National Harbor

Ho. Ho. Hold On – The Holidays are Coming!

By Lani Gering

Every year it seems that the holidays arrive earlier and earlier. I guess that’s a sign of my age – I’m starting to sound more and more like my parents… seems like yesterday that I was waxing poetic about summer here in the harbor and as I sit here writing this column, Halloween is 3 days away with the subject matter of my column reflecting Thanksgiving and the approaching hullabaloo of the holidays!

Much like years past, November starts out pretty quiet in the Harbor while retailers and restaurants gear up for the onslaught of the opening of ICE and the start of the “Christmas on the Potomac” celebration at the Gaylord Resort and the lighting of the beautiful tree on the plaza on Waterfront Street.

As much as I look forward to Christmas, I am sort of disappointed that the opening ceremonies are taking place before we have even started pulling together our Thanksgiving dinners. In fact, I don’t even know where I’m going to dinner. I may have to consider hosting it myself. If that does happen, I know that I will be doing some serious shopping at Stonewall Kitchen just around the corner from my condo here at One National Harbor. They have an amazing selection of both food items and clever kitchen adornments that are a must see if you need inspiration or just a few things to round out your traditional meal.

For those of you who don’t have an inclination to cook at all, the restaurants at the Gaylord may have something that fits the bill. On Thanksgiving Day, parties can choose between the hotel’s alfresco buffet dining outlet, Pienza, an exclusive gathering atop the hotel’s 18th floor at Pose Rooftop Lounge or a fine dining experience at its signature restaurant, Old Hickory Steakhouse. For detailed information log on to the website at

Let’s not forget about Veteran’s Day on the 11th. While I am not aware of anything special happening in the Harbor, it is a great day to do something special to honor those who have served their country and those who are in active duty. If you see someone in uniform, thank them for their service.

Getting back to holiday happenings…..the Gaylord Resort is premiering a new tree in the Atrium this season. It is sad to see the 65 foot glass tree go but it was showing a bit of wear and tear last year. They are being pretty secretive as to what the tree is going to be like. “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” is the theme for this year’s ICE! Extravaganza at the Resort. I loved last years “Frosty the Snowman” and I’ll bet this year will be even bigger and better. The carvers that transform over 2 million pounds of ice each year have been hard at work since mid-October. Just like last year, there will be a “Frostbite Factory” area where you can watch the ice carvers do their magic. It really is something to see. There are all sorts of different packages that include special room rates for the family including participation in all things Christmas at the resort. For all of the activities at the Resort, see their ad in this section.

 With the Capitol Wheel, movies on the big screen and the popularity of the carousel, Peterson Cos. has added some fun new events to the holiday lineup. See this section for the full schedule.

Remember to take some time to just relax and take a few deep breaths before jumping into the deep end of the holiday pool! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone and don’t forget to thank our Veterans for their service.

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