One of our favorite holiday traditions from way back even before we had kids was to visit the Gaylord Texan. I still remember the first year that I moved to Dallas, Adrian and I bought tickets to see the ICE! exhibit with a few friends and we have since gone back every year since with our kids in tow! This year, the Gaylord Texan is ringing in the holidays a little different as the restrictions on international travel have limited the master ice carvers. Instead for 2020, the Gaylord Texan has kicked off an incredible Lone Star Christmas event that includes 11 different activities and over 12 hours of family fun — be sure to read to the end for an exclusive coupon!
Lone Star Christmas at the Gaylord Texan
The Gaylord Texan is an incredible resort spanning over 125 acres. In the past, we had always made a daytrip out of our visits to the Gaylord Texan, but this time we decided to stay overnight and enjoy a mini DFW staycation! We had a beautiful suite on the 8th floor (out of 9 total) that overlooked the center atrium. I loved all the Christmas trimmings and just going out onto our room balcony felt like walking into a winter wonderland.
#LIT Light Show
Can you see the 48-foot Christmas tree behind us? While I wasn’t able to get a good photo of the nighttime light show, imagine this expansive space lighting up with literally millions of twinkling lights set to festive holiday music — it was the best unexpected surprise welcome as we checked into the Gaylord Texan on Friday evening!
First on our list of activities was ice skating and it was hands-down my kids’ favorite experience! Inside the Gaylord Texan is a 6,000 square-foot skating rink made with real ice and it was the perfect opportunity for my kids to have their very first ice skating run. For the ice skating newbies, plastic bears were also available to use to help balance on the ice — Adrian and I took turns pushing the kids as they would alternate between skating and then resting. We could have easily spent an entire afternoon on the ice skating rink but we capped it at 3 hours — definitely highly recommend!
Pro Tip: Bring long pants and a jackets as the skating rink does get cold!
Santa’s Snow Throw
Situated right next to the ice skating rink was Santa’s Snow Throw and for my kids who had never played with real snow before, this was definitely a treat! We picked up a couple buckets of snowballs and got to throwing, aiming at various targets created by Santa’s Elves.
Build Your Own Snowman
Ok, so it’s possible that Adrian and I were more excited about building a snowman than the kids were…but how good does our snowman look right?? Upon entering the BYO Snowman arena, you’re escorted over to a socially-distanced station where they provide a large trash-can sized bin of real snow along with a Tupperware containing all the snowman accessories. It took us a few different tries to figure out how to carve out a snowman (I recommend bringing gloves for this one cause that real snow was cooooold!) but it was such a proud moment when we were able to put the finishing touches and snap a pic with our snowman!
Pro Tip: Bring gloves!! We also realized that the lid of the accessories Tupperware served as a great tool for scooping up the snow. 🤣
Low-key the snow tubing was the activity I was most excited for. There are 8 snow tubing lanes situated atop an indoor hill, and both double and single riding tubes are available (the doubles are perfect if you have smaller kids!). Unlimited rides are included as part of the snow tubing experience — you can bet we took full advantage as the wait times were under 5 minutes! The lanes are covered in real snow and we had a great time racing each other down the lanes.
Mei has always been obsessed with carousels so of course, you can imagine her excitement upon seeing this enormous holiday themed one at Gaylord Texan! There was almost never a line at the carousel so it was really nice to let Mei ride multiple times in a row to her heart’s content.
The majority of activities for the Gaylord Texan’s Lone Star Christmas are indoors, but the Yuletide Bright is one that is actually outdoors. I actually took my kids to check out the Yuletide Bright display on Thursday night before our staycation and omg, it is amazing!! Yuletide Bright is an attraction that displays over 50,000 square feet of colorful glowing holiday-themed lanterns, characters, and scenes. The walking exhibit is spacious and really allows you to journey through a beautiful display of festive holiday. If you’re planning to spend the afternoon / evening enjoying the Lone Star Christmas activities, Yuletide Bright is the perfect way to close out the day!
Other Lone Star Christmas Activities:
Lone Star Christmas includes over 10 different activities including many that aren’t detailed here such as:
- I Love Christmas Movies Pop-Up Experience: Walk-through over 13 of the most iconic scenes from your favorite Christmas movies. Featuring THE POLAR EXPRESS™, ELF™, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION™, and more!
- Elf On The Shelf Character Breakfast: Kids and adults will enjoy classic breakfast favorites and chef-attended cooking stations.
- Gingerbread Decorating Corner: Choose from different design options to create either delectable holiday-themed gingerbread cookies or a complete gingerbread house. After you’ve decorated to your heart’s content, make your way to Cinnamon and Nutmeg, our gingerbread couple, for a heartwarming photo opp.
- Build-A-Bear: Make-your-own stuffed furry friend and outfit with fun accessories, sounds, and scents.
- Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions: Delight in the retelling of the Christmas classic, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, and sing along to favorite holiday songs while enjoying a warm freshly baked cookie and ice cold milk.
- Christmas Craft Studio: Kids and parents alike will let their inner artists come to life by painting a canvas craft or holiday wood project.
- Holiday Heist Escape Room / School’s Out! Holiday Breakout Escape Room: Enjoy the suspense of solving a case to break out of the escape room — especially fun if you have older kids!
The holidays are looking so much different this year so I’m glad to see how the Gaylord is still able to spread the cheer with their Lone Star Christmas activities that are perfect for the whole family. Lots of safety precautions are in place including wearing a mask at all times (including kids ages 2+) and standing at least 6′ apart. My kids were able to enjoy some of these classic winter-time activities for the first time including just playing in snow. It truly felt magical and huge props to Gaylord Texan for providing such a safe and fun family friendly experience in the midst of everything that’s happening this year.
I am so happy that I have 2 exclusive coupon codes if you’re interested in reserving tickets to check out the Gaylord Texan’s Lone Star Christmas. Use code LITTLE for 50% off I Love Christmas Movies and $5 off Yuletide Bright — click here to get your tickets before the event ends January 3, 2021!
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Thank you to Gaylord Texan for hosting our family at Lone Star Christmas. All opinions are honest and my own!