My family and I really love the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Not only do we enjoy the Launch Zone of the future National Children’s Museum, but the entire area is gorgeous and much less crowded than the Georgetown waterfront on a sparkling summer day. The Saturday American Market, an outdoor producer-only market of artisans, is a perfect Saturday destination and the Launch Zone always has a kids’ tent of activities for young kid there too.
Check Out The Upcoming National Harbor Special Events
This Weekend – The Food & Wine Festival at National Harbor Saturday 12-8pm, Sunday 12-6pm. Celebrate and TASTE amazing food, wine and spirits this weekend! Local Top Chef contestants Spike (the hottie from Good Stuff Eatery I wrote about here), Ariane and Carla will be performing demos, including kids demos by Carla and Ariane at 1:30pm on Saturday. Ticket info here.
Every Saturday 10am-3pm American Market
June 20th from 12-6pm Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival at National Harbor with 60 beers, 40 bourbons and tons of barbeque looks fun, and kids 12 and under are free.
July 17th & 18th at 7pm Disney High School Musical Summer Celebration Show. Disney brings this live, touring High School Musical experience featuring the songs, dances, and team-spirited fun inspired by all three hit movies to the National Harbor. Buy tickets here.
Select Thursday nights this summer: June 11th & 18th, July 16, 23 & 30, August 6 & one Saturday night – August 8 National Harbor Sunset Concert Series Do you remember Big Head Todd & the Monsters? Yes? Travis Tritt? Asia? Oh honey, relive your glory days, no matter the decade, at these free music events.
September 26th Washington DC’s Ocktoberfest I am really excited about this. Beer, brats & bands = heaven in my book. Prost!
Daytime Summer Fun – Take a National Harbor Cruise
We’re not boat people and unfortunately, we don’t have any close friends that are boat owners. (We keep trying to tell our kids to try and play with kids in the neighborhood whose parents have boats in the driveways, but this tactic hasn’t worked yet.)
Thank goodness there are several cruising options from National Harbor. There are fancy Odyssey and Spirit of Washington lunch and dinner cruises. There’s a monuments cruise that goes to Georgetown Harbor and back and is 75 minutes each way, a cruise to Mount Vernon that is 40 minutes each way and a simple water taxi ride to the Alexandria waterfront that is 20 minutes each way. Taking into account the attention spans of our kids, we opt for the latter. Cost: $14 round trip per person age 3 and up.
The water taxi leaves every hour on the hour, and once in Alexandria you are welcome to return on any later cruise until 10pm. A great way to see Old Town Alexandria for sure, or just cruise the Potomac for nearly an hour straight, wave at passing sailboats while relaxing in the shaded outdoor deck of the boat.
There are several family friendly restaurants to enjoy a meal or grab an ice cream cone, and retail shops are open for browsing. The pristine new development, beautiful views and the water taxi make the National Harbor a great destination in our book.