gaylord-national-harbor-atriumSpring break is known for family getaways, exotic locations, sun burns, and beaches. Living it up, a la “bella vita.” But not every family can get away due to the increasing costs of airfare, family schedules, holidays, and life. We were one of those no trip for spring break families this year, until the opportunity presented itself to take a staycation at a local getaway: The Gaylord National.

Spring Break with Friends from Madagascar

The Gaylord National teamed with Dreamworks to create a perfect spring break experience for the entire family: Spring Break with Friends from Madagascar. Perfect for children with a flurry of activities, and perfect for discerning adults that enjoy relaxing in a well appointed room or with a glass of wine in the luxurious and scenic lobby bar.

gaylord-scavenger-huntFirst on our agenda, was a family scavenger hunt where even the most analytical of engineer dads can get excited. We had the chance to stroll through the National Harbor and enjoy dinner on our own before making our way to “the” party that delighted young and old with choices like bingo, charades, three legged races, puzzles, and dancing. The room was packed with children ranging in age from preschool to teens, each one bopping from one activity to the next, allowing families to work together to complete challenges like estimating the number of tennis balls in a container, playing Jenga, or marking BINGO cards.

The Magic of the Gaylord Nationagaylord-national-fountainl

By 8:45 pm my little Principessa was beat after the excitement of the day, until of course, her second wind was revived by the stunning fountain and light show in the hotel atrium. The show dazzled children and adults for fifteen minutes, allowing for splashable moments for those that stood too close to the fountain.

Not having a set schedule and having scheduled a late check out (All you have to do is ask! The worst they can do is say it is not available), we enjoyed a leisurely Sunday morning with breakfast, playing pool, and even reading the paper. There is something to be said for letting your children watch television while you read the travel section, and catch up on world events without having to think about the ten other things you need to do that day.

washington-gaylord-roomThe customer service at the Gaylord was phenomenal. They have a special “Consider it Done” telephone number dedicated to helping meet your needs, whatever they might be. Which is crucial when you are traveling with a child and realize that it is almost 10 pm and you need sheets for the pull out mattress on the couch, or you would like “real” glasses to enjoy the bottle of wine that you brought to share with your spouse after the kids go to sleep.

A staycation means staying put. Whether you take it literally and stay inside your house, or you broaden the scope to include your local area, a staycation that is thought out and well planned is a fabulous source for family memories, together time, and even relaxation. Our one night getaway to the Gaylord National was exactly what we needed as a family to laugh, recharge, and live the “bella vita.”

Gaylord resorts offer many packages including the Dreamworks Experience Package. Summer packages will be rolled out in the coming months with the renowned ICE! Shows being prepared for the winter season.