Every year I’ve debated on whether or not we should go to the ICE! exhibit at the Gaylord Texan Resort. I’ve seen several people post about it on social media throughout the years but was never really convinced it was worth the money to go. Many comments seemed to focus on how cold it was, someone even said that her phone shut down and she couldn’t get a lot of photos inside because of the temperature! But despite the fear of the cold, I finally decided it was time to check this place out! Since school is out this week and we found a hefty discount code, we decided to grab some friends and go!
We arrived around 10 am and easily parked following the signs. We used one of the parking kiosks near the doors to pay for parking which was nearly $17. We were able to head straight to the entrance of the ICE! exhibit since we purchased our tickets online ahead of time. It was somewhat crowded when we arrived, but the lines moved quickly. We did notice when we left around 11 am the line had grown considerably, so there was more of a wait outside the exhibit. The exhibit is 9 degrees. Fortunately, we came prepared with gloves, jackets, boots and hats, and we added the signature blue parka provided on top. I also tried to keep my phone warm as much as possible to prevent it from shutting down from being too cold. It did shut down at the end after I snapped one final picture as we were exiting.
I was pleasantly surprised from the first minute I entered the exhibit! I have to say that it is so much better in person than in the photos! The details on the ice sculptures are amazing. I felt so silly that I thought some of the characters in the photos I’d seen on social media were made out of plastic. They just looked too perfect, but it was all ICE! They even created slides out of the ice that the kids enjoyed going down many times!
There are plenty more activities to experience while visiting the Gaylord Texan ICE! Your kids (and you) can enjoy ice-skating on the outdoor ice-rink or go indoor snow tubing and snowball throwing near the sweet smelling concessions while you shop in the massive souvenir area, or you can do as we did and pack a snack.
The kids were ready for a snack and to shed some of their layers, so we headed to the car but not to leave. After a quick snack and abandoning our extra layers we headed toward the main portion of the resort to see the big Christmas tree and the trains. This is where we received the most unexpected surprise of the day. I was approached by a generous lady who offered us her gingerbread house tickets. She was unable to use them and did not want them to go unused, so she gave them to us! We all had a blast decorating the gingerbread house and it was the sweetest most perfect ending to our day. Her generosity was a wonderful reminder to be thoughtful and generous to others especially during this cold and hectic season.
All in all, today was a great day, and I recommend you and your family go see and experience the ICE! exhibit for yourselves. It can be expensive, but there are plenty of discounts available on select days (use: HOHOHO for 50% off select days). Let us know in the comments if you go or have been in the past.
(P.S – we are not affiliated with the Gaylord Texan Resorts and were not compensated in any way for this review.)