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”
We won’t be able to give you the details about the 2019 ICE! experience until November, but you can learn more about what to expect below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 4 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. This may not be the official policy so make sure to ask when you visit.
Make sure your blue coat is fully underneath you. You slide much faster on the coat then on your clothing!
At the end of the exhibit is a beautiful clear ice manger scene and a Christmas angel. Great photo ops for Christmas cards.
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.
Family Fun Facts – Updated for 2019
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.