Find the holiday spirit this year at Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, where one of the biggest holiday extravaganzas in the state takes place. We’re talking an frozen sculptures, games, gingerbread house decorating and so much more. The property uses the tagline “So. Much. Christmas.” A very accurate statement in this case.
Acres of lights and decorations adorn the area, and a stroll around the property is highly recommended.
Guests can chat with the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus, to make sure they have secured a spot on his prestigious Nice List. Santa will meet guests inside Mistletoe Village from November 17 through December 24.
Come inside for a warm cookie and cup of milk while Mrs. Claus retells the Christmas classic, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, followed by a holiday song sing-along.
Next, test your skills against Jack Frost in the Naughty or Nice Escape Room. Turns out that trickster has added your name to the naughty list, but, if you can sneak into Santa’s office and solve some riddles, you’re back on the nice side.
Reindeer Games Scavenger Hunt features Rudolph and The Misfit Toys. The Misfit Toys are all lost, and they need you to find them! With Rudolph’s help, follow the clues to find the Misfit Toys and send them on their way to their new homes.
Take a snack break at the Mistletoe Sweet Shop.
Then, for the adults, grab a holiday-themed cocktail at Queen Victoria’s Pub. Sip it there or take it to go and wander the Yuletide Street Market.
Here you can stock up on ornaments, decorations, cute seasonal toys, stocking stuffers and Christmas-themed apparel.
Head to Elf Training Academy for an interactive art project. Here, kids can learn how to become one of Santa’s helpers by creating a special gift, which they can take home for themselves or someone else.
Creativity also abounds in the Gingerbread Decorating Corner. Make the candy house of your dreams to take home. After, snap a selfie with Nutmeg the Gingerbread Man and show off the masterpiece.
Often the event features a special production, and this year it’s Cirque: Spirit of Christmas.
This Cirque-style show centers on Noel, a child dismayed by the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Throughout the 65-minute show, Noel is visited in dreamlike chapters by trapeze artists, acrobats, aerial silk performers and others who help rekindle the Christmas spirit. Think contortion, speed juggles, aerialists, tight rope walking, dancing, singing, trapeze artists and more.
It’s a modern circus act with a holiday twist put together by Broadway director Neil Goldberg. Just make sure to reserve tickets, there are only one or two performances on select days.
Make sure to also reserve a time slot to see the ICE! exhibit, which this year features A Christmas Story.
Guests will experience over ten scenes from the hilarious family tale in hand-carved sculptures made of ice. Featured scenes include the old man’s major award, Aunt Clara’s pink nightmare, the ultimate triple dog dare at the school’s flagpole and more.
Colored ice, clear ice, and LED lights are all used to create the display.
Bring your own coat or borrow one of the show’s signature blue parkas (for free) as you explore.
After all, the whole walk-through experience takes place in a temperature-controlled area that keeps the ice sculptures crisp and firm at a cool 9-degrees Fahrenheit.
It takes around 30 to 40 minutes to see the whole show, but there’s no time limit so enjoy the still-life version of a Christmas classic. Bonus: zoom down the two-story-tall ice slides and traverse through ice tunnels and arches.
The ICE! experience concludes in a separate area dedicated to the Nativity scene, meticulously carved, and shaped in a dramatic display of crystal-clear ice.
Fun fact, the artists behind ICE! spent over 12,000-man hour to create this masterpiece.
Ticket prices are based on the day of the week. Because the resort limits capacity into the attraction so everyone has room to explore and play, tickets are valid for the day and time stamped on them.
Here’s a good deal on ICE! tickets for adults (12+), regardless of the day you want to attend. A one-day weekday General Admission ticket is $22 (regularly $29.99). You save about 27% off and there are no additional taxes or fees. Tickets through Groupon for Friday, Saturday & Sunday start at $27.
When buying through Groupon be sure to see if any promo codes (such as $10 off or 20% off) pop up on your screen when you first get in. Click on the code or write it down, then apply it at checkout for additional savings.
There’s also a Groupon deal on Cirque Spirit of Christmas admission. Tickets for the one-hour show start at $44 (up to $51 depending on time and seat). They are usually $60. So you save 27% off.
Christmas at Gaylord Rockies runs from November 19, 2023 through January 1, 2024. Many of the events need a timed ticket, so plan before you go and reserve a spot.
Prices vary depending on what activities you want to add on, but if you buy a package you can save 20 to 30% off the overall price. Single activities start around $18, and packages start at $33.58 (+ taxes and fees) for adults.
If you book an overnight stay at Gaylord Rockies the perks include the “chill pass” for shorter wait times, and an extra hour to play in ICE! and Mistletoe Village.
Plus, when staying at the hotel you can take advantage of the water wonderland that’s Arapahoe Springs Water Park, complete with a lazy river and water slides.
Save up to 30% off overnight stays using promo code 16C.
Keep in mind parking costs $10 a day. It can be tricky to navigate the vast parking lot, but there’s always somewhere to go. Just be prepared to hike to the front if need be. Ride shares are easy to secure to and from the hotel as well, in case you want to keep it simple.
- Go as soon as they open, there’s so much to see and do
- Best for kids over the age of 5
- Get tickets early to save money
- If you just want to explore ICE!, check Groupon for discounts
- Pack an easy-to-eat meal or snacks
- Wear comfortable shoes, it’s a big space and requires a lot of walking
6700 North Gaylord Rockies Blvd., Aurora, 720-452-6900