10 Tips for Enjoying ICE! and Christmas Fun at Gaylord National Resort (w/ DISCOUNT!)

We checked out Christmas on the Potomac at the Gaylord National Resort this holiday season and had so much fun! From ICE! Featuring a Charlie Brown Christmas and its two-story ice slides to warm cookies, milk and holiday songs at Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions to magnificent acrobatic feats at Cirque Dreams Unwrapped to all the fun inside the Christmas Village, Christmas on the Potomac is definitely a fun experience to add to your must-do list of holiday events in the D.C. Metro area! I even put together a list of helpful tips to make your visit to the festivities even that bit more awesome! 🤓 Annnnnnd I have a discount code to ICE! for you to use and share! 👍 So. Much. Holiday. Love! 🎄💓🎄

Christmas on the Potomac Gaylord National Harbor ICE!
So much fun to be had at Gaylord National’s Christmas on the Potomac!


10 Tips For Visiting ICE! at the Gaylord National Resort

1. Buy your ICE! tickets ahead of time. ICE! does sell out, so best to buy your ticket ahead of time rather than arrive on site and learn that it’s sold out. (Children under 4 are free.)

🠞 💰💸💰 Use code “SNOW18” for $4 off ICE! Tickets! (Good for Sundays – Thursdays through December 20th.) 

2. Go on a weekday. It’s cheaper and less crowded than visiting on a weekend or a holiday. (Perhaps an upcoming half-day or a pick-up-and-go-straight-from-school type of visit might be an option?)

3. Look for discount tickets. Check out local sites like Certifikid, Groupon, Goldstar and the Gaylord Resort page on Facebook for discount codes.

4. Do NOT Wear a Bulky Coat. Bring gloves, hats and a not-so-bulky coat to wear. It’s 9 degrees inside ICE!, so you’ll need the above. And wearing a bulky coat as well as their parka can make you feel quite tight and restrict movement, inducing meltdown-central, so if you have a thin but warm coat, that’s ideal. All that said, my child wore her Lands End winter coat and did just fine. She did fit in a nap on our way to the Gaylord though, so there’s that….

ICE! Gaylord National Harbor
About to begin our fun at ICE!

5. Dress in layers. As a follow-on to above, this will give you and your child more flexibility should they feel cold or warm.

6. Touchscreen gloves. Wear your fancy touchscreen gloves to avoid having to take off your luddite gloves every time you want to take a picture or use your phone.

7. Bring a backpack. There are no cubbies at ICE! Not that you carry junk, but hypothetically, were you to do so, you’d have no place to store it. 😉

8. TUCK THE BLUE PARKA UNDER YOUR CHILD’S REAR! That slide is ice, ice cold! Plus, you slide faster with the parka under your rear.

9. Keep your cell phone in your back pocket. Cell phone may crash as temperatures are so low. Mine did. I found that keeping it in back pocket of my jeans (rather than coat pocket) then kept it warm enough to avoid subsequent crashes.

10. Parking. If you’re going during a weekday, parking shouldn’t be an issue as there’s a self-parking lot for ICE! attendees and there are lots of parking options within walking distance to the Gaylord National Harbor. If on a weekend, I’d recommend buying parking online here ahead of time.

🌟 Bonus Tips for your Visit to Christmas on the Potomac at Gaylord National Resort, Maryland

Because I’m such a giver, sharing even more tips to satiate your type-A planning proclivities and enhance your experience while at the Gaylord National Resort for ICE!

1. DO check out Christmas Village. After ICE!, we made our way to the nearby Christmas Village, which was a great way to warm up and continue with the holiday fun. Inside you’ll find a carousel, ice-skating, miniature holiday train, Santa Souvenir Photo, Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions and more. These activities do cost money, ranging from $5 to $30+, so plan accordingly (like tell kiddo before you go in that they can only pick 1 or 2 things to do). (On that note, if you’re going to do just one more thing, I highly recommend Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions; with floor cushions, interactive holiday songs, cookies and milk, it’s a great way to rest for a bit as the kids delight in stories from Mrs. Claus and her elf!)

Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions

2. Build in time to see Cirque Dreams Unwrapped. This show is full of color, life and amazement! My older kiddo was especially entranced by all the acrobatic feats! Best of all – this is FREE! (Limited number of free seats available on a first come, first served basis. Guaranteed seating available for $19.99.)

Cirque Dreams Unwrapped – such a good show! 

2. Amazing Gingerbread House Display. Check out the Gingerbread House Display in the main lobby of the Gaylord National Resort. So many cool, artful houses put together for all to wonder and explore. FREE!

So many wonderful gingerbread houses to explore – and smell!

3. Play Outside! Bundle up and burn off any additional energy by playing on and around the awesome Awakening sculpture by the National Harbor waterfront. FREE! 😄

National Harbor The Awakening Sculpture
Fun times at the Awakening!

4. Arcade! There’s an arcade on the lower level of the Gaylord National Resort (by the pool). Great way to spend some time if you’re waiting for Cirque or waiting for other kiddos to wrap up in Chrismas Village.

Gaylord National Harbor Arcade
TMNT, Racing & more games at the Arcade!

5. Hungry? There are places to eat inside the Gaylord National Resort as well as many restaurants to choose from outside. We had a good, kid-friendly experience at both Fiorella’s Italian Kitchen (sharing a pizza is always a good, affordable option) and Public House National Harbor (kids meals $8.99).

If you have attended ICE or any of the Christmas on the Potomac events at the Gaylord National Resort, what tips might you add to the list? Enter in comments below!

Gaylord National Resort is located at 165 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, Maryland.  Through January 1st, ICE!: $24-$38; Cirque Dreams Unwrapped: Free – $19.99

I received complimentary tickets to attend ICE! and Storytime with Mrs. Claus with my family. No additional compensation was received and all opinions – especially the funny ones 🤣 – are my own. 


For more festive, fun ideas, check out Route One Fun’s 2018 Holiday Events Guide! And follow Route One Fun’s Facebook and Instagram pages to stay in the know about other fun happenings along Route 1 and the DC Metro Area!

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