This year, the theme was “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” based on a classic TV special from the 1970s that none of us had actually seen. Still, the story and the characters carved out of the ice were adorable. I actually liked it better than ICE! exhibits from previous years. Usually, it’s characters from an animated movie (Shrek, Ice Age, etc.) dressed up in Christmas outfits, so it was nice to see a Christmas story this time.
One of my favorite parts of ICE! is the video at the beginning that explains how the exhibit is made. They use over two million blocks of ice, and amazing artisans come from Harbin, China to carve the designs. I am always amazed by how detailed each sculpture is.
It’s nine degrees inside the exhibit, so everyone is required to wear blue parkas to enter the exhibit. Gloves and hats are recommended, but they’re not required. I decided to skip the gloves for the sake of taking photos, but my hands were definitely frozen by the end.
ICE! is showcased at the four Gaylord hotels (Washington, D.C., Nashville, Tennessee, Grapevine, Texas, and Kissimmee, Florida), though the theme is different at each hotel. All exhibits are open now and run through January 1, 2017. If you are interesting in going, I suggest searching for a Groupon before you go.