I had festive on the brain when I convinced my adventuring buddy to drive out with me to Grapevine and the Gaylord Texan Resort. Every year they put on Lone Star Christmas, decorating the huge atrium with thousands of lights, ornaments, and displays. There is also the ICE! exhibit. The theme changes from year to year, and in 2014 it features Frosty the Snowman.
Tip #1 Bring your heavy coat, hat, and gloves! It’s very cold in there! 9 degrees Fahrenheit. They do have huge parkas you can borrow to go through ICE!, and many people did just that. I wore my own big down coat with jeans and a fleece top underneath. While I wasn’t freezing, I could feel the cold. I should have worn thicker gloves because my hands quickly got very cold. I had on thin running gloves since I was taking photos.
Parking at the Gaylord Texan is reasonably signed to help you find your way, but expensive. I think we spent about $14. Also keep in mind you’ll have to walk a fair amount just to get into the resort. Comfy shoes or boots are recommended. Follow the signs inside to find ICE!
Tickets are sold online or onsite. The price will vary depending upon if you go during a peak or off peak time, and if you want to go to the snow tubing area. Tip #2 Be sure to check out the website beforehand so you are aware of the prices and options. We went at an off peak time and skipped out on snow tubing, so paid about $22 each.
Before you go inside, there is a short film that explains the origins of the exhibit, how the ice is made, and how it is carved & built.
2 million pounds of hand carved ice is a lot. However, I honestly thought the exhibit was small in comparison to the cost and time spent inside. I believe there were 6 rooms to see, and because of the freezing temperature, you walk through fairly quickly. We did stop to snap photos too.
There was an ICE! Bar for those 21 and up, but it wasn’t open when we went at 3pm. Too early for happy hour. There is an additional cost for the Bar too.
It was interesting to see a carver at work near the end of the exhibit. There were also factoid displays so you could get some ice learning in.
I liked ICE!, but I didn’t love it. I would say its definitely geared to families and kids. I would have been frustrated if we had gone during a busy/peak time, as there would have been a lot more people and a lot more waiting around to see things. Not something one wants when it is 9 degrees!
The Gaylord Texan is located at 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine, Texas 76051 Fairly close to DFW Airport.