We were supposed to go to a music festival on our recent Carolinas trip. It ended up not happening (dang it, COVID), so I found a different musical experience for the kids. On the way home, we spent a night in Nashville. In the morning, we toured the Grand Ole Opry!
You are familiar with hearing this from me at this point, but I wasn’t sure if the kids would be interested in this or like it. I wasn’t sure how engaging a tour of a theater would be, especially to young people who don’t have a historical context for it. However, Nick is the self-proclaimed biggest Dolly Parton fan ever and Lucy dreams of being a singer, and I know a guy who could help us out, so on a wish and a prayer, we went to the Grand Ole Opry for our early tour.
It was incredible. I cried multiple times. All the kids freaking loved it. My girl realized her dream of being on stage at the Grand Ole Opry!
We stood outside the theater for a little while because we were early and on the first tour of the day. The tour guide greeted us. She was very enthusiastic and friendly, very knowledgeable, and I was very impressed with her. Our children were the only children on the tour lol.
The tour began with a video which Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood “host.” It was an immersive experience, and the set up of the room made it feel very intimate. This is when the tears began for the day- hah! This was a great orientation video and helped the kids understand more about the history and significance of the Grand Ole Opry.
We got to tour the stage where they filmed Hee Haw, all the beautiful dressing rooms and the “living room,” and backstage… everywhere we went, the tour guide shared really great stories. At one point she asked if anybody had any questions, and Nick raised his hand. She goes, you have a question? He said, no I have a statement. I was thinking, oh man… Then he says, I just want to say that Dolly Parton is the most magnificent singer of all time. And of course, everybody in the place started clapping and cheering in agreement! Hah! So after that, everybody loved Nick of course.
The last place we went was backstage which ultimately led to the stage. They really set this up nicely, so you felt deep reverence for the stage itself. Each person had a chance to stand on stage and visit the “circle.” They have a circle of wood from the original stage of the original theater where the Grand Ole Opry was live on air that is laid into the floor of the current theater where they have performed since 1974. This was the best part of the tour for sure.
Lucy was very excited to visit- she had been talking about it for a while. She went first, all by herself. She held the microphone, but she did not sing. 🙂 They took a wonderful photo of her. Then we all went out. Nick took a chance and did it by himself as well. It was a beautiful moment!
We then walked up to the back of the theater for another lovely view of the stage, then exited through the gift shop of course where I snuck a couple of gift purchases for the kids.
All in all, once again, another experience I wasn’t sure about, but that the kids (and we) loved!!