GRAPEVINE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Grapevine is known as the Christmas Capital of Texas and the Gaylord Texan is a big part of the reason.
For almost two months every year, the resort is completely transformed into a 125-acre Winter Wonderland.
For the last 15 years, the Gaylord Texan has enchanted visitors with its enormous and elaborate Christmas displays.
From the 54-foot tall Christmas tree and eight-lane snow-tubing hill to the outdoor ice-skating rink and millions of holiday lights, the resort’s Lone Star Christmas event attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
“We work hard on this all year round,” said Martha Neibling, the director of public relations for the Gaylord Texan Resort. “We have teams that are solely dedicated to creating Christmas. And it’s so fun for us when the events open up, to watch the families coming through, making memories and taking photos. That’s what it’s all about.”
But perhaps the biggest draw is the Texas-sized Winter Wonderland made almost entirely of ice.
Two million pounds of ice made locally and then painstakingly carved by a team of 40 master artisans who are brought in all the way from the famous “Ice City” of Harbin, China.
It’s never the same theme twice — until this year when the Gaylord decided to bring back a family favorite.
“In 15 years, we’ve always had a brand new theme, giving families something new to experience each year, because they make this their family holiday tradition. But one theme they keep asking for again and again is to bring Charlie Brown back,” said Neibling.
There’s also a life-size Nativity scene.
Also back by popular demand is something just for the adults.
“This is our ice bar, which is open to anyone 21 and over, obviously,” Neibling said, describing the bar made almost entirely of ice. “But this will be a fun place for people to come have a cocktail when they’re in ICE!”
It’s important to remember the temperature inside really is bitterly cold.
“Because of the wintery nine degrees, we do provide complimentary parkas for adults and kids to wear, but because it gets so cold, we do also suggest you bring your mittens and your hats and your good shoes, too,” said Neibling.
Nine degrees. It’s hard to fathom, but it’s necessary to keep the ice intact, especially the most popular room of the entire attraction.
“This is where the ice slides are,” said Neibling. “So we have six two-story tall ice slides that kids — and kids at heart — just love to go down.”
At Gaylord’s Lone Star Christmas, what’s old is new again, and it’s sure to get you into the Christmas spirit.
It’s open every day, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, now through Sunday, January 5.