In case you're wondering why I'm hanging Christmas lights at Opryland Hotel in July, when it's 98 degrees out & I'm 9.5 months pregnant , my soon to be born son Denver & I did something pretty cool yesterday on my lunch break. You guys can check out a couple videos on my Instagram @nativeinnashville . We went all the way up above the Magnolia trees, nearly 80 feet in the air.
When the sweet people who work for Gaylord Opryland reached out and invited me to attend the announcement and kick off of their Country Christmas festivities IN JULY...I may have thought they were a little crazy. It wasn't until yesterday, that I fully understand why they start up their Christmas decorating this far in advance of the holidays and I know that the actual planning starts LONG before this.
Opryland has been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember, in some way, shape or form, I think it's probably been a part of almost any Nashville native familys' lives. I can't remember a single year going by that I didn't go to Opryland Hotel around Christmas time. When they invited me to come hang some of the lights, there was no way I was turning down the opportunity to be a part of something so big! It was a pretty cool experience & it showed me a glimpse of just how much hard work and time these people put in every year to create such a spectacular atmosphere for people near and far to come enjoy. This year they are adding an additional 500K lights for a total of 3 MILLION! I can't think of anything that makes me in a better mood than Christmas lights so I'm pretty excited about the extra !! Go big or go home right ?? If it were up to me & not frowned upon I would leave my tree up all year round too. Crews will work several hours each day to make sure the holiday lights are up in time for "A Country Christmas", presented by FIJIFILM INSTAX®, taking place November 10-Jan 1.
“The holiday magic this resort creates every year is astounding, and we cannot wait for visitors to enjoy the newest holiday decorations and entertainment at our 2,888-room resort and its nine acres of indoor gardens,” said Gaylord Opryland General Manager John Adams. “The many months of preparation are well worth it when we see families making holiday memories with us.”
This year, the Country Christmas attractions include:
The resort’s signature holiday attraction—ICE!, presented by Pepsi—returns with A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz. The beloved holiday story will come to life in 2 million pounds of colorful, larger-than-life ice sculptures. Kept at nine degrees Fahrenheit, the exhibit is hand-carved by 40 master artisans from Harbin, China, who use their artistry to create favorite scenes with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and friends, plus multi-story ice slides. If you can’t get enough of the Peanuts gang, enjoy an interactive breakfast you and your family won’t soon forget at Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze lights up Nashville for the first time, November 18 through December 27, 2017, at the Grand Ole Opry House featuring never-before-seen performances, over 300 costumes, 20 of the world’s best acts, original music and seasonal favorites in a multi-million-dollar stage wonderland. Hailed by The New York Daily News as “A delicious confection of charm, sparkle and talent by the sleighload,” don’t miss this must-see Broadway musical, new cirque adventure and family show wrapped in one BroadwayWorld declares “the perfect holiday gift.”
Also new, Diamond Rio’s Holidays & Hits Dinner Show will bring lighter-than-air harmonies to Gaylord Opryland, November 17 through December 25. The Grammy Award-winning six-man group has sold more than 10 million albums, earning three platinum and five gold records. With their hit, “Meet in the Middle,” they became the first group in the history of country music to have a debut single reach No. 1. The band was awarded Opry membership in 1998 and has received Top Vocal Group honors six times from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.
The Build-A-Bear Workshop experience lets guests make their very own furry winter friend—a cuddly, cute polar bear plush, designed exclusively for Gaylord Hotels that can be personalized with cozy winter clothing and accessories. For even more fun, families can work together to solve the Build-A-Bear Workshop Scavenger Hunt to gain a “beary” special prize.
Santa’s favorite lady will make an appearance again this year in Cookies with Mrs. Claus. Cozy up by the fire and delight in some milk and cookies while Mrs. Claus reads an enchanting Christmas tale.
No need to endure the cold for a lovely yuletide glide! Gaylord Opryland takes it up a notch this year with a 6,000-square-foot indoor ice rink in the spectacular Holiday Hall. While there, guests can also hop aboard the Opryland Express kids’ train, stop by the Gingerbread Decorating Corner, presented by Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas, or take a whirl on the Santa’s Spinners tea cup ride!
For heart-pounding thrills, guests can head outdoors and brave the hills of the resort’s extreme snow tubing hill covered in 1.5 million pounds of real snow—or enjoy a carnival-style game to test guests’ aim at Santa’s Snow Throw.
Of course, A Country Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a visit from Santa, who will be stopping by to give guests a chance to have a treasured Christmas photograph taken—whether they have been naughty or nice.
Holiday festivities also include carriage rides and holiday cruise experiences on the General Jackson Showboat along with free activities the Brightest Star Fountain Show and the Outdoor Nativity with an audio rendition of the biblical story.
A Country Christmas has been hailed as one of the “Ten Great Places to Catch up with Santa” by USA Today; “The Most Christmassy Hotel in the Nation” by the Travel Channel’s “Extreme Christmas;” one of the top 10 places to spend Christmas in the world by Travel + Leisure; and a “Nashville treasure” by Southern Living.
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, located at 2800 Opryland Drive in Nashville, Tenn., is the flagship property of Gaylord Hotels, part of the Marriott portfolio of brands. The 2,888-room hotel offers “everything in one place”— diverse dining options, a full-service spa, top-notch entertainment, on-site shopping, an award-winning golf course and more. For more information, visit www.gaylordopryland.com.
BY THE NUMBERS
• 3 million holiday lights
• 1 million visitors to the resort during the holidays each year
• 15,000 poinsettias
• 15 miles of green garland
• 10 miles of hand-tied, red ribbon
• 48-foot-tall Christmas tree
• 1.5 million pounds of real snow on snow tubing hill
• 2+ million pounds of ice for signature ICE! attraction
• Nearly 7,000 giant blocks of colored ice
• 40 ice artisans from Harbin, China
I can't wait to make some of these memories with my sweet boy, year after year! I encourage you all to visit Opryland Hotel during the holidays & make some memories of your own with your family & friends! I promise you won't be sorry ! You can also find a baby update in the "Life" category of my blog. :)
Thank you, as always, for reading!