I get asked quite frequently about different date night ideas, and during this month of LOVE I wanted to share an awesome date night idea if you are here local or are coming to Nashville to visit. Nothing screams Nashville like a visit to the historic Grand Ole Opry. Steve and I were able to go see Chris Janson, singer of one of my favorite songs Holdin’ Her, this past weekend at the Opry and it was awesome!
We actually made a little staycation weekend out of the whole thing because the kids were at Valentine’s Day spend the night camp (who is the genius who invented this idea?!?). We stayed at our absolute favorite, the Thompson and set up shop in the Thompson suite. Guys, if you are coming to Nashville you have to stay here. The decor is out of this world, the food and service is top notch, and the location cannot be beat. The suite is absolutely beautiful. Think rustic woods + brass detail + eclectic decor + jewel tone leathers + black and white tile….basically all the things. I am going to do a full feature on the hotel in my new Nashville travel series, but until then just trust me when I say you have to go!
We stopped by Little Octopus, which has just relocated to The Gulch across from the Thompson, and ate at the bar for dinner. This was actually my first time eating there and it did not disappoint. The restaurant is basically a Living with Landyn dream, gold and marble, and the food was UNREAL. It is a tapas style restaurant and it is a perfect place for a date night. We tried the mushroom risotto, the mixto ceviche, the clams and the octopus and it was all out of this world. I loved the Carribean twist on all of the dishes and throughly enjoyed the whole experience from ambiance and decor to the fabulous food. Definitely one of my new favorite restaurants. Next time Steve says, Where do you want to eat? LITTLE OCTOPUS, duh.
ph| nashville guru
THE GRAND OLE OPRY
Now on to the main event, our trip to the Grand Ole Opry. I am ashamed to admit that after four years of living in Nashville this was our first trip to the Opry. I can guarantee we will be back though. It was such a cool and unique experience that you can only get here in Nashville. Our night started with the VIP tour and it was so interesting. The Opry offers two different tours on show nights, a pre and post show tour, that take you back stage and behind the scenes so you can see how the magic is made. It was so amazing to get to see such a huge part of country music’s history and be a part of what has been “country’s greatest stage” for the past 90+ years.
The Grand Ole Opry offers three different types of tours: a daytime tour, a post-show tour, and a VIP tour that are open to both children and adults and range in price from $21-$150. As I mentioned, our trip started with the VIP pre-show tour. It was so amazing to be behind the scences as the show was getting started for the night. When you start one of the tours, you are lead to the artist entrance and get to see where the artist come in and get ready for the night’s show. The backstage is filled with amazing photography and memorabilia. It really is like a shrine to all of country music’s greatest stars. There are plaques from every performer who has ever performed at the Opry, tons of great photography from the shows, and even a marker of the water line from the horrific flood in 2010 that closed the Opry for 5 months.
One of the coolest parts of the behind the scenes tour is that you get to go into some of the 18 dressing rooms at The Grand Ole Opry. Each dressing room is themed to help tell the story of the Opry and they are the actual dressing rooms that the stars and performers use to get ready before they head on stage for the night. We got to spend time in a dressing room that was dedicated to June and Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner. There were costumes that were worn during some of their iconic performances, as well as tons of pictures and posters from the performances all around the walls of the room. It was so cool to know that when you were sitting in the same chairs that some of country music’s greatest legends and current stars have sat in. A definite highlight for sure.
After touring the dressing rooms you are lead to a side stage where you actually get to see the famous red curtain rise and watch the first performance of the night. It was amazing to be able to see the concert from the artist’s perspective and watch all the work that goes into making a live show happen behind the scenes. It really is a well oiled machine. You can tell that they have been doing it for over 90 years. After we saw the opening act we were escorted to our seats and got to enjoy the rest of the show.
The grounds of the Grand Ole Opry are really gorgeous and I highly recommend either coming early or staying after the show to just stroll around and take it all in. They have benches and beautiful gas lights all around the property. It was so nice to just be able to stroll around and sit and reconnect after the SUPER hectic few months we have had. I love getting to spend one on one time with Steve and this was such a nice alternative to a typical dinner and a movie date. We both LOVE country music and this was a great opportunity to share that love with each other and experience such a special pieces of Nashville music history. And who knows, you might even get a little dip from your sweetie like I did!
all images | lindsey grace photography
The Grand Ole Opry has shows every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday night that start at 7pm. Ticket prices for the concert range from $38 -$95 dollars and the best part about buying a ticket to a show at The Opry is that it is like getting multiple concerts in one. There are always several different artist performing on each night so you get to see tons of great performances for the price of one ticket. It really is a great deal! You can check out the calendar of upcoming performances here. If you are coming in from out-of-town and are looking to plan a trip to the Opry, they have an awesome trip planning page that give directions and all the details of planning a visit to the Grand Ole Opry. I do want to mention to all my out-of-towners that you want to give yourself plenty of time to get to the venue. It is a very popular location and is right by one of Nashville’s biggest malls and the traffic can get SUPER congested. You definitely don’t want to have to be rushing or miss the beginning of the show, so make sure you have enough time to get there.
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A special thank you to The Grande Ole Opry for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Living with Landyn possible.