Skip to main content

Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center

1501 Gaylord Trail · Grapevine, Texas 76051 USA

The Making of ICE!®


Lone Star Christmas


All content contained in this site was valid for this past 2019 holiday season.
Sign up and be the first to know what we have in store for 2020! 

From an incredible land of ice and snow halfway around the world, a remarkably talented team of artisans travels to Grapevine, Texas - just to create the amazing ICE! attraction at Gaylord Texan Resort! This band of master carvers spends nearly a month inside a 9-degree tent, to transform two million pounds of ice into a breathtaking winter wonderland. Sound extreme? It is... but to them, it feels much like home.

For tickets & information: +1-817-778-1000

Purchase Ticketsovernight stay dealsWIN 2 FREE NIGHTS

From Harbin, China to Grapevine, Texas

Our troop of ice-loving artisans hails from the city of Harbin, located in Northeast China, where relentless winter winds blow across from neighboring Siberia. Temperatures in Harbin fall dramatically to an average of only two degrees, sometimes plummeting to -36 degrees! Harbin stays below freezing for almost half the year.

Beginnings - Ice Lanterns to Light the Night

Ice Lantern Festivals began in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties of Imperial China. During long winter nights, the overcast skies obscured the stars, and without a compass, navigation was nearly impossible for Chinese hunters. They developed ice lanterns by freezing water in wooden buckets, which formed an ice block once overturned. A candle was placed inside the ice block which magnified the candle light.

A Modern Frozen Festival

In modern times, an Ice Lantern Festival began to be held every winter in celebration of these brave hunters. Citizens of Harbin would cut blocks of ice out of the Songhua River to do some simple carving before placing them on display among intricately constructed ice lanterns. During the seven-month-long winters, one of the highlights became informal competitions between families to see who could create the most impressive display of sculptures and carvings for the Festival.

ICE! at Gaylord Texan

The ice for ICE! arrives in approximately 36 truckloads over a 3-week period from an ice factory. There are two trucks a day for 15 days, which is about as fast as the ice factory can produce it. Large blocks of ice are delivered on pallets via refrigerated tractor-trailers and then moved into place by forklift.

Three types of ice are used in the making of ICE!

Clear, "Crystal" Ice

The most difficult to make. It is created using highly filtered de-ionized water. It takes 3 days to freeze the 45 gallons of water used to create each 400-pound ice block. By freezing it slowly, the molecules are able to line up perfectly, similar to a diamond or crystal.

White Ice

White ice looks like compacted snow. It is frozen quickly, giving it a cloudy look, much like the ice made in a home freezer. By freezing quickly, the molecules do not have time to perfectly align.

Colored Ice

Dyed one of nine brilliant colors, colored ice is used for highlighting and accenting many of the ice sculptures. These giant blocks are made with simple food coloring that is added during the freezing process and the water must be stirred constantly to ensure a consistent color throughout the block.



Buy More and Save!

Create the ultimate experience this holiday season AND save money while you do it! Combine ICE! with 2 or more events and save up to 30% on your visit.

Purchase Tickets


See All Events & Activities

Don't miss all the free activities and ticketed events during Lone Star Christmas at Gaylord Texan!

Learn More


Peanuts © 2019 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

Change Language

Marriott offers websites in several languages and a variety of regions to help your travel experience. Please select the option most relevant to you.