While it's scorching hot outside now, it won't be long until the chilly air of late fall and early winter will have us looking forward to the Christmas season. Gaylord Opryland Resort's 36th annual A Country Christmas celebration takes place Nov. 8 - Jan. 1, and the festivities include standard favorites plus new family fun.

Three million dazzling lights help illuminate the Country Christmas magic, both outside the resort and throughout the lush indoor garden areas.

"Every year, we are in awe of the care and love our staff puts into decorating all nine acres of our indoor gardens along with the outside of the hotel," says Gaylord Opryland General Manager John Adams. "Our 3 million lights provide the perfect backdrop to all the other memory-making Christmas activities," he adds.

NEW THIS YEAR AT A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS

This year's live theatrical show at the Grand Ole Opry House is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical. This is the same spectacular show that Nashville audiences loved four years ago when it came to TPAC. It's based on the beloved TV classic, and the show leaps off the screen onto the stage — it is literally a live version of the TV version. Kids will be in awe when they see Rudolph fly, and expect lots of jaw dropping when the Abominable Snow Monster takes the stage!

There's more Rudolph fun, too. Kids can help the Misfit Toys find their way home in the Reindeer Games Scavenger Hunt featuring Rudolph, and your family can also enjoy Rudolph's Holly Jolly Feast interactive dining experience complete with character visits.

The infamous pink bunny costume scene from "A Christmas Story" is part of this year's "ICE!" exhibit.

There's a brand-new ICE! exhibit coming this year based on one of the most beloved holiday movies of all time, A Christmas Story. More than 2 million pounds of ice depict scenes from the hilarious movie, including the legendary leg lamp, Aunt Clara's pink nightmare, the flagpole triple-dog dare and more. The ice slides are a big draw to this family-favorite attraction.

Country star and Grand Ole Opry member Trace Adkins presents a new holiday dinner show, The Gift of Christmas with Trace Adkins and Friends. Adkins and pals will entertain fans with Christmas standards, Celtic classics and new material while your family enjoys a special holiday meal. Select performances will take place at the Wildhorse Saloon.

MORE FAMILY FUN

Returning attractions include the Build-A-Bear Workshop experience, outdoor carriage rides and the holiday cruise on the General Jackson Showboat. The four-lane snow tubes are back along with the 9,000-square foot ice-skating rink where your family can enjoy a yuletide glide. The rink is also home to the Rockin' Christmas On Ice show where skating champions entertain with big jumps, fast spins, awe-inspiring throws and lifts.

Other favorites for youngsters include the Opryland Express Kids' Train, the Gingerbread Decorating Corner and, of course, visits with Santa Claus.

Individual tickets and packages are now on sale.

Gaylord Opryland Resort is located at 2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville. Call 615-889-1000 or visit christmasatgaylordopryland.com.