Let’s talk holiday traditions. Are they for kids or for us moms? Thankfully the traditions we have so far are things we all look forward to each year. Knowing exactly what to expect and yet having the element of surprise due to new exhibits is what makes us come back year after year to Christmas at Gaylord Opryland, well that and the beautiful decorations.
We personally love to do a staycation and be able to spend all day and night exploring this beautiful property. As this isn’t feasible for all one of the most asked questions I get is if you had to choose, what would you prioritize? I asked both girls and hubs to name their top three activities for best bang for your buck and it was unanimous.
Mission: Save Christmas featuring Elf™
This year we got to step into the world of Buddy the Elf in their all-new, Gaylord Hotels Original Experience, Mission: Save Christmas featuring Elf™. It is everything you love about this beloved movie all bundled up in an interactive experience good for all ages.
Travel through 8 iconic scenes completing a list of fun-filled, challenging activities in order to muster enough Christmas cheer to power the Kringle 3000 and Santa’s sleigh. More than a dozen interactive experiences await in this multi-sensory, immersive attraction. So take your time and soak it all in. Oh and tons of photo opps for the picture perfect elf-ies.
If you have been coming here for awhile you might expect things to be a bit different. As is life right now things are constantly changing so I am going to link to Gaylord Opryland FAQs so you can have the most up to date information.
Several reasons why I thing this was such a great value for the money.
- If you come early in the day, you can skate all day long and come and go as you please. (just turn in skates obvi.)
- There was rarely a line or wait to get on the ice so if you have kids like mine who don’t love waiting in line this is such a great way to keep them entertained and burning energy so you can enjoy the lights from the atrium in peace. You are welcome.
- They have things for less experienced kids to use to help skate as well. So good for most ages.
This is a hidden gem. So many reasons why we loved this. And I’m not going to lie, it was actually more difficult than I was expecting so it was great for the whole family. If you are the hands off type, this might be too hard for younger kids.
- If you were to ask your kids to go walk around and explore hotel, you might be met with whines and cries. Send them on a scavenger hunt exploring the property and they will never know you just wanted to come inside, warm up, and wander around with a festive beverage in hand.
- The prize at the end is an adorable little activity booklet that is perfect for keeping them entertained at dinner. Win Win.
- It kept us busy for close to an hour and took us on an adventure seeing all kinds of beautiful parts of the hotel.
- Snow Tubing: We had so much fun doing the 15-foot-high, four-lane ice tubing hill. It’s all the fun of sledding with the added speed of ice! You can race friends and family to see who can reach the bottom first, or you can ride with a friend on a double tube. You can also bundle activities to save money. Check out those bundles HERE. It was fun and totally worth it.
- Delta Riverboat: This has always been a favorite of mine. Its an amazing way to see the hotel and all of its beauty. Plus its inside and gives you some time to warm up. Also great for all ages.
Attractions that Don’t Need Tickets
There is still so much you can do that doesn’t involve tickets. Now keep in mind their hours and availability changes during the holidays in order to provide their guests and ticket holders with the best possible experience. And as a customer I totally appreciate this. You can see the hours HERE so make sure you check before heading down during peak times.
- Parade of Trees: Located in Garden Conservatory. Trees were decorated by Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Eric Church, George Strait, Josh Turner, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Mickey Guyton, and Reba McEntire. They will be on display all season long.
- Stroll the Magnolia Lawn and view an amazing display of more than three million holiday lights.
- Christmas Fountain Shows: Take in a breathtaking synchronization of light, water, and holiday music in this free fountain show located in Delta.
- Nightly Tree Lighting and Caroling: Nightly Nov 12, 2021 – Jan 2, 2022 on the Magnolia Lawn
- Holiday Selfie Spots
Now you are probably hungry by now, right? Head to Frostys. The decor along will feed your soul. And lookout for the festive drink stations throughout the whole resort. I can’t pick a favorite. We have never done the character breakfast (yet) but the buffet is definitely a kid favorite when we mention heading to Opryland.