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November 25, 2022 @ 8:00 am - December 31, 2022 @ 5:00 pm EST

 Gaylord National Resort invites guests to “freeze the day” this Christmas season as the hotel’s beloved longtime holiday tradition, ICE!, returns November 25 through December 31 after a two-year hiatus.

Using more than 2 million pounds – or 1,000 tons – of ice, the amusing holiday classic, ‘A Christmas Story™’ will be brought to life in ice sculpture form by a team of 40 world-class ice artisans from Harbin, China. This is the first time A Christmas Story has been featured at ICE! during the resort’s holiday celebration.

“We can’t wait for our guests to experience the magic and wonder of ICE! once again during this year’s Christmas at Gaylord National celebration,” said Dan McKeon, Area General Manager at Gaylord National Resort. “Since debuting here in 2009, ICE! has always been a one-of-a-kind attraction for our guests, and we’re excited to welcome this Gaylord Hotels tradition back this year with A Christmas Story.”

This year, guests will experience over 10 scenes from the hilarious family tale in magnificent hand-carved sculptures made of ice. Featured scenes include the old man’s major award, Aunt Clara’s pink nightmare and the ultimate triple dog dare at the school’s flagpole and more!

Starting with more than 6,000 massive ice blocks, the carvers work approximately six weeks – more than 12,000 man-hours – to create the nearly 17,000 square foot frozen attraction. The artisans, using skills passed down from generation to generation, follow a 300-page design book to create the ice spectacle.

Colored ice (created by a chemist who mixes special food colorings to ensure sculptures maintain their bright colors the entire season), clear ice and LED lights are all used to create the display, as the frozen fun follows the most-loved moments from A Christmas Story.

Known as “Ice City,” Harbin is no stranger to elaborate ice carvings – it’s home to the world’s largest annual ice and snow sculpting festival in the world. At Gaylord National, some of the same artisans who create the world-renowned Harbin festival will carve 300-pound blocks of ice into the larger-than-life, whimsical scenes. Carvers will use chisels, chippers, tongs, handsaws, grinders and even chainsaws to bring the ice sculptures to life. The artisans from Harbin have created ICE! for Gaylord Hotels for many years but haven’t been able to travel to the United States the past two holiday seasons because of international travel restrictions.

The specially designed ICE! tent will be kept at a frosty 9 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure optimum temperature for the ice sculptures to stay intact.  And while the 9-degree temperatures turn ICE! into one of the coldest spots in the capital region, guests experiencing the attraction will be provided Gaylord National’s signature blue parkas to keep them warm and toasty.

In addition to the amazing ice sculptures from the fan-favorite Christmas movie, guests can also take rides down the two-story-tall ice slides and traverse through ice tunnels and arches. The ICE! experience concludes in a separate area dedicated to the Nativity scene, meticulously carved, and shaped in a dramatic display of crystal-clear ice.

There’s Snow Much More!

While ICE! is the signature attraction for the 2022 Christmas at Gaylord National celebration, there are plenty more festive activities, events, attractions, and dazzling decorations throughout the massive 19-story hotel. The entire resort transforms into a holiday wonderland with more than 2 million lights, 160 elaborately themed Christmas trees, more than 10,000 ornaments, and miles of garland. Christmas shows are presented in the garden Atrium, while parts of the convention center transform into Christmas Village, a bustling, holiday hamlet with Bavarian-style village storefronts, family-friendly activities, characters, and a giant Christmas store.

Here’s a rundown of the events, live entertainment, hands-on activities, holiday meals, exciting attractions and notable news taking place this holiday season at Gaylord National:

Cirque Spirit of Christmas:

A Gaylord Hotels original production, “Cirque: Spirit of Christmas” is a Broadway-style show featuring high-flying stunts, acrobatic feats, elaborate staging and a dramatic musical score. Returning after its successful debut in 2021, this Cirque-style show centers on Noel, a child dismayed by the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Throughout the 30-minute atrium show, Noel is visited in dreamlike chapters by trapeze artists, acrobats, aerial silk performers and others who help rekindle the Christmas spirit.

Ice Bumper Cars:

Visitors can experience the thrill of bumper cars– sliding, spinning, and bumping into family and friends!

The Greatest Story Stage Show:

The birth and life of Jesus Christ has been called “the greatest story ever told.” Guests can experience it through the eyes of six international storytellers in “The Greatest Story,” a musical stage show and multicultural celebration of everlasting faith, hope and love.

Snow Factory:

A snowy play space awaits guests in the Snow Factoryalong with ice tubing and snowball throwing. After climbing Snow Flow Mountain, guests hop in inner-tubes and speed down atop real ice. (Admission allows unlimited ice tubing rides on the date specified on the ticket). After the need for speed is satisfied, guests can head over to Snowball Build & Blast. Conveyor belts deliver tubs of real snow to guests who race to make snowballs and toss them at targets.

Ice Skating:

Visitors will enjoy a perfect day or evening under the stars while taking a yuletide glide on our outdoor ice-skating rink made with real ice.


Shine Light Show:

Brand new for 2022, our free Shine Light Show dazzles with thousands of dancing lights, synchronized to ahigh-energy, seasonal soundtrack. Animated light curtains glow with Christmas imagery around a centerpiece tree that magically transforms into a gleaming and glowing holiday spectacle.

Photos With Santa:

Mailing a letter to the North Pole is great but nothing can beat a personal visit with Santa Claus. Capture the moment with a keepsake photo.


Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions:

The jolliest hostess of all celebrates the season in Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions. Mrs. Claus entertains guests in Alpine Village with a sing-along and story time with the Christmas tale, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” She also shares Santa’s favorite snack – milk and cookies.

Gingerbread Decorating Corner:

In the Gingerbread Decorating Corner, guests let their Christmas creativity run wild while they adorn gingerbread treats. After they’ve reached confection perfection with their edible art, they can enjoy a sweet meet-and-greet and photograph with Nutmeg the Gingerbread Man.

Guests can also enjoy the Merry Snoopy Scavenger HuntBuild-A-Bear Workshop®, and Wildlife Rescue – an augmented reality experience presented by bubly™.


Holiday Food & Dining:

For guests looking to impress at the next holiday gathering, Gaylord National’s Resort Chef will lead a Holiday Hosting 101 cooking class. Participants can expect to enjoy a festive libation and learn how to prepare popular holiday hors d’oeuvres. This hands-on, interactive class is fun and tasty.

Holiday sweets and tasty treats are on the menu at the Holiday Sweet Shoppe. Guests can visit the Holiday Sweet Shoppe for a delicious hot chocolate or eggnog and to check out the impressive selection of chef-prepared desserts to take home and enjoy with family.

In addition to the holiday fun, Gaylord National’s Old Hickory Steakhouse, revered for decadent premium beef, will be offering special dishes for the holiday season.

Rooms with a View

There’s never a better time than the holidays for guests to book a room with an upgraded garden Atrium view. With balconies that overlook the magical Christmas décor, guests can immerse themselves in the festive surroundings. Select rooms even provide prime viewing for atrium shows such as “Cirque: Spirit of Christmas,” and “The Greatest Story”.

Exclusive Access for Overnight Guests

This year, Gaylord National is offering perks and special access to overnight resort guests so they can wait in line less and enjoy more! These perks include:

o   “Chill Pass” privileges to ICE!, offering front-of-line access and shorter wait times for this year’s signature attraction. “Chill Pass” is free for eligible overnight guests. Attraction tickets are required and sold separately, in advance.

o   An invitation to “Extra Cool Hour,” which provides early entry into ICE! and Christmas Village one hour before it opens on select dates. “Extra Cool Hour” is free for eligible hotel guests. Attraction tickets are required and sold separately, in advance.

Winter Wellness at Relâche Spa

Sit back and relax at Relâche Spa for one of the winter wellness spa treatments. The treatments incorporate eucalyptus which is known to be high in antioxidants, promote relaxtion, and reduce pain – taking those winter blue away!

Family and friends can start planning their holiday travel now with special savings on overnight packages including:

Packages and Tickets

Family and friends can start planning their holiday travel now with special savings on overnight packages including:

  • Christmas on the Potomac Package – Overnight accommodations for up to four people, up to four tickets to ICE! featuring A Christmas Story, up to four tickets to Snow Flow Mountain ice tubing, one Merry Snoopy Scavenger Hunt booklet and a $50 nightly food and beverage credit. Available on select dates only. Price starting from $429. Families of four can save nearly $100 with the purchase of the Christmas on the Potomac package.
  • ICEis Nice Package – Overnight accommodations for up to four people and up to four tickets to ICE! featuring A Christmas Story. Available on select dates only. Price starting from $339.

Both packages include the benefits of Chill Pass Entry and the Extra Cool Hour. Chill Pass Entry provides overnight guests exclusive front-of-the-line access and shorter wait times for ICE!. The Extra Cool Hour gives overnight guests early entry into the attractions in Christmas Village one hour before they open to day guests. Attractions in Christmas Village include Snow Flow Mountain ice tubing, Gingerbread Decorating, Snowball Build & Blast, Photos with Santa, and more.

To learn more about Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center and book an overnight stay, room package, meeting, or event, please visit or call 301-965-4000.

MEDIA PHOTOS/B-ROLL can be downloaded here.

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is the largest, non-gaming hotel and convention center on the east coast, located along the banks of the Potomac River in National Harbor, Maryland, and part of Marriott International, Inc. Opened in April 2008, Gaylord National is an AAA-Four Diamond resort that is only eight miles from Washington, D.C. The resort offers nearly 2,000 rooms including 110 suites; a 19-story atrium; 600,000 square-feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space; acclaimed restaurants including Old Hickory Steakhouse; and Pose Rooftop Lounge.

A CHRISTMAS STORY and all related characters and elements © & ™ Turner Entertainment Co. (s22)

© Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.  Used with permission.  All rights reserved. 2022 Peanuts Worldwide LLC. 


November 25, 2022 @ 8:00 am EST
December 31, 2022 @ 5:00 pm EST
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Gaylord National Resort


Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
201 Waterfront Street
National Harbod, MD 20745 United States
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