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ICE! returns to the Potomac (Video)

Sunday - 11/17/2013, 8:24am  ET

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ICE! provides free parkas for the walk through, but you need to bring your own gloves or mittens. (WTOP/Bob Madigan)
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WASHINGTON -- If you missed the message, the holiday season has begun and it's getting a frosty reception. But that's a good thing at the Gaylord National Resort where ICE! has opened for its sixth Christmas on the Potomac.

This year, at least 30 master ice artisans from Harbin, China carved 5,000 blocks of ice, weighing in at 2 million pounds.

They painstakingly created spectacular ice sculptures depicting the poem "'Twas The Night Before Christmas," as well as "Christmas in New York," which includes a Yellow Cab kids can sit in.

But remember it is ice and that makes for a cold experience because to preserve the frozen masterpieces, the special tent is kept at a downright cold 9 degrees. Some of the ice sculptures are 20 feet high and the favorite ice slides are back.

Back inside the Gaylord National Resort's 19-story glass Atrium, it is a comfortable 72 degrees but that's doesn't stop it from snowing inside twice each evening.

And suspended from the center of the atrium is a 60-foot-tall Christmas tree made entirely of synthetic "candy glass." By day, it looks like a spectacular stained- glass window.

ICE! provides free parkas for the walk through, but you need to bring your own gloves or mittens. A scarf and hat are not a bad idea.

The ICE! tent is now conveniently located on the hotel's riverfront garden - RiverView Terrace. Enter from the main lobby or ballroom levels.

ICE! tickets for adults (ages 12 and up) start at $27 and for kids (ages 3-11) tickets start at $19. Ages 2 and under are free.

Each evening there are free light show extravaganzas and dancing fountains with streams shooting 60 feet into the air with plenty of holiday music.

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