ICE tunnel

A Country Christmas Captures the Holiday Spirit at Gaylord Opryland

Step into the magical world of Christmas at Gaylord Opryland and you’ll find yourself sprinkled with stardust.  It’s that easy. The wintry nip in the air, the sparkle of millions of lights twinkling in the trees, and the jingling refrain of carols will stir the wonder of Christmas in your heart. Carriage Ride

Opryland’s ‘Country Christmas’ captures a whole world of Christmas delight and entertainment where families can share Christmas traditions and create new ones from now through January 1, 2014. Whether you’re an adult or a child, your spirit will be filled with the spirit of the season and you’ll enjoy this amazing spectacle. Opryland Atrium

Gaylord doesn’t do anything halfway, as you’ll discover when you follow the curving driveway entrance to the Opryland Resort Hotel past a fairyland of lights and horse drawn carriage rides. The 2,882-room resort’s nine acres are trimmed from tip to toe for the holiday season. Walkways meander through indoor gardens, beside waterfalls, fountains, boats floating along an indoor river, and a village of shops reminiscent of a 1950’s town square, all decorated for Christmas.

You may meet Dreamworks characters like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar, so keep your camera ready. Frosty

ICE! is a stunning land of huge, colorful ice sculptures featuring Frosty the Snowman. Dress warmly for your visit to the North Pole, where the temperature is kept a chilly nine degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll be given oversized blue hooded parkas, but remember to bring hats and gloves for your stroll through a frozen landscape populated with larger-than-life Disney characters. Adults and children can take turns at sliding down spectacular ice slides before passing a breathtaking crystal clear ice nativity scene. Big slide

How ICE! was created is another story in itself. The frosty fantasy world is hand carved by 40 artisans from Harbin, China. Renowned for their ice carving skills, it takes them one month, rotating through 12-hour shifts, to transform 2 million pounds of ice into this winter wonderland.

Warm up afterwards in a gingerbread decorating session, where you will meet Gingy the Gingerbread man. Gingys-Gingerbread

A stone’s throw from ICE!, in the Grand Ole Opry House, the world-famous Radio City Rockettes from New York perform one of the most spectacular shows of the season with their perfectly synchronized high-kicks and dance routines (would you believe 300 kicks per show and seven different costumes!). They have thrilled audiences with their style and precision since 1933.

Rockettes_Shine-001We were all breathless at the maneuvers and dazzling costumes, and the 3D experience as they joined Santa as his reindeer on a magical journey to New York City. Of course, one of our favorites was the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers. The finale of the show was an amazing reenactment of the first Christmas in the Living Nativity, in which the three kings came with their entourages and live camels to visit the King of Kings.

Christmas is not complete without a heavenly host of wonderful music. Country music superstar and Grand Ole Opry member Lorrie Morgan shares an enchanting journey through Christmases past and present during her Enchanted Christmas Dinner and Show. You will experience a real down-home country Christmas in a cozy gathering as Lorrie performs songs from her popular Merry Christmas from London album along with many of her hits.

1474145_Opryland_exterior_during_christmasWith so much to see and do, you may want to spend a night at the Opryland Hotel and enjoy it all at your leisure. Check out their website for individual ticket prices or package deals.

To finish with a little romance, how about a Christmas cruise down the Cumberland for views of the Nashville skyline aboard the General Jackson Showboat, enjoying a Broadway-style dinner show. Christmas comes but once a year!

Tell us your favorite part of A Country Christmas at Opryland in the comments. 

Hi! I’m Dayle Fergusson. As a transplanted Aussie living in Middle Tennessee since 1986, I have been a freelance travel...Read on

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