Christmas Comes Early: A Virtual Tour of The Gaylord Texan’s Lone Star Christmas

Gaylord Texan

The Gaylord Texan’s Lone Star Christmas festivities have kicked off in Grapevine and are in full swing for the upcoming Christmas season. This year the hotel boasts a wide variety of events, ranging from the ICE! exhibit to a North Pole themed escape room. I took my family this past weekend to experience some of the events and see if it could possibly measure up to the hype.

While the holiday season critics may take issue with me, it appears that November is by no means too early to begin Christmas celebrations. From the second you step inside the massive hotel, you are transported into a winter wonderland. I have toured ICE! once before but never ventured into the main areas of the Gaylord. Apparently, that was a major mistake.

The hotel interior was covered in winter décor. Lights, ornaments, trains, trees and faux snow adorned every corner of the hotel. Staff members were creating Christmas themed balloon animals while professional photographers roamed the grounds taking pictures. Children were running around doing scavenger hunts while others were seated constructing gingerbread houses. The plethora of Christmas activities was almost overwhelming.

After a short stroll through the lobby, we started off our visit with a character brunch. The food was top notch and my girls were ecstatic when the two Elf on the Shelf characters appeared. They took pictures, danced around, and of course caused some slight mischief with my children.

From there we headed over to visit ICE! The Gaylord brings in ice sculptors from China and rent out ice factories each year for the event. Millions of pounds of ice are colored and shipped as giant blocks to the hotel. There, the artists carefully recreate the scenes we see today. You can even find a true ice-skating rink outside the main entrance to the exhibit.

This year’s theme is ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’. The smell of roasted nuts, hot chocolate, and cookies lure you into the entrance. We donned our blue parkas they gave us, took a quick picture, and went forth into the frozen storybook. My girls were amazed at the colors and amount of ice. They were so mesmerized by touching the ice walls that we had to pry them away from the entrance room just so we could see the actual exhibit. The words from the story were embedded in every intricate scene along with sound effects. About halfway through the tour there is an opportunity for children and youthfully spirited adults to go down slides made of ice. It took a while to convince my girls that we had to move on. The final station of the exhibit includes a crystal clear nativity scene and towering angel.

After turning over our parkas and thawing off a bit, our children forcefully guided us to the snow tubing area. There, we grabbed our tubes and headed down a twelve-lane hill. Of course we repeated this multiple times after our first trip. I would like to say that this was all the doing of my children but I fear that I may have been just as much (if not more) to blame. Seriously, who can pass up indoor snow tubing?

Finally, we stopped to take pictures with Santa on our way out. Yes, I know it is November. Don’t judge me. For the first time my family will actually have Christmas cards that do not contain pictures from July 4th or Thanksgiving. The girls immediately took to Santa, a somewhat difficult talk when a two year old is involved. We took our pictures, parted ways, and made one final stroll through the Gaylord Texan.

On the way out my youngest daughter exclaimed, “Thank you Daddy for taking me to this place”. Both children talked all the way back to the car about their favorite things they saw and did. For anyone with children or someone just trying to get a bit of holiday spirit, I would strongly suggest heading out to the Gaylord Texan this winter.