Things to Do

Happy New Year: Things to Do in Washington, December 31-January 3

Plus: The final vibe check of the year.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hello friends!

We are saying goodbye and good riddance to 2020 with a big sigh of relief.

Ring in the new year an Earth, Wind & Fire tribute band at Alexandria’s First Night.

Here’s what you should check out this holiday weekend:

Family-friendly NYE: The annual First Night event in Alexandria will be transformed into a drive-in concert with performances from R&B crooner Jarreau Williams and an Earth, Wind & Fire tribute band as well as a comedy show from Clean AF Comedy. If you’d rather not go in-person, you can also watch it from home. Thursday 12/31 at 6:30 PM (early show) and 9:30 PM (late night show), rain or shine; $60 per vehicle or $20 to watch online; buy tickets here.

Sip on this: Atlas Brew Works is hosting a virtual beer tasting on New Year’s Day. Pick up a six-pack of craft beers beforehand and sip your way through the guided tasting online. Friday 1/1 at 3 PM; kits start at $20, learn more here.

Laugh to keep from crying: Two new comedies are saying GTFO to 2020 with some top-notch humorists. See an all-women crew in Yearly Departed with Ziwe Fumudoh, Tiffany Haddish, Rachel Brosnahan, Phoebe Robinson and more delivering a eulogy for this cursed year. For a different end-of-year vibe, watch the mockumentary Death to 2020 from the creators of Black Mirror. Samuel L. Jackson, Lisa Kudrow, Kumail Nanjiani, and Leslie Jones are part of the big-name cast. It seems like Kudrow will be some parody of a conservative spokeswoman—in the trailer, you see her character’s book Conservative Voices Are Being Silenced—possibly affiliated with the White House (who is surprised?). Death to 2020 is on Netflix and Yearly Departed is on Prime Video.

Saying goodbye: We gathered a list of 15 people, places, and things that Washington bid farewell to this year, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Post Pub.

Looking for something good to read?: Washingtonian articles editor Kristen Hinman rounded up the magazine’s best longreads of the year. Read about the rise of divorces in the pandemic, the Nationals’ first year, the millennial investors in the DC dining scene, and more.

Dry January: If you’re a big believer in foregoing alcohol at the start of the year, you might want to explore Washingtonian’s 2020 Dry January guide. Try the Columbia Room’s virgin Long Island Iced Tea recipe and find the best zero-proof cocktail mixers.

A vibe check: 

Will this be you tonight?
It’s our last one of 2020! I’m so grateful for all of you for reading and joining me in these Very Strange Times. How are you feeling as we arrive at the end of this unprecedented, historic, tragic, painful, isolating, challenging, exhausting, you-name-it year? I’m a mixed bag—burnt out, restless, but also hopeful. We’re nearing the start of a bright new year. For the first time in months—long, droning, repetitive months—I’m feeling optimistic about what’s to come. Maybe I’ll even start planning my dream vacation trip as a post-vaccine goal. At the very least, I’m hoping that we can soon again safely gather to dance among friends, go to the theater, hear live music, and get lost in a museum. Cheers!

Thanks for reading! Tell me what you’re up to at home by dropping me a line at rcartagena@washingtonian.com.

Web Producer/Writer

Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. She’s written about anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, dinosaurs in the revamped fossil hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and the horrors of taking a digital detox. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.