National Harbor worth the trip over holidays - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

National Harbor worth the trip over holidays

Without question one of my favorite activities this time of year is to make a visit to the National Harbor.

If by chance you are not familiar with that, let me explain.  It is a huge development in Prince George’s County on the banks of the Potomac River at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.  It consists of hotels, restaurants, retail, a marina and lodging.

It’s big enough to have its own zip code.

Through Jan. 3 you can take the family and enjoy all they have to offer. Let’s begin in the National Harbor Hotel, a 2,000-room hotel filled with convention space, restaurants, retail, pool, spa, fitness center and this time of year, holiday activities.

The centerpiece of the hotel is a 60-foot Christmas tree adorned with twinkling lights. There’s even snow falling during the scheduled events. Below the tree is a fountain that dances to music.  There is daily activity for all family members.

Step outside and enjoy the view of the river and Virginia on the other side. You can even take a ride on the 180-foot ferris wheel. Also, check out the construction of the MGM Casino rising from the grounds nearby.

Adjacent to the hotel is a huge, and I mean huge, tent. It houses something called Ice.

A very talented group of artisans from China has spent months putting this together. They started with about two million pounds of ice and turned it into a visual delight.  Basically this is multi-colored ice sculptures housed in this tent with a constant temperature of 9 degrees.

Not to worry, parkas are provided.

The theme is “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” The exhibit is divided into seven towns. Graphics explain each one as you make your way through the tent. It’s hard to put into words the talent of these artists. The sad thing is, at the conclusion of the event the sculptures are placed outside to eventually melt.  Tickets range from $16-$35. Ice is open through Jan. 3.

For more information on the entire project, known as Christmas on the Potomac, go to or call 301-965-4000.  There are a few ways to get here from Baltimore, but if traffic is good, I-495 is a direct route, and just follow the signs.

About the author

Eddie Applefeld

Eddie Applefeld is a Baltimore native and a graduate of Towson University. He has been in the broadcasting profession for over 30 years. Currently he is the Promotions Director of WCBM radio. Before that, he was part of the Rouse & Company show on WQSR, host of a cable TV show called Dining Out and adjunct instructor at Towson. His past accomplishments include being named a finalist in Baltimore Tourism's Employee of the Year Program and winner of Toastmaster's Speaker of the Year contest. He was also twice a heartthrob for the American Heart Association's gala fund raiser. Contact the author.

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