PHOTOS: 2 million pounds of ice comes to life at National Harbor

One of the most popular Christmas destinations in the D.C. area is back, starting this weekend. ICE has returned to National Harbor with a new theme.

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, everyone’s favorite reindeer,” said Jennifer Cerasani, director of marketing for the Gaylord Resort.

The experience includes 13 interactive scenes carved from over 2 million pounds of ice, according to Cerasani.

She said the 30 artisans that carve the ice start the process in October and it takes over 10,000 hours of work to finish the sculptures. Kirk Trutner, director of special events and entertainment for the Gaylord Resort, said the artisans are uniquely talented.

“These are artists that have had these skills and trades passed down to them, generation to generation. There are carvers that bring their grandfather’s tools.”

One of the most popular parts of the ICE experience is the slide room.

“Where else can you go down slides carved from ice? They’re two stories high,” Cerasani said.

The ICE sculpture tent, which is 17,000 square feet, is kept at 9 degrees. Before you enter, you are given a Parka that helps you stay warm.

Another part of the experience is the Christmas Village.

“You can meet Santa, you can have milk and cookies with Mrs. Claus, you can build your own gingerbread house,” Cerasani said.

For children who communicate through American Sign Language, a trained Santa will be on hand. There are special hours for people with sensory sensitivity.

The Christmas experience begins Nov. 19 and runs through Dec. 31.

Kyle Cooper

Weekend and fill-in anchor Kyle Cooper has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years, Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP, Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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