For all you wondering what you’re going to do with the kids this summer, explore the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in the National Harbor. We’ve decided to do a bunch of summer staycations. Even if you’re close by or visiting the D.C. area from far away, summer fun at the Gaylord National Harbor is what your family needs! Here are the best things to do at the Gaylord National Harbor!
Thank you to the Gaylord National Resort for inviting my family and I to be their guests overnight. All opinions on my addiction to Silent Disco are my own.
Best Things to Do at the Gaylord National Harbor
It’s the National Harbor’s 10th Anniversary! The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center is steps away from all that action. They have also ramped up their summer offerings during SummerFest with more All-American Fun activities for the whole family. Here are our favorites at the Gaylord National Resort!
Gaylord National Resort Rooms
The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center is stunning. My kids were in awe when they saw the atrium, especially the view from our balcony. It’s like being outside without actually being outside!
Since there are 7 in our family, we had 2 connecting rooms, which was super fun for the kids. And 2 bathrooms!
One word of caution about having a room with a balcony that faces the atrium. If you’re a light sleeper, you may want a different room. The Silent Disco goes late and you can hear people at the bar. My husband nor my children had any problems sleeping, but I could hear the noises. So if you are sensitive to that, then bring a sound machine.
With so many shops and restaurants inside the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, you don’t have to drive anywhere if you don’t want to. Everything you need is within walking distance, which makes it so relaxing.
Gaylord National Harbor Restaurants
Did someone say food? From a quick bite to go, casual dining experiences, or more hearty meals, the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center has you covered. You can find many of them in the atrium at the Gaylord National Harbor.
Eating out is one of my favorite things about vacation, and the food is part of the experience! Here are a couple of our must-do Gaylord National Harbor Restaurants.
National Pastime Sports Bar & Grill
As a baseball and softball loving family, we were in heaven. Watch your favorite sporting event on the big screens while noshing on some comfort foods! There’s also some great sports memorabilia around with a special nod to D.C. Sports. Caps, Caps, Caps!
This breakfast buffet is what food dreams are made of. There’s something for everyone at Pienza Marketplace, one of the Gaylord National Restaurants. I felt like I was at an adorable outdoor cafe.
There are food stations such as meat, biscuits and gravy, an omelette station, fresh fruit bar, an oatmeal bar, pastries, cereals, gluten-free breads, etc. Seriously, the options are endless for even the pickiest eaters, AKA my children.
There are special offers right now with breakfast packages included at the Pienza Restaurant and where kids can eat free! I laugh at how excited my kids get for a buffet.
SummerFest at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
So just what kind of family fun can you have at the Gaylord National Harbor? Well, it’s SUMMERFEST!
The Gaylord National has planned extra special activities like a Star Spangled Quest Scavenger Hunt, a family friendly ghost tour – A National Haunting, a Great-American Road Trip Atrium Show which includes fun music and a laser light show, and Movies Under the Stars in the Atrium. These are all included with your stay at the Gaylord National Harbor now through Labor Day!
Oh and my personal favorite – Silent Disco Party at the Belvedere Lobby!! As a guest at the Gaylord National Harbor, you can check out these headphones for free that are tuned into a DJ in the hotel (he takes requests!), or two additional channels.
The headphones change colors with each channel, so you can see what the other guests are listening to. Then dance your heart out!
I noticed people looking at us a little funny at first, but then they saw how much fun we were having, so they came over to get their own set of headphones. The joy was contagious!
Pools and Splash Pads at Gaylord National Harbor
What would summer be without a pool? The first thing my kids ask about a hotel is whether there’s a pool! The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center has you covered – literally. There’s a covered pool, so you can swim even when it’s raining. If there is lightning, they will close it, though.
There are plenty of poolside chairs inside and outside. You can also enjoy the indoor and outdoor hot tubs as well as the outdoor splash pad! There’s a splashtastic good time waiting for everyone in the family.
The National Harbor and the Capital Wheel
So not only are there so many things to do at the Gaylord National Harbor, but you can also walk outside the door and explore the National Harbor itself with its restaurants, shops, boat rentals (kayaks, pedal boats, and more), and of course, the Capital Wheel!
I’m not one for heights or ferris wheels, but my kids really wanted to go on the Capital Wheel, so I was brave. Plus it’s enclosed and does not rock around like a certain wheel in Disneyland that shall be nameless.
I had a really great time and soon started chanting with the other kids – one more time! One more time! The views were great, and we all loved it!
Family Memories at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
Whether you’re staycationing or vacationing, the best things to do at the Gaylord National Harbor are just steps away. Laugh, eat meals together, stroll the National Harbor, or head to the Smithsonian museums in D.C. just 10-15 minutes away. The important thing is to just make memories together.
This staycation came at a time when my family really needed to be together and forget about sports, school, work, and other activities. For that, I’ll always be grateful. I even found this note on the table that my 5-year-old wrote.
I want to live here, too, baby girl.