From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Let’s Celebrate the Year of the Ox at the MGM

By Lani Gering


Year of the Ox

2021 is a year of the Ox, starting from February 12th, 2021 (Chinese lunar New Year Day) and lasting until January 31st, 2022. It will be a Metal Ox year. The recent zodiac years of the Ox sign are: 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021. An Ox year occurs every 12 years.

Regular readers of this column know how fond I am of the décor in the Conservatory and the MGM Grand in the Harbor. The holiday display was featured in the December issue and I try to post information about them as they change during the season. As has been the norm, Chinese New Year is the winter theme and 2021 is the Year of the Ox – the display does not disappoint. The photos don’t do it justice since you can’t really tell how massive it is. Keep in mind that it is two stories tall.

According to the Chinese, for those born in the Year of the Ox, 2021 promises to be a highly fruitful year with a lot of cheer and power. Professionals will be rewarded financially for their diligence and skills. The family will play a significant role in his life. Single persons will marry, while the married can welcome a new member to the family. People in business can start new partnership ventures. Normal life will be disturbed with useless travel and additional social activities. Even though there has been plenty of consternation concerning China’s role in the current pandemic, one has to admit that, besides really good food, this zodiac custom has brought much entertainment to us over the years. Let’s hope that the Ox horoscope transcends into everyone’s life this year. We can all use a little cheer and power and who doesn’t want to do a little bit of “useless” travel and attend some social activities!?!

The last time I was at the MGM was just to revel in the glory of the holiday décor in the Conservatory but I took a trek through the casino this time. It was around 8 pm on a Monday evening and there were more people than I thought there would be – all trying to hit the jackpot. I confess that I did entertain myself for a while with my $20 and a few points on my rewards card (that I left in the slot machine like a dope). I was impressed with the way that MGM has put the social distancing protocol in place. The acrylic dividers between table game players and the every other slot machine availability seems to work well. It was sad not to be able to have a cocktail in the Cherry Blossom lounge on this trip but by the time this issue comes out the indoor dining ban will be lifted and table service will be back.

There were a few retail shops open in The District but very few eateries open in National Market due to the ban on indoor dining that was in effect when I was there. They do have heated tents on the area adjacent to the market and there were a few people eating to-go food. By now, however, the restaurants have reopened to indoor diners – all following the pandemic protocols.

If you are looking for something a bit different to do this month, take a drive to the Harbor and the MGM Grand, park in the free parking, play a few slots, grab something to eat and check out the Conservatory! While you are in that neck of the woods, go on into National Harbor and see what adventures you can get up to there. Fooduary – Harbor to Table….Yours or Ours! will be taking place through Valentine’s Day. This is their take on Restaurant Week this winter and there are some excellent dining options available. You might want to try something you normally wouldn’t! Details available at

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes