Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Photos: Ice! exhibit at Gaylord Texan is a blizzard of fun
The exhibit is kept at a wintry 9 degrees, but not to worry — complimentary parkas are on hand to keep out the chill.
GRAPEVINE If you’re looking for a way to kick off the holiday season with total Christmas immersion, you can’t beat the shindig thrown every year by the Gaylord Texan Resort. The 10th annual celebration will include the ever-popular “Ice!” exhibit, this year depicting the story of The Nutcracker using some 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice; an eight-lane snow-tubing hill; gingerbread decorating; a new 5-D “mini-movie” experience; and holiday lights.
The resort’s 4.5 acres of indoor gardens under glass will be transformed into a winter wonderland featuring 1.5 million lights, 350 lighted trees including a 54-foot Christmas tree, 12,000 ornaments, 5,600 feet of garland, a 7-foot-tall gingerbread house, zippy miniature train sets, 25-foot toy soldiers and more. Holiday entertainers will include St. Nick, natch, along with toy-soldier stilt walkers, a musician portraying the Little Drummer Boy and others.
It’s totally appropriate that Kodak is sponsoring this year’s Lone Star Christmas, because there will be zillions of “Kodak moments” for utilizing your photography skills.
The Nutcracker is the timeless tale of a little girl whose Christmas dreams literally come true. "Ice!" will also have bonus rooms, including one themed “Christmas in New York” and a Nativity. Forty master ice artisans traveled to Grapevine from Harbin, China, to work their magic, spending a month creating the ice sculptures. It’s cold, sure, with the exhibit kept at a wintry 9 degrees, but not to worry — complimentary parkas are on hand to keep out the chill.
You can also experience a “white Christmas” at the snow-tubing hill, for both kids and adults, made of 1.5 million pounds of snow. Families can also have fun making gingerbread creations from five available kits, from a gingerbread family to an entire gingerbread train set. Go crazy with your icing, sprinkles and gum drops.
The Journey to Christmas Kingdom 5-D cinema adventure lets visitors join in a hunt with the Toy Soldier and his friends, who are looking for Santa’s missing presents to pack into his sleigh. Your senses will go into holiday overdrive as you experience “magic bubbles,” fog, lasers and more. Ride a virtual roller coaster, hop through the enchanted Wish Tunnel and explore the Holiday Candy Castle, all from the comfort of your movie seat.
There’s so much to do, you may want to go back more than once, which is fine — the whole shebang lasts through New Year’s.
Through January 4 at the Gaylord Texan Resort, 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine. Free admission to Lone Star Christmas to see the trees, lights and decorations and enjoy strolling performers. Lone Star Christmas hours are Sundays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. See below for pricing and hours for special exhibits and activities. For all attractions: 817-778-1000. christmasatgaylordtexan.com.
“Ice!” Hours are the same as for Lone Star Christmas (see above). $21.95-$29.95 for adults, $19.95-$26.95 for seniors and active or retired military (military rate available only at box office with valid military ID), $11.95-$16.95 for children 4-12, free for children under 4.
Gingerbread decorating: Mondays through Thursdays from 1 to 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays noon to 9 p.m. $29.95-$68.95 depending on gingerbread kit chosen.
Journey to Christmas Kingdom: Screenings during Lone Star Christmas hours (see above). $19.95 per person.