ICE! returns this holiday season! Step into a wonderland carved by expert artisans out of two million pounds of colorful ice. You’ll see the movie “A Christmas Story! come to life. Walk through a winter wonderland filled with larger-than-life sculptures; even plunge down slides made entirely out of ice. This annual holiday event runs November 20, 2022 – December 31, 2022. I hope that this guide helps your family plan out and prepare for touring ICE! the coolest attraction around town.
WHAT IS ICE!?
ICE! is a spectacular ice display that showcases colorful, larger-than life ice sculptures. You will walk through a self guided tour of over two million pounds of colorful ice sculptures that are hand-carved.
Once you have suited up in your blue parka; you will make your way out to the tent where the magic unfolds. Inside the massive tent set at a chilling nine degrees, you get to admire the work of vibrant scenes that have come to life by talented artists. It took 35 artists over 12 hours a day for 30 days to bring these breath taking scenes to life. Be sure take time at the exhibit in the begin that offers information, videos and please touch centers that are great for kids.
This year’s ICE! display is theme… A Christmas Story. It feels like you are walking right into this classic holiday film! The carvers do a magnification job of capturing iconic scenes from the movie.
At the half way point, be sure to venture through the ice tunnel and zip down a slide. There are slides for both the tiny tots and big kids so that every can participate in this activity. Too go fast down the slide, be sure to lay back so the parka glides you down.
Take your time walking through each display. End your tour with a gorgeous view of the crystal clear nativity scene.
ICE! INFORMATION & ACTIVITIES
Location: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD
Hours: November through December 31, 2022
Admission: Tickets start at $33 for adult general admission and $25 for children. Children ages 3 and under are FREE!
Activities: Tickets to ICE! includes admission to the display. However, there are other activities available that cost additional money. You can purchase bundles to save money or add activities individually to make your experience unique.
- Gingerbread House- This fun, sticky and interactive decorating tradition just got even sweeter. Choose from three decorating kits to put together and then meet The Gingerbread Man himself! ($)
- Ice Skating– Practice your perfect figure eights on our indoor ice skating rink. Kids of all ages can glide along surrounded by our scenic Christmas village. ($)
- Photos With Santa- Don’t miss your chance to have a treasured photograph taken with old Saint Nick before he leaves for the North Pole.
- Mrs. Claus Christmas Tradition- Gather around for warm and cozy fun with the jolliest hostess of all – Mrs. Claus! Delight in the reading of holiday classics and singing of Christmas carols while enjoying cookies and milk. ($)
- Snoopy’s Scavenger Hunt- Purchase an activity book and set off on a scavenger hunt. At the end of your adventure stop by the box office to claim your prize. ($)
- Snowball Blaster- Build and toss real snowballs to boost the power of the snowmaking machines and earn points in this experience at Snow Factory, the mechanized, snowy play space.
- Ice Bumper Cars- If you like bumper cars, experience the thrill of driving them on ice! Slide, spin, and bump your friends and family as you zoom around.
- Snow Flow Mountain Slide- In this mechanized, snow play space you will slide through factory conveyor belts that have frozen solid and ride tubes down a thrilling plummet slide or hilly ice coaster at Snow Factory.
- Cirque Dreams Unwrapped- This is a really neat high-flying holiday adventure filled with dazzling set designs, Broadway-style theatrics and out-of-this-world acrobatics. ($)
To learn more about each activity see this link.
TIPS FOR ICE!
- Ways to save- Military Discount are offered, get discount codes by following the Gaylord National Resort Facebook Page or catch a deal on Groupon. You can also purchase Gold pass that include: ICE! display, unlimited Ice Tubbing and Snoopy Scavenger Hunt. You save up to 30% by getting a platinum pass which includes: ICE! display, unlimited Ice Tubbing and Snoopy Scavenger Hunt, Snowball Blast, Gingerbread decorating, Ice Skating and the Mrs. Claus Traditions show.
- Bundle Up- I’m sure it’s obvious that it will be cold. The ice needs to stay frozen! You will be provided with a warm blue parka with a hood. However, I highly recommend you bring along a hat, glove, and scarf. Be aware that the parkas do not have pockets, YOU WILL NEED GLOVES! They are for sale in the Christmas Village gift shop if you need a pair. Parkas come as small as size 2T. I recommend baby wearing your smallest baby and get a slightly bigger parka to button over the baby.
- Bright Colors- Since every visitor is wearing the same blue parka; you will need a way to set your kids apart. I put my children in bright colored hats to make them more distinctive.
- Don’t Rush- Over the years I have learned to take my time. If your kids have the attention span for it, visit each exhibit and admire what you see. Make conversation about what you see and take photos.
- Interactive Exhibits- One of my kids favorite part of the adventure is the slide and tunnels. Take your time on these. You can go down the slide as many times as you want. Veterans tips, have one adult stays at the top and the other stay at the bottom to keep an eye on the kids. There is an attendant at the top to help as well.
- Take Photos- Keep in mind that your camera or phone could freeze. That be said, I would take my camera out periodically to snap a few memorable shots.
- Take advantage of parking validation. Park in the Gaylord Hotels Self Parking. Just show receipt of attending the event outside the winter village area. They will discount your ticket for three hours and under parking down to $17.
- Check out the full range of Christmas on the Potomac events at Gaylord National Resort to ensure you hit all the extra activities!
- Play Learn & Grow- Before you go watch videos about the making of ICE! – Link Here
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE…CHRISTMAS ON THE POTOMAC
National Harbor hosts a year-round line up of amazing events and super-fun activities for families — right on the gorgeous waterfront. See the Christmas on the Potomac Calendar for more information, dates and times of weekly events. Mostly every Saturday throughout the holiday you can catch Santa on the Carousel and at the Capital Wheel. As well as, see free movies on Sunday’s, witness the spectacular tree lighting daily and view fireworks on select nights. At The Gaylord be sure to go to the atrium to watch the Christmas Tree light show and stop by the lobby to see the gorgeous gingerbread display.
There are so many scrumptious restaurants. While we were visiting Christmas on the Potomac we ate at Red Stone Grill. The ribs and rotisserie chicken are amazing. Not to mention the kids menu is great and comes with a cool activity to keep the little’s entertained. I also always enjoy the view of the Potomac. Don’t miss out on riding the Capital Wheel for breath taking views and making extra special family memories.
***Thank you for taking the time to read this article; I hope that it was helpful to your family. The Playful Parent is a non-profit 501c3 that provides free resources to the community. The Playful Parent is NOT paid to promote events or attractions. I would like to thank Gaylord National Resort for giving us access to activities to share all the information with local families. All content and photography are intellectual property of The Playful Parent.***