I hear it frequently, and I’ve even said it to other people, “I wish I could just stowaway in your suitcase and come along.” You are going to want to come along to Nashville, Tennessee, but you won’t need to stow away. For those of us living in the midwest, it’s a short road trip and even shorter airplane ride to the capital of country music.
Your whole family will feel right at home in the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Hotel no matter what time of year you visit. This resort stands out for many reasons but you can’t help but be pleasantly distracted by the glass atriums that house 9 acres of exotic trees, flowers and other plants. They are kept at a comfortable 72 degrees year round. Enjoy the sounds of cascading waterfalls, watch fish swim in the pond, take in the beautiful landscape as you cross bridges and stone pathways that wind throughout the resort.
During our spring break visit we spent a lot of time away from the resort. When it was time to head back from our busy day in Nashville, the kids were just as excited to be at the hotel as they were to be out and about. There was no winding down for them, they had a whole itinerary of their own.
1. The pool. DO NOT SKIP THE POOL. For all of the days leading up to our trip, the girls were enthusiastically looking forward to popping those little footsies into the pleasantly heated indoor pool. You’ll also find outdoor pools at the Opryland but during our visit, the temperatures merited indoor swimming.
2. Take a guided ride on the Delta River flatboats. With visions of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in their heads, the girls were so patient as they waited for morning to come so they could take a ride on the river that runs through the Delta atrium. They spotted waterfalls, fish, fruit growing on trees, the boat garage, a man in waders cleaning the river and many other fun sights. Their favorite moments were when they could wave to other guests as we crossed under bridges and made our way around the atrium.
3. Enjoy a meal “in the garden.” From our room, the girls watched as resort guests enjoyed meals in the Cascades Atrium. “It looks so pretty.” my four year old explained to me as she asked if we might join the people below. The flowing waterfall was the perfect background noise for our breakfast at Cascades American Restaurant. We were seated in a cave-like alcove, which felt very special for the kids. The restaurants within the resort offer a reasonably priced children’s menu that includes delicious and nutritious options and each children’s menu comes with a paper star that contains flower seeds inside. When planted at home, your family can enjoy a fun and eco friendly souvenir of your stay.
4. Take a walk around the Garden Conservatory, Cascades Atrium and Delta Island. Each environment is unique. We played our own little game of I-spy with fruit-bearing trees, animal figurines created with plants and other fun sights. Each night, the Delta Atrium is host to the International Waters Fountain Show. Take note of all of the interesting things located throughout the resort. On our riverboat ride, we learned that the Delta River (in the resort) contains water samples from all over the world. Large plaques are located in the atrium that commemorate where the water came from for the blending of the water ceremony. Our family looked for familiar bodies of water from our home state as well as from our favorite places to visit. My girls love tossing pennies into the wishing ponds.
5. Take a peek through the windows of the radio station. WSM 650AM is the home of the Grand Ole Opry radio show. You never know who might be in studio when you walk by. Wave to the DJ!
The Opryland Resort is an entertainment hub of it’s own, hosting concerts and major events throughout the year. And why wouldn’t it be? The Grand Ole Opry is in their backyard. You can expect nothing but excellence when it comes to your visit, and excellence will be delivered with a smile.
Christmas at the Gaylord Opryland is world famous — artisan ice sculptors fly in from China to create beautiful and complex displays using over 2 million pounds of colorful ice for the annual event known as ICE! Visitors will flock to the resort for overnight stays and day trips to see the beautiful work with past themes taken from ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and from Dreamworks movies such as Shrek and Penguins of Madagascar. Visitors will don heavy winter coats (provided) and enter the nine degree interconnected rooms. Adults (21+) may consider paying the upgraded admission fee for the ice bar where drink samples are poured through an ice luge.
When traveling with a large family, consider adding an adjoining “parlor” on to your room. These beautiful spaces offer a sofa bed, a large living space, a small kitchenette area (mini-fridge only), an extra bathroom with dressing area, a television and sitting area and an entry way that’s perfect for coats and strollers.
I’d love to see where your family is spending time while you travel. Connect with me on Instagram and Twitter @indywithkids and @theMANNsionFam
Portions of our trip were paid for out of pocket and other parts were hosted by various venues. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information or any questions, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Katy Mann, and I'm the creator of Indy with Kids. With over 10 years of experience working with children, and my excitement towards the great city of Indianapolis; I offer readers guidance about great events and activities to do around Indianapolis with their kids and grandchildren. Join us on our family travels and adventures across the country!
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