5 degrees is very cold and I wasn’t sure I’d ever get a chance to say that. Or that I’d want a chance to say that.
A few weeks ago, my dad and his wife offered to take our family to see ICE! at the Gaylord National Hotel. I honestly had no idea what it was but I said, “Sure! An ice show sounds great!”
I tweeted about it and thankfully found several people who had been the previous year or had been to other locations and assured me it was pretty cool and worth going. Since I wasn’t paying, that made it especially appealing.
I did my research. I watched the videos. I learned that there is a whole artisan craft devoted to ice sculpture. And I don’t mean the guys that make a pretty sculpture for the captain’s buffet at the end of a cruise. That’s an ice sculpture but not on the scale of what I saw at the Gaylord.
They literally import Chinese ice sculptors who live in Northern China and contribute to the Ice Lantern Festival every year (the pictures I’ve seen are stunning).
But this is Maryland we’re talking about. Not the frigid Arctic Circle or anything.
When we arrived we were informed that in order to the keep the ice sculptures from melting, the exhibit area was at a mere 5 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s cool. I like it chilly. I had my stylish down coat on. And they were providing us parkas.
We entered and were immediately amazed. Everything was made of ice. Clear ice, colored ice. It was truly a winter wonderland.
Even with all the beauty, my four year old was less than cooperative. He was tired from waiting. He was hungry. He was hot with his coat on. He was cold in the exhibit. There was no pleasing him. Until we got to the best part of the exhibit. The ice slide!
We all took turns taking a slide down. It wasn’t until I was about halfway down the slide that I realized leaning back on the parka would make me zip down. I ended up in a full on belly laugh as I skidded onto the astroturf at the end. I’m pretty sure my husband was having a good time too. (Can you see the boyish grin on his face?)
My pouty-faced little boy was so excited he wanted to go again. So he and Daddy ventured back to the top of the slide while I waited at the bottom to capture this moment. Watch the right-hand slide and you’ll see my little Evan coming down the slide in a very unique manner. My husband follow right behind him.
We finished looking at all the ice sculptures and ended up looking at (gasp) a nativity scene made of ice! I was shocked that we would allow any such religious overtones to be present for religious holiday but I was pretty impressed.
At this point, it didn’t matter how holy the scene was. I was pretty freaking cold. I lived in Cleveland for many years. I remember the day that the high temperature was -20 degrees and with the wind chill it was -40. It was cold. But it’s been years since I was that bundled up girl.
Even though I looked chic in my faux-fur lined hood and not-so-chic with my ugly blue parka, by the end of the exhibit, I was ready to be done. It turns out 5 degrees is very cold after all.
That ice slide looks super cool! I’m always amazed at the things that people can make out of such ordinary items such as ice. Talent!
They make you watch a mini-documentary about it before you go in and it is quite the artform!
Wow! Worth a drive for our family next year!
I think it is. Besides the ice show, they had ice skating, hot chocolate, a scavenger hunt. So it’s definitely a family day event.
That is spectacular. My BF’s husband is a champion ice carver, but those are just out of this world.
Oh yeah, they have their own special tools and everything. And even though they warned us not to touch, I did. Just once (shhhhhh)
It looks super fun!! (even if y’all were freezing)
I don’t mind the cold but by the time we were finished I was not nearly as fond of the cold. So glad I had my hood!
Looks pretty neat!
It was pretty cool. I’d rather see the ice festival in China, personally.
I love the colored sculptures That’s insane! I’d really like to figure out how to fashion an ice slide, too. That’s too much fun!
I know. They hauled in tons of ice for the sculpture. And if there wasn’t a line, I would have definitely done the ice slide again!
Looks like fun and cool things to do but yeah that looks cold too 😀
Fun, cool, and cold. Yup, that about sums it up.
looks amazing and FREEZING too!
Technically, BELOW freezing 😉
So fun! I have friends that go to this every year in FL. That slide looks awesome!
That would be weird to go in FL. At least it was still cold outside when we left the building!