This weekend we traveled 30 minutes north of our home in Nolensville, TN for a weekend staycation at Gaylord Opryland and SoundWaves in Nashville, Tennessee. After being confined to our home for the past 5 months during this pandemic, it was nice to change up the scenery for a few days! While Gaylord Opryland and SoundWaves are operating under Nashville safety ordinances it still felt as if life just might be returning to how we all remember it!
This post is sponsored by Gaylord Opryland and SoundWaves. All opinions (as always) are 100% my own.
Choosing getaways and even sometimes day trips can be tricky for our family. Our older children are almost 14 and 15 and our youngest just turned 5. Normally what interests our teens, our preschool aged son has no interest in or can't participate in and vice versa. Last year we had family come into town for a visit and we all booked a one night stay at Gaylord Opryland and purchased SoundWaves tickets. It was equally fun for the entire family!! Even my late 60's father in law enjoyed it!
Tennessee residents no longer have to book a hotel room at Gaylord Opryland in order to go to SoundWaves!
Discount codes listed at the bottom of the blog!
SOUNDWAVES is an upscale indoor/outdoor waterpark located inside Gaylord Opryland complete with 4 acres and 3 levels of water attractions and activities. SoundWaves is located directly outside of the Garden Conservatory of Gaylord Opryland. Just look for the electric blue hallway and continue to follow it down to arrive at a gift shop and check in.
TIP: Leave towels and life jackets at home! SoundWaves provides them both for their guests.
FUN FOR THE LITTLES!
SoundWaves has two areas specifically dedicated to babies, toddlers, and little ones. Indoors on the top level of SoundWaves you will find Half Note Cove and Quarter Note Cove. Located directly next to each other Half Note Cove has a multiple level play structure with smaller slides and water features which is great for preschool aged children who love to get wet. Quarter Note Cove offers a shallow play area and is geared more towards pre walkers, early walkers, and little ones still discovering their love for water. Outside you will find a very similar play structure called Rising Star Stage. In both the indoor and outdoor areas on multi level play structure there is a large bucket located above the structure that fills with water and then drops it down below. On our first visit to SoundWaves our then 4 year old loved this feature. This time around, he avoided that area altogether! If your little one is a little weary of the massive amount of falling water, know there is some time between the bucket filling up and it spilling out where your child can enjoy the play structure.
FUN FOR THE TEENS!
I could actually title this "FUN FOR ANYONE OVER THE HEIGHT OF 42"! The fun in this category really is UNLIMITED! Here is a full list of all the attractions offered at SoundWaves for anyone meeting the height requirement. I'll highlight my teens and mine and my husband's favorites here.
My teens absolutely love Stage Dive and separated my husband and I so they could do this one with us! This slide is located indoors and is a body only slide and features side by side tubes. THE SLIDES MOVE QUICK!! Quick tip: the left tube is blacked out and has LED lights throughout! Also indoors you'll find Record Launch which my teens affectionately call "Toilet Bowl!" You can ride this either on a single tube alone or a double tube with a friend and you get to choose a path - one of which resembles a toilet bowl. You go around and around the funnel until you eventually drop through the opening. Crowd Surfer is hands down a fan favorite as it features Nashville's only double FlowRider. You can choose to belly surf or knee surf using a boogie board or if you're feeling lucky you can try to surf! The lines do get long on this one and each rider is given about 10 minutes to surf or rather try to surf. Anyone under the age of 18 will need consent from a parent as well.
Outside there are three tall water slide options sure to keep your heart racing. Requiring the least amount of bravery, yet still super fun is Rock N' Racer. Grab a few friends and race through and inclosed tube featuring 360 degree loops! If you like adrenaline pumping activities, choose Beat Drop and Bass Drop - in my opinion Bass Drop is the scarier of the two! With both slides you step inside a pod and wait "patiently" for the floor to literally drop out from under sending you down the slide at a high rate of speed. Beat Drop is a tunneled, looping waterslide. Quick tip: hold your nose! Bass Drop is a near vertical drop on an open flume waterslide and its over in less than 3 seconds. Beware of wedgies on both of these as you are standing up to exit the slide!
FUN FOR JUST ADULTS!
Not to worry friends with no kids or friends looking for a break from kids, SoundWaves has as special area just for you! Diamond Pool is an 18+ pool area located outdoors! Don't forget about the Private Cabana Rentals also! Each Cabana is enclosed and features seating, a television, and a mini fridge!
FUN FOR EVERYONE!
We are lucky our teens still don't mind being seen with us as well as hanging out with their 5 year old brother. While there are many rides with height and age requirements, there are a few things we can all enjoy together as a family. Hands down our family favorite is
Up Tempo Rapids River. We also found this attraction to have the warmest water! Think of it as a speedy lazy river. No floats are needed (little swimmers are encouraged to wear life jackets) as the fast moving water carries you down a path lined with greenery and water falls. It's both beautiful and fun! We probably rode this ride over 50 times over the course of our stay!
Located just adjacent to Up Tempo Rapids River is Groovin' Lagoon Activity Pool. The large pool is 3 feet deep all around and offers a water curtain, basketball, a rock wall, and our kids' favorite the lily pads. Large floating little pads lay in a roped off area and the goal is to make it from one lily pad to the other without falling off. The thing is.... you most definitely will fall off and that is worth pulling up a chair and watching as kids, teens, and even adults attempt a next to impossible challenge! PS Our daughter did make it across the lily pads without falling in, however I didn't capture her success on video. Instead I captured her fail on video and in slow motion!
Outdoors the family favorite was the Tidal Track Wave Pool. The wave pool is zero entry so little ones can play right at the edge without getting too overwhelmed by the waves. There are loungers with umbrellas lining the pool which offer a place for you to take a break and enjoy some shade, snacks and drinks. Act quick on these pool loungers thought because as you can imagine they go quick!
Here are a few quick tips for those visiting SoundWaves for the first time.
1. Don't pack towels. SoundWaves provides these for you.
2. You can also leave life jackets at home! SoundWaves provides these in various sizes for young swimmers. If you do feel more comfortable in your little one wearing a Puddle Jumper, I did see several children wearing one meaning SoundWaves does permit you to bring these in.
3. SoundWaves does not allow any outside food or drink to be brought inside the waterpark so leave your coolers at home. There are food trucks located outdoors offering drinks and a variety of food options as well as Decibel, the indoor restaurant located on the top floor.
4. If you have a special occasion to celebrate, I suggest renting a Private Cabana and ordering a cake or cupcakes from hotel catering! They provided delicious cupcakes for our son's 5th birthday and even allowed us to decorate the cabana.
Living so close to Nashville, my family will without a doubt be headed to SoundWaves many times this year. Thankfully SoundWaves covers all necessary Covid-19 precautions and while inside the waterpark you are not required to wear a mask they have limited the tickets sales so the area isn't as crowded. All team members and life guards do wear masks and there are directional arrows on the floors as well as 6 feet apart spacing circles for longer lines. You can click here for to read all about SoundWaves cleaning policies as well as the county ordinance.
Davidson county residents can receive 40% off using code L9Z
Tennessee state residents can receive off using code M16
Out of state residents can receive 20% off using code BQ7
Don't forget Tennessee residents have the option of booking a day pass at Opryland until October 8th for $49.99!
SoundWaves is also offering and after-school pass for admission after 3pm for $32.99!
I'd love to hear if you've ever been to Gaylord Opryland and SoundWaves and if you are planning an upcoming visit! Its definitely a must do whether you live in Middle Tn or are visiting Nashville! DM me on Instagram @MirandaSouthern and let me know all about your experience.