Escape the hustle and bustle of the big city on your next summer trip to D.C. by staying at the Gaylord National in National Harbor, Maryland (read reviews on TripAdvisor). It’s the perfect choice when you’ve got kids in tow, and it’s only 10 minutes away from the city! While the Gaylord National may have a more relaxed vibe, there’s no shortage of unique, family-friendly things to do there in the summer. Here are five fabulous activities for families at Gaylord National:
1. Catch a matinee while relaxing poolside
Gaylord National has an indoor Junior Olympic-sized, 24-meter lap pool that’s only 3 1/2 feet deep throughout, making it great for kids. A set of very wide steps even serves as the perfect (unofficial) toddler zone. What makes a pool even more fun for kids? How about being able to watch a family movie on a projected screen while they splash around?! The outside lounge area is a great place to hang out if you want to soak up the sun. There’s a splash pad for the kids, and a full-sized pool bar that serves cocktails for the adults.
2. Dine inside the atrium
This one may be more for parents than for kids, but I was awestruck by the beauty of this iconic, 19-story, glass atrium with sweeping views of the Potomac River. The Pienza Marketplace inside the atrium is the perfect breakfast spot, complete with a reasonably priced buffet and southern specialties, like shrimp and grits, and biscuits and gravy. You may even forget you’re indoors while in the atrium, because of all of the greenery and natural elements present. They’ve got lush indoor gardens and even bubbling creeks! (Bonus: If you get a hotel room with an atrium view, kids can watch the nighttime laser light show from the balcony.)
3. Party like a rock star without disturbing a soul!
The Gaylord National holds a super fun silent disco summer pajama party where guests get their own pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones and can select one of three channels to listen to: a custom mix by the house DJ, a playlist of Disney songs, or an 80s and 90s playlist. The DJ leads the kids through popular dances, like the cha-cha and electric slides… while onlookers watch the party animals dancing in complete silence!
4. Watch their signature laser light show
The Gaylord National hosts their very own laser light show called “Americana” in the atrium every night at 9:00 p.m. The show includes synchronized lights and a dancing indoor fountain, set to a patriotic musical score. (Pro tip: Stand close to the fountain as its jets shoot 50 feet into the air if you want to get wet!)
5. Explore National Harbor
While not actually at the resort, one of the best things about Gaylord National is that it’s just steps away from National Harbor. This waterfront area is jam-packed with shops, restaurants and attractions, like the 180-foot-tall Capital Ferris Wheel. If your kids are old enough, rent a pedal boat or a kayak. Check out The Awakening, a 72-foot statue of a giant embedded in the earth, struggling to free himself. Kids can even climb on it and play in the surrounding sand. Don’t miss the patriotic-themed carousel, featuring lots of whimsical creatures. And the best part? Tickets are just $7 for unlimited rides all day!
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About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel content creator at Top Flight Family, named a top 10 family travel Instagram account by Time Out New York and Brit + Co. Her insights on travel have been featured in The Washington Post, INSIDER, Huffington Post, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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