Gaylord Rockies Celebrates the Holidays with 2 Million Pounds of Ice

The Holiday Classic ‘A Christmas Story™’ is told Through Hand-Carved Ice Sculptures

Photo Courtesy: The Gaylord Rockies & Convention Center

AURORA, Colo. (July 25, 2023) — ICE!, the annual holiday tradition at Gaylord Hotels, returns Nov. 17, 2023, through Jan. 1, 2024. Using more than two million pounds - or 1,000 tons - of ice, the amusing Warner Bros. holiday classic, ‘A Christmas Story™,' will be brought to life in ice sculpture form by a team of 40 world-class ice artisans from Harbin, China. The holiday celebration continues with performances from “Cirque: Spirit of Christmas,” ice slides, Christmas activities, and a visit from Santa Claus.

This year, guests will experience over ten scenes from the hilarious family tale in hand-carved sculptures made of ice. Featured scenes include the old man's major award, Aunt Clara's pink nightmare, the ultimate triple dog dare at the school's flagpole, and more. Colored ice, clear ice, and LED lights are all used to create the display.

Starting with more than 6,000 massive ice blocks, the carvers work approximately six weeks - more than 12,000 man-hours - to create the nearly 17,000-square-foot frozen attraction. The artisans, using skills passed down through generations, follow a 300-page design book to create the ice spectacle. Ice carvings range in size from details as tiny as a coin to soaring scenes more than 30 feet tall. The environment will be kept frozen by a state-of-the-art chilling system that maintains the attraction’s temperature at nine degrees Fahrenheit. Guests will sport a signature blue parka to stay warm.

The carvers will travel more than 5,700 miles from their homes in Harbin, China, to Aurora, Colorado. Known as “Ice City,” Harbin is home to the world’s largest annual ice and snow sculpting festival in the world. At Gaylord Rockies, some of the same artisans who create the Harbin festival will carve 300-pound blocks of ice into the larger-than-life, whimsical scenes. Carvers will use chisels, chippers, tongs, handsaws, grinders, and even chainsaws to bring “A Christmas Story” to life.“

“ICE! has been a tradition at Gaylord Hotels for two decades now,” said General Manager Suzy Hart. “This is the first time Rockies has put on ‘A Christmas Story’ and watching people come together to enjoy it never gets old.”

In addition to the amazing ice sculptures from the fan-favorite Christmas movie, guests can also take rides down the two-story-tall ice slides and traverse through ice tunnels and arches. The ICE! experience concludes in a separate area dedicated to the Nativity scene, meticulously carved and shaped in a dramatic display of crystal-clear ice.

Also being unwrapped this year are Christmas at Gaylord Rockies packages that include special room rates and admission to select events. Guests are encouraged to book their experiences early, as advance online reservations are required for all ticketed events. Tickets are limited to many of the experiences. For tickets, more information, or to book an overnight stay, guests may visit

- The Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center