Every family has holiday traditions that they look forward to get them in the spirit of the season and one of our favorite ways to spend a day is at Gaylord National Harbor’s Christmas on the Potomac. Every year Gaylord National Resort is transformed into a winter wonderland where it’s hard to feel grinchy among twinkling lights, beautiful decorations, and a giant tree overhead. In addition to the décor, there are plenty of family friendly activities that will make you want to unplug and enjoy your time together.
Start Your Day with Breakfast with Charlie Brown and Friends
Nothing is better than waking up, hopping in the car, and letting someone else prepare a delectable brunch like we did one Sunday morning, especially when it involves favorite Charlie Brown characters! Kids and parents alike will love checking into the hostess stand that channels Lucy’s psychiatric help booth, taking a photo with Snoopy in front of his dog house, and loading up on delicious eats before photo opportunities with Lucy, Charlie Brown, and other Peanuts characters. Breakfast with Charlie Brown and Friends is the perfect way to fuel up for a day of fun!
Brave the Cold to Have an Ice Slide Race
While the temperatures in the Gaylord National average a toasty 72 degrees, bundle up and don your blue parka to prepare to enter ICE to experience holiday traditions around the world until January 1, 2017. We love admiring the ice artistry throughout the chilly venue (it’s only 9 degrees inside!) but our favorite part is the ice slides that are nearly two stories tall! If you’re chilly, you can definitely work up a sweat walking up the stairs to take multiple turns riding down the ice slides and you’ll certainly work off some of the breakfast you ate!
Infuse a Mini Geography Lesson While Learning How ICE was Created
After you’re done sliding, slow down to appreciate the artistry of the 35 ice carving artists who traveled over 6,000 miles from Harbin, China to National Harbor where they spent 32 days creating ICE! Located in northeast China, Harbin is known around the world for its Ice Festivals that are visited by 800,000 visitors each year. Ice blocks are harvested from the nearby Songhua River and crafted by more than 2,000 sculptors into thousands of ice structures, carvings and snow sculptures displayed in a 100-acre walk-through Ice Park and full-sized Ice City. I love that ICE! can serve as a conversation starter about different countries, cultures, and traditions around the world for curious kids to make them global citizens as you watch masters at work carving frozen works of art towards the end of your time at ICE! If you’re making your first visit to ICE! read my tips for attending with your family.
Warm Up at Christmas Village
Exit the ICE tent, return your blue parka, and enter Christmas Village where you can grab a cup of hot cocoa and defrost while your kids ride the carousel or teacup rides, decorate cookies or a gingerbread house at Gingerbread Decorating Corner, make a new favorite stuffed toy at Build-A-Bear workshop, or have cookies with Mrs. Claus.
Gaze at the Spectacular Tree
When you first arrive at Gaylord National Harbor, it’s hard to miss the holiday decorations that include a dazzling 55 foot tall Christmas tree plus over two million lights that illuminate the glass atrium that provide water views of the Potomac. This 4000 pound tree took 5 weeks to build and is a breathtaking sight for visitors of all ages. The Atrium where the tree is located comes to life at 6 pm and 8 pm each night as water fountains leap, laser and twinkling lights shine around you, and snow flurries fall during the Very Merry Atrium Show. If you miss the Very Merry Atrium Show, you can still catch the Rock’n Around the Starlight Tree Atrium Show at 7 pm and 9 pm. Daytime visitors will enjoy the spectacular view beyond the windows of the Atrium of the Potomac!
With Christmas on the Potomac holiday fun running until January 1, it’s the perfect place to get in the holiday spirit, book for a family staycation, or spend time with family visiting for the holidays. There’s plenty of fun for all ages that prolongs the magic of the holidays even after December 25.
Here’s a look at the fun we had during our day at Christmas on the Potomac.
If you’ve never been to National Harbor, it’s full of family friendly fun that can easily fill a day without being too far from home for those of us who live in the DC area. There is plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment in the area but during the holidays, you’ll want to spend a day at Gaylord National Harbor for Christmas on the Potomac.
Purchase individual tickets for Christmas on the Potomac activities or book a Harbor Holiday package like the ICE! is Nice Package. Starting at $199, your package includes a night at Gaylord National Harbor plus unlimited priority entry to ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World. The Christmas on the Potomac package is another option. Starting at $259, the package includes:
- One night room accommodations
- Tickets to experience ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World with unlimited, priority entry
- $100 resort credit per night for hotel dining and Relâche Spa services
- One (1) complimentary souvenir ICE! photo
More Gaylord National Harbor Holiday packages can be seen here.
I received complimentary tickets to attend Christmas on the Potomac with my family. All opinions are my own.