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Where to celebrate America’s birthday, from a pool party at the Capitol Skyline to a historic ice cream social. By Kelsey Lindsey
Attend an organ recital at the Washington National Cathedral on July Fourth. Photograph via Wikimedia Commons.

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 online.


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.

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Posted at 01:10 PM/ET, 06/28/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Opening dates and hours, features, and prices. By Emily Thompson
Photograph via Shutterstock.

Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and, conveniently, so is the opening date for several area pools. After a seemingly endless winter, we’re ready to break out the swimwear and sunscreen. Check out our guide to area outdoor pools both public and private, organized by state—and get ready to dive in.


Private Pools in DC

Capitol Skyline Hotel
10 I St., SW; 202-488-7500
If you’re more interested in socializing than swimming, look no further than Capitol Skyline. This hotel pool is known for its raucous weekend pool parties.
Price: $20 for a day pass, $325 for a single membership, $525 for a family membership (up to five family members).
Hours: Open weekdays 11 to 9 and weekends 10 to 9.

Courtyard Marriott Dupont Circle
1900 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-332-9300
Surrounded by an enclosed courtyard, this Dupont pool is an oasis in the midst of a bustling part of town.
Price: $20 for a day pass, $250 for a single membership, $275 for a couples membership, $350 for a family membership.
Hours: Open weekdays 10 to 8 and weekends 10 to 9.

One Washington Circle Hotel
One Washington Circle, NW; 202-872-1680
If you’re looking for a good place to dine and dip, this hotel has the perfect deal for you. The pool is free if you spend $35 at the Circle Bistro or the Circle Lounge, so load up on food and drinks before you hit the water.
Price: Free if you spend $35 at the Circle Bistro or the Circle Lounge.
Hours: Open daily 10 to 8.

The Liaison Capitol Hill
415 New Jersey Ave., NW; 202-638-1616
In addition to a rooftop pool, this Capitol Hill spot also features a poolside bar, massages in a cabana, and yoga on the roof.
Price: $40 for a day pass, including a welcome cocktail.
Hours: Open daily 10 to 10. Bar open daily 11 to 11.

Washington Plaza
10 Thomas Circle, NW; 202-842-1300
With free wi-fi and a poolside bar, this spot has everything you need for a day of relaxation. And at these prices, you’ll want to take advantage of it all.
Price: $50 for a day pass, $800 for a single season pass, $1,500 for a couples season pass, and $2,100 for a family season pass.
Hours: Open daily 9 to 9.

Waterside Fitness and Swim Club
901 Sixth St., SW; 202-488-3701
Cool off and get your workout on at this aquatic gym. Waterside Fitness and Swim Club offers day passes and memberships for both the indoor and outdoor pools.
Price: $10 for a day pass. Season memberships will also be available; the price is TBD.
Hours: Open daily 10:30 to 8. Closed Monday.

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Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 05/23/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Where to go for pomegranate margaritas, cinnamon churros, and Bloody Marias. By Douglas Bair
El Centro D.F. is one of many spots offering Cinco de Mayo specials on Sunday. Photograph by Erik Uecke.

That maraca ringtone reminder that just went off on our iPhone means it’s time for our favorite holiday celebrating bartenders who can pour a tasty lime-and-tequila beverage. Okay, yes, Cinco de Mayo has more of a backstory—but let’s skip the history lecture and map out the route for the this weekend’s Tour de Margarita. Here’s where the fiesta is going full force throughout the District.

Bandolero
Happy hour lasts Friday through Sunday with specials such as $4 Tecates, PBRs, and Espolon shots and $6 margaritas. No need to rush through lunch or dinner—all weekend long, “crazy corn,” pork, or chicken tacos and Mexican Pizza are just $5.

The Brixton
It’s a circus over on U Street Sunday from noon to 8 as the Brixton debuts its Circus de Mayo with $4 Coronas, $6 Hornitos sno-cones, $7 frozen Sauza margaritas, and cotton candy. We hear there’s going to be a dunk tank on the patio, too.

Casa Oaxaca & Guajillo
Celebrations started on Wednesday and continue through Sunday with $7 margaritas—find a passionfruit-jalapeño flavor on Thursday and a tropical guanabana flavor on Friday. Don’t worry, the restaurant will still offer its signature drinks, such as the MargaChela—a baby Corona inside a house margarita—and the Orangita Picate, a fresh orange juice margarita with chile piquin. During happy hour (3 to 6 PM), house margaritas are $5 and Coronas are $4. Saturday and Sunday brunch is offered from 11 to 3; reserve a spot through OpenTable.

Ceiba
This Latin-inspired venue offers an assortment of Mexican street food, including chicken tamales, mole-glazed pork ribs, Mexican hot dogs, and warm cinnamon-dusted churros, for $5 each. As you sample your way through the menu, sip one of the $5 margaritas to cleanse your palate. Stop by from 3 PM until close Friday through Sunday to celebrate.

Commissary
This Logan Circle spot celebrates throughout May with two special margaritas. The Speedy, which features house-infused jalapeño tequila, is $7.50, and the Sparkling Fiesta, topped off with sparkling wine, is $9.

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Posted at 03:30 PM/ET, 05/02/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Make the most of the celebration by planning your itinerary early. By Dori Zweig
Photograph by Flickr user robeposse.

With the peak of the cherry blossom season fast approaching, it’s time to start planning your National Cherry Blossom Festival itinerary. We’ve rounded up the best events—from parties to concerts to bike tours—to help you make the most of this year’s celebrations.


Signature Events

Wine and dine at the seventh annual Pink Tie Party, the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s signature fundraiser, on March 20 at 7 PM at the Renaissance Mayflower. Chef Lorena Garcia hosts this lively event, which features more than 35 participating restaurants throughout the metro Washington area. Enjoy cherry-blossom-inspired cocktails and dishes as you place bids at the evening’s auction to win anything from a weekend getaway to a unique theater experience. The proceeds from the silent auction benefit the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Tickets are $200 and can be purchased online.

Bring your camera to the FDR Memorial along the Tidal Basin, where Washington Photo Safari is holding clinics and tutorials on how to best shoot the iconic cherry blossoms. Photography workshops begin on March 20 and are $69 to register. For a full schedule, visit the website.

Grab the family and head to the National Building Museum, which presents Family Days on Saturday, March 23, from 10 AM to 4 PM, and Sunday, March 24, from 11 to 4. The family-oriented events include hands-on activities and inspiring youth performances. Create a cherry blossom popcorn tree, a spring-themed pinwheel, and even a wind chime. Admission is free for all ages.

The third annual Blossom Kite Festival happens on March 30 from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. Visit the Washington Monument grounds to witness the amazing creativity of kite-makers and kite-fliers from across the US and other countries. The day includes competitions and demonstrations such as the popular Hot Tricks Showdown, and Kite Ballets, in which master kite-fliers set their skills and expertise to music. The fun-filled day also features a family field area where you can learn to fly your kite, and a youth kite-makers competition. For a full schedule and weather advisements, visit the website.

The annual Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival lights up the sky on April 6 from 1 to 9 PM. This event features free music, cultural experiences, and delicious food. Be sure to visit the Very Cherry Marketplace in Kastles Stadium, featuring various arts and crafts. This event happens rain or shine. 700 Water St., SW.

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Posted at 09:55 AM/ET, 03/14/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Join an organized snowball fight in Dupont Circle, visit a museum or two, or kick back with an all-day happy hour. By Sophie Gilbert
Happy snow day! Here are some fun things to do. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

A snow day is as good an excuse as any to kick back on the couch and indulge in an all-day TV marathon (and if you’re tempted to binge-watch House of Cards on Netflix, check out our review). But by no means is fun canceled in Washington today—especially given the lack of accumulation in large parts of DC. We’ve rounded up some of the best things to bundle up and do today, from snowball fights to museum exhibits to all-day drink deals.

A good number of museums are open today, offering a great chance to catch up on exhibits and new additions. All the Smithsonian museums, with the exception of the National Zoo, are keeping regular hours until further notice. Goggle at the Hope Diamond in hopefully less-packed crowds than usual at the Natural History Museum, fly in a simulator at Air and Space, or check out power players captured in a video portrait in “The Network” at the National Portrait Gallery.

Also open today: The National Geographic Museum downtown, whose current exhibit, “Birds of Paradise: Amazing Avian Evolution” reveals images of brightly colored birds in Australasia (a nice respite from the chill).

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Posted at 11:15 AM/ET, 03/06/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
From bar crawls to history lessons, here’s how to get your green on around town. By Emily Thompson
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at these events around town. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, but Washington isn’t letting that slow it down. From kid-friendly parades to weeklong celebrations at Irish pubs, you’ll have plenty of chances to see live music and drink green beer—just don’t forget you still have to show up to work the next day.


DC

McPatty’s Week
When: March 12 through 17
Where: McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon (2401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW)
Details: For this weeklong celebration, McFadden’s offers green beer, spring break giveaways, and no cover for those wearing green. On St. Patrick’s Day, the festivities start at 8 AM with a traditional Irish breakfast and an open bar and continue with stilt walkers, a deejay, and food specials.

The Capital Club’s Shamrock Soirée
When: March 14, 10 PM to 2 AM
Where: Capitale (1301 K St., NW; 202-962-3933)
Cost: $10 for women, $20 for men; tickets are available at the door
Details: There will be an open bar for the first hour of the event, so plan on getting there early to beat the crowds.

National ShamrockFest 2013
When: March 16, 1 to 9 PM
Where: RFK Stadium Festival Grounds (2400 E. Capitol St., SE; 202-608-1100)
Cost: Tickets ($29.99, or $79.99 for VIP) are available online
Details: More than 40 bands and deejays will perform on nine stages at this Irish music festival. The lineup includes the Mahones, Sublime With Rome, and more. Oh, and there’s plenty of food and beer, of course.

Library St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
When: March 16, 3 PM
Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (901 G St., NW; 202-727-0321)
Details: Come to this all-ages event to learn about the history of St. Patrick’s Day through music, stories, and crafts.

DC Official St. Paddy’s Day Bar Crawl 2013
When: March 16, 11 AM to 2 AM
Where: Various bars in Dupont, Foggy Bottom, and Midtown
Cost: $10 for bar crawl, $20 for three-day pass (includes Friday kickoff party), $30 for VIP three-day pass (includes Friday kickoff party and Sunday breakfast); order online
Details: Choose your start location (the Front Page or Cafe Asia’s downtown location), then make your way to as many as 13 bars to fete St. Paddy’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Parade of Washington DC
When: March 17, noon
Where: Constitution Ave.
Cost: $15 for grandstand ticket
Details: This year’s theme is Celebrating Service to the Stars and Stripes; the 42-year-old parade will include more than 100 marching bands, military units, dance schools, floats, and other groups and organizations.

Duffy’s St. Patrick’s Day
When: March 17, 11 AM to 3 AM
Where: Duffy’s Irish Pub (2106 Vermont Ave., NW; 202-265-3413)
Cost: $5 cover
Details: This Celtic pub is celebrating in style with free T-shirts, Irish music and dancers, bagpipes, and green brew all day.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration With FullSet
When: March 17, 7 PM
Where: National Geographic Live (1600 M St., NW; 202-857-7700)
Cost: Order tickets online, $25
Details: The Live Ireland Music Awards recently named traditional Irish band FullSet New Group of the Year in 2012. The six-piece band will perform songs from its debut album, Notes At Liberty.

St. Paddy’s PubCrawl
When: March 15 through 17
Where: Bread Brew, Capitol City Brewing Company, Penn Social, and more
Cost: $15 per day or $30 for a three-day pass; tickets are available online
Details: This event is trying to be DC’s largest pub crawl. Things kick off Friday with a 5 PM happy hour at Bread and Brew, where you can find $1 drafts, $2 bottled beers, $3 wells, and $4 whiskey before 9. Saturday’s crawl begins at 11; Sunday’s starts at noon.

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Posted at 11:40 AM/ET, 03/05/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Movie-themed cocktails and giveaways abound at these Academy Award viewing parties. By Jeesoo Park
See who picks up their Oscar trophy at one of these parties. Photograph courtesy of Joe Seer / Shutterstock.

You’ve recovered from the shock of Hangover star Bradley Cooper being nominated for Best Actor, and heard all about how Jessica Chastain is upset over Zero Dark Thirty’s Kathryn Bigelow being passed over for Best Director. You have your own opinions on the Oscar contenders, so we’ve rounded up a few places where you can enjoy disagreeing with the Academy’s choices over cocktails.

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Posted at 10:15 AM/ET, 02/22/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Not into the prix-fixe thing? We’ve rounded up more creative options around town. By Chelsea Boone, Hannah Lauterback
Learn about the mating habits of animals at Woo at the Zoo on Saturday. Photograph by Mehgan Murphy/National Zoo.

February 8 through 17, Perchance to Dream Theatre presents Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night at Fort Fringe. A traveling troupe of circus style performers use music, puppets, and magic in this adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic. Tickets ($10 to $15) are available online.

Get wild at the National Zoo’s fifth annual Woo at the Zoo. The February 9 event features presentations where you can learn about the mating habits of animals. Tickets are $30 per person ($20 for FONZ members) and include a commemorative glass, a complimentary drink, and hors d’oeuvres. There’s also a cash bar.

Check out naked women and men without your other half getting mad at a Naked at the Art Museum scavenger hunt on February 10. Search the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery’s nude pieces for answers to various questions and take part in a little friendly competition. If you’re the lucky duo that finishes first, you’ll go home with a prize. More details and tickets ($24.50) are available online.

Disney on Ice comes to the Washington Harbour Ice Rink on Tuesday, February 12, at 4:30 PM. Children can skate with the characters from the show, sample hot chocolate, and receive a special Disney on Ice Valentine’s Day card.

To accompany the exhibition “Angels, Demons, and Savages,” the Phillips Collection presents A Valentine’s Day Trilogy February 13 through 17, with short vignettes inspired by Pollock, Ossorio, and Dubuffet. Head to Tryst at the Phillips before the show starts for a Prosecco-based Pretty in Pink cocktail or the spicy beer-and-sangria fusion Heart on Fire. A tour starts at 6:30 PM and the performance starts at 7; tickets are $20.

Join the Washington Ballet for L’Amour (Love, Baby . . .) at Sidney Harman Hall. Featuring three stories inspired by romance— Dangerous Liaisons, Opposites Attract, and Under Covers—the show explores all different aspects of love. Wednesday the 13th through Sunday the 17th. Tickets are available online.

On V-Day itself, catch a movie, a comedy show, and a bonus wine-tasting at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse for just $8. Even better: The movie is The Princess Bride. Shows start at 7 and 9:50 PM; tickets are available online.

Love is all you need, at least according to the folks of Art Soiree’s Love Power. Whether you’re single, crushing hard, or in love, head to Powerhouse on Valentine’s Day at 9 PM for a night of music, art, movies, and dancing, all inspired by the power of love. Tickets are $20 online or $30 at the door.

An alternative to an overpriced Valentine’s Day dinner is lunch—made by you. CulinAerie hosts an Intimate Valentine’s Lunch: Foods of Love cooking class, where couples can make foods known for having aphrodisiac properties. The class runs from noon to 2 and is $150 per couple.

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Posted at 04:55 PM/ET, 02/08/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
From a bar crawl with 1,500 other singles to French films about infidelity, we have V-Day covered. By Emily Thompson, Dori Zweig
No date? No problem. Treat yourself with a chocolate, cheese, and Champagne tasting class at Union Market. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Flying solo this Valentine’s Day? There’s no reason you can’t have just as much fun as your coupled-up compadres. Whether you’re in the market for a sweetheart or just looking for a good time, we’ve got you covered with these inexpensive V-Day events for singles.

Hoping to find that special someone before Valentine’s Day rolls around this year? Head to Dupont Circle with 1,500-plus eligible bachelors and bachelorettes for Cupid’s Bar Crawl on February 9. The party runs from 3 to 11 PM at participating bars including Irish Whiskey, the Front Page, Ozio, Public Bar, Sign of the Whale, the Madhatter, and the Mighty Pint. Tickets are $15 if you register online or $20 the day of the event.

If you’re not so thrilled about being single on V-Day, Mortified DC’s Doomed Valentine’s Day Show at Town is bound to make you feel better about your current situation. During this unconventional comedy show, adults share their most humiliating love-inspired childhood diary entries, letters, poems, and more. The embarrassment starts at 8 PM on February 13; tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.

Feel like indulging? Righteous Cheese at Union Market is hosting three We Heart Cheese: Chocolate, Cheese & Baller Bubbly classes perfect for singles looking to spend the holiday in a classy fashion. Savor decadent cheeses, rich chocolates, and of course, specialty Champagnes and sparkling wines. Learn about pairing options and the story behind the cheeses. The first class is February 13 at 7 PM.

Then on February 14, kick off your Singles Awareness Day shenanigans by heading to Penn Social and joining our staff at Washingtonian’s first-ever Singles Soiree. There’ll be live music, games, a photo booth, goodie bags, and awesome people in one place from 7 to 9 PM. Your first two drinks are on us, and there will be complimentary appetizers. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

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Posted at 01:20 PM/ET, 02/08/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
No Orleans? No problem. Laissez les bon temps rouler at one of these local celebrations. By Travis M. Andrews
Celebrate Fat Tuesday in Washington with these great events. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

It’s carnival season with Mardi Gras just a week away, but you don’t have to be in New Orleans to celebrate. Washington sees its fair share of Fat Tuesday feting, and as the official Louisiana-sponsored Washington Mardi Gras wraps up, the unofficial revelry begins.

Chef David Guas, a New Orleans native, hosts a full-throttle celebration at Alexandria’s Bayou Bakery on Mardi Gras day, February 12. From 5 to 11 PM, 15th Street gets roped off for a Mardi Gras block party featuring free oysters from Rappahannock River Oysters, specialty cocktails by Gina Chersevani of Buffalo & Bergen, a parade float, a costume contest, Bayou Bakery grub, and, of course, Abita beers.

Acadiana, known and praised for its New Orleans-themed fine dining, serves up a special Mardi Gras prix-fixe menu including NOLA classics such as crawfish jambalaya, buffalo frog’s legs with a cheddar cheese grit cake, and rabbit étouffée, to name a few. For dessert there’s a twist on the classic: king cake doughnuts. The dinner is from 5:30 to 10:30 PM on Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras day, February 11 and 12.

For a more elegant take on the famous holiday, the Alliance Française DC and Art Soiree are throwing a black-tie-optional masquerade ball at the Washington Club on February 9. The Blues Style Brass Band provide the entertainment, as does an open bar offering Hurricanes, Sazeracs, and more. Buy tickets ($60) online.

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Posted at 02:40 PM/ET, 02/06/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()