We attended a media event at the Gaylor Texan and got to check out ICE!. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your visit (like, how cold it really is inside there!).
If you’ve never been, or have never heard of ICE! before, here’s the short version: it’s a magical, winter wonderland carved entirely out of ice inside the Gaylord Texan (and other Gaylord resorts around the country, so I imagine this information will ring true for most of them).
You don’t need to be a hotel guest to visit ICE!, and you can also participate in fun events like indoor sledding, snowball throws, hot chocolate and some serious Christmas shopping while you’re there.
So, here’s what you need to know:
What should I bring?
Y’all. It’s cold up in that joint. It’s 9 degrees. Everyone gets a parka to borrow before they enter the exhibit. You’ll want this! But I also recommend a scarf, hat, gloves and long pants. Just ask Jack, who was wearing shorts becuase it was like 75 outside on the day we visited. I didn’t bring gloves and the parkas don’t have pockets and I was cursing myself silently for not being better prepared (I a never “the prepared mom,” ha).
The upside is that when we got out of the exhibit and the kids wanted to do other activites and I wanted to look around in the shop, I wasn’t carrying a ton of extra scarves and hats around with me. #alwaysabrightside
SO, all that to say…dress for the cold, even though you won’t be in it for long.
How long does it take to see the whole exhibit?
We spent about 20-30 minutes in the exhibit. This included letting the kids go down the ice slides (several times). We would have spent more time inside, but we all started to get chilly. So…bring those gloves!!
If you don’t have kids, or if your kids are older, you can swing by the ice ball inside! You’ll need to buy drink tickets before you enter the exhibit.
Will my kids like it?
Yes! At least, mine did. It wasn’t super crowded when we visited, so the kids really got to check everything out and do the ice slide several times. The ice slide is slow enough for even little toddlers, which is awesome…everyone can participate!
This year, the theme is “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and the classic poem is brought to life through ice.
How long is the line to get in?
When we visited, there was no line. I’ve heard others tell me it took them more than an hour to get in when they visited closer to Christmas or on the weekends. So my advice is to visit in an “off” time or during the week if you want to avoid a busy crowd.
What else is there to do? Once you leave ICE!, you walk into an amazing Christmas gift store. Like, realllly amazing, you guys! Grapevine, TX IS the Christmas Capitol of Texas, after all. There is so much stuff in here. Much of it is breakable, so I ushered the kids out with Charles and then spent some time by myself oohing and aahing over all the ornaments. I didn’t buy this one, and I feel great regret over it.
There are tons of activities for kids in this area. They can do some indoor snow tubing, throw snowballs, build a Christmas Build-a-Bear, and pose for lots of fun photo opps. This year, there’s even an ice skating rink (outside the hotel). These activities all have costs associated with them.
How much does it cost? $29.99 for an adult, and $16.99 for kids 4-11. Kids 3 and under are free. You can get discounted tickets if you visit on a value day, which are M-F through December 15th (excluding November 24th and December 15th after 5pm).
Where can I find more information? You can buy tickets and find out more information here.
Merry Christmas Season, Everyone! 🙂