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Hit the Harbor for the Holidays!

If you’ve never taken the short trip to National Harbor during the holiday season, first of all: you’re missing out. Secondly, this winter is the perfect time to break the ice (pun intended). Between updates to seasonal attractions like their impressive RGB-lit tree and accompanying music/light show to the long-awaited return of ICE! at Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor continues its standing as a staple for the holidays. Whether you’re planning for a week-long stay at one of many top-rated hotels or a weekend with the family to wrap up some last-minute holiday shopping, a seasonal adventure is only a few hours away. But before you plan your trip, make sure you check out this must-do list of fun at the harbor!

ICE! at Gaylord National Resort

After a two-year hiatus, ICE! is returning to National Harbor this winter, featuring all your favorite scenes from A Christmas Story™ in larger-than-life ice sculpture displays. Step into a wonderland carved by expert artisans out of two million pounds of colorful ice spanning nearly 17,000 square feet. The entire exhibit is kept at a breezy 9 degrees Fahrenheit—but don’t worry, you’ll get a signature blue parka during your stroll through the magic.

Nightly Tree Light Show & Fireworks Shows

You’ve never seen a holiday tree like this one. 60 feet tall, adorned with RGB lighting and accompanied by a one-of-a-kind holiday medley performed by the United States Air Force Band. This nightly display kicks off every 30 minutes from sunset to 9pm nightly. With the lit-up Capital Wheel as the backdrop, we can’t picture a better Instagram moment. And speaking of lights, double up on the sundown magic with a breathtaking fireworks show every Saturday from November 12–December 17 at 5:30pm. Time it right to catch both light-show events back to back!

Snow Factory & Ice Skating

Wear your gloves and get your adrenaline pumping, it’s time for a snowball fight and snow tubing! Yes, at National Harbor— Gaylord National’s Snow Factory awaits for family-friendly snowy adventures. Launch real snowballs and boost the power of snowmaking machines throughout the area for extra points! Don’t forget about the ice skating rink! Lace up your skates for date night or family fun with an outdoor rink made with real ice.

Santa at the Capital Wheel

He’s making his list and checking it twice, but old St. Nick always has time for you! Swing by the Capital Wheel and get your picture taken with Santa Claus before you go soaring over the Potomac. Grab a treat at the Flight Deck before you ride, with an updated cocktail and cocktail list just for the holidays.

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When it comes to the holidays at National Harbor, the list goes on—and it’s easy to capitalize on it all.

So whether you’re looking for something cozy and relaxing or out to make exhilarating memories, this waterfront winter wonderland is the place to be this season.