Wednesday, November 27
Library of Congress: Civil War Thanksgiving
While the first day of thanks dates back to colonial times, it took hundreds of years for Thanksgiving to become a national holiday. Learn the story behind this evolution in a noon talk led by Connie Carter of the Science, Technology & Business Division.
White House Ellipse: National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting
The lighting of the world’s largest menorah draws thousands of spectators each year. The event includes performances by the United States Air Force Band, the Three Cantors, and violinist Miri Ben-Ari, as well as hot latkes and donuts. Tickets are free but required; order online.
Thursday, November 28
Kennedy Center: Thanksgiving Day Swing Dance Party
A belly full of turkey is no excuse to avoid the dance floor at this throwback evening from 7 to 9. Enjoy dance lessons from Tom Koerner and Debra Sternberg along with live music from the Tom Cunningham Orchestra.
Fillmore Silver Spring: Giving Thanks
Give thanks for your blessings by assembling takeaway care packages for those in need at this community gathering with live music and seasonal treats from 11 to 3. If you’re unable to make the event, the Fillmore is accepting donations of food, clothing, and toiletries until November 27.
Friday, November 29
National Harbor Tree-Lighting and Fireworks
The folks at National Harbor sure know how to light a shrub with style, with more than 200,000 Christmas lights adorning the 65-foot tree. A fireworks show adds even more sparkle to this night of holiday entertainment and shopping, running from 7 to 8:30.
Reston Town Center: Holiday Parade & Tree-Lighting Sing-Along
Who needs the crowds of New York City to enjoy a good holiday parade? The Reston Town Center will be hosting a day of post-Thanksgiving cheer to kick off the season, complete with its own procession, Santa visits, and a tree-lighting and sing-along. The parade is at 11; the tree-lighting and sing-along are at 6.
It’s outdoor skating season at area ice rinks. Take a break from the holiday bustle to work on your triple axel, bundle up with a date, or bring the whole family to these outdoor skating facilities. Before you tie on your skates, make sure to call ahead—hours are subject to change, especially around the holidays.
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden (Seventh St. and Constitution Ave., NW; 202-289-3360). Open November 14 through mid-March, depending on the weather. Monday through Thursday 10 to 9, Friday and Saturday 10 to 11, and Sunday 11 to 9. A two-hour session is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors age 50 and older, children 12 and younger, and students with an ID; skate rental $3. A season pass is $195.
Canal Park (Second Pl., SE; 202-554-6051). Open mid-December through mid-March. Monday through Friday noon to 9, Saturday 10 to 10, and Sunday 10 to 7. Admission for adults is $8, kids are $7, skate rental is $3. A season pass with unlimited access is $125.
Washington Harbour (3050 K St., NW; 202-706-7666). Open November through March. Monday through Thursday noon to 9, Friday noon to 10, Saturday 10 to 10, and Sunday 10 to 7. Admission for adults is $10, children/seniors/military are $8, skate rental is $5.
National Harbour (East Pier Platform, National Harbour). Open November 29 through January 5. Admission is $5 per person and includes skate rental; you can also bring your own skates if you prefer. Open noon to 9 November 29 through December 1, then Monday through Thursday 4 to 9 and Friday through Sunday noon to 9.
Silver Spring Ice Rink (Veteran’s Plaza; 301-588-1221). Open November through March 25. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for children 12 and under and senior citizens 55 and up; skate rental $3. Monday through Thursday noon to 10, Friday noon to 11, Saturday 10 to 11, and Sunday 10 to 10.
Rockville Town Square (131 Gibbs St., Rockville; 301-545-1999). Open November through mid-March. Two-hour admission is $8 for adults, $7 for children 12 and under; skate rental $3. Monday through Thursday noon to 10, Friday noon to 11, Saturday 10 to 11, Sunday 10 to 10.
Herbert Wells Ice Rink (5211 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park; 301-277-3717). Open October 27 through March 31. Monday through Thursday noon to 3:30, Friday noon to 2 and 2:30 to 5:15, Saturday 2:30 to 4:30 and 8 to 10, and Sunday 1 to 3. Admission for adults is $5 for PG County residents and $6 for nonresidents; children and seniors are $4/$5; skate rental $2.
Quiet Waters Park (600 Quiet Waters Park Rd., Annapolis; 410-222-1711). Open now through March. Monday and Wednesday through Friday 1 to 9 and Saturday and Sunday 9 to 9. Adults skate for $6; seniors 60 and older, kids, and adults in groups of 10 or more are $5 per person; skate rental $3. Seniors skate for $4 on Wednesdays, and Thursdays are “cheap skate” days with $4 admission for all ages. A season pass is $100.
Pentagon Row (1201 S. Joyce St., Arlington; 703-418-6666). Open now through mid-March. Monday through Wednesday noon to 10, Thursday noon to 7 or 10 (depending on ice rentals), Friday noon to 11, Saturday 10 to 11, and Sunday 10 to 7 or 10. The rink has extended hours on holidays and when school is closed. Two-hour admission for adults is $8, children ages 12 and younger and seniors 55 and older $7; figure- or hockey-skate rental $3.
Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion (1818 Discovery St., Reston; 703-709-6300). Open now through the second week of March. Sunday through Tuesday 11 to 7, Wednesday and Thursday 11 to 10, and Friday and Saturday 11 to 11. Two-hour admission is $10 for adults, children ages 12 and younger and seniors 55 and older $8; figure- or hockey-skate rental $5.
The Spooky Movie International Film Festival returns for its eighth year with ten days of more than 40 shorts and features of new horror cinema from all over the globe. The festival runs October 10 through 19 with all shows presented at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring. An all-fest pass is available for $125; tickets for individual showings are $12.
Before Edward Cullen fell for a human, before Buffy began slaying, and even before Dracula jumped from the page to the screen, there was Nosferatu. The 1922 silent German film is an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and is considered to be the first appearance of vampires in cinema. A screening of the film will be accompanied by an original live score from the “Not-So-Silent” cinema quartet at the Artisphere’s Dome Theatre in Arlington on October 26 at 8 PM. Tickets are $15.
In the Forest, She Grew Fangs is local playwright Stephen Spotswood’s new take on Little Red Riding Hood. The play promises elements including: unrequited love, burning passion, and brutal vengeance. It’s presented by the Washington Rogues performing arts collective, and runs through November 3 at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint. Tickets are $15.
Hop aboard the Wheaton Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel. This spooky ride—running October 20 and 24 through 30—full of scary sights, sounds, and creatures is best suited for children eight and up. Tickets are $5 and include one ride each on the Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel along with admission to the movie theater.
Have a “spooktacular” time at the annual Boo at the Zoo October 25 through 27. From 5:30 to 8:30 PM, families with children ages 2 to 12 can enjoy a safe environment for trick-or-treating from more than 30 treat stations throughout the National Zoo. Also available is a ride on the Conservation Carousel. Tickets are $30.
Float your way over to the annual Hallowmarine at the National Aquarium in Baltimore October 26 and 27. From 10 AM to 3 PM, take part in a “scare-venger hunt,” a costume parade, and Halloween-themed crafts. The aquarium is also hosting underwater pumpkin-carving. Tickets are free with the cost of admission.
Have an astronomically fun day at the annual Air and Scare at the National Air and Space Museum. Kids can take part in indoor trick-or-treating, spooky science experiments, a puppet show, and hands-on activities at Spook-tivitiy Stations. For the wee ones, there’s a Tot Zone where kids can play dress-up, hear a story, and participate in crafts. The event is October 26 from 2 to 7 PM, and admission is free.
Come with your best trick and get a treat at the
Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival at
Great Country Farms in Bluemont, Virginia.
Watch P-Rex the pumpkin-eating dinosaur, meet the Pumpkin Princess,
and go hog wild at the Pig Races. If you get hungry, toast
marshmallows at the bonfire
and enjoy live music. Open through October 31. Admissions is
$10 for children and
$12 for adults on weekends.
If you’re looking for a fun fall adventure, take your kids to the Fall Frolic at Glen Echo Park. On October 26 from 1 to 4 PM, kids can decorate pumpkins, get their face painted, and take part in other crafts. Families can stroll through the park’s studios and galleries, including Glen Echo Pottery, the Art Glass Center, the Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery, and more.
At Brightest Young Things’ Twerk or Treat dance party at the Sphinx Club in Logan Circle, Brooklyn-based artist collective Cheryl, DJ Rex Riot, and synth-pop ravers Avan Lava promise a full soundtrack of twerk-worthy beats. Come in a costume you can move in—you’ll get brownie points (extra candy? A duet with Robin Thicke?) for dressing up as a teen idol, “vapid empty soul,” or sexy Steve Martin (is there any other kind?), or for coming in like a wrecking ball. Saturday, October 26.
As long as you’re not afflicted with coulrophobia (a fear of clowns), Black Cat’s Halloween Circus is a good Halloween bet. The gritty, rock-and-roll ambience provides the perfect backdrop to burlesque, a freaky sideshow, and local blues crew and headliner Johnny Grave & the Tombstones. Thursday, October 31.
For a Halloween shindig, a graveyard is an unnerving, albeit trite, setting. But banality is forgiven when the burial ground in question is Southeast DC’s Congressional Cemetery. The final resting place for Civil War generals, congressmen, and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, among others, the 206-year-old cemetery’s Ghosts and Goblets Soiree includes tours of the grounds, live entertainment, and spirits (both alcoholic and supernatural). Saturday, October 26.
You have to wonder how DJ Ghost makes a living the 364 days of the year he’s not spinning beats at the W Hotel’s annual Halloween Social. Held in the hotel’s P.O.V. rooftop lounge, it offers sweeping views of the White House. And with one of the best costume contest prizes in the city—a sleepover package in one of the W’s suites, plus recovery breakfast in bed—the attire is guaranteed to be over-the-top. Thursday, October 31.
Put on your coolest costume and head to Dupont Circle’s Kabin for Washingtonian's Halloween party from 9 to 11. There’ll be tunes from DJ Soundtraxx, Washingtonian treat bags, and drink specials—and your ticket includes one free drink. $15 online or $20 at the door. Friday, November 1.
Furloughed Washingtonians, put down the remote. There’s no need to binge-watch season one of House of Cards while throwing things at furlough-free federal figure Francis Underwood (believe me when I say if I could use more alliteration in that sentence, I would). Arts and entertainment providers all over town are offering free and cut-price tickets to shows and other events, from Steve Aoki with Pharrell Williams at Merriweather to Miss Saigon at Signature Theatre. Below, a quick roundup—we’ll keep adding to it as we hear more, so check back in.
9:30 Club/Lincoln Theatre/Merriweather/U Street Music Hall
The 9:30 Club and friends are offering “buy one get one free” tickets for the following I.M.P. shows until 11:59 PM tonight. Use the promo code 930ATA. Yes, you can also use this code if you aren’t a furloughed federal employee because it’s a general promotion, not a buyoff.
- Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg with Andrew W.K. on vocals, October 2, 9:30 Club.
- Chazz Palminteri’s A Bronx Tale, October 3, Lincoln Theatre.
- BOY, October 3, 9:30 Club.
- Middle Distance Runner, October 4, U Street Music Hall.
- The Flaming Lips and Tame Impala, October 4, Merriweather.
- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, October 5, 9:30 Club.
- Soul Asylum and Fountains of Wayne (with Evan Dando!!!), October 9, 9:30 Club.
- Lee Fields and the Expressions, October 17, 9:30 Club.
- Steve Aoki with Pharrell Williams, October 25, Merriweather.
This one is for people with a federal ID only. Get free entry to the following shows when you flash it at the box office.
- Big Boi, October 2.
- Take 6, October 4.
- Alice Russell, October 5.
- And get 50 percent off tickets to the following show:
- Rufus featuring Sly Stone, October 6.
- Bill Engvall, Octover 6.
- Sutton Foster, October 12.
- Les Violons du Roy with Stephanie Blythe, October 15.
- Dianne Reeves, October 18.
For one week only, anyone can get a 50 percent discount on tickets to Odysseo, Cavalia’s totally bonkers/awesome fusion of acrobatics and equine arts.
Welcome to the first day of the Great Government Shutdown of 2013. Your nonessential federal employees are probably rewatching all of Breaking Bad from the comfort of their couches while wondering if they'll ever be paid again. Meanwhile, all free museums are closed, for the most part. Here, in photos, is a quick glimpse of what was essential and nonessential on the National Mall this morning.
Seeing a movie in the summer usually means forgoing a warm evening outside for the
refrigerated darkness of a theater. But not this year, thanks to the ever-growing
array of outdoor film festivals and movie screenings in the Washington area. Throughout
the summer, catch outdoor movies everywhere from your local town square or park to
the Mall and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
Screen on the Green
When: July 22 and 29, and August 5 and 12
Where: The Mall between Seventh and 12th sts., NW
Theme: See titles online, including E.T. and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Follow @SOTGinDC for updates.
NoMa Summer Screen 2013
When: Wednesdays, July 3 through August 21
Where: Loree Grand Field, Second and L sts., NE
Theme: “Outlaw heroes,” including titles such as The Hunger Games and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Follow @NoMaBID for updates.
Family Film Night at Sursum Corda
When: July 9 and 23, and August 6
Where: Sursum Corda at L and First sts., NW
Theme: “Family-friendly movies,” including Despicable Me and Toy Story 3.
Canal Park Thursday Movies
When: Thursdays, July 11 through August 29
Where: Canal Park at M and Second sts., SE
Theme: “DC Versus Marvel Comics,” including flicks such as The Dark Knight and The Avengers. Follow @CanalParkDC for updates.
The DC Drive-In
When: July 12, 19, and 26, and August 2
Where: Union Market at 1309 5th St., NE
Theme: “Movies about Washington,” including Dr. Strangelove and The American President. A car isn’t required. Follow @UnionMarketDC for updates.
No roof deck this July Fourth, and fearful of the crowds on the Mall? Fear not: We’ve
rounded up the best spots for fireworks fans, from parties to restaurants to parks
with killer views.
MAKE A NIGHT OF IT
515 15th St., NW; 202-661-2400
Metro: Metro Center
Cost: Rooms start at $389, standing room starts at $60
Closest to the White House, the W Hotel’s prime location offers hard-to-beat views. Make reservations for an overnight visit, or snag standing room to see the fireworks from the hotel’s rooftop, P.O.V., with a deejay and a cash bar.
800 16th St., NW; 202-638-6600
Metro: Farragut West
Cost: Packages start at $1,109
The hotel’s Fireworks Package includes a three-course dinner for two with wine and an open bar, as well as access to the ninth-floor Top of the Hay for two for Champagne and desserts.
Gangplank Marina, 600 Water St., SW; 202-547-1250
Set sail on the American Spirit, a 65-foot schooner, for a one-of-a-kind view of the fireworks from the water. (Bonus: It’s wheelchair accessible.)
Departs from Gangplank Marina at Sixth and Water sts., SW.; 866-306-2469
Reserve your spot on this gussied-up version of a booze cruise. Tickets include a three-course dinner, live entertainment, and an open bar.
Departs from Pier 4 at Sixth and Water sts., SW; 866-302-2469
Tickets include an open bar, dinner buffet, and a deejay.
RESTAURANTS WITH A VIEW
9428 Battle St., Manassas, 703-369-6022
Watch the fireworks in Manassas with an Americana-themed three-course dinner on the patio. Dinner starts with a red, white, and blue salad; then there’s a choice of barbecue pork ribs or pan-seared salmon filet. Cap it off with the quintessential patriotic dessert, apple pie à la mode.
1336 U St., NW; 202-265-0965
Metro: U Street-Cardozo
To celebrate the Fourth, Tabaq Bistro, is offering a three-course dinner and a complimentary glass of Champagne. For a view of fireworks in both DC and Virginia, head to the rooftop after dinner.
Beacon Bar & Grill
1615 Rhode Island Ave., NW; 202-872-1126
Metro: Farragut North
Head to the restaurant’s rooftop bar for a picnic-inspired buffet (think burgers and fried chicken) and, of course, a view of the fireworks. Reservations go quickly, so it’s best to call soon.
Wednesday, July 3
Independence Day Ice Cream Social
This celebratory prologue on July 3 from 1 to 3 PM features a tour of Tudor Place’s
historic mansion with a special focus on objects from George and Martha Washington’s
Mount Vernon estate. An ice cream party in the garden follows, along with games and
crafts for the little ones’ amusement. $10 for kids; $5 for adults. Reserve your spot
Thursday, July 4
Fourth of July at the National Archives
What’s more patriotic than a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence? Starting at 10 AM outside of the National Archives Building, performances by Continental Color Guard and the Fife and Drum Corps preface a special reenactment by actors playing Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Family activities and a meet-and-greet with revolutionary figures follow and last until 4. More info can be found online.
Independence Day Organ Recital
Located at the Washington National Cathedral, this annual Fourth of July event features local cathedral organists and the US Navy Sea Chanters—the official chorus of the United States Navy. Beginning at 11, the free program includes patriotic classics such as “Stars and Stripes Forever” as well as ragtime canons like Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer.” Visit the website for more information.
An American Celebration at Mount Vernon
Celebrate the Fourth at our first President’s estate with daytime fireworks, an inspection of the troops by George Washington, birthday cake, and a naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens. Festivities run from 9:30 to 3. Tickets, which can be ordered online, are $17 for adults, $8 for children 6 through 11, and free for children 5 and under.
Pool Party Spectacular Craptacular
Deejays Sinister Sound, Funny Moms, and Cale provide the grooves for Brightest Young Things’ fourth annual all-day pool party at the Capitol Skyline Hotel. Festivities (starting at 11 AM) include games, pie eating contests, and water balloon fights. Order your $15 advance ticket here.
Café du Parc Block Party
Take a break from the crowds at this block-party-style celebration hosted by Café du Parc at the Willard InterContinental Hotel. A live band plays from 4 to 8 PM, and special barbecue fare—including a $10 carry-out lunch—is sold alongside the eatery’s regular all-day dining menu. Visit the website for more info.