Christmas celebrations at the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville, Tennessee

by ThemeParkMom

The Gaylord Opryland hotel has re-opened after flooding in Nashville, Tennessee, forced the landmark’s closure this spring.

And its grand re-opening festivities happened during the season that the Gaylord Opryland does best – Christmas! I stopped by the Gaylord Opryland on a drive through Nashville recently and checked out some of the Christmas decorations that adorn the hotel’s atriums. There are hundreds of poinsettias, and millions of lights.

The resort calls its holiday events “A Country Christmas.” This season, the celebration continues until Jan. 2, 2011. It includes:

ICE! - A walk-through exhibit in a building chilled to 9 degrees. ICE! is an environment carved completely out of 2 million pounds of ice by artisans from Harbin, China. This year’s ICE! pays homage to the Christmas TV special “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.”

SNOW! - New this year, SNOW! is an outdoor winter wonderland made out of – you guessed it – snow. There’s a snowman building area, a place to make snow angels and a snowball throwing range. You can make s’mores and even see some live reindeer.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular - This show straight from New York City features the famous Radio City Rockettes. It is performed in the Grand Ole Opry House and features classic Rockettes holiday numbers such as “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.”

Louise Mandrell’s “The Gift” Christmas dinner and show - This show features Louise Mandrell and her band doing Christmas music, choreography and comedy, along with a dinner of Christmas favorites. I grew up watching the Mandrell sisters on TV and pretending to be them with my two sisters. I was always Louise.

Outdoor Nativity - You can listen to the Biblical Christmas story and watch a light show at one of the most elaborate outdoor nativities I’ve ever seen.

Breakfast with Kris Kringle - Meet Kris Kringle and Topper from “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” during these special breakfasts in Solario restaurant at the Gaylord Opryland.

It’s not too late to plan a holiday getaway to Nashville. You can still get tickets to these events, and there are package deals that include A Country Christmas events and a stay at the Gaylord Opryland.

Leigh Caldwell (aka ThemeParkMom) lives in the Orlando area and is the mom of a school-age Theme Park Kid. Perhaps because of her proximity to one very famous mouse, she's made theme parks one of her travel-writing specialties. She’s also a regular contributor to AOL travel site Gadling.com.
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