Sometimes a change of environment can do wonders for the mind, body, soul, and your family even if it’s not too far away. That’s exactly how I felt when we spent a night at Gaylord National Resort on the Potomac for a summer weekend getaway. We’ve visited Gaylord National Resort many times in the winter to see ICE but an overnight was a wonderful respite from our routine.
This summer guests at Gaylord National Resort can enjoy family friendly activities on property thanks to Sounds of SummerFest. From fun photo opportunities, dive in movies at the pool, a silent disco, and the nightly laser light show in the atrium, there’s no shortage of family fun at Gaylord this summer! Here’s a look at how you can make the most of your time away as you celebrate summer at Gaylord National Resort.
8 Ways to Celebrate Summer at Gaylord National Resort During Sounds of SummerFest
Check in and Snap a Selfie
National Harbor is on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, conveniently located near Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, Virginia and providing sweeping views of the water that make you feel like you’re a world away. When you booked your stay at Gaylord National Resort, you selected between options like an Atrium or River view rooms. Both feature either a king bed or two queen beds and views of the water.
Some rooms have balconies with doors that open up to the glassed in atrium that is almost 2 acres of space. So be sure to ask if your room has a balcony because it’s the perfect extra space for kids who like light filled spaces or just want their own little space in your hotel room.
Throw on Your Swimsuit and Catch a Matinee Movie at the Pool
Don’t spend too long in your room or admiring the view of the Atrium. I promise it will be there later whereas the Aquafina® Summer Movie Matinee won’t wait! This summer Sing is being shown at 4 pm on Saturdays and even if your kids have seen it, they’ll still want to watch it from inside the pool!
The indoor pool is plenty spacious for everyone to cool off while you watch Sing but if you have strong swimmers who can be in the water independently, there are chairs and chaise lounges around the perimeter so you can still keep an eye on them. There are also fountains outside that kids can splash in that provide a nice change of venue from the pool itself.
Enjoy Dinner at National Pastime
There is no shortage of places to dine at Gaylord National Resort and even if you never venture outside the property during your stay, you’ll never go hungry. From the Cocoa Bean coffee bar to the formal Old Hickory Steakhouse, there really is something for everyone at Gaylord National Harbor.
We enjoyed a hosted dinner at National Pastime Sports Bar and Grill, a family friendly sports bar that serves comfort food, has lots of sports memorabilia on the wall, and features a 36 video wall with sports programming and also kids’ shows for your viewing pleasure during your meal. It was our first time dining at National Pasttime and my family loved the crab cakes. My husband also appreciated the selection of craft and draft beers that come in generous 20 ounce glasses.
Dance the Night Away at the Silent Disco
After you’ve eaten, the whole family can work off dinner by getting their groove on at the Silent Disco. What’s a Silent Disco? A Silent Disco is a dance party where everyone wears their own pair of headphones and dances to music being played by a DJ.
The Silent Disco at Gaylord National Resort features three different channels that you can listen to so there’s music everyone will love. The Silent Disco will be available for free to all guests beginning this August and you’re welcome to dance in your PJs!
End the Night with Fountains, Music, and Lasers
If your family has Energizer Bunny-like qualities and just wants to keep going after the Silent Disco, the Atrium is the perfect place to watch Americana, the nightly music and laser show by the fountains. The fountains and lasers are choreographed to music of America through the ages and makes for a fun show. Of course, if your crew is too tired, head up to your room and watch from the balcony before calling it a night and heading to bed. After all, there’s more to do tomorrow!
Wake Up and Brunch at Pienza Marketplace
I love a good breakfast buffet and Pienza Marketplace does not disappoint thanks to hot and cold breakfast favorites that will please the pickiest eaters. There’s an omelette bar featuring loads of fresh veggies, lots of fresh fruit, breakfast pastries for the carb lovers in your house, an array of tasty breakfast meats like bacon and different kinds of sausage, plus kid friendly fare like waffles, yogurt, and cereal. With all the light streaming into the Atrium in the morning, it’s a wonderful place to start a new day! Or if you prefer to celebrate summer at Gaylord National Resort with a workout in before you eat, you can start your Sunday morning with poolside yoga at 9 am to energize for the day before brunching.
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
After you’ve fueled up with a good breakfast, go on a scavenger hunt! The Music Mystery Scavenger Hunt requires searching for music notes located at 6 different kiosks throughout the hotel’s lobby and atrium. Each note spells out a Song Title Password so it’s worth keeping track and entering them at the SummerFest Kiosks for a chance to win an overnight stay. After all, who wouldn’t want to come back to celebrate summer at Gaylord National Resort a second time?
Check Out and Experience the Rest of What National Harbor Has to Offer
Sadly, all good things must come to an end but even when it’s time to check out of your room, there’s still plenty to do outside at National Harbor. Take time to explore the waterfront and stroll the wide sidewalks lined with fun stores. Kids will enjoy climbing and sliding on the Awakening sculpture that rises out of the sand next to the water.
On a clear day, take a spin on The Capital Wheel for incredible views of Alexandria, Washington, D.C., and the southern part of the Potomac River. If you still need to do a little shopping before heading home, a free bus can take you over to Tanger Outlets or you can drive over there and park for free.
Interested in staying at Gaylord National Resort for Sounds of SummerFest?
To book your room, visit the Gaylord National Resort website and book the SummerFest package, featuring Music of America. Rates start at $299/night and include overnight accommodations, $100 resort credit good at on-site restaurants like National Pastimes and Pienza or Relâche Spa services, two tickets to the Capital Wheel, and self parking (usually $30/day). Entertainment and activities that are part of SummerFest are seasonal and available until September 4.
My family and I were invited to stay overnight at Gaylord National Resort to experience Sounds of SummerFest and received complimentary meals and experiences as part of our stay. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own. Amazon affiliate links are included in this post.