News and notes from Fredericksburg's entertainment scene
Destinations: National Harbor goes green this holiday season
BY GAIL CHOOCHAN
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Just across the Wilson Bridge over the Potomac River lies the National Harbor. No worries about finding the “Christmas on the Potomac” celebration. All you need to do is follow the lights.
The Gaylord National Resort, the glittering anchor of this major waterfront destination, is surrounded by dozens of lighted trees. It’s more than enough to warm any Grinch’s heart. And the holiday finery extends way beyond the front doors, giving way to over-the-top Christmas splendor.
Indulge in an array of activities, including gingerbread decorating, brunch with Santa, train rides and meet-and-greets with some of your favorite DreamWorks characters. Nightly, enjoy a lighting show of Gaylord’s 60-foot-tall glass Christmas tree (through Jan. 6) and fireworks every Friday (through Dec. 21), beginning at 7 p.m.
The biggest draw to National Harbor during the holiday season is ICE!, featuring incredible ice sculpture creations of DreamWorks animated characters. Two million pounds of ice were used to create the storytelling scenes for “Shrek the Halls!” Gaylord brought in about 40 ice sculptors from Harbin, China, known for one of the largest ice festivals around the world.
“Shrek” fans will enjoy this year’s theme featuring the adventures of the beloved green ogre, Princess Fiona, the snarky Donkey and Gingy. Take your time admiring these colorful works and don’t forget to experience a true slip-and-slide. However, it’s not all cartoon silliness. A life-size Nativity scene is also included.
Be prepared for long waits prior to entering the icy wonderland. Guests need to be outfitted with provided heavy blue coats to combat the 9-degree temps. TIP: Don’t forget to bring your gloves.
WANT TO GO:
“ICE!” is open through Jan. 6. $22.99 adults ($29.99 peak); $15.99 ages 4–12 ($25.99 days); free for ages 3 and under. Military discounts available. Info: christmasonthepotomac.com