ICE! Christmas at Gaylord National: The Complete Guide

ICE! at Gaylord National Resort

Courtesy of Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

As part of Christmas on the Potomac, the Gaylord National Resort’s ICE! is a special holiday event in the Washington, D.C. area you won't want to miss. This one-of-a-kind event involves massive ice sculptures that are carved to tell timeless Christmastime stories, located in the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland.

This holiday season, the popular holiday attraction returns with a brand-new theme for 2022, "A Christmas Story." ICE! is open daily beginning Nov. 20, 2022, and closes for the season on December 31, 2022.

The resort will offer a variety of immersive activities in the hotel’s exhibit hall. Upon entrance, guests will discover a decorated Christmas town square, complete with holiday merchandise, a hot chocolate stand, Santa’s sleigh, and a carousel ride.

Gaylord National’s ICE!

At the Gaylord National Resort, visitors step inside a winter wonderland created entirely of 5,000 blocks of ice weighing more than 2 million pounds, hand-sculpted by 40 international artisans and kept at a chilling nine degrees Fahrenheit. Produced exclusively for Gaylord Hotels, the attraction is fully interactive, allowing guests to roam inside, around, and on top of holiday scenes.

The indoor, walk-through attraction is housed in an enormous 15,000 square feet structure that is specially constructed and thickly insulated to help maintain its cold internal temperature. To stay comfortable inside, guests are loaned oversized winter coats to wear. It gets pretty chilly, so bring a hat and a pair of gloves.

History and Artistry

The master artisans who created Gaylord National’s ICE! 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. 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. Gaylord National Resort brought 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. They arrive in mid-October and stay onsite for more than 30 days to build and hand-carve the attraction in time for its debut.


Admission is required to enter ICE!, and you can purchase them in advance online or at the door. ICE! fills up quickly on many days, especially weekends, so buying tickets online is encouraged.

The prices depend on the day you visit, with the most expensive days on weekends and the days right around Christmas. Tickets start at $37 for adults and $28 for children. Kids under 4 years enter free, and there are also discounts for active and retired military members.

Christmas Decor and Free Nightly Entertainment

"Cirque: Spirit of Christmas" will be this year's featured holiday show, combining dazzling acrobatics, feats of flexibility, and high-flying stunts. The Broadway-style spectacle centers around Noel, a child dismayed and distressed by the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Trying to recapture her lost love of the season, she is visited by spirits who bring back the true meaning of the season in energetic, dreamlike chapters. Performances will run daily, with tickets priced at $21.99 for all ages.

More Seasonal Activities

  • A Snow Flow Mountain will be on display from Nov. 20, 2022 to December 31, 2022. Visitors can slide through frozen solid factory conveyor belts and ride tubes down a thrilling plummet slide or hilly ice coaster in the surrounding Snow Factory.
  • Enjoy ice skating at 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Skating costs $20.99 for all ages.
  • Experience the thrill of bumper cars on ice from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.