Our Kids had the pleasure of starting out the summer with a weekend getaway to Gaylord National Resort featuring SummerFest Music of America! This stunning waterfront resort has so much to offer families. We surely did not hear the words, “I’m bored!” coming from the mouths of any of our mini-me’s. If you are looking for a getaway close to home, consider checking into Gaylord National Resort; what I like to call, “D.C.’s Magical Kingdom”.
Our family of 5 checked into our rooms without any issues. The staff on site were accommodating and pleasant. After we completed our check in we took advantage of a fun photo opportunity where you get to choose thought bubbles to enhance your picture.
Just getting to our room had our girls giggling with excitement. Maybe they are easily entertained but I like to think that the grandeur of Gaylord captivated them from the moment they saw the 19-story glass atrium and the spectacular views of the Potomac River. We requested adjoining rooms which do not have the option of an atrium view so keep that in mind if you are traveling with a larger group and need adjoining rooms.
While the view from our room wasn’t picturesque, we didn’t mind as the only time we were in our room was to sleep, shower or take a moments rest. The room itself had everything a family could need for a one night stay. Two water bottles are included free of charge, and there is a safe and small refrigerator in case you want to bring any goodies along.
Once settled, we headed out on the town to explore the National Harbor. Just a short walking distance from the resort, we decided our first stop would be The Capital Wheel.
Our children, ages 3.5, 6 and 8 were eager to try this ferris wheel out because of two things: the enclosed air conditioned seating and the fact that it circulates over the water. We had some nervous bellies at first but once we got going everyone settled in and enjoyed the spectacular views from above!
After exploring the sounds and sites of the National Harbor we decided to check out some of the offerings at the resort. From now until September 4th, Gaylord National has put together a grand offering of summer fun. There is simply something for everyone. We were able to experience a variety of activities during our one night stay.
Every Saturday of SummerFest at 4 p.m., families can head to the indoor pool and watch an Aquafina® Summer Movie Matinee. The indoor pool is surrounded by padded lounge chairs and seats so be sure to get there early to score a good location. Our pool experience included drinks and light lunch fare from the outdoor cafe, a few moments in the outdoor spray ground and swim time in the indoor pool. No need to bring towels as they hand them out once you enter the pool area.
After splashing around in the pool, we headed back up to our room to shower and get ready for dinner. For dinner we enjoyed a variety of delicious eats from National Pastime Sports Bar & Grill. Great choices for all to include sliders, chicken tenders, vegetable platter, crab cakes, sweet potato tots, salad, tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa and chicken satay. There were also several desserts and drinks to choose from but please bring your own dessert if you have nut allergies in your family.
Bellies full, our adventure took us to the Summer PJ Party featuring The Slient Disco! Located in the lower atrium near the fountain, all willing participants got a set of headphones. Participants can choose from three stations to include 80’s music, Disney songs or Top 40 coinciding with the DJ. Can I just say that this was the best idea ever? Kids and parents were bopping around to music that only they could hear in their headphones, singing the lyrics and having a grand time! This is another must-do activity while experiencing SummerFest at Gaylord. This unique disco will be offered starting on Saturdays in August at 8 p.m.
Stick around after the silent disco as there is a nightly atrium laster light show, Americana, celebrating music of America over the ages. The light show starts at 9 each evening and lasts around 15 minutes. The fountains dance to a choreographed routine as children marvel in the magic of the lights. Oooh’s and ahh’s could be heard all around the atrium. What a perfect way to end such an exciting day!
In the morning we headed to Pienza Marketplace which offers a delicious breakfast buffet! We were lucky enough to sit in the cute indoor gazebo to enjoy our last meal at the resort. Guests have a variety of foods to choose from to include: waffles, breakfast meats, assorted pastries, a fruit bar, omelette station, cereals, salmon and more.
After breakfast we took one last stroll around the National Harbor, stopping to play at The Awakening. This is one of my favorite sculptures in the area. The Awakening is a 72-foot statue of a giant embedded in the sand. It’s the perfect spot to watch your children’s reactions and give them a go at climbing one of the five separate pieces buried in the ground. Be sure to bring hand wipes after climbing as the children will have stains on their feet and hands.
Everything about this getaway oozed 5 stars. From the gorgeous atrium to the plethora of family-friendly happenings, Gaylord National Resort is at the top of our list for family getaways. With it being so close to home, our children didn’t even ask, “Are we there yet?” Bonus! And because of the many options available to all ages, we made memories that are sure to last a lifetime. Well done, Gaylord and thank you for a magical weekend.
- Self-Parking is conveniently located next to the resort. The overnight fee is $30.
- The hotel offers a variety of shops and restaurant options other than the ones mentioned in the review. There is also a spa on site.
- If you choose to experience The Capital Wheel and you have a stroller, you can park it in a designated stroller area before you get in line.