Visit the Opryland ICE! Exhibit

Dramatic Ice Monuments and Sculptures in Nashville

Copyright Jan Duke
© Jan Duke

On your next trip to Nashville, Tennessee, head to a whimsical winter wonderland at Gaylord Opryland's "ICE!," featuring larger-than-life, three-dimensional ice monuments, and colorful ice sculptures, many of which are more than 25 feet in length.

This exhibit is created from 1.5 million pounds of ice and is kept at a chilly 9 degrees, blending amazing frozen creations with thrilling ice slides, all enhanced by dramatic lighting and special effects; to stay comfortable throughout this "frozen fountain of youth," guests are issued complimentary warm parkas with hoods.

ICE! is an incredible, hand-carved holiday attraction located at the Gaylord Opryland Resort where it is enclosed in the self-contained, 40,000-square-foot refrigerated Convention Center. The unique exhibit has become a must-see holiday event for families living in or visiting the Nashville area, though it can be seen at a few other Gaylord Hotels properties across the United States. Guest can get their chilling thrill at Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee; Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas; and Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Florida, as each property hosts their versions of ICE!

during the Christmas season.

The Story of ICE!

ICE! provides an unusual and exciting addition to Gaylord Opryland's A Country Christmas by transforming the entire space into a winter wonderland of ice sculptures, displays, and even some live entertainment, which has led to this attraction garnering national recognition from USA Today, The New York Times, Southern Living magazine and Travel + Leisure magazine, to name a few.

ICE! is the creation of 35 dedicated artisans from Harbin, China who spend nearly an entire month in Nashville creating this one-of-a-kind attraction. The resulting handiwork includes beloved holiday figures such as Santa and Mrs. Claus, frolicking snowmen, and heavenly angels—many of which weigh more than 2 tons.

Part of Gaylord Opryland's A Country Christmas, ICE! is normally held from mid-November through the first week of January, and this year ICE! features an entirely new theme with "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which features all the Peanuts gang rediscovering the true meaning of Christmas.

Along with a slew of special offerings (detailed below), guests can also exit the cold exhibition into the retail and refreshment area, where they can have a warm treat and shop for gifts and souvenirs.

Experience Other Special Offerings of ICE!

Although the ice sculptures are the highlight of ICE!, the exhibit features even more. Here are few of the other highlights: 

  • Live country music. Upon entering the exhibit, guests meet the welcome wagon ICE! style, with a snowman country band, complete with a Grand Ole Opry barn façade in vibrant color.
  • An old-fashioned country home. A giant, full-color wreath portal transports guests back in time to an old-fashioned country home carved out of ice. The scene captures Christmas Eve, complete with a gingerbread ice porch and a Victorian ice family giddy with Christmas spirit. Mom and Dad steal a kiss under the mistletoe, the family dog sleeps by the fireplace where stockings hang and a child looks upon the scene in amazement. In the center of it all is the family tree, built from green ice with glowing electric candles.
  • An ice carriage. Beyond the house, the country ice adventure continues as guests come upon a horse-drawn carriage and frozen driver, where they can climb aboard, take a seat beside the icy driver and have their photo taken on a frozen sleigh ride.
  • A Christmas castle. Next, leave the "real world" of a country Christmas and enter the fantasy world of the Christmas Castle, with toy soldiers standing guard and candy cane turrets. This is a magical play land, featuring the ever-popular two-story ice slides. Guests can choose from three different slides or ride them all.
  • Santa's Toyland. Leaving the castle courtyard through a long, illuminated tunnel, guests find the surprise at the other end is Santa's Toyland. Here lives a magical, icy machine-age toy factory. This is the most colorful area ever attempted in ice. Elves are hard at work carving toys and placing them on enchanted conveyor belts to load up Santa's sleigh. Bright flashing lights and colorful candy decorations adorn the whimsical contraptions, all under Santa's watchful eye. Guests can pose for photos on a special stage beside the ice Santa himself.
  • The Winter Forest. Upon leaving Santa's Toyland, guests begin to segue back to the real world from the North Pole fantasy. The Winter Forest is a tranquil and contemplative environment, featuring a running waterfall, twinkling stars behind a painted dusk sky and a winding footpath. This area is quiet and natural, inviting guests to reflect on the meaning of the holiday season while discovering the beauty of the serene ice setting. To be discovered among the trees are realistic woodland creatures populating the ice forest. A bench is provided for guests to sit and capture a snapshot in front of the waterfall and pond. In a silhouette, Santa passes over the scene via illuminated moonlight.
  • Country Church. Guests exit the forest through a frozen tree canopy. This path leads to a Country Church environment. Here, a monumental sculpture of the Herald Angel is set against a rustic church. Light streams through ice, stained-glass windows surrounding the angel with a miraculous aura.
  • The Nativity. Upon leaving the church, guests will round the corner to discover the crown jewel of ICE!: the Nativity. With much anticipation for the detail and splendor, guests marvel year after year as this crystal manger completes their experience. This is the signature scene of the show, one of the world's most beautiful and inspirational renditions of the Nativity.

    In 2017, Charlie Brown characters adorn many of these exhibits, tying in this year's theme "A Charlie Brown Christmas" to the staple exhibits that are typically on display from year to year.