The calendar says it’s summer, but Gaylord Opryland Resort is already preparing for its 33rd annual A Country Christmas.
Horticulturists are working several hours each day to make sure the millions of holiday lights are up in time for A Country Christmas, taking place November 11 through January 1.
Packages and tickets for the resort’s over-the-top holiday experiences, from dazzling holiday shows and attractions to towering Christmas trees and enormous ornaments, are available at ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com.
“It takes months to transform our 2,882-room resort and nine acres of indoor gardens into one of the most Christmassy destinations in the country,” said Gaylord Opryland General Manager Pete Weien. “The effort is well worth it when we get to see visitors young and old enjoying heartwarming holiday traditions and making memories with us.”
2.3 million holiday lights
1 million visitors to the resort during the holidays each year
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
The resort’s signature holiday attraction—ICE!, presented by Pepsi—returns with a new theme that might just “go down in history.” This year, the beloved Christmas tale, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer comes to life like never before 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, and will include favorite scenes with Rudolph and his friends, plus multi-story ice slides.
Audiences will find their hearts growing a few sizes along with the Grinch’s as Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical returns to the Grand Ole Opry House November 18 through December 25. Hailed by The New York Times as “100 times better than any bedside story,” this classic holiday musical will enchant adults and children alike. The show features the hit songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” (written by Albert Hague and Dr. Seuss) from the original animated television special. Max the Dog narrates while the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the loveable Whos. All new for 2016 is Breakfast with the Grinch—an interactive dining experience with the star of the Broadway show—the Grinch himself!
Grand Ole Opry members Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers are bringing their trademark family harmonies to a holiday dinner show at Gaylord Opryland. After a feast prepared by the resort’s award-winning chefs, audiences will be dazzled by the incredible Grammy Award-winning trio. Known for major hits like “All The Gold In California,” “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You),” “Broken Lady” and “I Just Wish You Were Someone I Love,” brothers Larry, Rudy and Steve will perform holiday classics and many of their career hits.
The Elf on the Shelf® Scavenger Hunt returns to Gaylord Opryland this holiday season. By finding all the scout elves hiding in the resort and solving the puzzles in the scavenger hunt booklet, families will reveal the elves’ names so they can get their Christmas magic. Guests who help the scout elves will receive a special prize.
At the Gingerbread Decorating Corner guests can choose a delectable gingerbread kit and decorate to their hearts’ content before visiting with a life-sized gingerbread man for heartwarming hugs and photo opportunities.
New for 2016 is an exclusive Build-A-Bear Workshop experience that lets guests make their very own furry winter friend—a cuddly, cute polar bear plush, designed for Gaylord Hotels, that can be personalized with cozy winter clothing and accessories.
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 go on a yuletide glide on the 6,000-square-foot ice rink. Also outdoors are Santa’s Snowball Toss, a carnival-style game to test guests’ aim, and Santa Spinners, a tea cup ride.
Holiday festivities also include visits with Santa, a kids’ train, carriage rides and holiday cruise experiences on the General Jackson Showboat.
Some of the biggest names in country music are lending their star power to support favorite charities through Parade of Trees, a free, self-guided tour of spectacularly decorated trees throughout the resort. Each tree’s decorations and presents are up for grabs to the highest bidder—all to benefit favorite charities.
Other free activities include the Brightest Star Fountain Show, Treasures for the Holidays Craft 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.
Tickets and vacation packages are now available at ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com or by calling 1-888-677-9872.