An ice time at the Gaylord Palms

When I asked my kids if they wanted to see ICE at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, I heard a groan from the back of the car.

“It’s too long,” said Aren, my oldest.

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“Too cold,” complained his younger brother, Iden.

I got my way. But the kids are glad I did.

The longer, pre-exhibit presentations featuring a complex story about Santa and explaining the presence of these astonishing ice sculptures, have been abbreviated from two years ago. It did get a little cold — the exhibit area is chilled to 9 degrees, which is an absolutely jarring change when its 80 degrees outside. But the line moved quickly, and the highlight — the ice slide at the end of the show — got the kids warmed up.

The best part of ICE for the adults are the meticulously-carved ice sculptures — angels, ornaments, animals — that seem to come to life in a frozen, darkened tent. It’s really remarkable.

In short, we loved the improvements to ICE over two years ago, the last time we went to it, and I think it’s a terrific family activity during the holidays. You can catch ICE at the Gaylord Palms here in Orlando, the Gaylord National resort in Washington, the Gaylord Texan and the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville. (They’re all slightly different; the Texan features the Grinch from Dr. Seuss, for example.)

(Full disclosure: Our friends at the Gaylord Orlando invited us to see the latest edition of ICE. Before getting their offer, I asked my family if they wanted to see it, and I heard a groan from the seat next to mine: “Too expensive.” She had a point … unless you go mid-week, ICE has a big price.)

(Photo: Traveling Fools of America/Flickr Creative Commons)

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