My first Shrek-sperience with the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor was amazing - so when my family was invited to the preview of this year's ICE! winter holiday event that will be held this November, December, and January at the Gaylord, I was ready to find out what was coming up.
With these 100+ degree temperatures we have been dealing with, I didn't think I could wrap my head around the Christmas in July theme for the preview, but I remember my mom telling me that Christmas in Trinidad wasn't all about the weather - even though they sung songs about snow she had never seen (let alone spent any time "dashing through"), and weather outside that wasn't at all "frightful" they still celebrated the holidays in the heat. If she could do it, I sure could too.
So they made it easy to celebrate. Inside of one of the ballrooms, there was snow, a huge tree, and the smell of gingerbread. Just as we entered the Christmas in July ICE! preview, the kids were given their Shrek ear headbands. We walked down a dark hallway with twinkling walls towards a gorgeous ice sculpture of the ICE! logo. Past the sculpture, we were met by snow. That's right - snow... in a ballroom... in July. We weren't sure what to do first, but for the kids, they had a cotton candy machine, ice cream (Haagen Daz for the adults, and drumsticks for the kids), a snow cone machine, popcorn machine, ginger bread houses to decorate, the Shrek movie playing, Shrek Movie characters to take pictures with, as well as Santa Claus - ready for photos. I am not a big Santa Claus fan - and the kids aren't too into that either, so first thing, mine headed to the snacks. On top of the treats, there were healthy alternatives like blueberries, melon, and strawberries. I had just a bite of a cookie, but my husband quickly made me a beautiful plate of fruit to keep me from giving in to my sweet tooth.
We took pics with characters, got our gingerbread houses (decided to decorate at home), ate treats, and just enjoyed the exciting atmosphere. Just when we thought it was over, a fabulously funny stilt walker (skilled, but not full on dancing like a Trinidadian Moko jumbie) led us down the hill, past the "Awakening" sculpture, in a sort of media/blogger parade, to a tent with even more goodies!
Once there, we were met by a unicyclist and a live band playing the Shrek theme song. Were we done eating? Nope - luckily, we didn't fill up on treats, because we had mini hotdogs, Pinkberry, Nandos Peri Peri Chicken, red and white sangria (for the grown folks), guacamole, salsa, and chips. So after we were all full - there was still face painting and amazing balloon animals!
We chatted with Gaylord's marketing and events representatives, and baby girl, who I truly believe can hear a fly pass gas, overheard the words that will haunt me until ICE! opens in November - "Ice Slide." So needless to say, Christmas in July wasn't at all far fetched for her, and she asked me every 10 minutes, "So where is the ice slide?" "Are we going to the ice slide next?" "Don't worry mommy, she said there are coats, so even though we don't have them now, we will for the ice slide."
So we will be there. From what I understand, kids and adults both LOVE the ice slide, as well as the amazing ice sculptures that will be on display at ICE! 2012-2013. Christmas on the Potomac is from November 16 to January 6th, and packages are on sale now. Visit www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com for more information on everything happening at the Gaylord this holiday season. To get your tickets for ICE! at a great price, buy your tickets by October 1st. You can get a ticket on non peak days for as low as $11.99 for kids 4 to 12 (even less with a military discount). Kids under 3 are always free.
As always, my opinions are my own. I was given entrance to the Shrek the Halls preview event and goodies for myself and my family. I was not required to write this post in exchange for any form of compensation.
Buy Anancy's Family Reunion for Kindle for $3.99
Get the print edition of Anancy's Family Reunion for $9.99 (Retail price $12.99)
Click on Contact Us for media inquiries.
Happy Caribbean American Heritage Month!
Click on Contact to request sponsorship information for the Blogging While Brown Conference in NYC
Click on Contact to request sponsorship information for the Blogher Conference in Chicago
Click on "Contact" to sponsor SocaMom.com at Blogalicious 5