ICE! at Gaylord Hotels: 2016 Events and Themes

July heat means Christmas prep at Gaylord Hotels (PRNewsFoto/Gaylord Hotels)

PRNewsFoto/Gaylord Hotels

While we’re all watching the heat of Rio de Janeiro and the Summer Olympics, the folks at Gaylord Hotels have ice on the brain. Three million pounds of it to be exact.

Gaylord Hotels recently announced themes for Christmas and ICE! 2016, and it’s shaping up to be bigger and better than ever. If you’re not in the know, ICE! is the signature holiday attraction at Gaylord Hotels. Each Gaylord Hotel location features more than two million pounds of ice hand-carved by master ice artisans from Harbin, China. Colorful sculptures, crystal clear nativity scenes and multi-story ice slides are just a few examples of all that ICE! has to offer in an indoor walk-through attraction.

“It takes months to transform our spectacular resorts in Nashville, Dallas, Orlando and Washington, D.C. into magical holiday settings,” said Mike Stengel, senior vice president of Gaylord Hotels. “Lights are already going up outside, and we have more than 8 million pounds of colorful ice blocks on order to create our most beloved holiday tradition – ICE!”

While three of the Gaylord Hotels are featuring classic Christmas stories with beloved characters, the Gaylord National has chosen to showcase holiday traditions from around the world, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico and many more. The National will also offer a Breakfast with Charlie Brown and Friends holiday meal. Guests can interact with Peanuts characters while enjoying a delicious meal.

Presented by Pepsi, the ICE! experience is kept at a frosty nine degrees (and that is a very accurate number). Visit each resort’s holiday website (linked below) for a full line-up of events taking place at that particular location.

ICE! 2016 Themes:

After experiencing the ICE! Exhibit, guests can warm up with heart-warming family entertainment that ranges from live shows, Santa visits, holiday kids’ trains and character breakfast.

Events do vary by location, but all four resorts will feature The Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt. By finding all of the scout elves hiding in the resort and solving the puzzles in the scavenger hunt booklet, families will reveal the elves’ names so they can get their Christmas magic. Guests who help the scout elves will receive a special prize.

At the Gingerbread Decorating Corner, guests can choose a gingerbread kit to decorate as well as visit with a life-sized gingerbread man for hugs and photo ops.

New for 2016 at Gaylord Hotels is an exclusive Build-A-Bear Workshop experience that lets guests make their own furry winter friend – a cuddly plush polar bear that was designed for Gaylord Hotels.

ICE! opens on Saturday, November 19 and runs through January 1 (excluding some days, so be sure to check schedules). Tickets start at $29 for adults and $21 for kids under age 12 during non-peak days. Prices are $36 for adults and $29 for children during peak days. Kids three and younger are free. Military and group ticket pricing are also available.

You do not have to be an overnight guest of a Gaylord Hotel in order to experience the ICE! exhibit and many of the other events.

For more information on ICE! 2016, including tickets, hours and hotel packages, please visit

I’m a big fan of ICE!, and Gaylord Hotels in general (the Gaylord National is my “home” hotel), so I’m hoping to get in a visit this year. I can’t wait to see holiday traditions interpreted in pounds and pounds of icy wonder at the Gaylord National. How about you? Which ICE! exhibit are you planning to visit?

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