It takes a lot to get this girl to leave the house when the temperature dips much below forty-five degrees, let alone to don a big, blue parka, fuzzy gloves and fur-lined boots and walking willingly into a nine-degree dome of ice. Though, you have to admit, I do kinda rock the fur-lined boots.
If there is one event that can achieve this feat, it can only be the Gaylord National and their annual ICE! attraction. I am a big fan of the Gaylord and would go even if it weren’t a special event. This just happened to be Media and Blogger Family Day, with the added bonus of Shrek the Halls in ICE! Yeah, I’m up for that. Plus, they have cool treats like this.
So, without further ado, here are a few of my favorites from Shrek the Halls in ICE! Oh, okay, they’re all my favorites. It was tough to pick just a few.
Here I am, all bundled up in blue and standing within a nine-degree dome of ice. And loving every minute of it.
The detail is amazing.
If I absolutely had to pick a favorite ICE! sculpture, it would have to be Dragon. Take a look…
In case you’re interested (and why wouldn’t you be – this is amazing), ICE! is created by forty talented master ice carvers from the Harbin International Snow and Ice Festival in Harbin, China, just across the border from Siberia (and I thought nine degrees was cold). They spend more than a month carving, slicing, dicing and even splicing ice to make this wintry wonderland.
Ice for the Harbin International Snow and Ice Festival, is retrieved from the Songhua River. While the Potomac River might make a frosty enough plunge for a Polar Bear Club member, it just doesn’t get quite cold enough to produce ice for sculpting and carving exquisite images of fairy tale characters. The clear, white, and precisely-dyed colored ice for ICE! is custom-ordered from a manufacturing plant in Ohio.
Every ICE! exhibit ends with a dazzling Nativity scene cut out of crystal-clear ice.
…and an ICE! Angel.
Character meet and greets are always fun, and one of my most favorite things … as long as I don’t have to wait in too long of a line (I’m impatient like that). The Gaylord National offers the fun of DreamWorks characters such as Shrek, Puss-in-Boots, Po from Kung Fu Panda, and Alex the Lion of Madagascar (Mada-who-ha?).
Gingy’s Gingerbread Decorating is a fun way to rest a bit. Trust me, there is a lot of walking. The Gaylord is gigantic. A little down time is well worth it.
We chose the train. Icing and a large variety of candies are included in the kit. I might add that our train did not make it home….Gingerbread is yummy and my “children” could give Cookie Monster a run for his money, or cookies, as the case may be.
We did not do the meet-n-greet with Gingy (too busy gobbling ginger….uh, candy…) but he did wave to us from the shop. He is quite the friendly fellow.
Overnight stays are not required to participate in ICE! or many of the other super fun activities, though some do require a fee. If you’re not too tired after a day of ICE! and walking the gorgeous grounds of the Gaylord, stick around and check out this…
Along with the incorporation of those iconic Coca-Cola polar bears, the other three Gaylord resorts celebrate the season with their own special events and DreamWorks themes. Gaylord Opryland, in Nashville, Tennessee, hosts A Country Christmas and Shrek the Halls in ICE! The Palms, Orlando, Florida, puts on Christmas at the Palms and Merry Madagascar in ICE! The Texan, near Dallas, Texas, offers A Lone Star Christmas and Merry Madagascar in ICE!
For a look at the Gaylord Palms ICE! event, check out AdventuresByDaddy.com.
Disclosure: The author received complimentary admission to ICE! as part of the Gaylord National’s Media Day. All opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author.