Cost? Dependent on activity- see picture chart below for complete pricing
I love Christmas and I love the Gaylord Texan. Put them together and this Mama is one happy camper. The Gaylord is impressive on any given day, but walk into the open Atrium during November 10-January 1st, and prepare to be amazed.
There are so many activities the Gaylord hosts during the holidays so I highly recommend you have a plan of attack before just walking into the hotel and deciding what you want to do. It can be overwhelming for you, let alone your kiddos whose eyes will sparkle as if they’ve magically landed at the North Pole.
Check out this list first to help determine what suits your kids age/height, and your budget (it can really add up).
One activity my family chose to partake in this year was ICE, and here are a few details you might find useful.
You cannot bring a stroller inside the actual ICE exhibit or line but directly to the right of the entrance they do have stroller parking. The bad news about this is if you are there on a weekend it’ll be packed, which means you’ll be in line for a while. When we went on a Wednesday no one was there so it was glorious. We walked straight in! The last time I went was a couple of years ago on a Saturday. We waited for over an hour in line with no stroller. It was miserable and my then one year old cried almost the entire time. If I hadn’t had my Tula baby carrier I probably would have left because I wouldn’t have been able to carry or corral him for an hour in the line. On top of that, he fell asleep as soon as we entered the exhibit. Typical, right? While we are on this subject, I honestly don’t recommend taking anyone under three. It is too cold and they won’t really appreciate it. Save it for when they can really be impressed. There is a reason they don’t charge for anyone under four. Always a catch right?
Once inside…It’s cold y’all! Super cold! 9 degrees in fact. Bring a jacket, hat and gloves that you can actually take pictures with on your smartphone. Employees will provide you with a large Parka and hat but still…it’s literally freezing. That being said, the 2 million pounds of ice that are hand carved for months are extremely impressive. The detail, colors and artistry are truly unique and special. Right at the beginning, there is a bar where you can warm yourself up with a shot of liquor (for an additional cost of course). Fun if you’re on a date night! Speaking of date night- you can actually arrange a marriage proposal ahead of time. AWE!!!
Towards the end of the exhibit there is a free slide made of ice! If you have a shorter child, head to the left, if not, go to the right for a steeper slide. At this point my 3 year old, who has never turned down a slide in his life, was literally so cold he asked me if we could leave. Did I mention it is cold? Tip- If you are taking Santa pictures while you’re at the Gaylord, I’m sure you’ve dressed your kiddos in adorable Holiday outfits. I recommend you bring a hat as well as tights or pants if they’re wearing a dress and possibly socks and boots to keep them extra warm in addition to the Parka ICE provides.
After leaving this room, you’ll be in the last room which annually displays the Nativity Scene. Honestly, it is breathtaking. Once you exit, you’ll be greeted with options for snacks and warm hot chocolate, as well as an adorable (and pricey) gift shop. At the exit there is also the snow tubing, snow ball fights and a Build a Bear Workshop.
In addition to ICE, the Gaylord offers ice skating, Milk and Cookies with Mrs. Claus, Gingerbread house making, Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt and pictures with Santa. Everything is magical and done well but it is also very pricey. After spending about five hours doing as many holiday activities as we could possibly do in one afternoon, we left feeling in the Christmas spirit for sure!
Want in on a little trick? Parking is $15 to visit the Gaylord but if you eat at any of the restaurants while you’re there, simply get your receipt validated and your parking is FREE. You’re welcome.
Your Out and About Friend,
What is your favorite activity at the Gaylord?
Time and day we visited? 3:00 PM Thursday
Level of crowds? Low
Cleanliness of Bathroom? Excellent
Recommended age? All
Food Options? Yes, several dining options within the hotel
Allowed to bring in food and beverages? No
Stroller friendly? Yes- but not within certain exhibits including ICE
Safety concerns? Yes- ice skating and tubing down a sheet of ice obviously have some safety concerns, height requirements are in place on certain activities
Coupons? I’ve see a lot of coupons in local magazines or check out these deals on their website.