PEEPS: so cute, sugary, and shockingly pastel colored. And now the theme of an Easter Weekend package at Gaylord National Resort. The package will be next offered April 19, the Saturday before Easter, but my family and I had the opportunity to experience it this past weekend. It’s a great excuse to fill up on PEEPS and enjoy a weekend exploring National Harbor as well.
The package includes one-night room accommodations with early check-in at 1 p.m. Our first order of business: manicure. The resort’s Relache Spa offers a special PEEPS Princess Manicure and Pedicure. This isn’t included in the package but the package does include $50 resort credit that you can use in the hotel’s restaurants or the spa.
My seven-year-old daughter opted for a manicure. She had her choice of five sparkly PEEPS candy-scented nail polish colors (she chose purple) and was offered water and fruit. She also got to take home the PEEPS nail polish kit, which included the five polishes, a file, and two foam separators.
The manicure cost $35 (weekend pricing) and a 20% gratuity is automatically added to the bill (I am not a fan of automatic gratuities because even though you can adjust it, how many people are really going to say, “Can you actually make that just 15%”?). The Princess Pedicure is $40 Mon-Thu, $45 weekends.
We had some time before the 3:30 p.m. PEEPS craft activity so we did the free PEEPS Pursuit Scavenger Hunt, which any guest at the resort can do; just pick up a sheet, available throughout the hotel, that contains clues to where the PEEPS are hidden. You have to find at least six PEEPS chicks (though there are more). We’re talking the plush versions of the chicks, not the bite-size candy version, so they’re not impossible to spot.
The kids LOVED this and were really excited to run around the hotel looking for pink or yellow chicks. Then you enter the answers to where they are hidden in a dedicated PEEPS computer in the atrium (near the escalators) and you will receive a code via email that you can take to the PEEPS store at National Harbor for a free treat. (Hint: it involves sugar.)
The blue wristbands we received at check-in were our entry pass to the 3:30 craft activity at Pienza restaurant. At the entrance, the kids each got two PEEPS bags: one filled with PEEPS candies and the other empty, for the Easter egg hunt later. A section of the restaurant was set aside for the activity and an actual PEEPS character was there to greet guests. My four-year-old practically knocked me over in his rush to hug “Mr. PEEP.”
We made spring wreaths with PEEPS chicks and colorful gauzy ties. Staffers were on hand to explain the craft and offer encouragement and advice. My crafty daughter enjoyed making her wreath, but my four-year-old didn’t have the patience or hand dexterity for it yet. Instead, he occupied himself with sugar-loading on the PEEPS candies that were also piled on the table. After that, there was a bean-bag toss, hula hoops, and jump ropes to play with. And photo ops with Mr. PEEPS, of course.
The craft doesn’t take very long and we had time to go up to our room and drop off the wreaths before heading back down for the Easter egg hunt at 5 p.m.
The kids lined up and PEEPS led them outside to a grassy hilly terrace where some 400 plastic eggs were laid out. There were some dozen children and it only took about 10 frenzied minutes to gather all the eggs. My kids had a great time, though my daughter noted that it wasn’t really a hunt since the eggs weren’t hidden.
Afterwards, everyone gathered back in the restaurant to open the eggs. Most contained PEEPS candies and stickers and tattoos, but a few had pieces of paper for special PEEPS prizes, which PEEPS’s assistant hands out: a giant pencil, a tumbler, a Hot Wheels toy, a book. One lucky winner received the grand prize: a gift basket filled with PEEPS toys and candies.
The excitement over, our family headed down to the waterfront to expend some energy at “The Awakening” statue, a sculpture of a giant who seems to be emerging from the sand (transferred here from its original location at Hains Point in D.C.). Kids can clamber all over him. Nearby a new carousel tootles merrily and the soon-to-open Capital Wheel rises 175 feet into the air. The ferry to Alexandria leaves from the pier nearby.
We ate dinner at Grace’s Mandarin on Waterfront Street, a lavishly decorated restaurant serving Asian fare. Despite being fancy looking, there were quite a number of small kids there. My kids ate edamame and dumplings with steamed rice, my husband and I had sushi. Service was surprisingly attentive, considering how packed the place was. Large windows looked out on the Potomac River and a great sunset view.
Before we went up to our room, we watched the nightly fountain show in the Gaylord National atrium. My kids were thrilled to see how the lights changed with the music and how the water sometimes splashed them.
Our room at Gaylord that night was clean, nicely furnished, and spacious enough to fit two queen beds and a baby crib. Best of all, it was quiet on our floor.
The next morning we did the breakfast buffet at Pienza (not included in the package). It had an omelet station, hot foods like biscuits and quiche and scrambled eggs, a cereal bar, yogurts and fruits and pastries. On Sunday April 20, Gaylord offers a special Easter Brunch at Pienza with even more choices and including an appearance by our friend PEEPS. The Easter Brunch costs $56 for adults and $25 for children ages 3 to 11. Reservations are recommended (301-965-4000).
After breakfast, checking out (check out time is 11 a.m.), and loading our things in the car, we had one last PEEPS experience. We took the $10 PEEPS store gift card that comes with the package and headed back to the waterfront. The over-the-top-cute PEEPS store doesn’t just stock marshmallow treats; it also sells plush bunnies, T-shirts, onesies, pictures frames, etc. The $10 gift card didn’t stretch very far, but it helped my kids get one last souvenir of their fun weekend at National Harbor.
Things to Know
The PEEPS Easter Weekend package starts at $239 for a family of four and includes:
- One night room accommodations with an early check-in starting at 1 p.m.
- PEEPS kids craft activity on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. A maximum of up to three children per package (guest room) can participate.
- PEEPS Easter Egg Hunt for kids 12 and younger with the opportunity to win PEEPS prizes on Saturday at 5 p.m.
- $50 resort credit
- $10 gift card to the PEEPS Store in National Harbor
- One welcome PEEPS treat bag
- The daily resort fee included in the package includes high-speed Internet access in guest rooms.
- There’s a parking garage attached to the hotel. It costs $24 for 24 hours.
Photos by Amy Alipio.