With a wide variety of attractions, the National Harbor is a great destination to visit with the family at any time of year. 

Here are 12 things you should not miss while at the National Harbor this fall.

The Capital Wheel

Even if you’re not brave enough to get on it, the 180-foot-tall Ferris wheel is spectacular -- especially when it lights up at night. You can see it in the distance driving over the bridge from Northern Virginia. It’s a show in and of itself.

The cost of a standard ticket is $15, but the view you’ll get overlooking the Washington area is breathtaking—Old Town Alexandria, the Washington Monument, National Cathedral, the Masonic Temple, and the entire harbor. And, you'll see it from one of 42 climate-controlled gondolas.

Don't forget to stop at the harbor’s newest outdoor bar and lounge, the Flight Deck, for a cocktail and delightful view of the harbor either before or after your ride. Wheel ticket not required.

Muse Paint Bar

Where else can you take a painting class and sip on wine while you create a beautiful work of art under the direction of experienced instructors? Muse is open seven days a week. Check out their calendar for times and paintings, and reserve your spot here. You can also book private parties for birthdays, bachelorette parties, fundraisers, or work events. Don't want to paint on an empty stomach? Check out their food and bar menu.

Charity Walks

Walk for a great cause. There are multiple charities holding walks at the National Harbor in October, including the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (October 7), the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (October 14), and the Lupus Walk (October 20).

Plaza Screen | Movies and Sports Events

There are a few events coming this fall on the huge plaza screen: the 2018 Ryder Cup Golf Tournament (October 1–2), the UEFA Champions League Soccer Tournament (October 3), and coming in November, the holiday movie Frosty’s Winter Wonderland. Family movies and date nights return next spring.

Tanger Outlets

Thought the closest outlet mall was in Prince William County? Check out Tanger outlets right at the Harbor. Take the free shuttle to a shopping adventure: Calvin Klein, Carters, J. Crew, Osh Kosh, Ralph Loren, Le Creuset, and much more! Now through October 31, get your Pink Savings Card for 25 percent off any single item and $10 unlimited use at participating stores. Or join the TangerClub for $10 and get exclusive deals just for TangerClub members. 

MGM National Harbor Hotel and Casino

Thought you needed to drive to Atlantic City or fly to Las Vegas for entertainment like this? Take in a show in MGM’s 3000-seat theatre, dine at one of 14 restaurants (including the award-winning Voltaggio Brothers Steak House), or have a cocktail in the Lobby bar or one of their lounges. Try your luck at the slot machines, craps, roulette, or blackjack in the casino. If you’re feeling really lucky, enter one of the tournaments in the second-level poker room. Check out their full entertainment calendar here.

Harbor Halloween

On October 21, from noon to 2:30 p.m., join DarCars on the Plaza for their Halloween Trunk-or-Treat. Special activities include: trick-or-treating at participating shops and restaurants throughout the Harbor, pumpkin decorating, The Black Dog’s Howl-oween party and Paw-rade, and a Family Photo Station.

Urban Pirates

Hop aboard a real pirate ship for a 30-minute adventure as a real pirate. Dress up and learn pirate-speak as you sail across the Potomac. You can even get a tattoo and facial hair (both removable after the cruise). Urban Pirates runs through October 28th and returns in April.

Water Taxi

Take a ride to Old Town Alexandria, Georgetown, or the Wharf without worrying about finding a parking spot! Take a relaxing cruise across the Potomac and take in the sights. The Water Taxi stops at the Gaylord National and the National Harbor and runs all year long

Bobby McKey’s Kids Day and All Ages Family Show

Dueling piano bars aren't just for grown-ups. Every month, Bobby McKey's features their family day show with live music. And it's all-request, so you pick the music! For just $20, you'll get two hours of great music, a free fountain drink, a lunch buffet, and an afternoon of happy, dancing kids. (Dancing is encouraged!). This month's event takes place October 27, from noon to 2:30 p.m. 

Peeps & Company

If you thought the Peep store was just Peeps, you’re in for a treat. The store features plush toy Peeps bunnies and chicks, t-shirts, toys, and even a storybook. It’s also the home of Hot Tamales, Peanut Chews, and Mike and Ike brands. 

And, speaking of trick-or-treating, Peeps aren’t just for Easter anymore. Check out the ghosts, pumpkins, green monsters, and black cat Peeps. But if the chicks are your favorite, they have them in every color!

Hot Cider Hustle ​​​​​​​

All children should have a safe place to play -- whether it's at school or on the playground. Playworks, in D.C., creates programs that encourage an inclusive environment for all kids to be active and have fun while teaching them valuable social skills.

Come out and support this worthy cause through the Hot Cider Hustle 5, 10, or 15K walk/run on November 3. Each runner will receive a two-toned hoodie and finisher mug. Once you reach the finish line, you'll be greeted with free apple cider and caramel apples. Register here.

What’s your favorite thing to do at the National Harbor? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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