Anything worth having is worth the wait. And while these last two years have been full of Christmas magic in Nashville, nothing makes me more excited to report than ICE! is back at Opryland! And better than EVER! This year, the theme is the classic 1964 Christmas special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” which is brought to life through ice sculptures, slides, music and lights.
ICE! can be experienced during Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas, starting on November 11 and available through January 1, 2023. ICE! which first debuted in 2001, quickly became a popular holiday tradition.
We were lucky enough to be invited by Gaylord Opryland to experience all the magic that they have to offer at Christmas time. Hello 5 million Christmas lights! And now we are sharing our tips and tricks in navigating the holidays at Gaylord Opryland because there are so many magical things you have to see while there!
We personally try to do a 1 or 2 night staycation. This makes exploring this beautiful property a little more relaxed. It is huge! (wear comfortable shoes) As this isn’t feasible for all one of the most asked questions I got on socials is “if you had to choose, what would you prioritize?” Each year, when we leave I always take a poll to name their top three activities for best bang for your buck and it was unanimous.
The most cost effective way to play is to grab a package!
This is most definitely a yes! While this is a ticketed event with a specific start time (don’t be late), you are able to go through at your own leisure. And while parkas are provided (it is 9 degrees inside)I highly recommend packing hats and gloves. These will come in handy at Pinetop as well.
This is one of our favorite ways to start our weekend at Opryland. It allows you to walk around and explore the hotel with a beverage in hand while the kids are entertained. If you are the hands off type of parent, this might be a bit difficult for younger kids. The prize at the end is an adorable little activity booklet that is perfect for keeping them entertained at dinner. Win Win. We have done this several years in a row and while it is similar, they do change locations up. It kept us busy for over an hour and took us on an adventure seeing all kinds of beautiful parts of the hotel. Lots of photo opps! Head to the Delta Atrium to get started!
This is fun for the whole family! And the best part, your ticket price is good for all day fun. Consists of a 15-foot-high, four-lane ice tubing hill. It’s all the fun of sledding with the added speed of ice! Race friends and family to see who can reach the bottom first.
Another family favorite! Your ticket price is also good for all day here. So if you are like me and need to rest your feet often, you can come and go throughout the day. They do offer ice skating thirty minute private lessons if you need to brush up on your skills.
NEW ATTRACTION: Snowball Build & Blast
I made the mistake of not packing gloves (thankfully they do sell them inside the gift shop outside of ICE! but we didn’t notice until our first bucket was gone) but regardless the girls loved this and created a little competition to try to hit every interactive target. If you are from around here, you know we don’t get the option to have snowball fights often so definitely take advantage of this.
Lets Talk Food Recommendations
Where to eat? Def make reservations if they take them. It can get pretty busy around there at the holidays and no one enjoys being hangry. Thankfully they have drink and snacks located throughout. But here are a few of our faves depending on your mood!
- Budget friendly: Paisano’s Pizzaria & Vino located in Delta.
- Most Festive: Frosty’s Pub in Magnolia.
- Upscale: Old Hickory Steakhouse (take reservations)
- Date Night: Ravello (take reservations)
- Breakfast: Cascades Buffet (might be my kids favorite)
Free Things to Do
- Celebration On Ice Live Skating Show: An all-new LIVE ice-skating show featuring champion skaters, big jumps, fast spins, and awe-inspiring throws and lifts! Hours vary.
- Parade of Trees: Visit the Parade of Trees throughout our Garden Conservatory and Cascades atriums and learn how you can win once in a lifetime experiences from country music’s biggest stars! Trees decorated by Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Jon Pardi, Jordan Davis, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Maddie & Tae, Reba McEntire, Sam Hunt, and Tyler Hubbard will be on display all season long. Hosted by Universal Music Group Nashville to benefit First Responders Children’s Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network. Visit www.CharityStars.com/ParadeOfTrees to donate for a chance to win.
- Christmas Fountain Shows: Take in a breathtaking synchronization of light, water, and holiday music in this free fountain show in Delta.
- Outdoor Nativity: The outdoor nativity display features special lighting effects and an audio rendition of the beloved biblical story.
- Holiday Selfie Spots: Pose at the most Christmasy spots throughout the resort and share your selfie on social media using #Opryland.
- Holiday Horticulture Trek: Perfect for those with a green thumb, this self-guided tour is a great way to learn about our extraordinary flora while strolling through the resort as it’s decked out for the holidays.
Y’all know where to find me if you have any specific questions when planning!