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Gaylord National’s ICE!™ Comes to Washington D.C.

The Washington D.C. area has never seen anything like this holiday extravaganza before, so get ready. Imagine 1.5 million pounds of ice, hand-carved by 40 international artisans into a fantastical, indoor winter wonderland. It’s called Gaylord National’s ICE!™, and it’s coming to the Washington D.C. region for the first time – from November 19, 2009 through January 10, 2010.

It’s all part of Christmas on the Potomac, the Gaylord National Resort’s nearly 50-day celebration of holiday revelry.  This signature annual event showcases an extraordinary collection of holiday activities and entertainment – perfect for families. And, it’s all found at National Harbor, Maryland, the hot new destination on the Potomac River, located just south of the Washington, D.C. city limits.

Gaylord National’s ICE!™

Enter a world beyond imagination; a fantastic winter wonderland that is sure to dazzle every family member.  From November 19 through January 10, the year’s coldest event will warm hearts by the hundreds of thousands of D.C. area residents and visitors.

Only at Gaylord National Resort can visitors step inside a winter wonderland created entirely of 5,000 blocks of ice weighing 1.5 million pounds.  Hand-sculpted by 40 international artisans and kept at a chilling 9 degrees Fahrenheit, this amazing display of ice artistry will be the only one of its kind in North America.  

Produced exclusively for Gaylord Hotels, and only seen at the other Gaylord hotel properties near Orlando, Nashville and Dallas, each location attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.  The ICE! attraction has received tremendous recognition since its inception at Gaylord in 2001, including national media coverage by The Today Show, Travel Channel, USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Southern Living and Travel + Leisure.

The attraction is fully interactive, allowing guests to roam inside, around and on-top of scenes.  For example, guests can walk across an “ice bridge” over a “river of ice” set amidst a snow forest.  Or, they can sit inside a full-sized “ice horse and sleigh” for a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity.  There’s even a Christmas Castle scene featuring two-story-tall slides made completely of ice, designed for kids and big kids (adults!) to race down.

ICE! will feature ten different, larger-than-life scenes, including:

  • Victorian-style winter forest featuring a horse and sleigh
  • South Pole igloo with dancing penguins
  • A Christmas Castle featuring thrilling, two-story-tall ice slides
  • Santa’s Toyland, featuring the bearded-one himself created in ice
  • And, a breathtaking, life-sized Nativity scene with a 25-foot ice angel

The indoor, walk-through attraction is housed in an enormous structure – 15,000 square feet to be exact – that is specially constructed and thickly insulated to help maintain its internal temperature of nine degrees.  To stay comfortable inside, guests are loaned oversized winter coats to wear.

The Artistry of ICE!

The master artisans who create Gaylord National’s ICE! are not your average ice carvers. These skilled craftsmen are from Harbin, China – a city in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province that is world-famous for its annual Harbin International Snow and Ice Festival, one of the world’s largest ice and snow festivals.  Every winter, more than 2,000 sculpture artists carve a massive, 100-acre walk-through Ice Park and a full-size Ice City from blocks of ice taken from the nearby Songhua River.

Paying tribute to this world-famous festival, Gaylord National is proud to bring 40 of Harbin’s most talented master artisans to the U.S., to showcase their amazing talents in creating this one-of-a-kind attraction.  The ice carvers will arrive in mid-October, staying onsite for more than 30 days, to build and hand-carve the attractionin time for its November 19 Washington area debut.

ICE! Quick Facts

  • Open daily from November 19 to January 10 (hours will vary)
  • Kids tickets are $13.00
  • Adults tickets start at $19.99
  • Attraction located adjacent to the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor
  • Visit www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com or call 877-352-3629 for more information


Online advance ticket sales will begin October 1. Walk-up ticket sales will be available during the attraction’s regular operating hours, however, visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets online (in advance) as many days are expected to sell out.  To purchase tickets, check hours of operation or find more information, visit www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com or call 877-352-3629.  Daily hours of operation will vary.

*Advance online purchase required. Not available November 26, 2009 or December 24, 2009 - January 10, 2010.
**Military I.D. must be presented.

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