One of the very first things we did to celebrate our first Christmas in Washington, DC was visit “Christmas on the Potomac”. I can’t even remember how we heard about it, but the indoor display with lights and music sounded like something really amazing. Plus, it snowed inside! Can’t beat that now, can you? The Gaylord is beautiful even when it’s not decorated for Christmas, but truly it is a beautiful thing during the holidays. Things have changed a little bit since that first time we visited. Christmas Villiage is now in a separate area with a carousel and an indoor ice rink. It keeps growing every year! You can still do your favorite things – Gingerbread House/Cooking making and visit Santa. Visit the ICE exhibit (which is Peanuts themed this year, which just makes me so darn happy), then come inside and grab yourself some hot chocolate and warm up! Christmas at the Gaylord is a great way to spend the holiday season and a really fun place to take any family that is visiting from out of town. Kids of all ages will enjoy it! It even got two thumbs up from the 12-year-old, so you know that’s saying something.
Things to do at the Gaylord National
Cirque Dreams Unwrapped
If you’ve ever seen a Cirque show you know that they are always amazing! This adorable show is Christmas themed and takes place in the atrium in the middle of the hotel. With brightly colored sets and costumes combined with the amazing acrobatics that Cirque is known for, Dreams Unwrapped is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season. You can get seated tickets to one of the two shows, but you are also able to stand and watch it from different locations inside as it their large open atrium area.
Gaylord Hotel’s Christmas Villiage
Now we get to the heart of Gaylord’s Christmas experience. Shopping, Build-a-Bear, Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread House making, carousel, train and ice skating!
It is quite magical inside and they have done a good job with organizing the layout so there is area to move around. Be prepared that the carousel and train are meant for younger children – my seven-year-old was a bit big for those two rides.
The kids thoroughly enjoyed the hot chocolate (two thumbs up from all three), as well as decorating the gingerbread cookies. It was a fun experience and definitely got the Christmas magic going in our house.
And of course, THE main attraction of Gaylord Christmas is ICE! We have been to ICE twice now and its always a super cool experience for the kids. Now I’m not going to give any spoilers, except to say you HAVE to go. This year is Peanuts theme which makes it THE most perfect thing ever. ICE is such a unique and one of a kind experience. Something you should do at least once while living here (for my military readers). Don’t forget to snag that military discount as well!!
Stay for the day at the National Harbor and visit the Christmas tree, check out the Peeps store, and eat at one of the many restaurants they have there. Rosa Mexicano out in the Harbor and National Pastime, inside the Gaylord, are our two favorites!
Cap it all off with a ride on the National Harbor Giant Wheel! I was actually proud of myself for going on and not freaking out! Heights like that are not my favorite thing in all the world, but the kids loved it!
Do you have a favorite thing to do at National Harbor or place to eat? I’d love to hear!