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SummerFest At The Gaylord National Resort

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One of our local traditions includes kicking off the summer with a visit to the Gaylord National Resort in Maryland. This is one resort that straddles the line expertly between hosting conventions and families alike! And their annual SummerFest is one of the best times to make a trip: here’s what you’ll find this summer. We were hosted to a weekend trip by the Gaylord National and the Capital Wheel to check it out. 

Gaylord National Harbor Wheel at sunset in Maryland

Why You Want To SummerFest At The Gaylord National Resort

We love the Gaylord National Resort. When we first moved here, my kids would spy the Capital Wheel and beg to check it out. Luckily, we’ve been able to do just that and I can heartily recommend this resort to families! Especially during the summer. 

Gaylord National has a summer packed of fun for families this year. This is absolutely the best way to kick off summer if you’re looking for a vacation resort in the Washington DC area. 

Visit to make your reservations!

Why do you want to visit Gaylord National Resort for SummerFest? Oh, let’s just count the ways! 

1. Breakfast at Pienza Kicks Off Your Gaylord National SummerFest Experience

Yup, I’m going to start with food. Because it was delicious. This onsite restaurant is one of my favorites for breakfast.

The location is ideal since it’s located in the gorgeous atrium and a quick walk from your room, wherever you’re staying.

It’s a buffet with loads of options: fruit, oatmeal, French toast, pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, gravy, and bisquits- Oh My! There’s also an omelet station that you don’t want to miss!

Grab Breakfast at Pienza in Gaylord National

Grab Breakfast at Pienza in Gaylord National

2. Best of Summer Atrium Laser Light Show

While you start your day at Pienza in Gaylord National atrium, you’ll end it in the atrium as well with the Best of Summer laser light show.

This sweet experience happens twice a night, every night, and shouldn’t be missed.

We watched it once from the balcony of our room and a 2nd time more central near the lobby. Impressive, most impressive!

Best of Summer Atrium Show Gaylord SummerFEst

3. Take a Spin on The Capital Wheel

During the day, you have tons of options to spend your time. My number one vote, however, is to take the short walk over to National Harbor and check things out. 

This is a shopping/dining/park and amusement area all in one and has loads of things to do. 

gaylord national summerfest at national harbor

gaylord national summerfest at national harbor

capital wheel national harbor

The Capital Wheel is a family favorite. If you’ve ever been curious about this one, I promise it’s not scary or fast or anything bad at all!

The views along the Potomac are stunning and we honestly could have ridden this one all day. It’s so peaceful. 

The capsules even have air conditioning- huzzah!

4. Creation Station at the Gaylord National SummerFest

Back at the resort, be sure to take your kids to the Creation Station. 

My little artist said this was her favorite part of the trip: she got to paint rocks and decorate her backpack that she plans to use all summer long. 

creation station at gaylord national summerfest

creation station at gaylord national summerfest

You’ll be able to leave your rocks somewhere along the National Harbor area for another guest to find and enjoy!

5. Bug Quest Scavenger Hunt at SummerFest 

My kids loved this so much, they did it twice!

You get to hunt around the atrium and fill out the Bug Quest Scavenger Hunt card. It’s not too hard and it’s a lot of fun for the kids to enjoy. 

bug quest at gaylord national summerfest

6. Campfire Tales & S’mores

Awww yeah, bring us those s’mores! They do go best when served with some campfire tales and friends. 

This experience happens every Saturday night in the atrium and isn’t too long- so your younger kiddos should be able to hang in there for the whole experience. 

The “campfire” isn’t real (because it’s inside and that would be frowned upon by the fire marshalls!) but the ambiance is there and it’s a fun little diversion. 

Campfire Tales & Smores at Gaylord National summerfest

Campfire Tales & Smores at Gaylord National summerfest

7. Family Trivia: Gaylord National Block Party Bash July 2-6

I don’t mean to brag, but I’m a pretty good trivia player. All these hours on the internet means I have amassed a huge amount of absolutely useless knowledge that can be of help to any trivia team I’m on. 

Sadly, my team did not win this one- one question, ONE QUESTION!- but it was so much fun.

This is one of the free events that taking place during the Gaylord National Block Party Bash July 2-6. Add this one to your must-do list when you’re visiting the Gaylord National Resort this summer!

trivia summer block party bash gaylord national resort

8. Silent Disco at the Gaylord National SummerFest Is Not To Be Missed!

And for the second year in a row, our group voted the Silent Disco as their favorite experience at the Gaylord National SummerFest. 

Grab your headphones, pick a station, and jam out. You can also make requests to the DJ!

Silent Disco at Gaylord National

Silent Disco at the Gaylord National

SummerFest is in full swing and you’ll want to make your reservations soon! The Block Party Bash looks like a great week to book a stay if you’re planning on spending 4th of July in Washington, DC. It’s my personal absolute FAVORITE time of year to visit our nation’s capitol!

Thanks for the fantastic fun, Gaylord National Harbor. Happy SummerFest, everyone! 

summerfest porch

summerfest porch

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