Thank you to the Gaylord Opryland for providing accommodations and tickets to ICE!. All thoughts and words are my own.
Our family has always talked about going to see the lights at the Gaylord Opryland just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. We enjoy driving around and seeing our local light displays; we even once visited a display set to music. And the Gaylord Opryland also has other fun holiday events, like a Shrek Holiday Feast, ICE! Featuring Frosty the Snowman, shops, a nativity, and more.
So when the lovely folks at the hotel offered for us to come down and check out the ICE! Featuring Frosty the Snowman display, we of course accepted. I thought Bubbles would get a kick out of the brightly-colored ice figurines and spending a night on such a beautiful property sounded great, too. And as the Gaylord Opryland is within convenient driving distance from us, it was a good fit to go.
After checking in, we wound our way up through a beautiful indoor atrium in what is called the Cascades area. It’s aptly named as there’s actually a cascading waterfall on one side of the atrium. On the other is one the hotel’s main restaurants, the Cascades American Cafe. The dress is casual – the seating is open to the atrium – and upon check in it was the eatery recommended to us as one of the most family-friendly spots in the hotel.
We took the elevator up to our room. Our room was just off the Cascades atrium – we even had a cute little open-air balcony where we could look out at the greenery, Christmas lights, and diners below us. I was a little worried that the room might be a bit noisy with all the hustle and bustle of the hotel just outside our balcony doors, but we never heard a peep.
After regrouping for a short time, we set out to explore the hotel and head over to ICE! Featuring Frosty the Snowman. Hotel check in starts at 3 p.m. and ICE! closes at 7 p.m. so we didn’t really want to dawdle too much in between. We did stop into Stax, a design-your-own burger spot – and had a quite late lunch/early dinner.
ICE! Featuring Frosty the Snowman
ICE! is in the convention center across from the resort. It was a short walk and there are crossing guards to help keep things moving and keep folks safe. ICE! Featuring Frosty the Snowman is hand-carved by 40 artists from Harbin, China. They use 2 million pounds of ice kept at a chilly 9 degrees. Be sure to wear hats, mittens, comfortable close-toed shoes, and warm clothes. The resort provides all guests a full-length blue parka available in all sizes, including infants and toddlers.
You’ll be amazed at the snow sculptures. They look exactly like the characters from the movie and are brightly colored. The entire Frosty the Snowman special is played out through carved scenes, from the creation of Frosty, to his melting, to his reformation.
In the middle of the town from the special there is a really unique feature. The sculptors have created slides made from ice that you can actually go and slide down. Bubbles could have gone down the slide with one of us, but I felt she was still a tiny bit young for something like that, so we passed. But it looked like a lot of fun!
There are also two bonus areas, one featuring New York City, and the other a nativity done all in clear ice. I had never seen anything like it in my entire life and am so glad we all experienced it together. It’s pretty amazing.
By the time we left ICE! it was dark and all the lights were lit. We took a tour around the resort before heading back to our room. Between the drive, the excitement, and the cold, everyone was sleepy. Of course we did have to stop off at one of the coffee spots to get a hot chocolate for the walk back to the room.
I highly recommend if you get the chance that you visit the Gaylord Opryland during the holidays. The lights and ICE! were both awesome, and I think the gingerbread house-building event with Gingy (from Shrek) would be a ton of fun for kiddos, too. I’d love to go back and see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes, too!