Celebrate Christmas on the Potomac at the Gaylord National Resort. The atrium in The Gaylord has the can’t miss JOY! A Holiday Spectacular! You can see the show for free from the lower level of the atrium, but it gets very crowded and I would highly suggest purchasing tickets and sitting close to the show – it was incredible! You’ll feel like you’re in New York watching a Broadway Show! The talented Gaylord National Singers shine on stage for this brilliant, high energy musical experience. Purchase your tickets here.
After JOY! is over, you have only 5 minutes to wait until the extraordinary Tree Lighting Ceremony begins. This is not your average tree lighting! The ceremony lasts about 10 minutes and is complete with fog machines, a laser show, and awesome music! My kids said it was by far the coolest tree lighting we have been to (bonus points that it is inside and free!)
Christmas Village is located in The Gaylord which is free entrance (though you have to pay for any extras such as ice skating, Story Time with Mrs. Claus, a train ride, the Carousel, and making gingerbread houses. There are bands available for unlimited access to these activities, and it made sense for our family to buy the bands since my son didn’t want to get off the train!) The story time with Mrs. Claus was especially wonderful!
And if you’re wondering where Santa hangs out while Mrs. Claus us reading to the kids, the answer is right around the corner! Santa has a gorgeous set and I got the absolute best pictures of my kids with Santa! The elves did a great job making my kids comfortable and kept them smiling!
Overall, you could spend an entire night getting into the Holiday spirit at The Gaylord National Resort. This was our first year visiting during the holidays, but it will definitely be an annual tradition for our family!!
Know before you go:
- The times of the JOY! shows vary by day, but there are three showings on the weekends (6:30, 7:30, 8:30). Please check the calendar here to help plan your trip.
- The Tree Lighting Ceremony is 3 times a night at 7,8 and 9!
- Food and drink available for purchase in the atrium, ranging from Starbucks to fancy restaurants.
- Clean bathroom located in the atrium