ICE! at Gaylord Palms
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Hooray for the Holidays!  Christmas decorations, holiday parties, gifts, trees, lights, holiday movies, friends, family – it can be the most wonderful time of the year.  The only thing missing in Tampa Bay is, well, cold weather and snowy winter backdrops perfect for holiday pics.  Thankfully, you can find that and more on a great overnight date night trip about an hour’s drive from Tampa to Christmas at Gaylord Palms through January 6, 2019.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms presented by Pepsi is an amazing series of experiences that need to be seen (and felt) to really grasp.

ICE! featuring A Christmas Story

The signature experience ICE! immerses you in a frosty nine degree winter wonderland (ICE! provides winter coats, but bring your gloves and a hat!).  And for the first time ever, ICE! features the ultimate Christmas movie “A Christmas Story.”  More than a dozen classic scenes from A Christmas Story have been skillfully recreated and brought to life by ice artisans from Harbin, China.  Triple dog dare yourself to relive your favorite scenes from the movie including the major award, pink bunny PJs, Santa at the mall, and the flagpole!Ice! A Christmas Story at Gaylord Palms

ICE! also features two-story ice slides, the popular Frostbite Factory with live ice carving, Santa’s Snow Throw where guests throw real snowballs at a variety of targets, and guests participating in Snow Tubing zoom down a hill covered in real snow!  ICE! concludes with a separate Nativity scene area created with crystal clear ice.  Tickets to ICE! are $28.99 per adult.

ICE! at Gaylord Palms Christmas Story
Fra-ra-ra-ra-ra! Credit: Orlando Date Night Guide


Debuting in Gaylord Palms’ St. Augustine atrium is a brand-new, dazzling light show, Dreams of Christmas.  It features millions of dancing lights surrounding the resort’s six-story Christmas tree, and all the lights are choreographed to a new musical score, making Dreams of Christmas an amazing multi-sensory experience!  Shows are free and occur nightly.

light-show Gaylord Palms
Pretty lights!


Want to get your heart racing with your sweetheart?  Join in the just-for-grown-ups Polar Dash party!  This adults-only event offers guests chance to experience the frozen world of ICE! in their swimsuits! Throw on your swimsuit and together with your date or friends dash through ICE!’s nine degree winter wonderland!  Polar Dash guests can warm up with free hot chocolate, or even more warming, a cash bar!  Details and access to tickets are here.

Swimsuits at 9-degrees!


Mischievous Jack Frost has moved the names of “Nice” guests onto the Naughty side of Santa’s list.  Work together with other guests of all ages to solve puzzles and discover clues that will secure you a spot on Santa’s good list!   $15.99 per person.

Naughty or Nice Escape Room


Find hidden Santa characters throughout the resort while decoding clues in the all-new Secret Santa Scavenger Hunt.  Using your own Santa’s Secret Service Decoder Ring, you’ll become a member of Santa’s Secret Service and locate unique clues throughout the atrium to break the code and earn a Santa’s Secret Service badge!  $9.99


Presented by Celebration Golf Club, the Sounds of the Season Concert Series shine on the stage beneath the resrot’s six story Christmas tree.  Included this year are legendary Grammy award winner Sandi Patty (Dec. 5), powerful vocalist Deejay Young (Dec. 6), Capella group Voctave (Dec. 12), Holidays in Hollywood (a homage to Christmas movies) (Dec. 18), pop star moms 4eva29 (Dec. 19), and the theatrical vocals of VoicePlay (Dec. 20).  All performances include a concert patron-exclusive admission to ICE!, and tickets start at $25 per person.


Imagined by Broadway director and renowned Cirque Dreams founder Neil Goldberg, Cirque Dreams Unwrapped is a 25 minute action-packed experience of theatricality, imagination, soaring acrobatics and thrills to keep you on the edge of your seat.  Free, although guaranteed seating starts at $15.99 per adult.

Cirque Dreams Unwrapped
Cirque Dreams Unwrapped


Personally prepared by Sparkle the Elf, Chief Christmas Tree Decorator for Santa, guests will discover nine magnificent Christmas Trees provided by Balsam Hill while exploring meandering paths inside the resort’s  Everglades atrium.  Each tree represents one of Sparkle’s favorite things about Christmas, from snowmen and candy canes to reindeer and nutcrackers.  Free.

gaylord palms christmas tree trail
Now this is a Tree!


The best way to experience Christmas at Gaylord Palms and everything it has to offer is with an overnight stay.  Packages include ICE! tickets for two plus souvenir photo are available, starting at $250 plus tax, fees and parking.  Details on overnight packages and pricing available here.


Christmas at Gaylord Palms

November 16, 2018 through January 6, 2019

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

6000 W Osceola Pkwy

Kissimmee, FL 34746


For additional information and to book packages or tickets, visit


Most photos borrowed from Orlando Date Night Guide.

Looking for Tampa Bay’s best New Year’s Eve plans?  Our guide to NYE in Tampa Bay, Clearwater and St. Pete has you covered!