One of our favorite holiday activities is going to see ICE! at the Gaylord Opryland hotel. It is also one of the biggest topics of conversation we hear at Nashville Fun For Families.
“Is it worth it?” everyone wants to know. For my family, the answer is yes – but we also make sure to take advantage of one of the many discounts deals and try not to go on the weekend to avoid the crowds.
2019 ICE! features “A Christmas Story”
Getting Ready for the Cold at ICE!
We went on a Monday after school and used a deal that halved our entry cost. It is still not a cheap affair, but as mentioned it has become a family tradition and we all enjoy it. Check out this list of discounts including some Buy 2 get 2 Free deals.
After you get your tickets at the box office you enter the Gaylord Convention center (here are instructions of where to park for free). This year, the ICE! exhibit starts on the left side of the building and you have access to check out the gift store before you walk through ICE! We saved all this for after we were done.
After you walk through the entrance archway (great photo opportunity), there are several exhibits to check out and learn about how ICE was created.
You also have a chance to touch the ice and feel how cold it is. From this area you will be welcomed into the start of ICE!
Your ICE experience starts with a short film about how the exhibit is made and the logistics behind how the ice is transported, carved and installed. For me, this really makes the experience even more impressive as you walk through.
Then you get your big blue parka to enter the exhibit. Depending on the line, it may be worth putting on your hat, gloves and jacket while you watch the short movie. That way you are prepared to put the parka on top of your layers.
What to Wear to Stay Warm at ICE!
The exhibit is kept at 9 degrees to keep the ice solid. We wear jackets, hats and gloves under the parkas. Be sure to wear 2 pairs of socks too. I’ve found that my hands and feet are the first to get cold.
Once you are in you walk through several rooms of amazingly carved ice.
I love the detail in each piece and they provide great back drops for pictures for holiday cards.
Don’t Miss the ICE! Slides
About half way through the exhibit you reach a room with 4 ice slides.
Our kids slid for a good 10 to 15 minutes only stopping because they got too cold. All the years we have been everyone had been allowed to slide as many times as they wanted – you just have to go around and stand in line again. This was on week days when it wasn’t crowded.
Make sure your blue coat is fully underneath you and you hold you feet up. You slide much faster on the coat then on your clothing!
Once everyone has had their fill of sliding, the exhibit continues with all the classic scenes from A Christmas Story. This one has to be my favorite:
At the end of the exhibit is a beautiful clear ice manger scene and a Christmas angel. Great photo ops for Christmas cards.
Warm Up in the Gift Store and the Arctic Lounge
After you get out of the cold and surrender your blue parka check out the gift store. There is even hot chocolate available to purchase to warm up after your ICE adventures.
For those 21 and up, you can also stop at the Arctic Lounge.
After you visit ICE! be sure to see the other holiday displays, lights, activities and rides available at Gaylord Opryland for the holidays.
If you want more ideas the celebrate Christmas in Nashville, check out our full guide to Holiday Fun in Middle Tennessee.
Family Fun Facts
November 8, 2019 – January 1, 2020
Tickets: Range from $21.99 to $29.99 depending on your age and options selected. Children 3 and under are free with a paid adult admission. (Here are the deals and discounts we’ve found for ICE!)
Prices and times vary – here’s the schedule
Tickets may be purchased online via this link.