Travel to Nashville, TN has been growing in popularity in recent years, and now that there is a direct JetBlue flight from Boston, it’s an easy trip for us. There’s so much to do with kids in Nashville, so it’s definitely worth visiting. While you are there, you may want to do a Grand Ole Opry tour.
Even if you aren’t a big country music fan, there’s lots to learn at the Grand Ole Opry House, and it’s fun to see the backstage area. Learning about country music is definitely one of the best reasons to visit Nashville, and with the Grand Ole Opry House tour, you’ll get a backstage look at what it means to be in the Opry, how the shows works, and more.
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Grand Ole Opry Tour With Kids
Location of the Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry house isn’t located in downtown Nashville. Instead, it’s located between the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center and the Opry Mills Mall, about 30 minutes from downtown. We were staying at the Gaylord Opryland, so it was a quick walk over for our tour of the Opry. If you aren’t staying there, you may want to combine your Opry House backstage tour with a trip to the mall, or a walk through the Gaylord Opryland (especially in the winter, when they host ICE! and other Christmas events).
Tickets for the Grand Ole Opry Tour
The Grand Ole Opry House offers several different tour options for families. The options include:
- A daytime tour of the Grand Ole Opry, operating seven days a week and hosted by video host Blake Shelton
- Post-show tour, which runs on the days when there are shows at the Opry House. After the show, you’ll get a backstage tour of the dressing rooms, VIP areas, and stage (availability subject to Opry house commitments and schedule).
- VIP guided tour, which operates before a show so you can see what happens backstage before a show at the Opry. These are not available to guests under the age of 12.
Tickets for the tours are available in advance. The daytime tour tickets are offered starting about two weeks in advance and are timed tickets. Tours can be booked online, or you can also purchase at the door, however availability may be limited. I’d definitely recommend buying them early online.
If purchasing the post-show tour or the VIP tour, you’ll also need to have show tickets for the Opry performance that day. Those need to be purchased separately.
We were visiting over Thanksgiving, when the regular Opry shows move to the Ryman Auditorium downtown because of the holiday family show playing at the Opry house. Therefore, our only option was the daytime backstage tour.
Taking the Grand Ole Opry Tour
Our tour included two small videos that explain the history and importance of the Grand Ole Opry, as well as what it means to be selected as an Opry member. I actually had tears in my eyes at the video, because getting into the Opry means so much to the artists. As someone who doesn’t know much about country music, I really had no idea.
During the daytime tour, you’ll see the talent entrance, the member mailboxes, the themed dressing rooms, and the stage. You’ll be able to post for a professional staged photo on the Opry stage. These photos are available for purchase at the end of your tour.
We wanted to visit the Grand Ole Opry House on our first day in Nashville, because tours weren’t offered during some of the Thanksgiving weekend of our visit. Because I wasn’t 100% sure when we’d be ready to visit the Opry (in case our flight was delayed or canceled), I opted not to purchase tickets in advance. However, during a busy time, I’d definitely buy them online, especially if I was staying downtown. You won’t want to make the trip all the way to the Opry to find out that the tours are sold out for the day.
My kids loved the tour, and enjoyed learning about the history of the Grand Ole Opry and the Grand Ole Opry House. I’d definitely recommend it for families, especially those with an interest in music.
Restaurants Near the Opry House
There are no restaurants right in the Opry House, so make sure you aren’t arriving hungry. On show nights, the Opry Back Porch BBQ food truck operates on property. We decided to head over to the adjacent Opry Mills to eat. There, you’ll find a number of family-friendly restaurants, including Aquarium Restaurant, Chili’s, Johnny Rockets, the Rainforest Cafe, and Claim Jumper. We decided to eat at Mission BBQ, and we loved it. The food is delicious and the staff is friendly.
The Gaylord Opryland is the closest to the Grand Ole Opry House, and I would definitely recommend staying there. You can see reviews here.
You may also be considering a Ryman tour, especially if you are a country music fan. We did both, and I definitely preferred the daytime backstage tour at the Grand Ole Opry. If you are only going to do one, that’s what I would recommend.
Read reviews of the Grand Ole Opry House here.