SummerFest at Gaylord National Resort Offers Weekends of Music and Food

SummerFest at Gaylord National, a destination National Harbor resort just south of Washington DC, is a brand new music celebration every weekend from Memorial Day until Labor Day.  The music of America will be paired with the resort’s restaurants including their upscale Old Hickory Steakhouse.  Our family had a recent getaway at the Gaylord National, explored the family fun in National Harbor, and had a specta-dinner at Old Hickory Steakhouse.  During our relaxed evening we basked in the glow of The Capital Wheel reflecting off the Potomac River as our “cheese diva” educated us about artisanal cheeses available that night.  Continue reading for more on our experience at Gaylord National’s Old Hickory Steakhouse and their upcoming SummerFest.

Gaylord National Old Hickory Steakhouse

Our foodie teen delighted at the Old Hickory Steakhouse fine dining experience, where she savored her French onion soup and the attention from the exceptional waitstaff.  Over the two hour event we savored signature entrees such as lamb chops with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus – all done to perfection.

Gaylord National Old Hickory Steakhouse

Our night was completed with decadent desserts – chocolate soufflé and a delightful pecan tart, à la mode.

Gaylord National Old Hickory Steakhouse

The Old Hickory Steakhouse is definitely a celebratory splurge, and may not the type of dining experience for younger children.  But it was just right for a night of sophisticated food and conversation for our family.  But don’t worry, if the Old Hickory Steakhouse is not to your family’s taste, there are plenty of other options at the Gaylord National Resort to enjoy the new SummerFest including the Pienza Buffet and National Pastime Sports Bar and Grill.  Now, just imagine, how fun it will be to find first-class musical performances during your meal?  The SummerFest celebration includes:

Summer Soiree: A Night of Jazz

Old Hickory Steakhouse, Saturday, May 27 and September 2 at 7 p.m.

Guests are invited to experience an evening of world-class cuisine paired with the finest live jazz music in the capital region. Diners will enjoy the rich melodies of bassist and composer, Mike Pope, who has played with the likes of Michael Brecker, Blood Sweat and Tears, Chick Corea and Manhattan Transfer.

Gaylord National Old Hickory Steakhouse

Sips and Sounds

Belvedere Lobby Bar, Fridays on June 16, 23, 30; July 7, 14, 21, 28; August 4 and 11

Visitors to Gaylord National can unwind with drinks, live music and breathtaking sunsets overlooking the Potomac River with music performances range from Jazz, Adult Contemporary, R&B and more.

Burgers, Brews and Country Tunes

National Pastime Sports Bar & Grill, Saturdays, June 3, 10, 17 and 24 from 3 to 6 p.m.

Diners can enjoy specialty burgers and more than 20 brews as the capital region’s best solo Country artists pay tribute to Music City.

National Pastime Sports Bar and Grill at Gaylord National - Washington DC

Silent Disco Party

Pose Rooftop Lounge, Saturdays, July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 at 8 p.m.

Resort guests can experience the coolest new way to enjoy music at the resort’s 18th floor rooftop lounge. Participants are given special headphones to wear and can select different music mixes created by a DJ to dance along to.

Summer PJ Party

Atrium, Saturdays, August 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 8 p.m.

Kids are encouraged to put on their pajamas and experience the latest dancing rage, The Silent Disco, in the resort’s lower atrium. Participants are given special headphones to wear and can select different music mixes just for kids to dance along to.

Gaylord National - Washington DC

Aquafina Summer Movie Matinees

Saturday’s from 4 to 6 p.m.

Overnight guests can enjoy musical movie magic by the pool during Gaylord National’s Summer Movie Matinees every Saturday through Labor Day.


Nightly Atrium Laser Light Show at 9 p.m.

Guests are encouraged to gather in the resort’s garden atrium nightly to celebrate the music of America throughout the ages. During the show, viewers will experience samples of some of America’s favorite tunes choreographed with a laser light show and dancing water from the resorts signature fountain.

Gaylord National - Washington DC

Music Mystery Scavenger Hunt


This free activity encourages guests to search for hidden musical notes throughout the resort’s atrium. Upon finding all the notes, guests can decode a song title and enter to win an overnight stay.

Gaylord National also will feature additional activities and offers including summer cocktail specials, yoga classes, seasonal lime and coconut spa treatments, and special hair, facial and massage offers at Relâche Spa.

Adjacent to the Gaylord National Resort is National Harbor, full of family-friendly activities including shopping, restaurants and entertainment.  Our family filled a day exploring National Harbor that started with learning about the future of 3D printed automobile production and ended with channeling our creative expression at a paint bar.

National Harbor - Local Motors

To experience the best of both National Harbor and Gaylord National’s SummerFest celebration, you can book the resort’s SummerFest package that includes:

  • One night room accommodations
  • $100 resort credit to be used at resort restaurants and Relâche Spa
  • Two tickets for The Capital Wheel
  • Complimentary self-parking

The SummerFest package starts at $299.

National Harbor

Click here for more information about Gaylord National’s SummerFest celebration featuring Music of America.

DISCLOSURE: Dave Parfitt and family were hosted by the Gaylord National Resort and received complimentary accommodations and some meals for the purposes of writing this review.  However, all opinions expressed are those of the author. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on InstagramTwitter and “like” our Facebook page, too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.