Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee, is the perfect place for a family getaway any time of the year. But this nine-acre resort really shines in the summer — there’s just so much nonstop fun for families everywhere you go. Whether you’re looking for waterpark adventures, themed entertainment for kids, or just a place to relax and get away from it all, you’ll find all of that and more at Gaylord Opryland.
SoundWaves Indoor and Outdoor Water Park
Like the name suggests, SoundWaves fuses music and water to create a modern and fun water park with something for all ages and abilites. The four-acre indoor and outdoor water oasis features multiple pools, lazy and rapid rivers, a family mega-raft ride, five tube and body slides, a four-lane mat racer, wave pool with giant LED entertainment screen, multi-level play structures, a FlowRider, and toddler water play area. When mom and dad want some kid-free time, there are also adults-only pools and bars.
There are lots of areas to relax and unwind in SoundWaves, as well as neat features like human dryers (pod-like dryers that you step into and surrounded by warm air to help you dry off), and a snack bar with lots of food options for kids. Guests can also rent one of the several indoor or outdoor cabanas located throughout SoundWaves, which offer a private place to relax. Cabanas are equipped with a refrigerator, TV and a designated food and beverage attendant.
The fun at SoundWaves doesn’t end in the water. There is also an arcade with virtual reality games, a rock-climbing wall, game tables and more.
One of the things that makes SoundWaves unique is that one of the only guaranteed ways to visit is by booking a room at the hotel, and adding SoundWaves on as a package. My family and I felt like this kept the crowds down and allowed us to have more time doing the things we wanted to, without waiting in long lines.
Themed Fun for Kids
My kids are water lovers, and we could have spent all day and every day at SoundWaves. However, even water lovers need to take a break from the pool. Fortunately, there were plenty of fun, family-friendly events and activities awaiting us on dry land in Opryland.
Gaylord Opryland has activities for families all year round, and this year’s itinerary of summer activities and events feature a new Pirate & Princess theme.
One of the first activities we delved into was The Princess’s Shiny Stash Treasure Hunt, which we enjoyed at our leisure throughout our stay. We picked up our treasure booklets, and walked all around Gaylord Opryland trying to solve the clues and find treasure. When we were done, we turned in our completed booklets in exchange for a prize: a “golden” goblet full of golden (chocolate) coins! This was a fun, laid-back activity that had us getting our steps in, and allowing us to see all the different parts of Opryland.
Another fun activity that my kids loved was the Pirate & Princess Academy live stage show. This 30-minute mini play is perfect for young kids, and is engaging and interactive the whole way through. At the end, there’s an opportunity to take a picture with the pirates and princesses, and kids get to pick a souvenir: either an enchanted wand or a swashbuckling sword.
After the show, we made our way to the Delta atrium at Water’s Edge to pick up some crafts. Kids can choose from a variety of hands-on crafts from Coffer Crafts, which you can complete at the tables or take back to your room to complete at your leisure. We decorated our own pirate hats with puffy stickers, and also built mini pirate ships out of foam pieces. This activity was another favorite, because we got to make our own personalized souvenirs to take home.
On our last day, we visited the Captain’s Hidden Treasure Escape Room to test our problem-solving skills. No one in my family had ever tried an escape room challenge before, so we were excited! We had 30 minutes to solve a mystery and unlock a chest to find pirate treasure, and we made it with 8 minutes to spare! It was a fun activity that capped off a great stay at Gaylord Opryland.
Lots of Family Activities
One of the great things about Gaylord Opryland is that you’re surrounded by lots of real, beautiful plants, flowers and foliage. You’re also surrounded by a river that runs through the resort (you’ll see lots of waterfalls). I highly suggest booking a seat on the Delta Riverboat, which will take you on a slow-moving and relaxing tour down Opryland’s river. You’ll get a view of the resort that you just won’t see on land, and learn some interesting facts about the hotel, too.
One of the fun surprises that we stumbled upon was the Explorer’s Animal Encounters. These are photo-op spots that are located all around the resort where, when you point your phone at the spot, will reveal an animal. It was fun to take photos with all of the animals that we found hiding in plain sight around the hotel.
There were so many fun things to do every day that we were hardly in our hotel room. However, it was great to come back to our beautiful room to rest and refresh before starting out on a new adventure. If possible, I recommend getting an atrium-facing room, because you’ll have your own balcony. My kids had fun hanging out on the balcony, and we (mom and dad) enjoyed having a morning cup of coffee on the balcony while people-watching and enjoying the calming sound of one of the waterfalls located in our area.
Summer activities at Gaylord Opryland Resort runs through September 6. For more information about Gaylord Opryland Resort and to book an overnight stay, room package, or events and activities, visit www.gaylordopryland.com.