Friday, December 14, 2012

What to Do in the District This Weekend

You guys, it's our last weekend before the end of the world.

Just in case the Mayans' apocalyptic prediction is right and the world does indeed implode in one week, you'll want to get in as much fun as you can.  Maybe throw a good deed in there too while you enjoy all the fun holiday festivities.  Need ideas?  We've got you covered.   


If you're in the mood for something festive, stop by The Willard from 5:30-7:30 for some Christmas Caroling.  The Capital Hearings will be singing some a cappella harmonies to get you in the holiday spirit in the lovely lobby of the historic Willard Hotel.  The performance is free and open to the public, and includes traditional carols, classical selections, and holiday favorites.    

Another festive option is offered at Union Market, where the Grinch Holiday Happy Hour runs from 4:30-7:00.  Here you'll find live music by Capital Blend, holiday drink specials from Buffaloo & Bergin and Rappahannock Oyster Bar, and a special appearance from The Grinch himself.  

Afterward, head to George for Jive to Survive, a late-night holiday throwdown to benefit Thrive DC.  Thrive DC serves homeless and vulnerable individuals by providing services like twice daily meals, health screenings, and intensive job training.  $12 in advance and $20 at the door will get you drink specials that include $1 Rail and Red Bull Vodka and $1 Bud Light, and all proceeds go to Thrive DC.  There will also be photographers, raffle items, and Uber voucher cards.  

Finally, there's "The End of an Era Show" at the Red Palace.  Capital Katie is a fan- she wrote about it in her Where to Have an Exotic Date post- and tonight the Cheeky Monkey Sideshow is taking the stage for the last time before the club closes in 2013.  Cheeky Monkey's show includes burlesque, sword swallowing, magic tricks and stunts involving broken glass, flaming batons, and more. So even if you're as anti-holiday as Grumpy Cat, you'll still enjoy this one. 

From Appealing Kate: While I am heading out of town to make questionable decisions for the weekend in the Big Apple, I need to make the following plug about a great event on Saturday.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love my home state of Maine. And how couldn't you when you come from the most beautiful state in all the country, full of the friendliest, nicest people (me biased? nahhhh).

What- you don't believe me? Well, below is an example of an exceptional Mainer and a chance for you to get involved in one of best activities in the District during the holiday season.

Twenty years ago, Morrill Worcester, owner or Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, found himself with a surplus of wreaths towards the end of the holiday season. With the help of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, Worcester was able to work with Arlington National Cemetery to place wreaths in one of the older sections of the cemetery, a section which had been receiving fewer visitors with each passing year. Thus began an annual tradition of trucking wreaths from Maine to Washington. It's turned into an event that attracts thousands upon thousands of volunteers each year, and this year there are a record 37 semi-trucks of wreaths (all from Maine) on their way to Arlington right now.

Still not convinced? Check out this video (but get the tissues ready. It's a tear jerker).

The organizers encourage volunteers of all ages to come and help and all are welcome simply by showing up (no need to sign up in advance).

Below is a basic schedule of events:
0700 – Metro opens system-wide
0800 – Arlington National Cemetery gates and parking lot opens
0830 (approx) – 8 Truck Wreath Convoy arrives
0930 – Opening Ceremony at Memorial Amphitheater
1000 – Wreath laying begins
1100 – Wreath laying ceremony at President Kennedy’s grave
1130 – Wreath laying ceremony at U.S.S. Maine Mast
1200 – Wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

You can find more information about the event by visiting the organization's website or by finding it on facebook or twitter.

After you do your good deed for the day, and get ready for another round of holiday parties to attend, stop by the new Dry Bar in Georgetown for a blow dry.
After, walk around Georgetown and do some shopping while enjoying all of the festive decorations, or stop by the new ice-skating rink at the Georgetown Waterfront. It's adorable.


Starting at 11:00 AM, Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse will be running its annual day-long screening of Christmas movies.  For the mere price of $8, you can see "A Christmas Story," "A Charlie Brown Christmas," my personal favorite- "Elf"- and more.  You can come and go as you please, which is helpful in case you've got to step out to make snow angels for two hours, and then go ice skating, and then eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as you can, and then snuggle.

There's not too much on the docket for Sunday otherwise, so perhaps this would be an opportune time to head to Old Town to finish (or start!) your holiday shopping.  The historic streets are decorated brightly for the holidays, and entertainers on street corners and colorful shop windows help ring the holiday season in with style. 

You can also head to Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens from 9:00-4:00 for special festivities that include themed decorations, a gingerbread Mount Vernon, historical chocolate-making demonstrations, 18th-century dancing, and even a Christmas camel like George Washington had on the grounds during Christmas of 1787. 
A highlight is the Mount Vernon Candlelight Tour, in which Martha Washington hosts an 18th-century Christmas with candlelit walks, fireside caroling, and festive décor.

Enjoy the weekend!

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