If you’ve never spent the holidays in the city and find yourself here this weekend, you are actually in for a real treat! The city is a total ghost town around Christmas, since D.C. is still predominantly a city of transplants and many, if not most, people travel home or schedule a vacation this time of year; according to the Washington Times we will see the largest exodus ever this year with nearly 43 percent of the populace getting the heck out of dodge! Think of this as your time to truly take advantage of all our city has to offer, without the hassle of fighting crowds or not being able to get a reservation. Discover just a few of the best ways to make this holiday weekend a memorable one!
If you’re an art lover…
Consider seeing a show or taking in a performance. There are so many classics, and contemporary favorites, in town right now, and they are a great place to decompress since you can’t even talk. Or if you've run out of ways to enetertain those visiting out of towners, head to the theater!
- Wicked, Kennedy Center: The Broadway sensation is back by popular demand through Jan. 8 with multiple showings almost every day.
- A Christmas Carol, Ford’s Theater: What better way to celebrate the holidays than with a true classic, at an iconic theater. Performances run through December 31, but tickets are selling out fast.
- The Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker, The Warner Theater: Is it really Christmas if you haven’t seen the Nutcracker?? There are two performances left on Christmas Eve of this ballet.
- The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Adventure Theatre: If you're looking for a family-friendly outing, check out this childhood favorite in Glen Echo, playing through December 31.
If it has been a while since you’ve played tourist in your own city…
While most of the museums are closed on Christmas Day, it’s a great day to tour the National Mall and get up close and personal to all of your favorite monuments -- maybe you can get that Lincoln selfie you’re dying for, without being photo bombed! And if you happen to be near the White House on Sunday around 4 p.m., you can see the National Menorah being lit on the ellipse. Or, if you are jonesing for a little history, make a visit to Mount Vernon. Not only does the estate go all out with décor -- go at dusk for the candlelight tour -- but you'll get a very special opportunity: the rarely-seen third floor (where Martha lived after George died as she couldn’t bring herself to go back to their shared room) is open to the public. They also have chocolate-making demonstrations available and you can try your feet at an 18th-century dance known as the Virginia Reel!
If you’ve been dying to try out a Michelin restaurant but can’t get in…
Most of the 12 restaurants that received a coveted Michelin star this fall have been booked solid since the stars were doled out, but try calling for a reservation early in the evening or late night this weekend and you may just get lucky! Or this may be a good time to shoot for a table at one of the “no reservation” restaurants where lines are insane -- think Bad Saint, Rose’s Luxury or Little Serow.
If you are a little homesick and looking for some holiday cheer…
Are you stuck in the city against your will and need something to perk your spirits up? If you're willing to venture outside at night, the DMV is home to some of the prettiest and most unusual holiday lights, so bundle up and check out displays like Glow Georgetown, a neighborhood-wide art installation, ZooLights or the Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights. Or head over to the wildly popular Miracle on 7th Street Christmas-themed pop-up bars. Trust me, you can’t help but feel festive when you are drinking a cookie dough flavored drink out of a Santa mug with photographs of goats in Christmas sweaters plastered everywhere. Oh, and did I mention there is a Narwhal wall??
Happy holidays everyone!