Review: ICE 2015

We were able to check out ICE at the Gaylord National again this year- and we always love marveling at what the talented artisans are able to sculpt from ice blocks! This year’s theme is Santa Claus is Comin to Town, and if you’re a fan of old-school claymation Christmas, you’ll love it in ice, too!

This year we started out with the Kris Kringle Holiday Feast, which was adorable, mainly because of the desserts!! Check these suckers out!

So cute! The dinner is a buffet and is priced at $29.95 for adults and $19.95 for kids ages 3-11.  There are select dinner nights, and weekend breakfast options, too.  Our kids got the chance to meet Kris Kringle and his penguin friend during the dinner, as well as enjoying both adult (crab legs, carving station, pumpkin ravioli, salad) and kid (uncrustables, chicken tenders, mac and cheese) fare.

After dinner, we opted to hang out in the Atrium level and wait for the Christmas Tree light show, which happens at 6, 7, 8, and 9pm.  The show ends with falling “snow” and is always fun to watch. I recommend lining up a little early so your little ones get a good view, but you can also watch from one level up, you just won’t have snow fall on you.  I was a big fan of last year’s Christmas in Sarajevo themed tree, but the new one is nice, too. The beginning is a little slow, but it picks up for the finale!!  The tree light show is free to anyone who cares to watch.

Next we headed over to ICE.  Everyone is provided with a parka to wear over their own coat.  While there were definitely some strong-willed teenagers who wore shorts, it’s 9 (Nine) very frosty degrees in the ICE display, so I recommend pants, closed-toed shoes, and gloves.  If you have very little people, make sure you are being realistic about how much time they’ll be able to spend inside the display area.

And now, onto the junky iPhone photos:

The slide area is, of course, everyone’s favorite.  There are 5 slides that you can go down and it’s really fun to skid your parka-ed booty down the ice! At the end of the show there is an exhibit explaining how the artisans craft the ice sculptures, and the very last room is a clear-ice nativity, which I think is breathtaking every year.  The detail is amazing, and I personally like hearing the Christmas story and seeing the lights illuminate the clear sculptures.

ICE is definitely an investment, but discount codes and AAA/BJs/Costco coupons are available, according to my readers. It’s my recommendation that if you can, you go on a Friday night and make a full evening of it.  National Harbor also offers holiday movie sing-a-longs, free holiday music performances and of course, shopping.  Make a full day of enjoying ICE, the tree lighting in the Gaylord, dinner, holiday music, and the movie, if you can. If you can afford a few add ons, there are also photo options, gingerbread decorating, pictures with Santa, and more.
The Gaylord National Hotel provided us with tickets to check out their Christmas on the Potomac Offerings.  All opinions are my own.