absolutely positive I would never lay my eyes on anything in Nashville at holiday time that would ever measure up to my Rockefeller Center and Macy’s window display.
A new friend plopped me in her car a couple of weeks before Christmas and drove me to Opryland. I thought to myself, Opryland? I don’t even like country music what kind of fun was this going to be?
As we drove up into the parking area I was blinded by glistening heavenly lights, thousands of them adorning the main entrance. To my right there was a life size nativity scene that looked as if the statues were going to speak to me at any moment. I already felt like I was in Disney World and we hadn’t even been inside yet.
I was actually so mesmerized just being outside my friend had to drag me by the hand so we could enter the spectacular Gaylord Opryland Resort. There was so much splendor to be bathed in it is hard for me to narrow it down to just a few. I have compiled a list of 5 of my favorite facets that I pray you will get to explore and experience a time or two in your life.
One of the things I usually love about Nashville is that it never gets nearly as cold as New York in the winter. The bad part about that is there is rarely lots of snow at holiday time which I missed; until I discovered SNOW! Gaylord Opryland has an outdoor snow funland, where you can build an igloo, toast S’mores,build a snowman and practice throwing snowballs in the snowball driving range. The best part that made me feel like a child again are the live reindeer.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Get this, you don’t have to be in New York City to see the iconic Radio City Rockettes kick those famous legs. It is exactly like being at Radio City, the show is the same down to every last detail. The live walking nativity will give you chills. When the Rockettes perform the wooden soldier routine you will feel like a giddy child.
ICE is just that, it is an exhibit made of colorful ice sculptures set to a theme. Last year it was a Grinch attraction and the year before that Charlie Brown. This year I can’t hardly wait to go because the theme is “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, based on the classic stop motion animation film. Kris Kringle and Topper the penguin will be walking around and there is a huge slide made of ice for all to fly down. If you have a chance to attend this spectacular exhibition just very warm it is quite cold.
In the Atrium of the Opryland Hotel there is a paradise. Quaint shops and elegant restaurants line a peaceful indoor river. On that river you are able to take a romantic gondola ride. If you are lucky enough to take that ride during the Holiday season you will be bombarded by giant Christmas trees and hanging decorations. You will will get to enjoy the indoor electric light nativity displays and you will never want to leave this holly jolly place.
Louise Mandrell’s Christmas Dinner and Show
The Louise Mandrell Christmas show has become a holiday staple here in Nashville. Every year is better than the last. You get a complete sit down dinner all while being entertained by Mandrell’s angelic voice. This year the them of her show is honoring Holiday music from all over the world as well as comedy and choreography. For more details visit Ms. Mandrell’s website.
Rockefeller Center and Macy’s are magnificent however they don’t measure up to the warmth and magic that is Opryland. Visiting Gaylord Opryland has become my new tradition when the Nashville Floods happened and the resort was shut down I was devastated. Thanks to the great people of Nashville pitching in and working together to rebuild Opryland, it is back open and better than ever. They are offering wonderful hotel packages and specials that include a room a show and breakfast with Kris Kringle.