Nashville is already the place to be for Christmas. My family in Texas are always amazed that Santa arrives right after Halloween. However, there are always so many amazing holiday experiences, you really do need two months to celebrate. Now, there is another holiday wonderland attraction to add to your not to miss list of family holiday fun.
GLOW features more than 4 million lights adorning larger-than-life sculptures, ice skating and tubing experiences, a life-size Santa’s Workshop and many more immersive activities for all ages.
It is easy to spend several hours strolling through the lighted displays, visiting with Santa, and playing with the elves.
Salvation Army’s First Digital Angel Tree
Visitors to GLOW, which runs Nov. 22 through Dec. 31, will have the opportunity to digitally adopt angels signified by the 100-foot-tree from The Salvation Army’s on-site kiosks. Visitors may also donate to the Salvation Army through the digital kiosks, the GLOW app or by visiting glowholiday.com/angeltree beginning Nov. 22.
“Given Angel Tree’s ties to Nashville, we could not think of a better charitable partner for Nashville’s newest must-see holiday attraction than The Salvation Army,” said GLOW CEO and Founder Chris Stacey. “The holidays are about giving back, and we are honored to be able to help The Salvation Army pay tribute to the Whites and to further its mission.”
Included with Admission to GLOW:
Nashville’s Brightest Christmas Experience
Wander through magical displays of more than 4 million lights adorning hundreds of larger-than-life custom holiday sculptures. Marvel at one of the tallest Christmas trees around at over 100 feet.
The displays provide the perfect background for photos.
Stop in for a behind-the-scenes look at the elves hard at work (and play), story time with Mrs. Claus and visits and photos with Santa himself.
Located inside the gold present with the red bow (you can’t miss it!), kids can play and do crafts.
Stay for a while and enjoy the many talents of the elves as they sing, dance, and perform.
It wouldn’t be Nashville or the holidays without live entertainment. All ages will love recapping their on-the-field experience over a cup of hot chocolate in this cozy indoor haven featuring classic Christmas music, movies and holiday snacks.
There are a few curling sets right outside of the Mistletoe Cafe. We spent a good half hour playing teams of two vs two, changing teams between kids vs parent, boys vs girls and mixed doubles.
Reindeer Run Tube Park
Fun for the whole family, grab a tube and race down this thrilling 32-foot-tall, 170-foot-long tube park, built over the stadium seats.
The climb to the top alone is worth it for the beautiful views of the downtown skyline.
When GLOW opened, tubing was an extra charge. As I mentioned it is the first year for the event and the owners have changed it so now tubing is included with admission to GLOW.
Tube rides are for anyone ages 3 and up. Riders must be 36″ tall to tube. Only one person is allowed on a single tube. Children 36″ to 41″ should ride on a tube on an adjacent lane from their adult companion. Adults can hold onto a child’s tube in the neighboring lane.
The evening we went, it wasn’t crowded so the wait time was minimal. However, it may be worth making a bee line to the slides if you arrive early. You can buy ride tokens at the event and then keep an eye on the slide lines and time your experience accordingly.
With more than 25 local craft vendors, there are plenty of opportunities to find authentic Nashville gifts for someone special this holiday season.
Blitzen’s Band Box (21 and Up)
Blitzen’s is sure to be the “it” spot for adults ages 21 and up to sip on custom holiday cocktails while enjoying epic views of millions of lights and the Nashville skyline, along with fire pits, igloos and themed entertainment.
Attraction at an Additional Cost:
Frozen Fortress Ice Skating Rink
A crystal-clear, three-story-tall frozen fortress with an elevated viewing platform is the centerpiece for this stunning ice skating rink. Lace up your skates and glide around (or through) this spectacular, custom-built creation.
Skating is open to all ages, but eveyone on the ice must have skates on. Carrying a child around the rink is not permitted. Skaters ages 6 and under must be supervised by an adult. There are devices that look like walkers (I’m sure there is an official name, but I’m not sure what it is) that you can use on the ice if you are not an experienced skater.
There are three 90 minute skating sessions each evening; starting at 4:30 PM, 6:30 PM, and 8:30 PM. You can buy tickets along with your entry ticket for $10 per skater. It does include skate rental. You can also purchase tickets to skate at the event.
If you plan to skate, make sure you schedule your evening around your skating time. We went and didn’t realize there were set session times. My family walked up to get skates at 7:40 and we had two choices – skate for 20 min or wait almost an hour and then our skating time was from 8:30 PM to 10 PM. In the end, we opted not to skate. If I’d known, we would have skated first and then enjoyed the lights afterwards.
With upgraded VIP tickets, guests can enjoy the warmth and comfort of the club level lounge at First Tennessee Park and a rotating menu of chef-curated meals, epic elevated views of Nashville’s Brightest Christmas Experience from the lounge balcony and access to the GLOW VIP Lounge’s cash bar.
You also get premium parking and VIP front gate entry lanes. Ice skating and tube rides are an additional fee.
Tips and Tricks for a Great Visit to GLOW
This is a new event for 2019, so we do have a few tips from our evening at GLOW.
There is parking at the garage right next to GLOW. If you purchase your tickets online, you can also buy a parking pass. This is going to be the closest option for parking. It is $15/car on standard days and $10/car on Value days.
GLOW is at First Tennessee Park, where the Nashville Sounds play. There are parking lots in the area if you don’t mind walking. Any space with a parking meter is free after 6 PM and all day Sunday. There are also some state of Tennessee employee parking lots that are free after 5:30 PM.
Going to GLOW with Young Children
There are lots of things to look at and watch, which could be fun for young children. GLOW is a great place to visit with Santa. They can also run around the lights, watch the Elves perform and listen to stories read by Mrs. Claus.
Strollers are allowed, but GLOW recommends a baby carrier instead. There is a ramp to get down onto the field attractions, but there is only one. There are multiple sets of stairs that you can use to get to the lights.
Deals and Discounts
There are not many discounts available. Military families can get 10% off by showing an official military ID at the box office at GLOW. Each military service member can buy up to 4 tickets at the discounted rate. You can buy tickets during the day (10 AM to 2:30 PM Monday – Friday) at the Main Ticket office on Jr. Gilliam Way. On event days, you can buy tickets at the GLOW entrance box office from 3 PM to 10 PM on 5th Avenue.
Children under the age of 3 do not need a ticket to enter GLOW, so you can save some money if you have young children.
There are value nights with discounted pricing. On value days, you can get a family pack of tickets (2 adults and 2 kids) for $79.99. This is for a full evening of lights, and entertainment, so while it is an investment, if you stay for several hours, it isn’t much more than an evening at the movies.
There is also an Official App that you can download to make the most of your visit. You can reserve skating times, see a list and the location of all the food vendors, plus there is a fun photo challenge. Just search “GLOW Holiday” in either the Google Play or iTunes store to find it.
Address: 19 Jr Gilliam Way, Nashville, TN 37219
Lauren is a transplant from Texas and has become a local tourist exploring the area with her two children. She loves to discover new places in Nashville to share with others.