Top Six Ways to Celebrate the Holidays at National Harbor

Top 6 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays at National Harbor


The National Harbor tree has been lit so that can only mean one thing, it is officially the holiday season! With so many activities, you’ll want to Capitalize On It all with an overnight stay at one of our hotels. Kick off the morning with brunch at one of our many restaurants followed by a NCAA Football or a Holiday Movie on the jumbo screen. Make sure to stop by the Chase tent to secure your FREE popcorn, blanket, gloves, and (reusable) hand warmers.* If you start to get chilly, stroll around the harbor stopping in our unique shops to check items off your Christmas list and warm up with FREE hot chocolate. The most important part is next: securing the most Instagram shot worthy spot of the Tree Light and Fireworks show! (If you don’t love crowds I suggest securing a spot at the AC Hotel bar or on the Walrus patio) When you post on social media make sure to tag @NationalHarbor and #CapitalizeOnItAll in all your posts, you may just get featured on our social or the next blog!

As I said, there are a TON of activities to celebrate the holidays at National Harbor.  For all the details and deals make sure to check out our holiday landing page.  Below are the top six ways to celebrate the season at National Harbor in 2019.


1. Ignite your holiday spirit with a festive tree lighting & spectacular fireworks display presented by Chase

Starting November 16 through January 5, ignite your holiday spirit with the nightly lighting of the 56-foot tree and two million twinkling lights in the National Harbor Waterfront District. The tree light show takes place daily, every half hour from sundown to 9 p.m.  On weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) there will be snowfall over the tree during the light show. Every Saturday from November 16 to December 28, celebrate the holidays with a spectacular fireworks display at 5:30 p.m.


2. Gaylord National Resort’s ICE! featuring “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Kicking off the festivities will be Gaylord National Resort’s Christmas On The Potomac presented by Pepsi. Guests to the resort this holiday season will experience an extra 7,000 pounds of ice with new attractions including Reindeer Rush Ice Tubing and an outdoor ice skating rink. The two offerings add to Gaylord National Resort’s more than 2 million pounds of ice used to create colorful, life-size ice sculptures for the resort’s signature attraction, ICE!, presented by DEI©. Attendees can also look forward to a festive celebration featuring “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”  They will be transported into a magical Who-ville experience with interactive ice sculptures and displays, a children’s miniature train, Cirque Dreams Unwrapped stage show and Atrium Laser Light Show.  Overnight packages, attraction details and ticket information can be found at:


3. Sing, ” All I Want For Christmas Is You” with the Queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey

The Queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey will be marking the 25th anniversary of her holiday anthem, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” at MGM National Harbor for two performances, December 9 and 10.  The resort’s Conservatory will feature a stunning holiday themed display and evening light shows synchronized to music. Dine at the Fish by Jose Andres or take in a show at the MGM at The Theatre where Cirque Dreams Holidaze is on the bill December 20-23.  Also scheduled to perform in December, Anita Baker, Xscap3, SWV and 702.


4. Take a spin on The Capital Wheel with Santa & Enjoy a Frozen Carousel Christmas

Purchase a ticket to The Capital Wheel and you can ride with Santa on a first-come, first-served basis every Saturday from Nov. 30 through December 21 from noon to 4 p.m. Santa will be available for pictures, wish list sharing and a once-in-a-lifetime family experience. Each climate-controlled gondola will be wrapped in holiday cheer featuring peppermint striping, Santa hats and snowflakes. Chase cardholders will also get a special discount on wheel rides throughout the Holiday Season.

Purchase a ticket to the waterfront Carousel and meet an Ice Princess and her favorite Snowman on Saturdays from Nov. 30 to December 21 from noon to 2 p.m. A frosty backdrop and wintry theme create the perfect spot to meet this frozen ice queen for holiday photos.


5. Catch a holiday movie

Bring the whole family and enjoy family holiday movies on the plaza screen each Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Complimentary popcorn provided by Chase and the first 120 guests for each weekly movie, will receive a Chase blanket.

Check out our list of movies here. 

6. Shop ‘til you drop

The Waterfront District makes holiday shopping a breeze where there are walkable streets with unique shops and boutiques such as Peeps & Company (one of only two in the country), House of Jonlei Atelier, BrookieGirl and more. These join nationally recognized brands including Alex and Ani, Build-A-Bear, Carhartt, South Moon Under and others. Select stores will offer free hot chocolate on Saturdays and Sundays courtesy of Chase.

Tanger Outlets National Harbor is having its biggest sale of the year at its Moonlight Madness & After Thanksgiving sales event at its 82 brand name outlet stores.  Start your night with an early dinner and stunning sunsets in National Harbor’s Waterfront District and then find exclusive deals starting at 6:00 PM on Thanksgiving and continuing throughout the entire weekend.