Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Dec 16, 2009 05:10 PM

Kid friendly restaurants at National Harbor - going this weekend.

We are taking our 2 kids both under the age of 8 to the Gaylord for the weekend and doing all the holiday activities. We already have ressies for the Santa brunch at Gaylord but we are looking for something outside the Gaylord. Hubby and I are both foodies and the kids are well behaved and do well at nice restaurants. We have done McCormicks at other places, heard Ketchup is horrible but otherwise are clueless down there.

Any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Try to get to Oldtown Alexandria with its real history, real Christmas and many not-chain places for meals, coffee and dessert; Gaylord is a lame sinkhole of mediocrity and sterility. The hotel makes it easy to get there, with a water taxi across the river, probably replaced with a van in winter. Others might chime in which places like kids the most.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chowsearch

      Here here!! The water taxi does run through 12/31:

      Once in OT you have abundant choices within walking distance or ride the free bus up King Street. There are lots of posts on OT dining; some suggestions are Pita House, Chadwick's (family favorite), Hank's Oyster Bar, Majestic, Resto Eve. Even the chain joint Hard Times Chili has more personality than National Harbor. IMO.

      1. re: tcamp

        Hmmm, except for Hard Times, I'm not sure I'd call any of those Alexandria choices particularly family friendly. Maybe Eammon's for Fish & Chips; King Street Blues (with so-so food but a fun decor) for American; or Bugsy's for pizza.

        And, wow....someone really HATES National Harbor!! To defend the OP, I suspect the OP may be going to National Harbor (which is more than just the Gaylord Hotel) to see the ice sculptures, decorations, carolers, etc. That's not too crazy -- even as an Old Towner, I can see how NH could be more exciting for the kiddies than strolling by Old Town's quaint galleries, historic buildings and restaurants. The area behind the Torpedo Factory in Old Town can be fun when the various street performers are out, but given this weekend's forecast, I suspect none will be there.

        As for NH, in my experience, the only family-friendly places there, both in terms of service (i.e., not slow) and price (i.e., not geared toward expense account diners) are the lone fast-foodies -- Potbelly and Elevation Burger.

        1. re: theoneontheleft

          Thanks. We are going for the Indoor Ice show/slides - staying one night overnight at Gaylord. They also have carolers, a christmas show, tree lighting, snow in the atrium, gingerbread making classes and ice skating along with a holiday outdoor shop with roasted chestnuts, handmade ornaments, hot chocolate etc... We just wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the last week of Christmas. Dining out is our main concern this weekend and now with the weather there is no way I am taking the kiddos to Alexandria. I think we will do Elevation if we go out of the hotel at all.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. I think Rosa Mexicana would be enjoyable for the whole family.