Today we took the kids to the Gaylord National Resort for the first time. What an exciting afternoon we had! Entering the area, we were shocked to find this incredible waterfront, right here in DC, which we had never explored. There are a bunch restaurants, great places to shop and fun family activities. It is really a hidden gem! 

We really felt like we were on vacation in a whole new city, not just a few miles from home in our own town. Our afternoon started off with a tasty “Gourmet Milk & Cookies” reception provided by our hosts at the Gaylord National and Momz Share. Oh my, does the Gaylord make amazing cookies!

Next up was the beginning of our DreamWorks Experience, a “meet & greet” with some of the most popular characters of DreamWorks movies. In a “beach side” Tiki lounge we met Gloria and Mort of Madagascar. Shrek himself welcomed the family to his swamp home. Then it was off to ancient China with Po, the Kung Fu Panda. We finished up our meet and greet with furry and friendly Puss in Boots. I was blown away by how magical and gorgeous this winter wonderland in the hotel was. My kids were mesmerized by the characters. We were able to meet each one and give hugs and take pictures. My son was in heaven and my daughter was scared out of her mind by the characters, but that is a memory too. We then headed across the street to ICE!. We were all decked in our coats, hats and mittens since we were told it was 9 degrees inside.

Your ICE! experience starts off with a cute 9 minute movie featuring Merry Magascar and showing how the ICE! exhibit is created. You then move into the next room where you are all given a huge parka parka jackets that goes over your coat and actually keeps you incredibly warm (except for your nose, ha ha). You can stop and pose for a family photo and then it’s into ICE! It is unreal! Each room is filled sculptures and walls made completely out of ice. They are beautiful beyond words. Then it is on to my kids favorite part of all...the ICE! slides. YES, slides made of ice! They have about 5 slides (4 big and 1 kiddie slide) to ride down. The kids loved it! They went again and again and again.

Once you’ve the finished the ICE! portion of the day, you enter an area filled with even more fun! (Can you believe there is more? We couldn’t) . There was ice skating, a ride-on choo-choo train and even the Penguins of Madagascar! I was never to into ice skating as a kid and just not that confident on ice. So, to try to ice skate AND hold up a 2 year old was not easy. My thighs are still in pain from the experience! Ah, but my daughter really to enjoy the ice, and that was worth the pain. The kids also had a blast on the train. Oh and did I mention there is even HOT chocolate? We grabbed some and took a breather, sitting back and watching the other families making memories.

The bonus for us... within 2 minutes of us getting in the car both kids were out like a light!

When I got home I looked at the pictures and felt like I had gone to Disney World for the day! It IS that amazing! Add to that the fact that we can can get this magical experience right in our backyard and I think we have a new family tradition.

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