Can you believe Christmas is just 4 weeks away?! As you probably already know, I love Christmas! Because what’s not to love about it? That holiday cheer you feel deep inside you as soon as you see all the festive decors; shopping gifts for your loved ones and knowing these will bring a smile to their faces; and doing all sorts of fun activities with your family during the holiday season. It is truly the most wonderful time of the year to make special memories with the ones who truly matter, your family. Today, I am sharing how to make special Christmas memories with your family at Gaylord National Resort.
Located on the Potomac River, Gaylord National Resort is just steps from the shopping and entertainment National Harbor is known for. This waterfront resort provides you with the best of both worlds. So if you live in the DMV area or just visiting, make sure to check out this extraordinary resort. You can read more about it here.
Experience Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Breakfast
Gaylord National Resort offers a character dining experience featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, and Clarice; and that is how we started our day. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast buffet; and I love that they have a lot of options for my son who has a peanut allergy, because most of their food is peanut-safe. They also provided crayons and an activity paper for kids which kept my kids busy for quite a while.
We were truly entertained with our breakfast experience because the elves made the whole experience engaging by telling Christmas jokes, asking trivia questions, and singing and dancing with the characters. We also got to take part in a parade with other families and the characters while playing musical instruments which was really fun. Check out pricing and availability here.
Why we loved Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Breakfast: The characters really did take their time when taking pictures with all the families in there. They made sure that we liked the pictures that were taken with them before they left. The kids also got a chance to dance and play with Clarice and they really enjoyed it. My son actually didn’t want to let her leave. The elves really paid attention to all the guests. In fact, the only reason we got to take part in the parade was because one of the elves gave us her bracelet made with little bells since they already ran out of musical instruments just so my daughter can join the fun, because she saw us dancing while they were playing their musical instruments.
Be Blown Away By ICE! Featuring Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
ICE! is Gaylord National Resort’s signature holiday attraction. This year, you’ll get to see favorite scenes from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer brought to life in this walk-through winter wonderland carved by 35 artisans from Harbin, China from more than two million pounds of ice. Check out pricing and availability here.
We were blown away by the amazing and colorful ice sculptures that depict the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the stunning crystal clear sculpture of the Nativity at the end of the attraction. The details were truly exceptional. The kids also had fun riding the slide. However, it wasn’t as smooth as it should be because their parkas weren’t long enough. Most times they had to wiggle their way down to the slide. But still, when I asked them, the “ice slide” was their favorite part of our day.
Why we loved ICE!: If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably already know that my daughter is in this phase where she’s addicted to Elsa. Being in an exhibit hall filled with ice sculptures made her feel like she’s Elsa. So she got to live her dream for a little while; and she loved every second of it.
Tip for moms: Ask for a bigger-sized parka for your child so that they’re more comfortable and can move freely. The parka is the key to having a smooth slide so make sure that the parka hits them on their thighs at the very least so they can enjoy the slide without any difficulties.
Tip for everyone: It is 9 degrees inside ICE! It was really cold so make sure to layer up and wear comfortable shoes (no open-toe shoes) when you go. Even though you’re going to need to wear a blue parka before you go in, you still have to wear layers underneath it to keep you warm.
Have Fun At The Christmas Village
Gaylord National Resort houses most of their fun activities for family inside their Christmas Village. In here, you’ll get to enjoy ice skating, gingerbread decorating, riding the carousel and miniature train, Build-A-Bear workshop, picture taking with Santa Clause, and many more. You can also purchase Build-A-Bear scavenger hunt booklet here. Check out the complete list of activities that they offer here.
Inside the gingerbread decorating area, you will be provided with a gingerbread cookie kit which has everything you will need – pre-baked gingerbread cookies, candies, icing, fondant, and decorating bags with tips. Our gingerbreads didn’t turn out as adorable as the ones pictured in the kit because one of my helpers was more interested in eating the gingerbread. It was our first time doing it; and even though it didn’t turn out as good as I hoped, it was a fun family activity. And I plan to do it again with them soon.
The Build-A-Bear scavenger hunt was a really fun and challenging activity for the family. You will get a booklet with different puzzles; and you’re going to have to go around the hotel to find clues which will help you solve each bear’s job. Once you’ve done that, you’re going to have to turn in your booklet to claim your prize.
Why we loved the Christmas Village: The Christmas Village offers a variety of activities for the entire family that’s sure to please every family member. We enjoyed pretty much all of the activities that we did; but most especially the kids enjoyed the carousel and the miniature train rides.
Visit National Harbor Attractions
Gaylord National Resort is within walking distance to some fun National Harbor Attractions like the Capital Wheel and the Carousel. So why not take advantage of that? Walk around the National Harbor to enjoy the scenery, and see these attractions.
At the Capital Wheel, you will soar 180 feet above the Potomac River waterfront and marvel at the incomparable views. Sights visible include the National Cathedral, Washington Monument, Masonic Temple, City of Alexandria, Prince George’s County, and the lush parklands throughout the DC-Maryland-Virginia region. Check out pricing and hours here.
The Capital Wheel was a very relaxing ride and we got to enjoy the scenic views of the Potomac River. The kids got really excited when we got to see huge fishes swimming even though we were 180 feet above the river.
The Carousel at National Harbor is a 36-foot Americana-themed carousel featuring a herd of whimsical creatures with the sparkling Potomac as a backdrop. You can also enjoy the nearby newly-built playground, toddler play area and picnic tables. Check out pricing and hours here.
Be Delighted With JOY – A Holiday Spectacular Musical Show
JOY, the holiday musical show was truly spectacular. The vocals and the song selection were perfect. It was a relaxing and fun show to enjoy with the family. The song numbers were remarkable especially when they sang Let There Be Peace On Earth. Check out pricing and availability here.
Watch the video to see snippets of the musical show.
Why we loved JOY: Hearing all those Christmas songs, both classic and modern, really gets you into the mood. And sitting there listening to all these jolly Christmas songs, made me realize how fortunate we are to be sitting there and celebrating Christmas with our families.
Be Amazed With The Tree Lighting Ceremony
The Christmas Tree lighting ceremony was amazing! Gaylord National Resort displayed a fabulous light and fountain show; and a delightful indoor flurry occurred prior to the actual tree lighting. The Christmas Tree lighting ceremony lasted for a little over 10 minutes. And this tree lighting happens every night at the atrium, so if you still haven’t caught it, you still have plenty of time to witness it.
Watch the video to see snippets of the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.
Why we loved the tree lighting ceremony: Seeing all those lights in tune with the music was pretty magical for the kids, and even for us adults. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t get tired watching this tree lighting ceremony every night.
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This post was published in collaboration with Gaylord National Resort.
What did you think of this post? Have you been to Gaylord National Resort? Have you done any of their Christmas attractions? How do you make special Christmas memories with your family? Let me know in the comments. You know I always love to hear from you.