Most everyone likes Christmas lights, right? There are Christmas light displays at people's homes, businesses, city and county parks, malls and hotels. Me? I'm a big fan. So when I realized that we would be driving by the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville right after Christmas last year, I decided it was high time that I experienced their display in all it's glory. Billed as a "lavish holiday display, with more than 2 million twinkling lights" Opryland is Christmas central in Nashville. Not only can you see the lights, you can see a Dr. Seuss musical, go tubing in real snow, ice skate on an outdoor rink, see The Gatlin Brothers in a christmas musical, slide down a slide carved from two million pounds of ice, and take a carriage ride around the grounds and through the lights. Whew!
We were driving home from Colorado and would be hitting the road again in the morning, so it would have to be just a quick look at the lights for me. But beautiful lights they are!
Some tips for visiting Opryland at Christmas -
- There is a $20.00 charge to self -park! This is not just at Christmas but year round. You can avoid this by parking at the Opry Mills Mall behind the hotel or by finding a place to park across the street from the hotel (restaurants and other hotels mainly) and walking there. You can also valet park and they will validate your parking if you spend $20 at one of the restaurants inside the hotel. I would suggest advance reservations if this is the route you're going.
- Be prepared for swarms of people. Like Disneyland at Christmas, bump into you, swarms of people. We were there after Christmas on a weeknight and it was so crowded. Come to find out that there was a bowl game going on during that time - the Music City Bowl - and that was part of the crowd. I'm not sure how to avoid the crowds unless you go in November on a weeknight possibly.
- This year the lights run from November 11 through January 1
- Of course, all the above mentioned activities aren't free - except the lights. Almost all of the other things to do include a fee and sometimes advance ticket purchase.
How about you? Have you been to see the Opryland Hotel at Christmas? Or maybe it's sister properties in Orlando, Texas or Washington DC?
This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and The Weekend Wanderlust Travel Blog Party!