The National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation movie proves that family and friends should stay at a hotel during the holiday season. One Washington, D.C. area hotel offers a festive event that will make even local residents want to spend the night there as well. National Harbor's Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center presents Christmas on the Potomac, an annual celebration featuring a bevy of events that would make even Ebenezer Scrooge smile.
In a show that would surely make Frozen characters Kristoff and Elsa gaze in awe, ICE! offers participants the opportunity to careen down slides over two stories tall made entirely of the solid liquid.
Frosty the Snowman is this year's theme, and patrons will get to revisit the classic childhood story by seeing the jolly happy soul recreated in two million pounds of colorful ice. Journey into The Frostbite Factory to see artisans hand carve life-sized ice sculptures.
At Gaylord National Resort, a child careens down a slide made entirely of ice — Photo courtesy of Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
And what would the holiday season be without everyone's favorite green ogre? The Christmassy Dreamworks Experience lets the young and young at heart enjoy some of the movie studio's most beloved characters. One of Shrek's most loyal friends, Gingy, will be hosting a gingerbread decorating station where you may accessorize a family or house before meeting the famous character.
Those who like to "move it, move it" will want to go to the Madagascar Crack-A-Lackin' Cook-In for a brunch feast and a chance to meet their favorite movie characters. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, so go early if possible. Characters from Kung Fu Panda, Shrek and Madagascar will also be appearing throughout the hotel at various times, so be on the lookout.
If you are looking for more traditional celebrations, make sure to catch the brightest star fountain show, featuring choreographed water and light dances to modern and classic Christmas songs. As you gaze at the show, be ready for precipitation. Each night, part of the hotel resembles a shaken globe, as an indoor snowfall bewitches the interior.
For those who choose to stay on site, the hotel offers several packages, with amenities such as unlimited entry to ICE! during your stay and a Kodak souvenir family photo.
For families with young children, be warned that strollers are not allowed in this exhibit. They do have stroller parking just outside of the event area.
The fun begins Friday, Nov. 14, and runs until Sunday, Jan. 4. Christmassy ends on Dec. 31. For complete details, visit the hotel's website.
Organizers strongly encourage people to pre-order tickets due to the event's popularity. For tickets, call 301-965-4000.