This post is in collaboration with Gaylord National Harbor Resort and Convention Center.
Last week my family and I were immersed in a Christmas Wonderland! We spent the night at Gaylord National Harbor Resort and Convention Center where we enjoyed many holiday activities including the resort’s award-winning ICE! attraction, Cirque Dreams Unwrapped show, a magical Christmas Village and a laser light show.
Is Gaylord National Harbor ICE! for Christmas Fun?
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is the largest, non-gaming hotel and convention center on the East Coast, located along the banks of the Potomac River in National Harbor, Maryland and part of Marriott International. Opened in April 2008 and celebrating its 10th anniversary, the AAA-Four Diamond resort is only eight miles from Washington, D.C. and offers nearly 2,000 rooms including 110 suites; a 19-story atrium; 600,000 square-feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space; acclaimed restaurants including Old Hickory Steakhouse and National Pastime (where we dined our first night); a modern resort spa, Relâche Spa; and Pose Rooftop Lounge.
We stayed on the sixth floor of the hotel in a Queen/Queen Guest Room – Atrium View. Our room featured two queen beds, marble bathroom with double vanity and shower/tub combo.
The space was perfect for my family of four and we really loved our breathtaking atrium view.
Let’s Explore the Hotel
The first night (Friday) at the hotel was reserved for a show, dinner and enjoying the hotel amenities.
First on our list of must-dos was to watch the 25-minute Cirque Dreams Unwrapped show in the atrium. The show was a Christmas fable that included acrobatic acts, aerialist performances and fun for the whole family performed by an international cast from seven countries.
If you go: For guaranteed seating, tickets cost $19.99* and times vary by day.
Following the show we ate dinner at National Pastime. We were seated immediately and didn’t have a wait. Score!
If you go: Order the Buffalo Wings, Diablo Burger and Atlantic Salmon dinner while enjoying a game or sports event on the big screens.
After dinner we enjoyed the resort’s nightly fountain, laser light show that included an indoor snowfall called A Christmas Wish. We marveled at the 19-story atrium décor including a jaw-dropping 55-foot Christmas tree suspended from its atrium ceiling.
Following the atrium show we checked out the rest of the hotel including the 10 foot by 20 foot gingerbread display of Christmas Around the World in the Gaylord National’s lobby. The masterpiece is crafted by the resort’s talented pastry team.
We also went to the lower levels for the video games (a small area with a few games), the pool (which was unfortunately closed the night we went to check it out) and the fitness area.
In the morning we had Breakfast with Charlie Brown™ & Friends which featured a delicious buffet of morning favorites with Peanuts-themed dishes, such as Charlie Brown’s Build-Your-Own-French-Toast station with Snoopy’s Maple Syrup. Cost is $39.99* for adults ages 12 and older and $26.99* for children ages 4 to 11. Kids 3 and younger are free.
If you go: Order an omelette from the omelette station, go back for seconds and play some games with Charlie Brown and Friends!
ICE, ICE Baby!
On Saturday morning we finally had the chance to experience ICE!, which is the resort’s signature attraction. The Christmas spirit is alive at ICE! with its rendition of the beloved classic story, A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz. Favorite characters including Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and friends will come to life in more than 2 million pounds of colorful, larger-than-life ice sculptures hand-carved by 35 artisans from Harbin, China. The attraction also includes four multi-story ice slides and culminates with a breathtaking, crystal clear ice sculpture Nativity scene that echoes Linus’ famous soliloquy from the holiday classic.
If you go:
- Dress warmly. ICE! is a walk-through holiday attraction, kept at a chilly 9°F.
- Tickets to ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas are $24* for kids ages 4 to 11 and $32* for adults ages 12 and older on value days. For general admission days, tickets cost $31* for kids and $38* for adults. Kids 3 and younger are free. Discounted military pricing is also available. Times vary by day.
- Get in on the fun by taking a ride on one of the four two-story tall ice slides
But Wait, There’s More
After checking out ICE! be sure to visit the resort’s Christmas Village, complete with ice skating, gingerbread decorating, stories and carols with Mrs. Claus and the big guy himself, Santa! There’s also a Build-A-Bear Workshop, merry-go-round, train and Christmas gift shop.
If you go: go ice skating, drink hot chocolate and purchase a souvenir to remember your ICE! experience.
Is Gaylord National Harbor ICE! for Christmas Fun?
Gaylord National Harbor ICE! is a great experience both children in adults. It is a full Christmas experience and definitely helps you get in the Christmas spirit. It is a wonderful place to kick off the holidays, take a break from the hustle and bustle or say goodbye to the holiday season.
We chatted with hotel guests you come back year after year to experience Gaylord National Harbor ICE!
My kids are ages 12 and 10 and they definitely enjoyed Gaylord National Harbor ICE! I think younger kids would get a bit more from the experience (there are height limits to the merry-go-round and train and my kids didn’t want to do any activities with Mrs. Claus or Santa), but even my hard-to-please tweens said ICE! was awesome. They were slightly disappointed in the game room (it is very small) and were totally bummed that the pool was closed on Friday night during our stay. But other than that, the Gaylord National Harbor ICE! was one to remember. It was a total bucket-list time for all of us and we made beautiful family memories there.
Special thanks to Gaylord National Harbor for hosting us during our stay. As always, opinions are my own.