From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

National Harbor Celebrates the Year of the Tiger

By Lani Gering

I just love the Chinese New Year “stuff” every year. I really get excited when I go to a Chinese restaurant and they have the place mats that have all of the years and animals on them. You know, the ones that tell you who you are and aren’t compatible with, what your personality is like, etc.  According to my reliable source – – Tigers are the third of the Chinese zodiacs. “According to legend, Tiger was confident that no one could compete with its speed and vigor for the celestial race that would decide the order of the zodiacs. However, when Tiger climbed out of the river, thinking it was first, it was informed that Rat placed first for its cunning and Ox placed second for its diligence. This left the king of the jungle having to settle for third place.”

According to my source: “People born in years of the Tiger are fiercely independent and possess strong self-esteem. They like to act alone and are not very gregarious. They are most likely optimistic and enthusiastic by nature, and always seem to have endless energy, especially at work. Their energetic presence and intense eyes are the greatest charm of Tiger natives. Their vitality is apparent to anyone at a glance, and people are instinctively drawn to this larger than life quality in them.

Tigers are lively and cheerful, and they love freedom and independence. They are a zodiac sign that absolutely must have their personal space. Tigers usually have a keen sense of justice. When faced with injustices, whether against themselves or others, you can be sure Tigers will not stand aside. However, Tigers may also appear unrefined or thoughtless in the way they handle things. In a less developed person, these traits can easily turn into ignorance or foolhardiness.

In general, Tigers possess great tenacity. They are loyal, quick and the center of attention in everything they do. However, a king needs a domain to be truly in possession of their power. For any Tiger, male or female, their ambition will come before they allow themselves a break to enjoy other parts of life.”

I’m guessing you all have figured out why I’m using this column space for this kind of important info since the accompanying images pretty much say it all. Every year the Conservatory at the MGM National Harbor features a display that coincides with Chinese New Year. Last year’s display of the Ox was amazing but they have outdone themselves with the Tiger. Like previous displays, this one has moving parts and sound effects. The Tiger’s head moves back and forth and you can hear the sound of his roar as well as birds chirping, water falling and other sounds of nature. While the Tiger is the centerpiece with a fantastic gold and white Koi fish jumping out of a pond, there are other parts of the display that are very impressive – the Money Tree, the overhead lanterns and the Pagoda-looking structure that I’m not sure of the exact name. Keep in mind that this display is two stories in height and takes up the entire conservatory area.

Photographs really don’t do it justice. You really need to see the display up close. The giant sequins that make up the Tiger are amazing and the Koi is right up there as are the plants and water features and don’t forget about the sound effects.

I always tell people that they don’t have to care about the Casino to visit the Conservatory. There are a wide range of food and drink options that cater to those looking for fine dining and those who want an affordable meal. The parking is FREE and it doesn’t cost anything to just go look at something beautiful and do some very interesting people watching! My suggestion is to visit on a Wednesday or Thursday to avoid crowds (unless there is a big concert in the Theater) and avoid Mondays and Tuesdays since some of the stores and restaurants aren’t open at this point.

February in the Harbor is pretty mellow but if you want to see what is happening, check out the Harbor Facebook page and the Gaylord National Facebook page as well as their websites to see what other interesting adventures you can get yourself into.


And, for a bit more February fun at the Harbor “Feel the Love On the Wheel!”

 *Love is in the Air Package includes:  

  • 2 Capital Wheel Tickets (Regular Price $30)
  • 2 drinks (wine, prosecco or draft beer) (Regular Price Up to $20)
  • 2 souvenir cups (Regular Price $10)
  • 1 6×8 photo (Regular Price $15)
  • 1 box of chocolates (Regular Price $13)

Up to an $88 value for only $70!

*Sip & Soar Package includes:
 1 Ticket for The Capital Wheel (Regular Price $15)

  • 1 Souvenir Re-Usable Cup (Regular Price $5)
  • 1 Wine, Prosecco or Draft Beer (Regularly Priced $7-$10)
  • $5 Refills (Same Day Only)

Up to a $30 value for only $20!

 *Available at the Flight Deck during operating hours on Saturday and Sunday through February 28th – 12-10 pm

Love in Lights Proposal Package Giveaway

Enter to win a Love in Lights Gold Package and use of the Flight Deck VIP lounge for your celebration!


  • 1 hour of lights on The Capital Wheel
  • 2 VIP tickets to The Capital Wheel
  • 1 hour in Flight Deck VIP lounge to host a celebration for the happy couple and 10 guests*
  • Includes open bar and tickets to The Capital Wheel for your guests
  • Professional Photographer
  • 1 6×8 Souvenir photo with custom background
  • A champagne toast for 2 in souvenir cups
  • 1 social media post
  • Prize value is over $1,500

Contestants should enter online at the Contest begins Feb. 1 and last day to enter is Feb. 14, 2022, winner will be announced on Feb. 20, 2022.  Management reserves all rights. By entering, you grant the ability to your likeness and photos in any ICON Attractions marketing


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