Entertaining & Celebrating Family Travel

Christmas Traditions: The Gaylord Texan

A Guide to Christmas at The Gaylord Texan

My boys have reached an enjoyable age when it comes to celebrating Christmas. I call it The Wonder. I love seeing their faces and awe as they experience the wonder of Christmas, learn about the birth of Jesus, and partake in all of the festivities and merriment for celebrating. 

I know they will only be little once, so I try to cherish these moments and make them as memorable as possible, hoping they will hold these memories with them as they get older. 

Last year we began the tradition of attending Christmas at the Gaylord Texan. Not only is the Gaylord magical at Christmas, but it’s also my 5-year-olds “favorite place on earth,” according to him!

The number of activities, things to do, where to stay, etc., can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if you’ve never been. After experiencing our second year Christmas at the Gaylord, I’ve put together my recommendations, tips, and tricks on making it a magical Christmas experience for your kids and also helping you to maintain your sanity!


The most important thing to consider when booking a room (especially if you have young children) is getting a room with an Atrium view. When you go to book, you will see the options for various types of rooms, and it will call out whether or not it’s an Atrium view. Naturally, Atrium view rooms cost more.  (In general, booking before October each year will help you get the best rates). The Atrium view room gives you a complete look and view into all of the lights in the atrium. Keep in mind, it is noisy in the evenings because of all of the activity, so if your child needs complete silence and a very dark room, it may not be optimal. However, the balcony and the lights are breathtaking and a big part of the magic. 


In general, one night is more than sufficient to take advantage of everything. We tend to plan our visit with check-in on a Friday, and we plan all of our activities beginning Friday morning, and then spend the night at the hotel, breakfast or a quick activity in the morning, and then depart. 


As I mentioned, this is my 5-year-olds “favorite place on earth,” so when it’s time to leave, and tears begin, I explain to him that we get one night at the Gaylord. This is because all of the other kids need an opportunity to come and experience the fun and magic, and we can’t be selfish. He usually accepts that because he understands that, yes, others need the opportunity to have fun. 


There are tons of activities for kids. It depends on their age and interest. You can purchase tickets by going to Christmas at the Gaylord website. Depending on how many activities you plan on doing, you may want to purchase one of the packages. Even if you don’t want to do all of the activities included in the package, purchasing them may be cheaper than buying tickets outright for all of the activities you do want to do. I highly recommend booking in advance of your stay to ensure that anything isn’t sold out and that you get the times you want. 

Here are my recommendations by age, based on what I’ve observed, and taking children as young as two years old in the past:

AGES 0-2

  • Christmas Carousel 
  • Merry & Light
  • Storytime with Mrs. Clause (Not sure if this is offered in 2021, but my son loved it in 2020)

AGES 3-6

  • Snow Tubing
  • Mission Save Christmas Featuring Elf 
  • Build Your Own Snowman 
  • Santas Snow Throw
  • Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends 
  • Merry & Light 

AGES 7-9

  • Snow Tubing 
  • Gingerbread Decorating Corner
  • Build Your Own Snowman 
  • Ice Skating 
  • Santas Snow Throw 
  • Merry Snoopy Scavenger Hunt 
  • Holiday Heist Escape Room 
  • Elf Workshop at Christmas Craft Studio
  • Merry & Light 


Here’s an example of what our typical stay looks like. I always try to leave some flexibility for naps if needed (although my boys are too excited and didn’t sleep this year, they did nap last year when they had just turned 2 and 4).



9:00am Arrival and Park

Take bags to the front desk and check-in (even if the room isn’t ready, they will text you when it is, and you can leave your bags at the front).

10:00am Build Your Own Snowman

10:30am  Santas Snow Throw

11:00am Snow Tubing

12:00pm Lunch and Room Check-in (request early check-in, especially if you have little kids who need to nap).

3:00pm Mission Save Christmas Featuring Elf

4:00pm Snow Tubing 

5:00pm Dinner

6:00pm Merry & Light

7:00pm – Walk/Run around the atrium until the kids are ready to pass out 


9:00am Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends

10:00am Arcade to ease the transition home


*Please note that not all activities require a set scheduled time. The activities that do are the ones you want to make you aren’t scheduling during nap time or lunchtime for flexibility. Activities that have a set time include:

  • Build Your Own Snowman
  • Mission Save Christmas Featuring Elf
  • Merry & Light
  • Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends 
  • Gingerbread Decorating Corner  

Here are some other helpful tips, things to pack, etc

Wagon or Stoller 

I may be a little biased to wagons at this age, but our Keenz is a complete lifesaver while there. The location of most events is in the convention center, with others being in Christmas Village, but in general, neither are close to the actual rooms. The wagon is great to bring the kids to the next destination, where they don’t get overtired from walking too far or taking too long to get there. 

Warm Jackets

Both you and the kiddos will need these for the snow activities and outdoor activities.

Snow Gloves

If you are doing the Build Your Own Snowman I recommend getting your kids some small waterproof/snow mittens or gloves.

Snacks and Plenty of Drinks/Water

Snacks for the kiddos in between meals and activities.

I hope this post was helpful if you’re planning an upcoming trip. I hope and pray you and your family have a merry and magical Christmas!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see our family holiday adventures and more recommendations. 

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Portia Gorman
    December 4, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    I’ve learned so much from this post! We are considering visit family in Texas so we know where to stay especially for the holidays. The pictures are absolutely stunning as is the resort and all the offerings. Thanks Amber!

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