Shrek the Halls at Gaylord National's Christmas on the Potomac

The weather tried to rain on our parade over the weekend, but failed miserably...for the most part.

Saturday, my family and I experienced a bit of Christmas in July at Gaylord National at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD. This attraction is one of many precious gems located in the state of Maryland that is nestled conveniently off the beltway near neighboring Washington, D.C. and Virginia. Food, shopping, lodging, entertainment -- you name it -- the National Harbor has it covered.

Saniyah and Kaden waiting patiently for the Christmas in July preview to begin at Gaylord National
 Local media gathered in a ballroom decorated with simple rows of chairs, a stage and anxious children of all ages, including my crew. My son and cousin, both ten years old, were the perfect guests. Their excitement levels and playfulness always create a contagious energy. Secretly, well not so secretly, I am a kid at heart. I was eager to hear the news that lied ahead as well.

After listening to several important players in the making and success of spectacular events like Christmas on the Potomac, we were treated to an appearance by the man -- I mean, ogre -- at the center of it all.

Welcome, Shrek, as this year's theme for the 2012 ICE! show and several other activities and events.

Having fun w/ Shrek & Fiona last Dec. from our stay at Gaylord National
Kaden and I are no strangers to all the adventures with Shrek at Gaylord National. We were fortunate enough to experience Christmas on the Potomac the last few days of December in 2011 (thanks to a wonderful giveaway). For two days, we lived in the resort. In fact, we never left the Gaylord to venture out to the rest of the harbor because there was already so much to do inside. It is definitely a getaway and escape from the outside world. That alone is worth every penny of the package price.

After the big announcement, media guests and their families were whisked away to a magical, winter wonderland. Behind the door of a huge, black tent lied the perfect dose of Christmas in July.

We were treated to popcorn, desserts, ice cream, sno cones, beverages, fruit, an appearance from Santa, a brightly-lit Christmas tree, meet & greet opportunities with the characters, a gingerbread-making session with Gingy and of course, time to catch up with local {media} friends. 

But the fun did not stop there. We headed to the waterfront for the final part of our day.

This is the only part of the day's events that was ruined by the rain. We had the option to take a boat ride, hop in a kayak, or hit the paddle boats. The weather won this round, but that did not affect the other great activities that were planned by the water. It may have done a number on my hair though. But that's a completely different post.

Under the tent, more "Waterfront. Wonderful." was awaiting us. We hurried to the guacamole and chips line immediately upon entering the tent. Sangria found its way to my cup and I happily accepted it. There was a cart filled with Pinkberry goodness. Two lines for either face-painting or balloon art were most popular among the tiny guests. A unicyclist, a magician and a man on stilts provided even more fun. The rain continued to pour all around us, but no one let it ruin the lighthearted chatter zooming under the tent.

I would give this day two thumbs up and five stars. Despite the rain, we still managed to enjoy ourselves immensely. If we had this much fun at the preview for Shrek the Halls, imagine all the fun your family would have if you attended Gaylord National during all of the Christmas on the Potomac events.

Here is a list of all the wonderful Christmas on the Potomac events and activities your family can participate in, beginning daily from Friday, November 16, 2012 through Sunday, January 6, 2013, including holidays:

  • ICE! Featuring DreamWorks' Shrek the Halls
  • Spectacular Décor 
  • Tree of Light 
  • Nightly Tree Lighting Ceremony
  • Northern Lights
  • Brightest Star Fountain Show
  • Visits With Santa
  • Seasonal Spa Treatments
  • ShrekFeast Interactive
  • Character Meal DreamWorks Meet and Greets
  • DreamWorks-Themed Scavenger Hunt
  • Gingy's Gingerbread Decorating
...and much, much more.

Take advantage of the early bird special for ICE! featuring Shrek the Halls. Adult tickets (ages 13+) are on sale for $18.99 if you purchase them by October 1, 2012. Visit or call 301-965-4000 for more information.

If you want to see some of the fun we had at last year's events at Gaylord National, visit this link:

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Disclosure Information
My family and I attended a media event at Gaylord National. Entertainment and food were provided free of cost thanks to Gaylord National. The opinions and views are my own. We had a blast!
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