If you are planning a Washington DC vacation, the Gaylord National Resort is a great place to stay right on the outskirts. With unique entertainment and dining, the resort has a more casual atmosphere than the big city. This summer, the whole family can enjoy the new activities happening at SummerFest featuring Music of America.
Making The Most Of Your Getaway To The Gaylord National Resort
In one day at the Gaylord National Resort, you can enjoy many fun family activities. Whether you want to go shopping, swim, or dance, you can entertain the whole family, and have a relaxing experience.
Explore The Gaylord National Resort
When you first arrive, take in the view of the Gaylord National Resort itself. With a full glass ceiling and front and lined with trees, the atrium has two levels with shops, restaurants, fountains, a small stream, and more. Since glass covers each wall, light pours in and creates a natural, organic look. The inside of the atrium shows the entire harbor of the Potomac River, including all the boats and the 180 foot tall ferris wheel called the Capital Wheel. Being able to look out onto the water from the resort is one advantage of staying here.
Whether you are outside or inside the resort, the resort has a relaxing ambiance that makes for a nice escape from the city. When you walk out of the lower atrium, you pass a landscaped garden, large fountains, and plenty of benches where you can stop to enjoy the view of the water.
Walk Around Outside The Resort
Only a short walk away from the resort, you can find plenty to do for children as well as adults. From Italian to Steakhouses, Mexican, and more, you can enjoy dining at one of the many different varieties of restaurants. Whether you are shopping for candy or clothing, you can go shopping at many unique retail stores and food shops.
One of the most popular attractions at the National Harbor is the Capital Wheel. When the ride takes off, it takes you high above the river. Gaze across the water, and you can spot kayakers, Pirate Cruises, and boats. You can even see the Washington Monument at a distance.
Across from the Capital Wheel is a free, sandy beach covered in sculptures. Children will enjoy climbing the sculpture and getting their toes in the sand.
Watch An Aquafina® Summer Movie Matinee
On every Saturday of SummerFest at 4 p.m., you can watch a movie by the poolside as party of the Aquafina® Summer Movie Matinee. Since the movie screen is located at the indoor pool, you can do this activity in any weather. For parents, the padded seats by the side of the pool are comfortable.
For adults, the pool has one indoor hot tub and two outdoor hot tubs. While you relax outside, the children will enjoy the splash zone fountains.
Dance To The Silent Disco At The Summer Pajama Party!
Starting on Saturdays in August at 8 p.m., you can take part in a unique dance experience called The Silent Disco. Since guests wear headphones to hear the music, any onlookers can’t hear a thing when they see the crowd dancing. You can choose from three channels for different music. Whether you want to listen to ’80s hits, Disney music, or the DJ as he leads the crowd in dance, it’s your decision of what tune gets you up and dancing.
I was given the opportunity to try this experience out at a special media preview of the event, and I really enjoyed it! At first I casually watched while the other families joined in the Cupid Shuffle, but near the end, by the time they played Moana and Taylor Swift, I was dancing too.
This was my children’s favorite event of the day. From getting to wear their pajamas to choosing their own music channel, it was a very special and child-oriented activity. Dancing with the other children made it a party worth remembering. I was impressed with the DJ’s ability to get everyone involved, including the parents. He had a good mix of music that both adults and children could dance to and enjoy.
Watch The Americana Nightly Atrium Laser Light Show
Immediately after The Silent Disco, the Americana Nightly Atrium Laser Light Show begins. If you are already on the dance floor, you can stay there to watch the fountains light up in different colors. Laser lights stream across the hotel rooms above, while music plays in synch with the lights together for a visually stunning performance. Children can get comfortable on the bean bags left from the Summer Pajama Party to watch this late night show. It lasts approximately 15 minutes and is an exciting way to end the night.
Enjoy The View From Your Hotel Room Balcony
As you end your evening, tuck the the kids in bed, wind down, and enjoy the atrium view from your balcony. At night time, you can see the Capital Wheel light up in different colors and patterns. You might even catch a glimpse of late night fireworks.
- You don’t have to valet. Self parking is easy. With a parking garage, you can keep your car out of the heat, and it’s very close to the resort. It is a flat overnight fee of $30.
- If you go back to your room hungry and don’t want to go out, the Chef’s Pastrami Sandwich is very large and filling for $12, and can be delivered to your room. There is also a market in the atrium that has plenty of beverages, snacks, sandwiches, and fruit.
- If you visit Ben and Jerry’s at the National Harbor, the white chocolate cone with sprinkles is a delicious treat, especially with Cherry Garcia ice cream.
- When you go to the Aquafina® Summer Movie Matinee, get there before the movie starts to get a lounge chair. The seating does fill up fast when the movie begins.