The Gaylord Opryland Resort was voted “Most Christmassy Hotel in the Nation” by the Travel Channel’s ‘Extreme Christmas’ for good reason. Their world-famous “A Country Christmas” includes more than 2 million lights and more than a dozen shows and attractions. With four nativity scenes throughout the property and in the shows, the spirit of Christmas isn’t just about Santa. Although, he’s well represented here, too! You can spend the entire weekend at the resort and NEVER run out of things to do. We spent 4 days there* and we still couldn’t do it all!
Here are 23 ways to get your kids in the Christmas Spirit this weekend at Gaylord Opryland:
• Go on a scavenger hunt for elves in the Garden Conservatory. My 5yo had a blast exploring the beautiful gardens this way.
• Look for light-up animals in the Garden Conservatory. We did this while looking for elves.
• View the nativity scene on the front lawn near the Magnolia lobby.
• Marvel at the spectacle of lights hanging in the Garden Conservatory and the Cascades. (My 5yo was in AWE!!)
• Find the nativity scene in the Delta Atrium.
• Experience ‘ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz’ (find the nativity there) on display now through Jan 2nd, 2010. (www.WeFrozeCharlieBrown.com)
• Take in the ‘Radio City Christmas Spectacular’ with the Radio City Rockettes (watch the living nativity there) performing now through Dec 27th, 2009. This show is extremely kid-friendly.
• Count Christmas trees throughout the property. (Don’t miss the big one on the front lawn outside the Magnolia lobby!)
• Make a gingerbread man or house ornament with renowned gingerbread artisan, Gayle O’Hanlon, at Gingerbread Corner in Winter Wonderland. (www.enchantedgingerbread.com)
• Visit the Hall of Trees in Winter Wonderland, find trees decorated by your favorite celebrities like Louise Mandrell, LoCash Cowboys, and more. Proceeds donated to various charities.
• Visit the ‘Treasures For the Holidays Arts & Crafts Show’ in Winter Wonderland for wonderful crafts and gifts.
• Get a photo with Santa in Winter Wonderland.
• Ride the Holiday Kids Train in Winter Wonderland.
• Find candy canes along the river while riding ‘A Country Christmas Delta River Cruise’ in the Delta Atrium. (Daytime. You can also ride at night, although the candy canes are harder to find.)
• Find ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Sea Monster’ in the Delta Atrium.
• Take your family Christmas card photos at any of the gorgeous trees, or painted greeting backdrops throughout the property.
• Watch the free ‘Rock-a-Billy Christmas’ show, performed by ‘Hillbilly Casino’ on the Jack Daniel’s rooftop. Best place to watch is from the Garden Conservatory skywalk. Now through Dec 25th, 2009.
• Watch the highly entertaining ‘Louise Mandrell’s ‘Joy to the World’ Christmas Dinner & Show’. Dinner is traditional holiday fare, and kid’s menus are available. A very kid-friendly show!
• Send an e-mail to Santa on the Garden Conservatory skywalk.
• Ride the ‘General Jackson Showboat’ and take in lunch with ‘Tim Watson’s Tennessee Christmas’ or dinner with ‘A Country Christmas on the Cumberland’ and a show on the Cumberland River.
• Have ‘Breakfast with Charlie Brown or Snoopy’ at Ristorante Volare in the Garden Conservatory. While not exactly Christmassy, it makes a really cute card! Reservations strongly recommended, call 1-888-999-6779.
• Watch the free nightly ‘Brightest Star Fountain Show’ in the Delta Atrium. We did this over dinner on the patio outside Paisano’s pizza and Stax Burgers.
• Horse drawn carriage rides. Board at the Magnolia Lobby.
Make a family weekend getaway to get into the Christmas spirit!! Dress your family for Christmas photos, print this list, and take it with you to get your family in the Christmas spirit this weekend at the Gaylord Opryland Resort! Your family will have a great time; ours did!!
*In the spirit of full disclosure, we were hosted by the Gaylord Opryland in a group press trip. I’m glad we were, or we would have missed a lot! As with any journalist, this fact does not compromise my review in the least.