Thanksgiving Celebrations in the DC Metro

While most people celebrate Thanksgiving at home with their families, there are some large celebrations for the holiday.  Here’s a quick run-down of some of the Thanksgiving events going on in the DC Metro this Thanksgiving.

There are many different restaurants in the area that will be open and serving Thanksgiving meals on November 25th.  If you don’t want to cook, you might want to visit one of these great restaurants and let someone else handle the dishes!

  • 701 Restaurant
  • Adour
  • Ardeo
  • Bibiana Osteria-Entoeca
  • 1789 Restaurant
  • Bourbon Steak
  • Carmines
  • Citronelle
  • J & G Steahouse
  • Old Ebbitt Grill
  • Oval Room
  • Spirit of Washington

There also a number of places that offer a “Thanksgiving to Go” package.  Put in your order, pick up the meal, and head home to enjoy it with your family.  A few of the places offering meals to go include the following:

  • Georgia Browns
  • Carmines
  • Balduccis
  • Safeway
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Ritz Carlton
  • Cityhouse

Turkey Trots, the festive name for marathons and other run/walk events, are held during this time of year.  These events are scheduled throughout the week.  For example, the Cranberry Crawl will take place on November 19th at the East Potomac Golf Course, while the Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger is held on Thanksgiving Day at the Freedom Plaza.  There are many others, including events in Alexandria, Arlington, Leesburg, and Centreville.  Most of these runs are benefitting charity.

If you’re in or near Reston, you might want to attend their annual holiday parade on November 25th, the day after Thanksgiving.  It begins at 11:00 am at the corner of Market Street and Freedom Drive.  Santa will stop by for photos, and the official Christmas tree will be lit at 6:00 pm.

The National Harbor Christmas Tree Lighting is also on Friday.  It starts at 5:00 at the Waterfront Plaza.

 

Dog Days of Summer Fun in DC 2011

The Dog Days of Summer are Here!
The Dog Days of Summer are Here!

The dog days of summer, which is a term used to describe the hottest, must sultry days of the season, are here!  The dog days are usually between early July and early September, and it can mean incredibly high temperatures and, often, little rain.  But just because it’s hot outside doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun.  There are a number of great activities in the DC metro during August and early September!

Every Monday through August 15th is the Screen on the Green.  Check out the large movie screen set up at the National Mall.  The final movie of the season is “Cool Hand Luke.”  There are a lot of other outdoor movie festivals in DC and in surrounding areas, including the following:

The Rosslyn Outdoor Festival runs through August 26 in Rosslyn, Virginia.

The National Harbor Movies on the Potomac is every Friday and Saturday through September 30 at the National Harbor.

In Crystal City, Virginia, the Crystal Screen Outdoor Film Festival shows films every Monday through the end of August.

There are many theater performances going on in the Dog Days, too, and many of them are indoors!  These include Wicked (Kennedy Center through Aug. 21), Oklahoma! (Arena Stage through Oct. 2), Grease (Olney Theater Center through August 28), and Peter Pan (Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Sept. 1-4).

The first game of the Washington Redskins is on August 12.  If you love football, don’t miss it!

The Washington, DC Restaurant Week will be held August 15 through the 21st.  Over 100 of the best restaurants in DC will offer three course lunch specials for $20.11 and three course dinner specials for $35.11.  If you love food or just want an excuse to visit your favorite restaurant, don’t miss this opportunity.  Alexandria also has its own Restaurant Week from August 19 to the 28.

The Maryland Renaissance Festival will be held between August 27 and October 23.  This awesome event features a recreation of a 16th century English village and a lot of authentic foods!  Crafts, games, and live performances are also included.

Summer Happenings in the DC Metro

There are still some summer events in DC!
There are still some summer events in DC!

There’s always a lot going on in the DC Metro.  While summer is part way over, there are still plenty of summer events going on.  Here are just a few of the things you can do in August in the DC area.

The Screen on the Green outdoor summer film festival still has a few events left.  August 8 is “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” while August 15 is “Cool Hand Luke.”  The movies are shown at the National Mall between 14th and Ninth Streets.

If you love Tennis, the Legg Mason Tennis Classic is going on right now!  It continues until August 7th at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Stadium.  Favorites include James Blacke and Andy Roddick.

The Chekhov play “Uncle Vanya” featuring Cate Blanchett runs every Thursday through Sunday from August 4th to the 27th at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts.  Tickets are priced starting at $59.  The production also stars Hugo Weaving.

Fair season is coming up, and there are a lot of different county fairs in the area around DC.  The Fairfax fair is this weekend (Aug. 6 and 7), followed by the Howard County Fair (the 6th through the 13th).  Then there’s the Montgomery County Fair, which starts on the 12th and ends on the 20th.

The Shakespeare Theater Company’s annual Free For All event this year is Julius Caesar.  The tickets are free for these performances, which run August 18 through September 4 on Tuesdays through Sundays.  Because the tickets are free, expect a line for entry, so get there early.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial will open to the public on August 22.  The official dedication will be held on August 28th at 11 am.  The memorial is located at 1964 Independence Ave. on the four-acre Tidal Basin site.

Finally, August and the summer wrap up with Jimmy Buffy and the Coral Reefer Band playing at the Jiffy Lube Live.  The event will be on Saturday, August 27th at 8:00 pm.

Romantic Valentine’s Day Ideas for the DC Metro

Plan a Romantic Event for Valentine's Day
Plan a Romantic Event for Valentine

Valentine’s Day is coming up very quickly.  While it may seem like you have plenty of time to make plans, you really don’t.  This is especially true if you need to make reservations somewhere.  Restaurants often fill up very quickly, while events are sold out days or weeks in advance.  If you need an idea for something to do this Valentine’s Day, here are some events in the DC metro.

Dinner, of course, is always an option.  There are some great restaurants in the area that have Valentine’s Day specials.  Again, you really need to make reservations ahead of time—make them now if you can!  Restaurants in the area having specials include 2941 Restaurant, 701 Restaurant, Bangkok Joe’s, Art and Soul, Bastille, Asia Nine Bar & Lounge, and Bourbon Steak.

If you want to add a little spice to your dinner, you can take a dinner cruise on the Potomac River.  There are several different cruises, including ones on the Spirit of Washington and the Odyssey.

The National Museum of Crime and Punishment may not seem like the ideal place for a romantic date, but their “Crimes of Passion” event is actually geared towards romantic couples.  From February 11 until the 15th, visitors get handcuffed together and then get to explore the different special exhibits exploring crimes of passion.

There are a few concerts going on this year in the DC area, including Valentine’s Day-themed concerts at the Strathmore Music Center and at the Kennedy Center.

For a more interactive event, you and your sweetheart can sign up for the Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunts.  This amusing search sends participants into an art museum to search for nudity and answer entertaining questions.  Note that reservations are required.

These are just a few things going on in the DC area this Valentine’s Day.

Holiday Fun in DC

Christmas in DC
Christmas in DC

Are you looking for some activities in the Washington, DC, area this holiday season?  If so, here are some of the best events for the entire family.

The first thing to do this holiday season is, of course, to visit the National Christmas Tree and Pathway of Peace.  This is one of the most amazing trees in the area, and it is lit up from dusk until 11:00 p.m. every day of December.  What’s more, there’s a different musical group playing in the area each evening.

You can also attend the lighting of the National Hanukkah Menorah on the White House grounds.  Each night of Hanukkah, one of the eight large candles is lit.  In addition to the lighting ceremony, live musical performances and traditional Hanukkah snacks like latke are served.

If you want to do a little walking, you might be interested in taking a candlelight tour.  These tours give you a chance to get outdoors and enjoy the holiday decorations of different historic homes.  Some museums also offer tours.  There are a number of these candlelight tours in DC, Virginia, and Maryland, and many feature music and snacks in addition to the beautiful sights.

If that sounds too cold for you, stay inside and watch the holiday favorite, the Nutcracker.  Several different ballet companies will be performing the Nutcracker.  You can watch the classic story of Clara and her prince at the Kennedy Center, the Warner Theatre, or the Momentum Dance Theatre.

Another neat event is to see a holiday model train exhibit.  These cool miniature recreations of snow-covered towns and villages can be found in several places in the area.  There’s the Union Station Norwegian Model Train Display, the Holiday Magic display at the United States Botanic Garden, and there are a few model trains at the National Christmas Tree and Pathway of Peace.

Halloween Party Ideas

Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween!

Halloween is coming up, and if you don’t have any party ideas, well, you still have a bit of time.  In fact, sometimes last minute Halloween party ideas are the best!  Here are a few different things you could do this Halloween.

If you have kids or will be hosting a Halloween party for kids, you can always create a mini-haunted house in your home.  It doesn’t have to be incredibly scary.  In fact, you probably don’t want to make it that scary.  One thing you can do is blindfold kids and put their hands in different items—spaghetti becomes worms, boiled eggs can be eyeballs, etc. 

Have a treasure hunt or a scavenger hunt.  Both can be fun.  Creating a treasure hunt gives your friends or kids the chance to work together, while a scavenger hunt pits teams against each other. 

For adult parties, create a creepy Halloween bar.  Your mad scientist might brew up some pumpkin martinis, witch’s brew, and other scary drinks.  A little food coloring, some neat glasses, and some fun decorations can really add to the overall effect.

Another idea is to have a theme party.  Instead of having everyone come in whatever costume they want, send out invitations listing your theme.  Maybe you want everyone to come as a historical figure, their favorite television character, or a traditional Halloween monster. 

Host a murder mystery party.  You can buy murder mystery kits from a number of different stores.  Generally, these murder mysteries are done over dinner, but they don’t have to be.  Most require between six and eight players, although there are some that accommodate a dozen.

If you need great flowers to use in your Halloween party decorations, there’s still time.  MyFlorist has a number of great boo-quets available!

Outdoor Movies All Summer Long in the DC Metro

Looking for some great outdoor movie venues in the DC Metro area?  Here are just a few of them.

 

The Crystal Screen Film Festival is an annual event that has a theme to it.  This year’s theme is Star Trek.  Starting with Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the series will screen one movie a week for eleven weeks.  The run will go through the six original series movies, the four Next Generation movies, and conclude with the most recent Star Trek reboot directed by J.J. Abrams.

 

The Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival runs until September 3rd, 2010.  It takes place at Gateway Park every Friday at 8:00 p.m.  Their theme for 2010 is “I love the 90s” and includes films like Clueless, Office Space, and The Wedding Singer.

 

Finally, the NOMA Summer Screen festival is held at 9:00 p.m. on L street NE between 2nd and 3rd.  Their 2010 theme is “The Future is Now,” and they will be screening movies like Logan’s Run, Groundhog Day, and Donnie Darko.