“Christmas on the Potomac” at the Gaylord National

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Looking for something different to do during the upcoming holiday season?

National Harbor Skyline at Sunset
National Harbor Skyline at Sunset

While “Christmas on the Potomac” at the Gaylord National Resort—located at National Harbor, MD–has been a draw since 2008 for the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, this year it is teaming up for the first time with Six Flags America and is offering an overnight package. The festivities run from Nov. 19, 2016 through Jan. 1, 2017.

Out-of-towners will appreciate Gaylord National, an affiliate of Marriott International, and its 1,996 guest rooms that include six presidential and five hospitality suites, as well as a spa, junior Olympic-size pool and fitness center.

ICE! Carvings at Gaylord National Rresort
ICE! Carvings at Gaylord National Rresort
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Visitors will find themselves treated to nightly laser shows with snowfalls, and the award-winning ICE! at the Gaylord National Resort. This year’s theme is “Christmas Around the World,” but beware: Bundle up, the temperature hovers around 9 degrees Farenheit. This attraction offers visitors a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience Christmas stories and holiday traditions through colorful, larger-than-life ice sculptures. (Some three-dozen artisans from China hand-carve more than 2 million pounds of ice, which will be featured in a mammoth insulated tent, and the artists can be seen plying their trade at the Frostbite Factory.)

Santa Goes for a Ride
Santa Goes for a Ride

Were that not enough, additional activities include cookies and milk with Mrs. Santa Claus, an Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt, a gingerbread decorating corner, photos with Santa and other attractions, including breakfast with Charlie Brown, and a gourmet holiday experience for those over 21, which includes a wine and chocolate pairing class.

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Cafe Britt

Other diversions for visitors to the Gaylord National Resort include the many opportunities offered by National Harbor—located just across the Potomac River from Alexandria, VA. Perhaps the harbor’s greatest claim to fame is that is the home to the National Spelling Bee. But it is also home to a convention center, six hotels and a myriad of restaurants. A few of the 150 shops include Tanger Outlets, which features Coach, Michael Kors, J. Crew, Calvin Klein and Harry & David, as well as unique retailers, such as Peeps and Company, Carhartt, Savanah’s Candy Kitchen, The Black Dog, Pretty Girl Cupcakery and so forth.

And for those who want to have a night out with Lady Luck, the MGM National Harbor casino is scheduled to open in December 2016. Move over Las Vegas: Upon its debut, the casino will be one of the largest and glitziest settings in the country.

For those who want to take advantage of nearby Six Flags America—which during the warmer months offers more than 100 rides on 200-plus acres, the region’s largest water park and more than 15 original shows–this new consortium will make it possible for visitors to enjoy for the first time—its “Holiday in the Park” Christmas experience, which features family-friendly rides, select roller coasters, Santa Claus, holiday shows and holiday-themed culinary treats.

Ice Slide at Gaylord National Photo by Stephen Elliot in associaiton with MudProductions.com
Ice Slide at Gaylord National
Photo by Stephen Elliot in associaiton with MudProductions.com

Six Flags also will transform each section of its park into different holiday-themed areas including Candy Cane Lane. Here visitors will discover peppermint-wrapped trees and the sweet smell of candy cane.

And of course, historic Alexandria, VA is a short jaunt across the river and from there it is a Metro or two stops to Washington, D.C. and the many, many museums and historic venues it has to offer.

To experience all of the holiday festivities at Gaylord National Resort and Six Flags America, visitors may opt to stay on the new “Capital Christmas Fun” package. This special opportunity is available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights throughout the holiday season as well as the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Rates for the package start at $304 for two people and $388 for four guests and include the following:

  • Two nights’ accommodations at the Gaylord National Resort
  • Tickets to ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World, a special holiday attraction at the Gaylord National Resort
  • Tickets to The Capital Wheel, an attraction at National Harbor
  • Tickets to Six Flags America’s new event Holiday in the Park

For more information about “Christmas on the Potomac” packages, go to www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com. n

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