The "Ice!" exhibit will bring its chilly charms to the Gaylord Texan as part of the hotel's Lone Star Christmas celebration. It's open Nov. 10 through Jan. 1. This time around, the theme is "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town," with attractions modeled after the 1970 television special. There are giant ice sculptures featuring characters such as Kris Kringle and the ill-tempered Burgermeister Meisterburger, as well as five ice slides. Here are five things to know if you go:
All about the ice
"Ice!" is made up of 2 million pounds of the cold stuff, carved into festive scenes by 40 artists from China. The exhibit, which takes up 14,000 square feet, features three types of ice: clear ice (you'll see a lot of that in the Nativity scene at the end); white ice, used to look like snow; and colorful ice in nine hues that is used in the sculptures.
Baby, it's cold inside
Even if you're one of those people who never get cold, you definitely are going to need the calf-length parka that's provided as part of the exhibit. It's 9 degrees in there and some standing around is required as part of the process, as well as waiting for the ice slide (much more standing in line will be involved if you go at peak times).
Remember that scene in Christmas Vacation when Audrey's eyeballs freeze and she can't see the Christmas tree? It feels a little like that, and you wouldn't want to miss out on seeing the sculptures because you're frozen. Take a hat and gloves.
You'll probably slip right down the ice slides, as long as you keep your parka under your backside. But the combo of tininess and poor parka positioning can sometimes cause the littlest sliders to come to a complete stop, so you might want to have a chat with them beforehand.
There's an ice bar
Excuse my departure from the more family-friendly portions of the proceedings, but the On the Blocks Ice Bar is an optional $15 add-on for those 21 and up at select times. Participants can sample the Jolly Mint specialty drink featuring Jackson Morgan Southern Cream and Hangar One Vodka; a Goose Island Beer; and a Merry Margarita featuring Milagro Tequila.
You can propose there
If you want to pop the question at "Ice!," there's a $500 package featuring a "Will You Marry Me?" ice sculpture for that. Hot chocolate, professional photos and two tickets to next year's "Ice!" are among the other perks. In case you were wondering: You don't get to take the ice sculpture home and it's not personalized, it's in a pre-set spot at "Ice!"
Decorations around the hotel include 2 million lights in the hotel's atrium, mini train sets and a 54-foot Christmas tree. If you're willing to shell out some extra cash, there's plenty of other holiday fun to be had at Lone Star Christmas, including a new 6,000 square foot ice rink, a 12-lane snow tubing hill, gingerbread decorating, an Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt and more.