This past weekend we had the opportunity to take our first mini vacation as a family of four. The destination: The National Harbor - a shopping, dining, and resort oasis just outside of DC in Oxon Hill, MD. I was invited by Tanger Outlets National Harbor to “Shop & Stay," shop Tanger Outlets and stay at the Gaylord National. Tanger Outlets let me in on the many ways to save money on their wide array of designer brands, and the Gaylord National treated me to some of their new salon services at Relache Spa. Keep reading to learn more and get some tips on traveling to The National Harbor with a family.

Shop: Tanger
Tanger is home to some of my favorite clothing brands like Theory, Kate Spade, Coach, Cole Han, and H&M. At Theory I saw several cute, linen (this seasons most popular fabric) dresses, and they were all 40% off, plus an additional 20%. Coach was offering 70% off their clearance bags, shoes, and jackets with an additional 20% off, and Kate Spade had clothing and accessories up to 70% off. The prices were unbelievable! I took home a pair of floral pants from H&M and some buttery, leather sandals from Steve Madden (see next picture). On both items I got an additional 20% off using coupons available in the Tanger Outlet Mobile app. There are many ways to save at Tanger Outlet National Harbor. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the best deals:

Five Ways to Save More at Tanger Outlets National Harbor
1. Join TangerClub for exclusive deals
2. Download the Mobile App to track your spending and rewards
3. Text TANGER to 55695 to sign up for Text Deals
4. Follow Tanger Outlets National Harbor on Instagram and Facebook for giveaways and events
5. Use Tanger's Best Price Promise to pay you the difference if you find a better price elsewhere

For Families: Since both my husband and 3 year old daughter, Blair, have a low threshold for shopping, they spent some time at Tanger's Children’s Play Area while my son napped in his stroller. I took a few shopping breaks to go nurse him and loved seeing that Tanger provides private nursing areas on site.

Stay: Gaylord National
After shopping we checked-in to our room at the Gaylord National. Our room included a comfy king size bed and a balcony overlooking the hotel atrium with a view of the Potomac River in the distance. The room provided plenty of space to set up our travel bassinet for my son.

We've been lacking sleep lately as my newborn son, Brantley, is still waking up several times at night to nurse. I was feeling pretty anxious about how and if any of us would get sleep staying together in the same room, but I’m happy to report that by 8pm everyone was sound asleep (everyone but me). Brantley had a nice first stretch of sleep and then woke up a few times in the early morning to nurse. My biggest concern was that Blair, my champion sleeper, wouldn’t get any rest, but she slept well. I woke up a few times to find her sprawled out on the bed - head on my chest, hands stretched out onto my face, and feet on my husband. She later told us she loves sleeping at hotels.

Relache Spa - New Express Bar
In the morning, I slipped away to Relache Spa for some me-time and to try out their new express services - beauty treatments designed for their guests who don’t have a lot of time to spare but still want to squeeze in some self-care and pampering. Perfect for this Mom traveling with her family. All services take 25 min or less and cost $65 or less. I got to try out the LED eye treatment, eye and lip treatments, the express facial, how to brow, hand massage, and blowout. The express facial only took 15 minutes, and I saw immediate results. My skin felt rejuvenated, firmer, and glowed for the rest of the day. Currently, the Express Bar services are only available for walk-in appointments.

For Families: Feeling refreshed, I met back up with my family to take the kids to the huge, heated, indoor pool and the outdoor splash pad. Again, Brantley napped in his stroller while Blair had the time of her life.

After showering and packing up the car (thank you Gaylord for the late checkout!), we walked down to the National Harbor to ride The Capital Wheel. On the way, we stopped to play in the beachy sand by The Awakening sculpture.

The Capital Wheel
Blair was nervous and SO excited to ride The Capital Wheel. I’m mildly afraid of heights myself and was also nervous, but The Capital Wheel is unlike any other ferris wheel I’ve been on. It's completely enclosed, air conditioned, and plays music. I loved watching Blair point out all the things she recognized from inside the gondola. We could even see the Washington Monument in the distance.

For Families: We parked our stroller at the bottom in the stroller parking area and took Brantley inside the gondola in his car seat carrier.

Lessons Learned: Traveling with a 3-year-old and a Newborn
Taking a vacation close to home (aka staycation) is a good way to practice traveling with kids. If you forget something major (we didn’t) or the kids completely freak out (they didn’t), you’re close enough to home to remedy the situation. In the future, we'll make sure our hotel room has two beds so Blair can have her own, and we can sleep without limbs in our face, or even better, book a suite or adjoining rooms so my husband and I can spend some time together without fear of waking the kids.

It was such a fun little trip, and I’m already thinking about my next visit to the The National Harbor. Next time, we want to ride the Carousel and pedal boats and check out Tanger's deals on kids clothes.

Have you ever been to The National Harbor? What's your favorite thing to do there?

Thank you to Tanger Outlets National Harbor and the Gaylord National for hosting us and partnering with me on this post. A really big thank you to Tanger Outlets National Harbor for being so kind to my family and making special accommodations for them. As always all opinions are my own.



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