Christmas Season in Nashville
For a nighttime dose of high-octane fun, go directly to the new Fuse nightclub, with rave reviews and visiting luminaries such as Kid Rock and Kim Kardashian. If you need festive duds, check out the shopping at Gaylord Opryland, such as Amelia’s or Savannah’s, both featuring dressy and casual women’s clothing.
Opry Mills, the outlet mall just down the road, offers some of the best shopping opportunities, with winning Tennessee stores such as The Gibson Showcase and The Apple Barn Cider Bar & General Store. The Disney Store Outlet and Build-A-Bear Workshop also mesmerize, while standbys such as Nike, Gap Outlet, and Tommy Hilfiger Company Store are perennial favorites. The on-premises Rainforest Cafe or Johnny Rockets are ever popular refueling spots.
The Radio City Music Hall Rockettes high-kick from the Grand Ole Opry stage. Wear your Christmas sweater and jeans while you watch them―everyone else does. For a memento of your visit, add glitter and sparkle to a fragrant miniature holiday house at Gingerbread Corner. Special events also include Louise Mandrell’s “Joy to the World Christmas Dinner & Show,” as well as a Winter Wonderland that includes a train ride for little ones. Near the hotel, board the General Jackson showboat for a dinner cruise on the Cumberland River.
• Inside you’ll find 15,000 poinsettias.
• Fifteen miles of green garland and 10 miles of hand-tied red ribbon festoon the property.
• Gaylord Opryland’s tallest Christmas tree stands 40 feet high in the Delta Atrium.
• Forty artisans from Harbin, China, arrive in October to handcraft almost 2 million pounds of ice into sculptures for ICE!
• Go into the trip with eyes wide-open. The Christmas holidays are Gaylord Opryland’s busiest time, so just relax if things don’t go exactly as planned.
• When you arrive, valet parking can take a very long time. (It’s not uncommon to wait 30 or 45 minutes; I’ve waited an hour before.) Two options: Have your family hop out of the car and head inside, while one person waits, or skip the valet parking altogether and save a few bucks.
• If you have young kids, head to the Delta Island restaurants near the indoor boat tour that loops around the Delta Atrium. It has all the players your kids will love. You’ll all be more relaxed, and it will be easier on your pocketbook.
• Call ahead to make sure all the advertised activities are still happening. Sometimes event details can change.
Gaylord Opryland Resort: 2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214; www.christmasatgaylordopryland.com or 1-888-999-6779. Special holiday packages, including accommodations and tickets to several attractions, begin at $335 for a two-night stay.
"Weekend: Nashville" is from the December 2008 issue of Southern Living.