Tuesday, December 29, 2015

12 Days of Christmas: Day 4 - The Gaylord Opryland Hotel

Clearly we love Christmas lights.
I've always loved driving around and looking at them but that's not as easy to do with kids and in the country where the houses and fewer and farther apart. 

One of our most favorite Christmas traditions is visiting the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. We go every year on my mom's birthday. 
The kids call it "the White Castle" and they look forward to it all year. 

Every year the Gaylord does an amazing job decorating for Christmas. This year they even had a lot of new decorations. 
It's pretty much Nashville's Disneyland 

This bobble tree was new this year and I just loved it. 

Music notes hung from the ceiling as a nod to music city. These were new too!

They always have the most massive and lovely Christmas tree.

These were new!

And guess who we ran into?! Santa!

We had dinner at the Fuse sports restaurant. They have great food (even for allergy people like us) and the atmosphere isn't too stuffy for ramuctious kids. They have the TVs muted till 7pm. At 7:00 they turn the sound up WAY too loud so make sure you're out before that.  Otherwise the place is great. Great kids menus too. With crayons.

Baby Margaret discovered she loves French fries.

After dinner we did the boat tour this year.  The boats run till ten so feel free to have dinner and walk around a bit first. (The shops close at 9pm and Santa was there till 6pm).

The kids always love the boat tour. It's the best way to see the lights.

I swear he's happy. He just makes silly faces when I take his picture.

See.  He loves the lights

Dinner, Santa, shopping and the boat tour as well as all the lights were indoors in the giant atrium. So it was all very warm.

But if you go out the front of the hotel the trees and decorations are amazing. We always take a stroller to carry our coats and then put them on to go out to the nativity.

The nativity is lovely and larger than life size.

They also have the Christmas story from the book of Matthew playing over a load speaker.

It is very lovely.  But you are outside so it can be cold.

They also offer horse drawn carriage rides along the lighted tree area.

This is the front of the hotel. It's so beautiful. You can see why my kids call it the "White Castle"

Back inside to warm up we explored some more.  The hotel has three wings. Each is decorated in its own special way. And has its own theme. We always love playing behind the water fall in the Cascades wing.

This is the other side of the water fall.

I love all the little details in each room.  The garlands and wreaths and every little thing that transforms the whole place into a Christmas wonderland.

If you are ever in Nashville be sure to stop by the Gaylord hotel and just wonder around. It's beautiful all year long.  
There are lovely places to have dinner. 
The steak place is amazing if you're looking for something fancy. Fuse is nice for something low key. And the Irish pub is great for drinks and live music. 

For you're ever in Nashville around Christmas time DO NOT miss this place. It's amazing. 
There are plenty of free things to see and do (especially if you park at the mall and walk over). But there are also lovely places to eat and shop. 
Chances are you'll find some great Christmas gifts. 
There's an amazing toy shop for all the kids on your list. 

Christmas runs through January 2nd this year so there's still time, plus I hear the shops have great after Christmas sales. 

I'm actually thinking about taking the kids back one more time this week. Maybe I'll see you there!

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