Now that our boys are school age, my husband and I are always looking for new holiday traditions for the four of us to do together. Sure, we enjoy the family gatherings with grandparents and cousins and the like, but this year we decided to try something new to us: ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.
The theme for 2017 is based on the television special that has been a holiday tradition for generations. All of your favorite Peanuts characters are there! This was our first trip to ICE! and we were thrilled to see those iconic scenes recreated in color and cold. I anticipate this will become a yearly tradition for us.
Located at Opry Mills, ICE! is housed in the Event Center near the Opry Mills Mall and the Gaylord Marriott Hotel. As we walked into the area, we also saw a snow tubing area and several food vendors set up outside. With holiday music playing in the background, this outside area was ready to get us in the mood for the chilly fun inside. Because we went on ICE!’s opening day, the crowd was relatively small, but I can see this area being a fun and festive way to continue the Christmas fun that we would find inside the Event Center.
Going into the building, we were greeted with a large gift shop that included any number of holiday goodies both Peanuts-themed and not. From there, we walked into the ICE! area itself, starting with some photo opportunities with snowmen and other holiday-themed features before reaching a series of television screens that looped a program talking about ICE! and its highlights.
The area grew colder and colder as we walked farther in, picking up long blue parkas and getting our family photo made before going in to see the ice sculptures themselves.
We have heard about ICE! from a number of friends over the years and we had some idea of what to expect, but the reality exceeded our imagination, for sure. Each sculpture is a full color and oversized representation of something from A Charlie Brown Christmas. We saw Snoopy’s doghouse being decorated for the contest. My boys were so excited to see the Peanuts gang skating in a line as they did in the show. My youngest went down the ice slide several times as my oldest and I looked at each of the Peanuts characters sculpted in color and ice. We saw Charlie Brown excited over his real Christmas tree and Linus giving his speech about the meaning of the holiday.
Each scene looked like it was taken from the show directly, down to the deals of the facial expressions and colors and more. I have watched this holiday special a thousand times in my life and seeing it rendered this way made me even more excited about the upcoming season.
Once we passed the last scene from the Peanuts special, the last room featured a beautiful rendering of an angel and the Nativity scene, done in clear and perfect ice. Every aspect of these displays were ripe for photo opportunities and we were able to take many lovely photos of our family as we walked through the area. Back in the gift shop, we shed our parkas and grabbed a snack while we shopped for a souvenir from our trip.
Overall, the drive from Huntsville to Nashville was well worth the experience of seeing these iconic scenes rendered in ice and immersing ourselves in a bit of holiday cheer as we anticipate this magical season.
Things to Remember About ICE!
As the website says, ICE! is kept at 9 degrees to keep the ice sculptures intact. We rarely experience such cold in our area and I found myself somewhat unprepared for those temperatures.
- I definitely recommend dressing in layers and bringing hats, gloves, and scarves for everyone.
- Closed-toe shoes are a must for everyone.
- The area is also stroller-friendly as well as being accessible to persons of all abilities.
- The gift shop has snacks to help you warm up after walking through the chill as well as other souvenirs and holiday decorations you can take home.
- Spend a few minutes in there to find something fun to take home to remember your ICE! experience.
Before you go in to see the ice sculptures, photographers will gather your group to take your photo. You can purchase the photos in the gift shop; packages are comparable to those offered whenever you visit Santa Claus at the mall. Depending on your budget, this might get pricey, but the photo is a nice memory of your day at ICE!.
In addition to the ice sculptures, ICE! has other experiences you can include in your day in Nashville. You can have breakfast with Charlie Brown and Friends, go ice skating, see the beautiful light displays inside the Opryland Hotel, visit Santa Claus, and more.
The Opry Mills area is replete with opportunities to celebrate the holiday season however you and your family would like. This holiday season, I recommend you take the short trip to Nashville with your family and make a day of experiences like ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas. I know we’ll look forward to visiting again next year!
ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas
Location: Nashville’s Gaylord Opry Mills (map)
Dates: November 10, 2017 – January 1, 2018
Cost: $19 – $44 depending on age & ticket package
Groupon for ICE! | Discounts from Nashville Fun for FamiliesView ICE! Website
You Might Also Like…
- My Big Fat Nashville Family Getaway at Opry Mills
- Holiday Happenings Guide to Huntsville
- Take the Kids to the Magic City: Exploring Birmingham
Jennifer Kelly grew up in the Birmingham area, but migrated to Huntsville for graduate school and put down roots after meeting her husband, Jamie. In addition to being a mom to her two boys, she is a tennis ninja, trivia nerd, freelance editor, and aspiring writer. You can visit her at The Sir Barton Project, a blog about her upcoming book.