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Anna Marie

“Christmas on the Potomac” Gaylord National Harbor’s holiday spectacular

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Hi, I’m Anna Marie. I’m a wife, mother, Irish dancer, and pug mom living in North Carolina. I also love to travel. Come along for the ride! If you see something you like, don’t be afraid to say, ‘Pull over and let me out.’

GaylordNational - Christmas Decor - Atrium Window

Photo courtesy of Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center

Look up and admire.

That’s my advice upon entering the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center during the Christmas season.

The 60-foot tall glass Christmas tree hanging from the atrium is absolutely breath-taking and just the start of a magnificent holiday display on the banks of the Potomac River.

 Christmas - Nighty Tree Lighting Show

Photo courtesy of Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center

The Gaylord is the anchor edifice of the 300-acre National Harbor waterfront entertainment district located a few miles outside of Washington, DC. The 19-story structure is the tallest of the Gaylord resorts and boasts 2000 guest rooms, 110 guest suites and a 19-story atrium overlooking the river.


With its proximity to DC’s notorious sites including; Mount Vernon, the National Mall, Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria – this resort with so much under one roof is a popular destination for visitors to the Nation’s Capital.

Each November the renowned Gaylord turns things up a notch as it converts into a Winter Wonderland welcoming thousands to view the spectacular holiday themed display known as “Christmas on the Potomac.”

“Christmas on the Potomac” is 52-days of over 2-million lights, ice sculptures, nightly fountain shows, falling snow and all things magically Christmas.

 GaylordNational - Christmas Lobby Decor

Photo courtesy of Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center

Additionally, just outside the hotel on the property is a 15,000-square foot tent housing an elaborate display of ice carvings and sculptures appropriately entitled, “Ice!”  Tickets can be purchased in advance on-line or at the resort box office.

 Gaylord National's ICE_TwasTheNight

Photo courtesy of Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center

This year’s theme is “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

“Dress warmly” is the advice from public relations manager, Rachel Dinbokowitz. Inside the tent it’s a brisk 9º Fahrenheit. Brr!

Blue parkas are handed out as you enter the tent to experience wondrous structures carved from ice. Carvings include familiar sites such as Christmas in New York City and a replica of the Empire State Building.

 Gaylord National's ICE_SantaReindeer

Photo courtesy of Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center

Kids are thrilled to encounter not one, but 5 ice slides and several other familiar places and faces represented in this frigid format.

 Photo by Stephen Elliot in associaiton with

Photo courtesy of Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center

The traditional carving of the Nativity is the final display in this favorite attraction which draws visitors from near and far each year.

According to Dinbokowitz, the best value is one of the holiday packages. The resort offers two different packages featuring guest rooms, tickets to “Ice!”, family photos with Santa and other special promotions. She also points out “Christmas on the Potomac” is much less crowded mid-week if your travel schedule permits.

Each year this busy hotel and resort transforms into a wintery spectacle for 52 enchanting days. If you’re planning a visit to Washington this holiday season mark your calendar. “Christmas on the Potomac” runs through January 5, 2014.


If you like this please share it with your friends.  As always, Happy Travels!


I recently was a guest at the Gaylord and participated in the Southeastern Region Oireachtas Irish dancing championships held there.  I’m very proud of our ladies 4-hand Celi dance winning 3rd place!


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2 thoughts on ““Christmas on the Potomac” Gaylord National Harbor’s holiday spectacular”

  1. DC is a great place for the holidays, especially (as you point out) it is extremely close to many attractions across the mid-Atlantic. It’s also fairly close to Baltimore as well, so almost everything is within your reach. However, there is so much to do in DC, from Monument and memorial tours to the Smithsonian museums and exhibits that you may not even need to leave DC for your entire holiday!

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