It’s official. The holidays are here. My kids and I checked out ICE! yesterday at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, MD as part of the annual Christmas on the Potomac celebration. We took in plenty of holiday decorations, gingerbread and good cheer. We even saw snow inside the atrium following the tree lighting. The holidays are definitely on.
ICE! is the crown jewel of the celebration. More than two million pounds of ice are brought in to create the winter wonderland, along with 40 artisans who travel all the way from China to carve the Shrek the Halls-themed attraction. In fact, it takes 30 days to carve the ice and build ICE!, including two slides. Amazing.
When you visit ICE!, be sure to bundle up since it’s a whopping nine degrees inside. I’m talking hats, gloves, scarves. When you get there, you’ll also get a blue parka to wear so you’re sure to stay warm as you spend half an hour walking through the attraction. I swear before we went in my younger kids looked like Ralphie’s brother, Randy, from A Christmas Story. They could barely move.
In addition to ICE!, we also got to spend time making a Gingerbread Tree (actually, the cookies were sugar cookies, rather than gingerbread) in the atrium of the Gaylord National Resort, and the girls took their pictures with Gingy from the Shrek movies. Once we made our Gingerbread Tree, we went back to ICE! for more character photos, and the girls had their pictures taken with Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda, Alex the Lion and Shrek. So many characters, so little time!
We also went on a scavenger hunt around the hotel, which was inspired by the new DreamWorks movie, The Rise of the Guardians. It was a lot of fun, but I think it was also inspired by someone who doesn’t mind going up and down floors for every clue. Given I had three kids and a stroller I eventually got hip to the creator’s plan and figured out where to find the clues, so we solved them by floor.
Before we left, the kids rode on the Potomac Express Train inside the hotel, and then we watched the fantabulous tree lighting and fountain show. We did so much and it was so much fun. So…do you live in the Washington, DC area or will you be visiting over the holidays? Want to win four tickets to see ICE! and check out a bunch of fun holiday activities at the Gaylord National Resort? Here’s your chance. All you need to do is enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!
Note: ICE! passes are good Sunday-Friday through Jan. 6, and only includes a visit to the ice sculptures. Other activities featured here have additional fees, including the gingerbread decorating ($29.95), character meet and greet / scavenger hunt ($35 per person) and train ride ($2 per person). The tree lighting and fountain shows are free.
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Disclaimer: I was given four tickets to see ICE! at Gaylord National Resort, as well as passes for a character meet and greet, scavenger hunt and a gingerbread decorating experience. However, the views and opinions expressed here are purely my own.