I'm not one to jumpstart the Christmas season before I've carved my turkey, counted my blessings, and eaten my pumpkin pie. I like to enjoy every individual holiday one at a time. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas as the big grand finale... Don't try to sell me on stocking stuffers and office gag gifts until after I've wrapped up my month of gratitude.
Of course, this year I had to make an exception to my holiday timeline when I was invited to the opening weekend of Christmas on the Potomac, in late November, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD. I supposed I could set aside my pre-December 1st Grinchy ways for a few days of festive family fun and merry magic.
Christmas on the Potomac events will run through Jan. 1--so pack up the family and make it a weekend event ASAP. It's the most wonderful time of the year in the Maryland/ D.C. are, and we're sharing six reasons why you'll love the lights and feel the love at the Gaylord National Resort....
The Beautifully Decorated Resort
Situated on the shores of the Potomac River, this sprawling resort features a 19-story glass atrium overlooking the water. The rooms are comfortable and spacious, and the indoor balconies are fabulous--especially during the decked-out holiday season. Our view of the indoor tree and river dazzled us.
An indoor Junior Olympic-size swimming pool and Relâche Spa offer something for everyone--kids and grownups, and the festive December events make this bustling hotel an attraction in and of itself.
The Amazing I.C.E. Exhibit
Located in the convention center at the Gaylord, this 9 degree walk-through winter wonderland features more than 2 million pounds of ice hand carved into colorful, larger-than-life ice sculptures and 2-story tall ice luge slides. Charlie Brown rediscovers the true meaning of Christmas as the beloved classic story unfolds through interactive, hand carved ice sculptures.
Momtrends Tip: We received blue parkas to wear for this experience, but be warned: Baby, it's cold "inside." Wear layers and dress the kids appropriately--you'll want to keep your pace brisk, but you won't want to miss a single sight.
Once you exit the exhibit, you can thaw out with a cup of hot chocolate and cozy up in the gingerbread decorating corner. The staff was beyond accommodating setting us up with our pre-assembled house and helping us make the most of this messy, merry activity. Somehow, more candy made it in my kiddos' bellies than on the house--but, 'tis the season to treat yourself. You can ride out the sugar high with turns on the miniature train and carousel. The attached gift shop has plenty of gift-worthy finds, so save some time for browsing.
Cirque Dreams Unwrapped
We ended our Saturday evening with an 8 p.m. showing of Cirque Dreams Unwrapped inside the atrium-level of the Gaylord. This majestic 25-minute show reveals a vibrant Christmas fable with spectacular costumes, soaring imagination, and gravity-defying feats.
Momtrends Tip: Don't want to buy tickets? See the show from above with an arial view in one of the balconied rooms at the Gaylord.
Stick around after the show wraps up to see the Gaylord National’s atrium comes to life during a majestic light and water show featuring happy holiday music and indoor snowfall – all centered around the hotel’s 55-foot, suspended Starlight Christmas Tree.
Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends
End your weekend with a delicious and delightful one-of-a-kind interactive dining experience with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang inside the Gaylord. More than a breakfast buffet, there are sing-a-longs, games to be played and hugs to be had; plus photo opps with Lucy, Linus, Snoopy and Charlie Brown.
Take in the Surroundings
Leave time to explore the stunning waterfront destination of National Harbor, MD. There are more than than 160 shops, public art and entertainment offerings, and restaurants to experience. The Harbor’s main plaza also boasts an impressive color-changing tree. Kids and adults alike will definitely want to take a ride on The Capital Wheel, the 180-foot observation wheel with breathtaking views of the surrounding areas.
Come for the I.C.E. stay for the holiday warm and fuzzies. This is one holiday travel destination to add to your must list...
This is not a sponsored post. Our hotel accommodations and some activities were hosted.