Celebrate a country Christmas in Nashville

Christmas is not a secular winter holiday to the folks at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn. They’re serious about Christmas, about Santa Claus, even about the Nativity scenes on display at this vacation destination, which is famous for its weekly broadcast of country music live from the Grand Ole Opry stage next door.

The huge resort feels a little like a cruise ship, with its different sections, connecting walkways and constant upbeat atmosphere, all of which are comfortable for families and kids.

The annual celebration, A Country Christmas, has plenty for kids, lots for families and this year even has a “grand-travel” deal to encourage families to bring the older generation along for the celebration between Nov. 20 and Jan. 2.

The stars of the Christmas show are the Radio City Rockettes, who bring their Radio City Christmas Spectacular to the Grand Ole Opry stage. While the Rockettes are in town, the Grand Ole Opry moves back to its original home, the beautiful Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman ranks as one of the most acoutistically terrific venues in the world and is worth a look to check out the design and the exhibits of country stars’ memorabilia, even if you don’t want to spring for a show. Tours are offered daily (.50 adults, .25 age 4-11).

Other Country Christmas attractions include a room chilled to 9 degrees and filled with ice sculptures celebrating the television classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Santa in the Winter Wonderland, and a host of country music stars, including Louise Mandrell, who presents a “Joy to the World” dinner show. Package deals that include accommodations and event tickets are available.

Leave plenty of time to wander the streets of Nashville, where you’ll hear live music coming from nearly every venue. We even listened to country crooners while we waited at the airport to board our plane for home.

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