Nothing says “Happy Holidays” quite like Christmas at Gaylord of the Rockies. What used to be the only destination this far east in Aurora, aside from the Denver International Airport, the Gaylord of the Rockies has brought the spirit of Christmas alive for the past several years, making it one of the top destinations for locals and travelers alike looking to celebrate the season in a big way. Bring your friends, bring your family, and discover how you can celebrate the holidays close to home with Christmas at Gaylord of the Rockies.
See 2 million pounds of ice come to life at ICE!
A chilling annual holiday tradition that started in 2019 at Gaylord of the Rockies, ICE! is now on display for all to see. “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.”
Using more than two million pounds of ice, ICE! brings back to life the holiday classic from Warner Bros., ‘A Christmas Story™’ with ice sculptures sculpted by a team of 40 world-class ice artisans from Harbin, China — home to the world’s largest annual ice and snow sculpting festival in the world. The process began with more than 6,000 massive ice blocks, with the carvers working approximately six weeks – more than 12,000 man-hours – to create the nearly 17,000-square-foot frozen attraction. The artisans, using chisels, chippers, tongs, handsaws and skills passed down through generations, follow a 300-page design book to create the ice sculptures.
More than just sculptures, these colorful ice pieces tell a story — a story we all know and love. If you’re an 80s baby like myself, you’ll enjoy the trip down memory lane with over ten scenes from the cult classic made of hand-carved colored ice, clear ice and LED lights. Favorite 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.
Kids, and even adult kids like myself, save the best for last with a slippery slide down the ice slides. The two-story-tall ice slides traverse through ice tunnels and arches with a quick 5-second ride that you can do as many times as you’d like.
To keep the ice, well cold, the area is kept frozen by a state-of-the-art chilling system that maintains the temperature at 9 degrees Fahrenheit. So come prepared and dress warm. I suggest a beanie and gloves in addition to your winter jacket. Guests who want an extra layer of warmth and who want to go down the slide will get the signature blue parka to wear throughout the exhibit.
Cirque: Spirit of Christmas Performance
While ICE! is the signature attraction for Christmas at Gaylord Rockies, “Cirque: Spirit of Christmas” returns for another performance with all that you can expect from a Cirque show: colorful costumes, breathtaking aerial performances and feats that defy gravity.
Sit back and watch as performers engage in high-flying stunts, acrobatic stunts, elaborate staging, and aerial silk performers that will have your jaw dropping to the floor and gasping for air. The 75-minute show is performed by an international cast of 25 artists all around the world for a truly one-of-a-kind performance.
Take a stroll through Mistletoe Village
Reminiscent of what Santa’s Christmas Village in the North Pole might look like, the Mistletoe Village at Gaylord of the Rockies is where most of the activities (including ICE!) take place.
Learn from Santa’s little helpers, his magical elves, as they teach the secrets of becoming a toymaker in Elf Training Academy. Get creative and build your own bear at the Build-A-Bear Workshop® or build your own house made of candy at the Gingerbread Decorating Corner, and get your photo taken with Nutmeg the Gingerbread Man.
But for the classic photo with Santa Claus guests can chat with the jolly old elf himself inside the Mistletoe Village at Father Christmas Library now through December 24. Don’t like sitting on Santa’s lap? Then take a seat during Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions for a retelling of the Christmas classic, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, and share a batch of Santa’s favorite snack – warm, fresh-baked Christmas cookies and ice-cold milk.
Outside of Mistletoe Village guests can test their skills inside the Naughty or Nice Escape Room or partake in the Reindeer Games™ Scavenger Hunt featuring Rudolph and The Misfit Toys.
Eat, drink and be merry!
Aside from the six different food concepts at the hotel, several holiday-themed pop-up bars are placed throughout the hotel, serving an array of festive beverages and snacks. Holiday favorites include Green Nog, Kringle Old Fashioned, Mistletoe Margarita and more. Walk around, find a cozy corner to relax by the fire, and enjoy a holiday drink that’ll put you in good spirits.
Stay for the night
Make your Christmas at Gaylord of the Rockies a staycation to remember by booking an overnight stay. For the first time this year, they are offering packages that include special room rates and admission to select events. Overnight guests will enjoy perks including: “Chill Pass” privileges to ICE!, offering front-of-line access and shorter wait times. “Chill Pass” is free for eligible guests. Plus, guests get an invitation to “Extra Cool Hour,” which provides early entry into ICE! and Mistletoe Village one hour before it opens for day guests. “Extra Cool Hour” is free for eligible guests. Book your best Christmas experience at Gaylord of the Rockies!