ICE! 2017: Christmas at the Gaylord National Resort

Award-Winning Holiday Attraction at National Harbor

Gaylord National's ICE! 2018
••• © Gaylord National Resort

As part of Christmas on the Potomac, the Gaylord National Resort’s ICE! is a special holiday event in the Washington DC area you won't want to miss! This holiday season, Gaylord National Resort’s popular holiday attraction returns with a brand-new theme. The theme for the 2017 edition of Gaylord National’s ICE! is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer telling the story of how Rudolph’s red-nose first helped Santa guide his sleigh.

 See Photos of ICE! at the Gaylord National Resort

Dates: November 18, 2017 - January 1, 2018 

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.

What is Gaylord National’s ICE!?

At the Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor, visitors step inside a winter wonderland created entirely of 5,000 BLOCKS of ice weighing 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 internal temperature of nine degrees.

To stay comfortable inside, guests are loaned oversized winter coats to wear. It gets pretty chilly, so be sure to bring a hat and a pair of gloves.

History & 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, staying onsite for more than 30 days, to build and hand-carve the attraction in time for its debut.

Hours: Open daily, hours vary

Tickets: Adults (ages 12+) starting at $28, Kids (ages 3-11) starting at $20, ages 2 and under are free. Discounted tickets for group of 20 or more are available. Packages including hotel accommodations begin at $219.

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. Visit www.christmasonthepotomac.com or call (301) 965-4000.

Location:  Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD. 

See a map and directions

Hotels and Accommodations at National Harbor

The Gaylord National Resortis a family-friendly 2,000 room hotel and conference center located on the Potomac River in National Harbor, Maryland just outside of Washington DC.

  Additional hotels at National Harbor include: Hampton Inn and Suites, Residence Inn by Marriott, WestinWyndham Vacation Resorts and AC Hotel By Marriott

Compare Prices of All National Harbor Hotels

Christmas Decor and Free Nightly Entertainment at the Gaylord 

The Starlight Christmas Tree will be the star of the hotel’s nightly holiday fountain show, Sounds and Songs of Christmas, at 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. The tree is comprised of 50 five-point stars, inspired by Washington, DC Americana and representative of the 50 states of America. The tree topper displays one large star - signifying the Capital – and a small cluster of stars to pay homage to the deco liberty coin. The holiday fountain show runs nightly from November 18 through January 1.

Additional Seasonal Activities

  • New this year, a live entertainment show, JOY – A Holiday Spectacular, will be performed within the hotel's stunning 19-story atrium. Visitors can enjoy the rich harmonies of classic and modern songs that celebrate the joy of the holiday season performed by Gaylord National singers. 
  • Also new is a Glacier Glide Ice Skating experience in the resort’s ornate Christmas Village. Ice Skating costs $16.99 for all ages.
  • An exclusive Build-A-Bear Workshop experience that lets guests build their very own furry winter friend—a cuddly, cute polar bear plush which can be personalized with cozy winter clothing and accessories.
  • The Christmas Village is home to a variety of family-friendly entertainment including Cookies with Mrs. Claus, a carousel, miniature train ride, photos with Santa and Gingerbread Decorating Corner
  • A new family breakfast experience features Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Clarice. Offered on select days, $39.99 for adults ages 12 and older and $26.99 for children ages 4 to 11. Kids 3 and younger are free.

Read More About Christmas Events at National Harbor