Gaylord National Resort - ICE! immortalizes beloved holiday characters by carving them into ice. More than two million pounds of it went into the creation of this year's theme: Frosty the Snowman. What came out were colorful reindeer, homes bedecked in icicles, and scenes of Frosty frolicking with the neighborhood kids, all masterfully carved out of ice. You can even zip down frozen slides that are more than two stories tall. Watch how it all comes together at live ice-carving demos inside The Frostbite Factory.
The magic doesn't stop when you leave the exhibit; the atrium outside sparkles with more than two million lights, strung through trees, hanging banners, and a red giant snowflake. The indoor spectacle includes a choreographed water fountain that "dances" to holiday music and a nightly snowfall, the result of a binding legal agreement between humans and clouds.
S.J. Koch Duffy's electric boats are eco-conscious, as they don't burn any fuel. Emitting zero emissions, the 22- and 18-foot rental boats provide breathtaking views upon departure from any of the company's two regional watery locales. Based on the harbor of choice, renters can take the canopied vessels floating by Annapolis's US Naval Academy, along the waterfront restaurants of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. On board, a built-in stereo system emits an energetic score to each renter's adventure. Duffy's website claims the boats are as easy to drive as a golf cart, but also offers training for new drivers. Self-propelled adventures are also popular, as the company also rents paddleboats and kayaks.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington has been serving families and family-free individuals for more than 150 years. Today's deal gives you one month of family membership (good for two adults and any children under the age of 21 residing in the same household, normally $130) to this venerated institution and its numerous locations, which have numerous amenities. In addition to accessing fitness equipment and indoor and outdoor pools (pool availability varies by location), you'll have a standing invitation to the family festivals and pool events happening throughout the summer. You also get the choice of two personal-training sessions ($120–$140 value) with a certified trainer to help jumpstart a stymied fitness routine or improve a preexisting one. Personal training can even incorporate popular elements such as Zumba, cycling, belly dance, kickboxing, playing catch with computer monitors, and more. If you prefer squeaky-shoe sports, you may also choose two private tennis lessons ($150 value), available at the Bethesda/Chevy Chase location, Silver Spring location, or the YMCA Arlington Tennis and Squash Center.
Calleva at National Harbor organizes adventures that traverse land, water, and air, each designed to inspire the intrepid with the bounties of nature. A terra-based encounter, the guided bike ride over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and Mount Vernon Trail combines the thrill of physical activity with the wonder of american bald eagle and bald presidential monument sightings. From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on weekends, pedal pumpers are treated to panoramic views of the Potomac River. If the allure of the deep overcomes grounded wanderings, embark on a watery outing in a solo kayak, canoe, or tandem kayak, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. After a mind-stretching lesson on paddling and water safety, boat brethren can drift through the National Harbor in their floating vessels and explore the shores of the District and Alexandria, stopping occasionally to feed breadcrumbs to migrating politicians.
Laffs on the Harbor is hosted by Donnell Rawlings, best known for his appearances on Chappelle's Show, and past performers in the show have included Bill Bellamy, Red Grant, and Talent. The September 16 edition of Laffs on the Harbor will feature the funnybone-bending talents of B-Phlat and Kevin "Damn Fool" Simpson, each bringing their hysterical brand of comedy to the stage. The show is produced by the producer of HBO's famed humor-hub Def Comedy Jam, ensuring that the jokes will come fast and furiously. Hit the laugh factory of Laffs on the Harbor before heading out on National Harbor and its array of bars, restaurants, and shops.
In 1949, William E. Miller—known as W.E. to his friends—opened Rosecroft Raceway, transforming a 120-acre farm into a showcase for the exciting standardbred racing that had begun to take the nation by storm. After briefly closing in 2008, the track soon reopened, hoping to reclaim W.E.’s legacy with fast-paced action seven nights a week. Every day, simulcasts convey harness- and quarter-horse races from across the country as visitors place bets on which steeds will attempt to chew their jockeys’ hats. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, hooves pound the dirt during live contests as chefs prepare everything from mozzarella sticks to succulent spare ribs in the Terrace Dining Room.