<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Worth the Trip]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcwashington.com/blogs/worth-the-trip http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usTue, 06 Dec 2016 17:11:44 -0500Tue, 06 Dec 2016 17:11:44 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Calling All Foodies: MGM National Harbor to Offer Top Restaurant Options]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 15:11:13 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/marcus+restaurant+MGM+National+Harbor.jpg The long-awaited casino and resort opens to the public on Thursday, and will feature a seafood restaurant, steakhouse, the world's largest chocolate fountain and more! Options range from high-end dining to a casual sports bar and more affordable eateries. Chefs Jose Andres, Marcus Samuelsson and Frederick natives Bryan and Michael Voltaggio are some of the chefs bringing their cuisine to MGM.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Find DC-Area Ice Skating Rinks]]> Fri, 18 Nov 2016 16:24:55 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/IMG_5767.JPG

Grab your friends, family or special date and lace up your skates! We've picked out the top skating rinks in D.C., Maryland and Virginia where you can take a spin on the ice.

(Did we miss your favorite? Tell us @DCscene!)


Sculpture Garden Ice Rink (between 3rd and 9th streets NW along Constitution Avenue) -- Bring friends for an artsy spin in the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden on the National Mall. The rink's perfect soundtrack will get you pumped to stay even once you get chilly. Open now through March 13, weather permitting. Rates: $8.50 adults; $7.50 kids and adults 50 and older; $3 skate rentals.

Washington Harbour Ice Rink (3050 K St. NW) -- This Georgetown rink is billed as D.C.'s largest. You'll find it at the Georgetown waterfront surrounded by restaurants... just in case you need to warm up with a tasty bite when you're done. Open now through mid-March. Rates: $10 adults; $9 kids, seniors and military; $6 skate rentals. 

Canal Park Ice Rink (202 M Street, SE) -- If you're looking to spice up your skating experience, check out College Night on Thursdays, Rock n Skate on Fridays or Cartoon Skate on Saturdays. Open now through mid-March. Rates: $9 adults; $8 kids, seniors and military; $5 skate rentals. Two admissions for the price of one on Tuesdays. 


Silver Spring Ice Skating at Veterans Plaza (8523 Fenton St., Silver Spring) -- This covered (but outdoor) rink is smack in the middle of downtown Silver Spring. After you're done skating, explore the surrounding restaurants and shops. Open now through March 25. Rates: $9 adults; $8 kids and adults 55 and older; $4 skate rentals.

Skating at the Square (131 Gibbs St., Rockville) -- Take a twirl on the ice at Rockville Town Square, just steps away from plenty of restaurants and shops if you need to warm up afterward. Open daily including all holidays. Rates: $9 adults; $8 kids and seniors; $4 skate rentals.


Pentagon Row Ice Outdoor Skating Plaza (1201 S. Joyce St., Arlington) -- Grab your friends and skate adjacent to the Pentagon City area's abundant restaurants and stores. Rates: $9 adults; $8 kids and adults 55 and older; $4 skate rentals.

Tysons Corner Ice Rink (1961 Chain Bridge Road, McLean) -- Right outside the Tysons Corner Center, step into a wintry world... with a Shake Shack conveniently right next to the rink for when you're in need of sustenance. Open now through early March. Rates: $10 adults; $9 kids, seniors and military; $6 skate rental.

The Loy E. Harris Pavilion (9201 Center St., Manassas) -- Take a spin on the ice in Old Town Manassas. Opens Nov. 25. Rates: $8 adults; $7 kids age 10 and younger; $6 skate rentals.

Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion (1818 Discovery St., Reston) -- The outdoor pavilion at the Reston Town Center will be sure to get you in the holiday spirit. You may want to arrive a little bit early to check out all the nearby shopping. Open now through mid-March, Rates: $10 adults; $9 kids under 12 and adults 55 and older; $6 skate rental.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Tour MGM's Casino, Restaurants, Christmas Decor]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:59:48 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/IMG_4993edit.jpg Come take a sneak peek inside the MGM National Harbor before it opens Thursday night. More than 6,000 construction workers helped create the new casino, and around 4,000 jobs will be filled inside. Take a look at everything from the intricate interior design to the casino games and to the restaurants.

Photo Credit: Brittany Johnson]]>
<![CDATA[15 Fall Getaways in Driving Distance of DC]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:40:26 -0500 plenty of things to do. Visitors can take advantage of guided tours (including ghost tours!), hiking trails, workshop classes and the historic park, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. History buffs can plan their trip around live history event weekends. The town's Olde Tyme Christmas will feature live entertainment, kids' activities, and extended shopping hours, Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 10-11. ]]> plenty of things to do. Visitors can take advantage of guided tours (including ghost tours!), hiking trails, workshop classes and the historic park, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. History buffs can plan their trip around live history event weekends. The town's Olde Tyme Christmas will feature live entertainment, kids' activities, and extended shopping hours, Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 10-11. ]]> http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Harpers-Ferry-shutterstock_142198090.jpg We love everything about fall getaways: the stunning foliage, the apple treats, the steaming hot drinks... the fact that it's no longer 90 million degrees out. Yep, all of it! If you're ready to enjoy everything that the season's got to offer, check out our 15 favorite ideas for getting out of town and making the most of autumn.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Georgetown GLOW Tucks Lighting Displays Into Neighborhood]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 12:31:16 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/AetherAndHemera_OnTheWingsOfFreedom03.jpg Georgetown’s annual light art exhibition returns Friday, and this year you can check out the displays for a full month.

Photo Credit: Aether + Hemera]]>
<![CDATA[15 DMV Concerts You Won't Want to Miss This Fall/Winter]]> Tue, 22 Nov 2016 16:14:16 -0500 Ticketmaster as of Thursday, Oct. 27. ]]> Ticketmaster as of Thursday, Oct. 27. ]]> http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-174775580.jpg Looking for some fun? Or maybe the perfect holiday gift? We checked local venues for the best concerts happening between now and the end of the year. (Didn't see your fave? Tweet us @DCscene!)

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panda House Reopens as Bei Bei Recovers From Surgery]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:34:18 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/15390974_10154742033417902_1490342462652870703_n.jpg

The National Zoo's panda cub, Bei Bei, is as cute as ever as he returns to the public eye Monday.

The zoo's panda house reopened to the public Monday after being closed for more than a week after the cub underwent emergency surgery to remove a masticated mass of bamboo from his intestine.

Bei Bei, who is 15 months old, is "recovering nicely" after the operation, the National Zoo said.

Photo Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo]]>
<![CDATA[Universal Studios Adding Nintendo-Themed Area]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 07:11:50 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/181*120/11.29.16_Mario-Brothers-Universal.JPG

Get ready to power up.

Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool, Yoshi and the gang are heading to Universal Studios.

Nintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts jointly announced Tuesday that new attractions are coming to Orlando, Hollywood and Osaka, Japan as "expansive, highly themed environments."

"Imagine the fun of stepping into a larger-than-life Nintendo adventure," read the statement. "Gigantic Piranha Plants spring to life. Question blocks, power-ups and more surround you. And Mario and all his friends are there to pull you into a brand-new world."

A partnership between the Japanese game-maker and Universal Studios was announced last year.

The creative planning of the new attractions is already underway, the statement said, but no specifics about the possible rides or other attractions was released.

A timeline for construction and opening dates will come later from each of the individual parks.

Editor's Note: Universal Parks & Resorts is owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of this site.

<![CDATA[11 Winter & Holiday Festivals Around the DC Area]]> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 16:31:45 -0500 When: Now through Jan. 1
Where: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center (201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Maryland)
Price: $17- $36 (just for ICE!)
Through the holiday season into the New Year, experience Christmas at the Gaylord National Harbor, featuring options like ICE! (a nine-degree journey through international Christmas traditions), the Village of the North Pole, breakfast with Charlie Brown and friends, an Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt, a laser show, the Potomac Express Train and more. You'll find a complete winter wonderland close to home.]]>
When: Now through Jan. 1
Where: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center (201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Maryland)
Price: $17- $36 (just for ICE!)
Through the holiday season into the New Year, experience Christmas at the Gaylord National Harbor, featuring options like ICE! (a nine-degree journey through international Christmas traditions), the Village of the North Pole, breakfast with Charlie Brown and friends, an Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt, a laser show, the Potomac Express Train and more. You'll find a complete winter wonderland close to home.]]>
Make your holiday season even more merry with these local (and not-so-local) winter festival getaways.

Photo Credit: Gaylord National Resort]]>
<![CDATA[Top 16 Holiday Displays & Ceremonies in the DC Area]]> Tue, 22 Nov 2016 16:06:33 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/34thstreetlights2.jpg Looking for a little sparkle this holiday season? Check out these D.C.-area winter lights displays, parades and more.

Photo Credit: Visit Baltimore]]>
<![CDATA[6 Holiday Craft Festivals in the DMV Area ]]> Thu, 24 Nov 2016 15:10:31 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Downtown-HolidayMarket-51.jpg

Finding the perfect gifts for the holidays doesn't have to mean long lines, crowded shops and impossible parking lots. There are countless craft festivals in the DMV area where you can find handcrafted gifts and also enjoy music, refreshments and other events as you shop. Here are seven to check out this holiday season:

Maryland Christmas Show
Frederick County Fairgrounds (797 E. Patrick St., Frederick, Maryland)
Nov. 25-27

The Maryland Christmas Show will be returning to the Frederick County Fairgrounds for its 33rd season. The show brings together artisans and merchants in seven buildings and under a big top tent to sell handcrafted pottery, Christmas ornaments, wreaths, toys and more. Admission is $4 for children and $8 for adults.

Thanksgiving Art and Craft Show
Spring Hill RECenter (1239 Spring Hill Road, McLean, Virginia)
Nov. 25-27

While you browse the Vienna Art and Craft show looking for that perfect gift, feel free to ask the artisans the inspiration behind their work. They'll all be on hand at this show featuring 80+ vendors showcasing their pottery, stained glass, silk, woodwork and more. The event is put on the Northern Virginia Handcrafters Guild. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children. Parking is also free.

Downtown Holiday Market
F Street NW between 7th & 9th streets
Nov. 25-Dec. 23

The 12th Annual Downtown Holiday Market this year will include more than 150 local artisans and boutique businesses. Browse through gift items including jewelry, pottery, paintings and textiles. Exhibitors and goods rotate daily, and you'll also find festive treats such as hot donuts and cider, plus live seasonal music. 

Swedish Christmas Bazaar
The House of Sweden (2900 K St. NW #503)
Dec. 3

Join the Swedish Women's Educational Association for their festive bazaar. In addition to gifts and crafts, the event at the House of Sweden will include Swedish foods and caroling. 

Falls Church Holiday Gift and Craft Shop

Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls St., Falls Church, Virginia)
Dec. 3-4

The Falls Church Community Center will be holding their annual holiday gift shop Dec. 3-4. More than 50 vendors will be selling handmade items and baked goods.

GRUMP in the Shops at Crystal City

1750 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia
Dec. 17

Known as an "alternative arts and crafts show," GRUMP will be taking place again this year at the Shops at Crystal City. Not only can you shop for handmade crafts, but you can also take photos with the GRUMPY yeti herself.

Photo Credit: Downtown Holiday Market]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: DC Bars Transform Into 'Miracle on 7th Street']]> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 17:26:12 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/miracle-on-7th-1.jpg From Black Friday through New Year's Eve, three Shaw bars will transform into a winter wonderland, with everything from dreidel chandeliers to dinosaur nativity scenes.

Photo Credit: Joy Asico]]>
<![CDATA[Ice Sculptures Glitter at Winter Wonderland in London ]]> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 08:30:30 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-623814112-ice.jpg Sculptures turned blocks of ice into reindeer, wolves, bears and boats at the Magical Ice Kingdom at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London. Take a look at some of the glittering pieces of art.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Black Friday: Which Stores Open Early & Close Late]]> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 12:01:05 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Tiendas+y+ofertas+black+friday09.jpg

Ready to hit the stores for Black Friday? 

Many stores will open early and stay open late the Friday after Thanksgiving. Some companies are opting to keep their stores closed, urging customers and employees to enjoy time outdoors.

Here's when stores will be open, according to BestBlackFriday.com and verified via store websites by NBCWashington.

Stores Open on Thanksgiving

Best Buy
Best Buy will open on Thanksgiving at 5 p.m. and stay open until 1 a.m. on Friday. It then will reopen at 8 a.m. Friday. The Chevy Chase Best Buy, however, will stay open until 11:59 on Thursday. Hours may vary by store.

Dick's Sporting Goods
Dick's Sporting Goods will open on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. and stay open until 2 a.m. Friday. It then will reopen Friday at 5 a.m. until 2 p.m. Hours may vary by store.

JCPenney opens at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and remains open until 5 p.m. Friday. Hours may vary by store. 

KMart will open at 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and remain open with doorbusters ending at 2 p.m. on Black Friday. Hours may vary by store.

Kohl’s opens at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and remains open overnight. Doorbusters will end at 1 p.m. on Friday. Hours may vary by store.

Macy’s will open at 5 p.m. Thursday through 2 a.m. Friday. It will reopen Friday at 6 a.m. with doorbusters ending at 1 p.m. Hours may vary by store.

Michaels will be open at 6 p.m. Thursday and remain open until midnight. It will reopen Friday at 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Hours may vary by store.

Modell’s opens on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. with doorbusters lasting through Friday at 2 p.m. Hours may vary by store.

Old Navy
Old Navy will open at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and remain open through midnight on Black Friday. Hours may vary by store.

Sears will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open until midnight. It will reopen on Black Friday at 5 a.m. Hours may vary by store.

Target will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open through Black Friday, until 10 p.m., 11 p.m. or midnight, depending on the store.

Toys"R"Us will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and remain open through 11 p.m. on Black Friday. Hours may vary by store. 

Ulta Beauty
Ulta Beauty will open on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. and remain open until 2 a.m. It will reopen on Black Friday at 6 a.m. Hours may vary by store.

Walmart will open on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. Hours may vary by store. 

Stores Closed on Black Friday

REI will be closed on Black Friday as they promote their #OptOutside campaign, which encourages people to forgo the stores and get outside instead. The campaign has its own Snapchat filter.

REI has partnered with Subaru, which will donate to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals when social media users post photos of themselves and their pets with the hashtags #OptOutside and #MakeaDogsDay. Subaru retailers will be open on Black Friday.

D.C. residents can sign up for free rides from Skeddadle to parks outside the city.

Outdoor Research
Outdoor Research also will be closed as it participates in #OptOutside.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Where to Watch the 2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade]]> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 21:52:48 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NUP_176136_0001.jpg

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is celebrating the big 90! Classics like Charlie Brown and Pillsbury Doughboy, the return of Diary of a Wimpy Kid's Greg, and a brand-new Trolls' balloon are just some stars of the show. Beat the crowds and don't miss any of the new floats and performances from these prime viewing spots along the parade route.

79th St. and Columbus Ave. - Bring the kids to get a sneak peak of the giant balloons on Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m before they parade through Manhattan Thursday morning. You can watch the balloons come to life around the American Museum of Natural History.

77th St. and Central Park West - Beat the crowds and kick off the party bright and early at 9 a.m. from this spot. You won't miss a single thing because this is the starting point for all the excitement.

59th - 75th St. - Spectators usually camp out starting at 6 a.m. to get a front row view of the cascading floats. Meet up with friends beforehand and travel together to avoid the bustling crowd.

Columbus Circle - Watch the floats rock around the big circle onto Central Park South. This circular view is sure to give the tiny tots the best up-close view.

59th - 38th St. and 6th Ave. - These streets provide about 21 more blocks of viewing space and the prime position for late-comers. Make sure you pack snacks and plenty of water to avoid leaving and losing your viewing spot.

Macy's Herald Square - The parade will make its final turn on Herald Square so there is limited to no public viewing space here but you can score 10 percent off a visitor's savings pass at the mezzanine level of Macy's Herald Square and arrange tickets to must-see attractions for after the parade.

Photo Credit: NBCUniversal]]>
<![CDATA[Where to Watch the Macy's Balloon Blow-up Thanksgiving Eve]]> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 19:05:37 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/preparan-desfile-macys-010.JPG

Each year, the giant balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade come to life as parents and children marvel in amazement the night before the spectacle. 

Fifty-foot versions of Grover, Charlie Brown and Mickey Mouse are pumped up with helium and held down by large nets to ensure they don't escape before a big day of festivities. Last year's inflatable guests include Hello Kitty, Angry Bird's Red and the nutty squirrel from Ice Age, Scrat.

If you'd like to see how the magic happens and get a sneak peak at some of the fun balloons, head to the Upper West Side on Wednesday, Nov. 23. The hot-air characters can be viewed at 77th Street and 81st Streets between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

To see the balloons when they're near-fully blown up, it's best to show up closer to 9 p.m.

Leave the car parked, public transportation is the most efficient way to get there. Take the B or the C train to the 81st St./American museum of Natural History station. 

The NYPD has issued the following list of street closures for the balloon inflation: 

Beginning at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 23rd, 81st Street and 77th Street from Central Park West to Columbus Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic. The balloon inflation can be viewed by pedestrians from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. on 81st Street and 77th Street from Central Park West to Columbus Avenue. Pedestrians are advised to enter the viewing area from the West side of Columbus Avenue at 79th Street.

At 1 p.m. the following street will be closed to vehicular traffic:


  • West 79th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues


Additional vehicular traffic closures at 3 p.m. are as follows:


  • West 76th Street between Columbus and Central Park West Avenues
  • West 77th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues
  • West 78th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues
  • West 80th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues
  • West 81st Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues
  • Central Park Transverse Road at Central Park West and West 81 St. (Both Directions)


After 10 p.m., 81st Street and 77th Street from Central Park West to Columbus Avenue as well as Central Park West from 59th Street to 86th Street will be closed to all traffic.

The 2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will hit the streets from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Nov. 24. More than 8,000 participants are expected to stroll through Herald Square, with over 50 million viewers watching from the streets or at home with family. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Virginia Film Festival Opens Thurs. With 'Loving' Screening]]> Thu, 03 Nov 2016 15:15:36 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/virginia+film+festival+sign.jpg

The Virginia Film Festival opens in Charlottesville on Thursday with a screening of the highly anticipated movie "Loving," which tells the story of an interracial couple from Virginia who sparked a historic Supreme Court decision.

Virginia residents Richard and Mildred Loving married in D.C. in 1958, but when they returned to their home state, they found themselves in violation of Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute that banned interracial marriages.

After a court found them guilty, they faced a decision: go to jail or leave Virginia for 25 years. The couple took their case all the way to the Supreme Court, where justices affirmed the Constitutional right to marriage in 1967.

Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga star as the husband and wife who spent nine years fighting to defend their marriage. Actor Colin Firth, one of the film's producers, will participate in a panel discussion following the 7 p.m. screening. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will deliver opening night remarks at the festival at 6 p.m.

"We could not be more proud to share this extraordinary film with the Virginia Film Festival audience," McAuliffe said in a Sept. 30 news release. "'Loving' captures an important moment in the history of the Commonwealth and tells a story that speaks to the triumph of love over division -- a story that resonates in our world today."

The festival began Thursday at 3 p.m. and will screen more than 120 films over the four days. Other prominent movies at the festival include Natalie Portman's Jacqueline Kennedy biopic, "Jackie," and "La La Land," an original musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

Actress Shirley MacLaine, director Werner Herzog and actor Danny McBride are among the special guests visiting Charlottesville this weekend. The festival will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of "Beauty and the Beast" with a screening that features original drawings and animation storyboards, about four months before Disney releases its live-action remake of the film in March.

Tickets are available on the festival's website, at the University of Virginia Arts Box Office or at festival headquarters, and run from $10 to $15. See the complete schedule here.

Photo Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Boyz II Men Will Be First to Perform at MGM Nat'l Harbor]]> Mon, 31 Oct 2016 13:41:48 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-580021938.jpg

Classic R&B group Boyz II Men will become the first music artists to take the stage at the soon-to-open MGM National Harbor, planners announced Monday.

The trio will perform Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. at the new Theater at MGM National Harbor just a week after the resort and casino complex opens its doors.

Boys II Men won't be the only famous names performing there during the venue's inaugural month -- Lionel Richie (Dec. 22), Bruno Mars (Dec. 27) and Duran Duran (Dec. 31; Jan 1) are also on the roster. 

Tickets for Boyz II Men will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. They'll range from $39.50 to $85, plus fees.

Pre-sales for Live Nation and M life Rewards loyalty members will begin Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[6 Family-Friendly Halloween Events in the DC Area]]> Tue, 11 Oct 2016 10:11:52 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/538970_10151846053131037_1888849347_n.jpg

Halloween is all about spooks and scares, but these not-so-scary events are perfect for little ones.

(Looking for more grownup-oriented fun? Check out our guide to 24 Halloween bar crawls, ghost tours, haunted houses and more.)

Air and Scare
Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center 
1430 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, Virginia
Oct. 22, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Kids can get a jumpstart on their trick-or-treating at the Udvar-Hazy Center's Air and Scare event Saturday, Oct. 22. This annual event at the Air and Space Museum's spectacular Chantilly location includes creepy crafts, spooky science experiments and other activities.

Boo at the Zoo
Smithsonian's National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Ave. NW
Oct. 21-23, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Ghosts and ghouls of all ages can enjoy live entertainment, animal demonstrations and more than 40 treat stations at the National Zoo's Boo at the Zoo weekend. From Friday, Oct. 21 to Sunday, Oct. 23, the whole family can dance to music from a Halloween DJ, explore a hay maze, and watch magicians, jugglers and other performers on the zoo's main stage. Craft beer and food tastings will also be available for the grownups. Visitors will have after-hours access to animal houses and exhibits, but the Giant Panda Habitat will be closed, so you'll have to make a separate trip if you want to see Bao Bao and Bei Bei.

Falloween at Market Commons
Market Commons Clarendon, Arlington
Oct. 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

You can bring your kids -- and your dogs -- to Market Commons Clarendon to celebrate the Halloween season on Saturday, Oct. 22. The Howl-o-ween Pet Parade begins at 10 a.m. and wraps up with a costume contest. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Commons will hold its annual Falloween festival, with live entertainment for kids, face painting, a trick-or-treat session and more.

Harbor Halloween
National Harbor, Maryland
Oct. 23, noon-4 p.m.

National Harbor's annual Halloween party offers a variety of kid-friendly activities, including trick-or-treating, a pumpkin-carving contest, and a screening of the Halloween classic "Hocus Pocus." You can even bring your four-legged family members for the Black Dog's Howl-oween Party and Paw-rade. Deck your dog out in a costume and every pet can get a treat.

Eastern Market
7th St. SE between Pennsylvania & North Carolina avenues SE
Oct. 28, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Families can enjoy kid-friendly fun at Hilloween in Eastern Market. This event features food from local restaurants, a costume parade, hayrides, a moon bounce and more. Those with spookier tastes can also try their hands at a Ouija board or visit the haunted house.

Trick or Treating at Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon, Virginia
Oct. 29 & Oct. 31, 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Families can celebrate Halloween with wagon rides, a scavenger hunt and other fall fun at George Washington's colonial estate. The event will also feature a kids' costume parade, Halloween crafts, and of course, candy.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Botanical Garden Glows Orange for Halloween]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:58:48 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Denvers_Botanical_Garden_Glows_Orange_for_Halloween_1200x675_790853187746.jpg Halloween is on display at Denver's botanical garden.]]> <![CDATA[WHAT Cherry Blossoms? DC Is Utterly Gorgeous in Fall, Too]]> Fri, 14 Oct 2016 12:15:45 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1543450711.jpg Cherry Blossom season isn't the only game in town -- autumn in D.C. can be downright stunning. Take a peek at previous years' images to see what we've got to look forward to when it comes to the sights at the monuments and other notable spots around town.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Getty Images / Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[These DC Restaurants Made the District's 1st Michelin Guide]]> Thu, 13 Oct 2016 16:24:03 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/jose_andres1.jpg

Three D.C. restaurants received two-star ratings in the District's first-ever Michelin Guide, released Thursday.

The Michelin Guide recognizes the best restaurants and hotels in cities in 28 countries, giving top restaurants a rating of one to three stars. Jose Andres' Minibar (855 E St. NW), Aaron Silverman's Pineapples & Pearls (715 8th St. SE), and Patrick O'Connor's The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia were each awarded two stars.

The chefs and restaurant owners took to Twitter Thursday to celebrate the honor.

Michelin's International Director Michael Ellis said in a press release Thursday that Washington's culinary offerings have significantly developed over the past five years. These changes to D.C.'s restaurant scene "have made its local cuisine among the most dynamic in the world," the release reads. 

After Bon Appetit named D.C. its Restaurant City of the Year in August, receiving a Michelin Guide is the latest testament to what the city's culinary scene has to offer.

"We've been looking at the D.C. area for quite a while now, and we noticed a real evolution, a real dynamic, going on in the cooking scene," Ellis told News4's Eun Yang on Wednesday. "We thought the timing was good, so we started last year, and we came up with what we think is a very good selection."

Nine other restaurants received one star: Aaron Silverman's Rose's Luxury, Jeremiah Langhorne's The Dabney, The Blue Duck Tavern, Kinship, Plume, Tail Up Goat, Masseria, Fiola and Sushi Taro. Almost 80 percent of restaurants that appear in the guide did not receive a star rating, but that doesn’t mean they aren't great, Ellis said Wednesday.

"Just the fact that a restaurant is in the Michelin Guide is already a sign of very good food," he said.

Anonymous inspectors rate restaurants on quality of ingredients, mastery of cooking technique, harmony and balance of flavors, regularity over time and throughout the menu and value for your money, Ellis said. The inspectors always pay their bills to ensure their independence, he added.

Michelin also named 19 District restaurants to its Bib Gourmand list of high-quality but affordable options earlier this month. 

The full 2017 Washington Guide is available on the Michelin Restaurants U.S. app and in bookstores for $12.95. 

<![CDATA[Bruno Mars to Perform at MGM National Harbor]]> Tue, 11 Oct 2016 09:48:04 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Bruno+Mars3.jpg

Have you been playing “Uptown Funk” on repeat since it was released in 2014? Always wanted to get up and dance to “The Lazy Song” live?

Here’s what you need to know if you want to see Bruno Mars perform at the new MGM National Harbor:

  • The show will be on Dec. 27 at The Theater, a 3,000-seat venue at the MGM National Harbor resort and casino.
  • The MGM National Harbor will officially open on Dec. 8 and is located at 7100 Oxon Hill Road in Oxon Hill, Md.
  • Tickets will go on sale on Friday, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m.
  • Tickets will range in price from $150-$395, not including service charges.
  • Fans will be able to purchase as many as eight tickets per person.
  • Members of the MGM’s M life Rewards loyalty program will have presale access to tickets starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11.
  • The show is part of a “long-term partnership” between Mars and MGM Resorts International, the company said. Mars also will host a show at the new MGM Park Theater in Las Vegas.

Photo Credit: MGM International ]]>
<![CDATA[25 Halloween Events: Bar Crawls, Ghost Tours, Haunted Houses]]> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:27:48 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_316606412.jpg

Whether you prefer horrifying haunts or a boo-zy bar crawl, the D.C. area has something for you. Check out these events in and around the District.

(Looking for more kid-oriented fun? Check out our guide to& 6 family-friendly Halloween events in the D.C. area.)


Madhaunter's Madhouse
Workhouse Prison, 9518 Workhouse Road, Lorton, Virginia
Oct. 14-15, 21-22, 28-29, 30-31

Prepare to get spooked at this haunted house, located inside a former prison in Lorton. Although the Lorton Workhouse is now an arts center, it's been transformed into a creepy attraction for weekends this October. The tour is recommended for ages 13 and up. Attendees should wear sneakers and dress appropriately as the event takes place both indoors and outdoors. Tickets are $20.

Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion
Doswell, Virginia
Select dates through Oct. 30

The Halloween Haunt at King's Dominion offers nine mazes, six scare zones and five spooky shows. New this year is Blackout, a maze that is 99 percent dark... so you'll never see what's coming next. In addition, visitors can watch each night as the Overlord unleashes his minions to terrorize unsuspecting guests in "Overlord's Resurrection." Many of the park's rides will also be available for guests seeking a different type of thrill.

Fright Fest at Six Flags America
Upper Malboro, Maryland
Select days through Oct. 31

With thrilling rides, haunted houses and live performances, Six Flag America's annual Fright Fest promises scares that are not for the faint of heart. New this year are shows featuring mystifying magic, music and dancing, and epic terror. Some programs include "bloody" violence and graphic images, so viewer discretion is advised. 

Scream City DC
RFK Stadium, 2400 E. Capitol St. SE
Select dates through Nov. 5
Special midnight madness Oct. 15 and Oct. 22

If you're interested in "the most horrifying attraction in the D.C. area," you might want to brave Scream City DC at RFK Stadium. Scream City features two haunted houses -- "Exorcism Estate" and "Slaughter Factory" -- that are completely indoors and NOT recommended for children or the faint of heart. Leave kids under 13 at home, as Scream City may be too intense for them.

Ticket prices vary from $30 to $40. Parking will cost $10, but RFK is also located blocks from the Stadium Armory Metro station.

Field of Screams
Olney, Maryland
Select dates through Nov.


Ocean City Screams
Ocean City, Maryland
Select dates through Oct. 31

The makers of Scream City also host events at other locations in Maryland. With four haunted attractions, Field of Screams in Olney bills itself as the "number one scream park" in the DMV. New this year, Ocean City Screams hopes to bring horror to the Eastern Shore with an old cargo ship turned state-of-the-art haunted house.

Fear Forest
Select dates through Oct. 31
Harrisonburg Virginia

Visitors to this Harrisonburg, Virginia location can take a trip into the Fear Forest, or fight off zombies as they attempt to escape a pulse-pounding corn maze. Tickets are $13 for one attraction, or $18 for admission for both. Because of sudden scares, loud noises, simulated violence and extreme darkness, Fear Forest is not recommended for children under 12 or the faint of heart.


Nightmare on M Street
Oct. 29, noon-7:30 p.m.
Dupont Circle

The 18th annual Nightmare on M Street bar crawl promises to be "an evening of treats and terror." More than 15 Dupont bars, including James Hoban's and Sign of the Whale, will be offering cover-free admission and seven hours of specials, including $3 Coors Lights, $4 Redd's Apple Ales and $5 Three Olives Vodkas.

DC Halloween Crawl
Oct. 29, noon to 7:30 p.m.
Dupont Circle

Bar hop through Dupont on Sat. Oct. 29 in this Halloween-themed bar crawl. More than 15 bars -- including The Front Page, Mad Hatter and Irish Whiskey Public House -- will be offering food and drink specials from noon to 7 p.m. Bust out your scariest or most creative costume, because the most festively dressed attendees will win prizes. Tickets are $20, but go up to $30 the week of the event. They'll be $40 at the door.

Bethesda Bar Crawl
Bethesda, Maryland
Oct. 28 and 29, 7 p.m.

You can also "trick or treat like a grown up" during Bethesda's two-night bar crawl event. For $20, witches and wizards can enjoy happy hour appetizers and drink specials at five Bethesda bars until 2 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 28 or Saturday, Oct. 29. Tickets also include entry to the Monster Bash after-party and Uber discounts for a safe ride home.

Night of the Living Zoo
Smithsonian's National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW
Oct. 28, 6:30-10 p.m.

Grownups can partake in some fun at the National Zoo's Night of the Living Zoo on Friday, Oct. 28. The party starts at 6:30 p.m. and will include live music, dancing, craft beer and food from D.C. food trucks. You have to be at least 21 to attend this "wicked night of fun." (Sorry, kids -- but hey, there's Boo at the Zoo just for you, Oct. 21-23).


17th Street High Heel Race
1519 17th St. NW
Oct. 25

Every year, D.C. drag queens show off their elaborate costumes and race down 17th street in this Dupont tradition, coming up this year on Tuesday, Oct. 25. The costume parade starts at 7 p.m., and the race (which, be warned, doesn't last long) begins at 9 p.m., but you might want to arrive early, as this event always draws a crowd.

Vienna's Annual Halloween Parade
Maple Avenue, Vienna, Virginia
Oct. 26, 7 p.m.

The town of Vienna will be holding its annual Halloween parade on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Kids can walk in the parade to show off their costumes, and the Town Council will recognize the best floats, performers and classic cars at its Nov. 7 meeting.

Alsatia Mummers Parade
141 West Washington St., Hagerstown, Maryland
Oct. 29, 6 p.m.

Hagerstown's 91st Alsatia Mummers Parade features floats, local marching bands, classic cars and of course, costumes. The parade will take place rain or shine.


"Ghostbusters" Screening
Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE
Oct. 7

Already feeling festive? Enjoy a drive-in screening of "Ghostbusters" Oct. 7 at Union Market. The movie will start at 8 p.m. It's free, but parking will cost $10.

Angelika Pop-Up's Hitchcocktober
Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27 and 31, 7 p.m.
Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE

The Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market is hosting Hitchcocktober, which will feature classic Hitchcock films throughout the month. Go get terrified by "The Birds" or "Dial M for Murder," and finish Halloween night with "Psycho"!

"Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the E Street Cinema
Landmark E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW
Oct. 14-15, midnight


Dress up as your favorite Rocky character and enjoy this iconic movie at Landmark E Street Cinema. The show will be held (as tradition requires) at midnight, on the weekend of Oct. 14-15.


Alexandria's Original Ghost and Graveyard Tour
Select dates, year-round
Ramsay House Visitors Center, 221 King St., Alexandria

This tour through historic Old Town Alexandria is led by guides dressed in 18th-century garb. They'll tell you tales of vengeful ghosts, romance, unsolved mysteries and local folklore. The tour is appropriate for ages 9 and up.

White House Ghost Tour Pub Crawl
Various dates in October; 8:30-11 p.m.
Downtown D.C.

For those who are 21+, take a private White House ghost tour and pub crawl. Your costumed guide will meet you downtown and lead you towards the White House, all the way telling you about ghost sightings, unexplained mysteries and historical events. You will visit up to 4 historically-haunted pubs and can even visit Rum Row and hear stories of Prohibition. Tickets are $28 per person and must be reserved in advance. The whole tour is approximately two and a half hours. Beverages must be bought at your own expense.

Alexandria Ghost Tour Pub Crawl
Various dates in October; 8:30 p.m.
Chadwick's, 203 Strand St., Alexandria Waterfront

Visit Alexandria in the evening to be privately guided along the waterfront and hear about the haunted history of Old Town Alexandria. During the tour, you'll visit up to four haunted pubs as well as the Carlyle house, one of the oldest mansions in town. Tickets are $25 per person and must be reserved in advance. The whole tour is approximately two hours. The cost of beverages is not included in the ticket price.

Ghosts of LaFayette Park
Nightly at 8 p.m.
Tours leave from the Dolley Madison House, 1520 H St. NW

On this tour, you'll be led through D.C.'s Lafayette Park, also called "Tragedy Square" for its bloody and spooky history. Tickets are $17 for adults and $10 for children. Children younger than 6 get in free. The tour is approximately 90 minutes.

Capitol Hill Haunts
Nightly at 9 p.m. 
Tours leave from the corner of 3rd Street and Pennsylvania Ave. SE

On this tour, you'll learn that some of D.C.'s most famous sites are also some of its most haunted. Hear all about ghosts of former lawmakers and presidents. Learn the hidden haunted history of the Supreme Court Building, the Library of Congress, and the US Capitol. Tours are offered nightly at 9 p.m. Tickets are $17 for adults and $10 for children. Children younger than 6 get in free. The tour is approximately 90 minutes.

Soul Strolls
Oct. 21, 22, 28 and 29
Historic Congressional Cemetery, 1801 E St. SE

Tour the Congressional Cemetery in this exclusive event. Offered only four nights, this tour will bring you through this historical cemetery to hear just what its residents, from members of Congress to suffragists, have to say. Tours are an hour long; beer, wine and cider will be for sale. Tour-goers are encouraged to bring flashlights and to wear sturdy shoes, as they will be going off the beaten path. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger.

Scary DC

Throughout the Halloween season, Scary DC offers both public and private tours through various places in the District sure to spook you. Tour Capitol Hill, Lafayette Square or go on a haunted pub crawl. Go through the haunted history of D.C. with an animated tour guide. Tours are appropriate for all ages. Each tour costs $25 per person, with student discounts at $15.

National Building Museum Ghost Tours
Select dates, Sept. 24-Oct. 31
National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW

Did you know that the National Building Museum, home to many historical artifacts, has some... unexplained secrets? Tour the haunted building with the lights out to hear more during exclusive tours offered throughout October. Tickets are required and tours are recommended for ages 10 and up.

Ghost Story Tour: Haunted Lafayette Square
Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 7-29
Tours leave from 16th and H streets NW, next to St. John's Church

Tour one of D.C.'s most haunted sites, Lafayette Square, and hear all about the ghosts that allegedly plague it. You can meet your tour guide Fridays or Saturdays in October at 7:15 p.m. next to St. John's Church to purchase tickets, or get them online in advance. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7.50 for children younger than 16.

The Most Haunted Houses Tour
Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31
Tours leave from 1799 New York Ave. NW

Visit D.C.'s most haunted houses in this walking tour, which brings participants to the homes around Lafayette Park as they relive the night of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, hear about Navy hero Stephen Decatur and visit what many to consider the most haunted home in all of Washington, the Octagon. Tours are offered every Friday and Saturday; tickets are $20.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Haunted House Proceeds Help People With Disabilities]]> Wed, 12 Oct 2016 12:06:46 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/101216+shocktober.jpg You can get a Halloween scare and do good at the same time. A mansion on the grounds of Paxton Campus, the Northern Virginia organization that helps people with disabilities, has been transformed into the Shocktober haunted house. All proceeds go to help the group, representatives and a student told News4's Barbara Harrison.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Find Your Fun: DC-Area Fall Festivals]]> Thu, 08 Sep 2016 11:15:08 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_159550214.jpg

Beach season may be over, but as the crisp autumn air approaches, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy all the food, drinks and art that the season has to offer. These D.C.-area events will make saying goodbye to summer a little less painful.

Adams Morgan Day
Sept. 11, noon-6 p.m.

Experience all that the quirky neighborhood of Adams Morgan has to offer with food, music and vendors along 18th Street. Free admission.

H Street Festival
Sept. 17, noon-7 p.m.

Celebrate the H Street neighborhood and support local businesses with food, music, crafts and performances along H Street from 4th to 14th Streets. Free admission. Past events have featured everything from tattoo contests to dog beaches.

Snallygaster DC
Sept. 17, 1-6 p.m.

Named after a terrifying mythical beast, the Snallygaster beer festival features more than 300 craft brews and ciders, along with food trucks and live music at the Yards Park in Southeast D.C.

Bluegrass on the Farm
Sept. 17, gates open at 11:30 a.m.

Groove with featured performers Danny Paisley and Southern Grass or Tom Mindte and the Patuxent Partners, or bring your own instruments to the Agricultural History Farm Park in Montgomery County and jam with fellow bluegrass enthusiasts.

District Oktoberfest
Sept. 17-18, noon-8 p.m.

Celebrate the rambunctious German holiday at six different venues in Chinatown. Tickets will get revelers a 12-ounce beer at each location and specials on food and additional drinks.

FiestaDC Latino Festival
Sept. 18, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Live performances, vendors, dancing and a parade are all part of this celebration of Latino culture. The festival, which has been going strong for more than 40 years, will be held on Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 3rd and 7th streets. Free admission.

D.C. Fashion Week
Sept. 21-25, multiple events

Looking for some wardrobe inspiration? Attend one of many stylish events during a week of entertainment and industry for District and international trendsetters alike. Some events free.

Library of Congress National Book Festival
Sept. 24, 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Bookworms can attend panels and talks on a range of literary topics by authors including notable horror author Stephen King. King's talk, which will be held at 11 a.m., is free, though attendees must request a ticket in advance. Free admission.

DC Vegfest
Sept. 24, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Veggie lovers can explore booths by more than 130 vendors with free samples, cooking demonstrations and live music at the Yards Park SE. The first 1000 attendees will receive a free tote bag with samples and coupons. Free admission.

Turkish Festival
Sept. 25, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Travel across the globe and experience authentic Turkish food, live music and dancing along Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 12th and 14th streets. Free admission.

Taste of Georgetown
Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Sample the signature dishes of 35 restaurants, listen to live jazz and enjoy the scenic Georgetown waterfront along K Street NW between Wisconsin Avenue and Thomas Jefferson Street at this longstanding foodie festival.

Taste of Bethesda
Oct. 1, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Samples from 60 different vendors and five entertainment stages will be sure to please food aficionados looking for a new favorite restaurant. The scrumptious event will be held in Bethesda's Woodmont Triangle.

Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour at Mount Vernon
Oct. 7, 8 and 9 from 6-9 p.m.

Savor live blues music, views of the Potomac River and fine wine at the historic homestead of George Washington. Attendees will also have a chance to meet "George" and "Martha."

Taste of DC
Oct. 8, 1-8 p.m.; Oct. 9, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Eat, drink and be merry at this District-wide celebration of all things culinary. More than half a mile will be devoted to sampling the best of D.C. restaurants. The entrance to the festival will be at 7th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

All Things Go Fall Classic
Oct. 8; doors open at 11:30 a.m.

Head to the gorgeous Yards Park (355 Water St. SE) for a massive outdoor music festival featuring Empire of the Sun, Passion Pit, Sylvan Esso and more. Tickets are $75 in advance, $99 the day of the show, and $150 for VIP passes.

Bethesda Row Arts Festival
Oct. 15, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Oct. 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

More than 190 artists will display a variety of eye-catching work from sculptures to fibers to drawings. Art lovers can catch the festival on Bethesda Row at Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda Avenue and Elm Street. Free admission.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Saturdays and Sundays through the weekend of Oct. 22-23

Go back in time to a village in the woods for jousting, jugglers and plenty of special events, including a Celtic celebration, pirate weekend and more. Snack on everything yummy, from hot apple dumplings to fish and chips to crab cake sandwiches, and shop among dozens of vendors.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / mervas]]>
<![CDATA[Fingers Crossed! Nats Release NLCS Game Schedule]]> Thu, 13 Oct 2016 15:15:31 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-613201390-%281%29.jpg

Are the Nats headed to the NLCS? We won't know until Thursday night's game ends, but they've already released the game schedule for the NLCS. 

If the Nats make it, here's what the schedule will look like:


  • Game 1: Saturday, Oct. 15, 8:08 p.m. -- away
  • Game 2: Sunday, Oct. 16, 8:08 p.m. -- away
  • Game 3: Tuesday, Oct. 18, 8:08 p.m. -- at Nationals Park 
  • Game 4: Wednesday, Oct. 19, 8:08 p.m. -- at Nationals Park 
  • Game 5 (if necessary): Thursday, Oct. 20, 8:08 p.m. -- at Nationals Park 
  • Game 6 (if necessary): Saturday, Oct. 22, time TBD -- away
  • Game 7 (if necessary): Sunday, Oct. 23, time TBD -- away
Find postseason ticket information on the Nats' site here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Free Fall Outdoor Movies in the DMV]]> Wed, 31 Aug 2016 09:48:49 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NoMa-125edited.jpg

September is almost here, but there are still quite a few free outdoor film series around town.

Scroll on for everything you need to know about where and when you can spend an evening in front of the big screen. 

NOTE: Film schedules are subject to change due to weather and such things. Please check with each movie series' official website to verify dates and times before you head out.


Congressional Cemetery Cinematery --1801 E St. SE; $10 suggested donation 

Sept. 16: "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"

Mitchell Park Films in the Field, S & 23rd streets NW 

Sept. 9: "Ghostbusters" (7 p.m.)

Union Market DC Drive-In, Union Market, 1309 5th St NE. Movies start at 8 p.m. Drive-in parking is $10, and ground seating is free.  

Sept. 2: "Grease"

Oct. 7: "Ghostbusters"

U Street Movie Series: Harrison Field Under the Stars, Harrison Field, 1330 V St. NW

Sept. 17: "Finding Nemo"

Sept. 21: "The War Room"


Silver Spring: Silver Screens on Veterans Plaza, 1 Veterans Place, Ellsworth and Fenton Street. Movies begin at 8 p.m.

Sept. 9: "Paris Blues"

National Harbor Movies on the Potomac -- National Harbor Plaza, 137 National Plaza, Fort Washington. Thursday movies begin at 7 p.m. and Sunday movies begin at 6 p.m.

Sept. 1: "Casino Royale"

Sept. 4: "Tomorrowland"

Sept. 8: "Men in Black"

Sept. 11: "Wreck it Ralph"

Sept. 15: "Ocean's 11"

Sept. 18: "Zootopia"

Sept. 22: "Meet the Parents"

Sept. 25: TBD by online poll

Sept. 29: "Ocean's 12"

Summer Movies at The Wine Bin -- 8390 Main St., Ellicott City. Movies begin at 9 p.m. in May, June, July and August, and at 8 p.m. in September.

Sept. 3: "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"

Sept. 10: "Cinema Paradiso"

Sept. 17: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

Oct. 29: "Wizard of Oz"


Cinema Del Ray -- Mount Vernon Recreation Center Fields, 2017 Belle View Blvd., Alexandria. Movies begin at sunset.

Sept. 17: "Kung Fu Panda 3"

Northern Virginia Community College: Manassas Campus, 6901 Sudley Road, Manassas. $3 admission.

Sept 24: Finding Nemo

Oct. 8: The Jungle Book 2016

Movies at Arlington Mill -- 909 S Dinwiddie St., Arlington. Movies begin at sunset.

Sept. 1: "The Peanuts Movie"

Sept. 8: "Brooklyn"

Sept. 15: "He Named Me Malala"

Movies at Penrose Square -- 2501 9th Road S., Arlington. Movies begin at sunset.

Sept. 3: "Spotlight"

Sept. 10: "That Sugar Film"

Sept. 17: "Water"

Movies Under the Stars -- Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center, 14900 Potomac Town Place, Woodbridge. Movies begin at 7 p.m.

Sept. 3: "Karate Kid"

Sept. 10: "Zootopia"

Photo Credit: Shivan Sarna]]>
<![CDATA[10 Things You Must See at National Mall's Newest Museum]]> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 14:54:30 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-605696714.jpg With about 85,000 square feet of exhibition space, there's a lot of ground to cover in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture and you may not be able to see it all in one trip. Here are 10 things you must see when you visit the National Mall's newest museum.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lottery Opens for White House Christmas Tree Lighting]]> Fri, 07 Oct 2016 11:36:34 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP152860547728.jpg

Sure, it's only October, but the lottery opens Friday for the 94th annual Christmas Tree Lighting celebration at the White House.

James Taylor, Chance the Rapper, Kelly Clarkson and gospel singer Yolanda Adams will perform at the holiday party to light the National Christmas Tree on the White House Ellipse on Dec. 1.

Free tickets will be awarded through an online lottery, which opened at 10 a.m. Friday and closes at 10 a.m. Monday.

Winners will be notified Oct. 27. To enter the lottery, visit the National Christmas Tree Lighting website.

If you can't get tickets to the show, you can still catch it on TV -- the Hallmark Channel will broadcast the lighting Dec. 2.

Reese Witherspoon hosted last year's lighting ceremony, which also featured actress and singer Bellamy Young of ABC's "Scandal;" Crosby, Stills and Nash; Fall Out Boy; Trombone Shorty; Andra Day and Miss Piggy.

The White House Christmas tree lighting has been a tradition dating back to 1923. President Calvin Coolidge was the first president to light a tree on the White House Ellipse, a 48-foot fir tree decked out with 2,500 electric bulbs. The tree switched to LED lights in 2007.

And the tree itself has changed over the years. The tree that had been used as the National Christmas Tree since 1978 was felled by high winds in February 2011. Its replacement was planted a month later and lit for Christmas 2011, but died the following spring due to complications from transplant shock.

The current tree, a Colorado blue spruce, was planted in fall 2012 and has been used for the lighting ever since.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[National Taco Day Deals at DC Restaurants ]]> Tue, 04 Oct 2016 15:06:41 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tacoday.jpg

Taco fans, rejoice! Not only is it Taco Tuesday, but it's also National Taco Day. Celebrate the holiday with these taco deals all around D.C.

District Taco

Various locations

District Taco announced on Instagram that anyone who makes a video of themselves yelling "I love District Taco!" in public and posting it on social media will receive a free taco. Just tag District Taco in your video and show it to the manager at any D.C. location. District Taco just asks that no one yell in the actual restaurant.

ABC Canteen

9528 Lee Highway, Fairfax, Virginia

ABC Canteen announced via Twitter on Tuesday that you can get four tacos for only $8 all day in honor of National Taco Day. Taco lovers can choose from chicken, fried cod, chorizo and more.

Agua 301 Restaurant

301 Water St. SE

Agua 301 Restaurant will be upgrading their happy hour on National Taco Day with $2.50 tacos from 5 p.m. until closing. Their happy hour also regularly offers margaritas, flatbreads, guacamole and other Mexican dishes.

Fuego Cocina y Tequileria

2800 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, Virginia

Fuego Cocina y Tequileria always celebrates Taco Tuesday, meaning you can enjoy two tacos for just $5 not just on National Taco Day, but also every week. Choose from chicken, shrimp, chorizo, veggie and more.

On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina

Fair Oaks Mall, 11947U Fair Oaks Mall-G213, Fairfax, Virginia

This restaurant chain will be offering 50-cent mini-tacos all day in participating restaurants. You can choose from beef, chicken tinga, or veggie. Feel free to order as many mini-tacos as you'd like -- there's no limit!

California Tortilla

Various locations

California Tortilla will be offering buy one, get one free tacos all day long for National Taco Day. They have locations all over D.C., including in Cleveland Park, Verizon Center/Chinatown, Bethesda and more.

Don Tito's

3165 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Virginia

If you're craving late-night tacos, check out Don Tito's in Arlington. This restaurant offers a weekly Taco Tuesday special with half-off tacos on their rooftop lounge in addition to hookah, cocktails and a DJ starting at 9 p.m.

El Chucho DC

3313 11th St. NW

El Chucho might not be celebrating National Taco Day, but they do celebrate Tequila Tuesday. They're offering 20 percent off all tequila and mezcal all night.

Republic Taco

It must just be a coincidence, but Republic Taco launched their breakfast taco delivery service Tuesday via UberEats. Users can now order a breakfast taco to be delivered daily from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. to start their day off.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA['We Are America': New African American History Museum Opens]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 15:54:57 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20160924+Obama+on+Stage+Thumb.jpg

Bells rang out throughout Washington, D.C. Saturday as the Smithsonian's highly anticipated National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., opened after more than 100 years in the making.

Centuries of struggles and strife, decades of planning and pain, and years of hoping for a place that African-American history can call home culminated as President Barack Obama officially dedicated the museum Saturday morning.

The president opened the museum with the ringing of the historic Freedom Bell from the First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, Virginia, which was organized in 1776 by slaves.

Obama said the new national museum will help to tell a richer and fuller story of the country.

"It helps us better understand the lives, yes, of a president, but also the slave. The industrialist, but also the worker. The teacher or the cook, alongside the story of the statesman," he said. "By understanding this story, it binds us together and reaffirms we are all Americans."

He continued his message of the inclusion of African Americans in American history, calling it "an act of patriotism to understand where we've been."

"We're not a burden on America or a stain on America or an object of shame and pity for America. We are America. And that's what this museum explains," Obama said. "Hopefully, this museum makes us talk to each other and listen to each other and see each other."

With thousands of items occupying 85,000 square feet of exhibition space, the new Smithsonian will chronicle the complex relationship between the United States and a people it once enslaved, and tell the story of those who worked to make the necessary changes to bring the country to where it is today.

The dedication featured speeches by Obama, civil rights leader U.S. Rep. John Lewis, former President George W. Bush and the museum's founding director, Lonnie Bunch. It also featured rousing musical tributes with a local flair, including Howard University's "Showtime" marching band and an a capella presentation by a choir from D.C.'s Duke Ellington School for the Arts.

The museum, the 19th and newest of the Smithsonians, opened to the public following the dedication ceremony.

"It's a historic event," said Leslie Howard, who traveled from New Orleans to attend the dedication. "And the fact that we have our first black president to dedicate it shows you how God works."

"We want to make sure we reinforce the commitment to preserve African-American history," said Glen Yonkers, Jr., a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, which was founded at Howard University in Washington. Members marched to the mall for the dedication Saturday.

"Our fraternity was built for African-American men to have a place to share our history and stories," said fraternity brother Jude Collins. "This was the only place to be today."

Seeing the dedication was a family event for many; Alicia Frayer came from Charleston with her husband and three daughters to attend. "I'm inspired by history," she said. "It's a major part of our history, and the fact that our history and culture are here for everyone to see is so important." 

Many celebrities came to the museum's dedication as well, including Oprah Winfrey, who has donated more then $20 million to the museum.

The museum tweeted a video of Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae arriving. Robert De Niro, Angela Bassett, Will Smith and Patti LaBelle were among those presenting during the dedication.

Many of those present shared their personal connection to the museum's story, including D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser spoke before the ceremony, honoring its opening and using the opportunity to call for statehood for the nation's capital, where residents do not have voting representation in Congress. "While we are proud to host this museum ... we know it will show how far Washington has to go," Bowser said.

The museum is offering extended hours for the grand opening weekend, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. to midnight Sunday, but timed entry passes are no longer available. While entry is free, like at other Smithsonian facilities, the museum is instituting a timed pass system to control crowds and alleviate wait times. 

Those who didn't score tickets had the option to watch the museum's dedication ceremony in large-screen viewing areas at the Washington Monument grounds, or livestream the ceremony on the museum's website.

A free three-day festival celebrating the talent and creativity of African-American artists is also taking place on the Washington Monument grounds. The Freedom Sounds festival features jazz, R&B, gospel and hip-hop artists throughout the weekend. The Roots, Living Colour and Public Enemy headlined the festival Saturday night, and a surprise special guest is slated to perform Sunday. 

Anyone heading toward the museum this weekend should be prepared for large crowds and heightened security.

The push for the museum began in 1915 with African-American Civil War veterans looking for a way to commemorate America's black experience. Former President George W. Bush signed the law authorizing the construction in 2003.

Lewis, who co-sponsored legislation authorizing its construction, said the bronze-colored museum "is more than a building, it is a dream come true."

For more information about the museum, check NBC Washington's full coverage here.

Photo Credit: Smithsonian
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<![CDATA[Exhibits Inside New African American History Museum]]> Thu, 15 Sep 2016 15:11:47 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/sept+14+getty++james+brown.jpg With thousands of artifacts, the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture highlights four centuries of black life in America. The museum will open to the public Sept. 24. Take a look at what's in store at the newest museum on the National Mall.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: African-American History Museum Opening]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 18:17:06 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20160924+Children+Embrace.jpg Celebrities, politicians and civil rights leaders joined thousands on the National Mall this weekend for a three-day festival event to celebrate the newest Smithsonian Museum — the National Museum of African American History and Culture. ]]> <![CDATA[African American Museum: 100 Years in the Making]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 15:51:05 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_aahmuseum0920_1920x1080.jpg

The new member of the Smithsonian family, angular and intricate, extends towards the sky, nestled between the Washington Monument and the National Mall.

The minds behind the National Museum of African American History and Culture made deliberate decisions in the structure of the massive building that will be open to the public on Sept. 24.

Exterior ironwork honors African American metalworkers and a covered porch celebrates the tradition of sitting outside and connecting with one another.

But just as elements of the museum’s design represent a rich history of African American perseverance, there is a story behind how the museum made it to the National Mall.

In fact, the idea to create an African American museum was first conceived more than 100 years ago.The path to constructing a museum memorializing the experiences of African Americans has been long and full of setbacks.

In total, the 400,000 square foot museum cost $540 million, took 11 years of fundraising and four years of construction before it became a reality.

Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Free Baltimore Art, Music and Food Festivals in Oct.]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:03:59 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_442357273.jpg

Looking for a quick weekend road trip? Check out one (or all!) of these free Baltimore-area festivals:

Fells Point Fun Festival

Sept. 30-Oct. 2

Celebrate 50 years of fun at the Fells Point neighborhood street festival. Located on Broadway and Thames Street, the fest will feature more than 10 music artists, performing on two different stages as well as food and other local street vendors.

Madonnari Arts Festival

Sept. 30-Oct. 2

Aching for some art? Little Italy in Baltimore has you covered -- at least during its art festival coming to South High and Stiles streets! During this three-day event, professional and student artists will showcase chalk designs painted directly on the street. This year's theme? "The Movement of Change," according to the event's website.

In addition to the art, the event will also include Italian food (of course), wine, music and more in "a celebration of the contemporary renaissance of Baltimore's historic Italian neighborhood."

Baltimore Rhythm Festival

Oct. 1

For the third year, the Baltimore Rhythm Festival will organize free activities for the Baltimore community at the Lovely Lane Church and in the Old Goucher community, located on St. Paul Street between 22nd and 24th streets.

Activities include performances, workshops and a variety of vendors from noon to 6 p.m. Can't shake the beat? A ticketed evening concert will take place at 7:30 p.m., featuring Amadou Kouyate, Bomani Armah and Immaletchufinish, as well as Baltimore's Sankofa Dance Theater.

8th Annual Baltimore Beer Week

Oct. 7-16

Why have the blues when you could have some Baltimore brews? This 10-day festival includes a beer-related range of home-brew competitions, beer and donut pairings as well as an opening tap celebration at the M&T Bank Stadium parking lot on Oct. 8.

Cost varies depending on the event, so check out the event list on their website for more details.

15th Annual Pigtown Festival

Oct. 8

For its 15th year, the annual Pigtown Festival will take to Washington Boulevard for music, beer and, of course, its traditional live pig races.

All Mighty Senators, Kelly Bell Band and Footwerk will be performing live, and beer will come from local Baltimore brewery Oliver Brewing Co. In addition, food, craft and other local vendors will be at the event.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Pavone]]>
<![CDATA[No Pass for African American History Museum? 6 Other Ideas]]> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:14:15 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-598305782-%281%291.jpg

Like other Smithsonians, the new National Museum of African American History and Culture is free to the public -- but the museum is instituting a timed pass system to help get as many visitors in as possible.

Unfortunately, the timed passes for September and October were snapped up within two days

Yes, you could try your luck by waiting in line, or reserve a pass now for November or December. But even if you don't have a pass just yet, there are still fun (and free!) things to do around D.C. during the museum's grand opening weekend.

1. See the museum's dedication ceremony

You can still catch the museum's dedication ceremony on opening day this Saturday even without a ticket. Head to the Washington Monument grounds, where you can see it via large-screen viewing areas.

The ceremony will feature musical performances, plus speeches by special guests such as President Barack Obama, Rep. John Lewis, former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush, and Chief Justice John Roberts.

The museum will also be livestreaming the ceremony through its website. The museum also recommends bringing a blanket to lay out on the grounds of the Monument. 

2. Catch the music of Freedom Sounds

Freedom Sounds, a three-day music festival, will held on the Washington Monument Grounds to celebrate the museum from Friday at noon through Sunday night.

Each day has a theme: Friday is "Homecoming," Saturday is "Celebration," and Sunday is "Call and Response." The festival is free and open to the public.

You'll find musical performances, dance, spoken word, oral history activities, and two evening concerts on Saturday and Sunday. Entertainment will be provided by local, national and international performers, with everything from jazz and R&B to gospel and folk, to classical, Afro-Latin jazz and hip-hop.

Living Colour, Public Enemy and The Roots will headline Saturday night; Experience Unlimited, Meshell Ndegeocello and a special guest will take the stage Sunday.

You'll also find drum circles, storytelling and interactive workshops to celebrate the museum's rich content and stories.

Concessions will include southern barbecue, soul food, Gulf Coast Kitchen Po'Boys, Kenyan curries, Caribbean jerk, and more.

Freedom Sounds Schedule:

  • Friday: noon-5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 1-5 p.m.; headliners 6-9 p.m.
  • Sunday: noon-5 p.m.; headliners 6-9 p.m.

3. Take an online tour

Get a taste of what the museum has to offer with the museum's online preview. Explore thousands of artifacts from the museum's permanent collection online here. You can search by topics, including everything from clothing to education to military to politics.

4. Visit the African American Civil War Museum

Consider visiting another black history museum instead! The African American Civil War Museum (AACW) formed a citywide host committee that has planned events and activities to engage residents and visitors during the week of the National Museum of African American History's official opening. Now through Sunday, the committee and its volunteers will host events by the Martin Luther King, Jr., Library and at the museums.

On Saturday, the new museum's grand opening day, the AACW will be hosting its own watch party and gathering. You can also catch a play and live music in the late afternoon.

The AACW is located at 1925 Vermont Ave. NW. It'll be open Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

5. Author Reading & Workshop at Baltimore's Black History Museum

Baltimore's Reginald F. Lewis Museum is hosting its own event Saturday in celebration of the grand opening of the newest Smithsonian. During the event, parents and kids can join award-winning illustrator Shadra Strickland for storytime of her book, "Bird," a tale about a young boy facing family struggles. A drawing workshop with the artist will follow.

Participants will also receive a free commemorative poster, while supplies last. The event starts at noon and requires a reservation.

The museum is located at 830 E. Pratt St. in Baltimore.

6. Visit the National Book Festival

Head down to the Washington Convention Center for the Library of Congress National Book Festival this Saturday. The event is open to the public and free to everyone.

The festival allows visitors a chance to explore the world's largest library: the Library of Congress. You'll find special exhibits, presentations, panels and speakers including Stephen King, Bob Woodward and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the festival.

You can also pick up free memorabilia such as posters and bags, as well as presigned books on the expo floor.

The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[You Can Now Visit Baby Orangutan at National Zoo]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 08:46:48 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/218*120/thumbnail29363045710_05f6141dce_h-%281%29.jpg For the first time in 25 years, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo welcomed a newborn Bornean orangutan earlier this month -- a baby keepers have named Redd. The zoo's Great Ape House reopened Tuesday morning, so you might be able to get an in-person peek at the new mom and baby.

Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo]]>
<![CDATA[10 Tips for Visiting New Museum of African American History]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:04:52 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-480949896.jpg

The opening of the Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History and Culture is one of the most buzzed-about events in D.C. this year -- but if you've got your heart set on going during the first few busy months, be prepared for crowds.

Here are 10 tips for making the most out of your visit:

1. The museum will offer extended visiting hours the week after opening.

On opening day, Saturday, Sept. 24, the museum will be open for just seven hours, from 1 to 8 p.m. But on Sunday, Sept. 25, it will be open from 7 a.m. to midnight.

Extended hours will continue Monday, Sept. 26 through Friday, Sept. 30, when the museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. It will be open Saturday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday, Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

2. After opening week, regular hours will be from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. After opening weekend, try visiting on a weekday if possible.

3. Admission is free -- but you must have a timed pass, and they're no longer available for September or October. All advance tickets for the first two months were snapped up in just two days.

Your remaining options are:

  • get passes for November and December instead (find them online here).
  • try to score same-day tickets, which will be available starting Monday, Sept. 26 (after opening weekend).

The museum is hoping the passes will help ease extended wait times.

When passes are available, you can get them on the museum's website or via a call center (800-514-3849; Mondays through Saturdays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 8 p.m.).

The passes will have 15-minute entry windows; each will have has a unique code so it can only be used once, the museum's website says. There's no limit on the length of a visit, but officials are warning that it would be tough to see the entire museum in one trip. 

4. Familiarize yourself with the museum's offerings ahead of time so when you get inside, you can make sure to see what's most important to you.

You really won't be able to see everything in one visit -- the Smithsonian says there are 85,000 square feet of exhibition space, nearly 3,000 objects, 12 exhibitions and more on five floors. Learn about the building here, and see items from the permanent collection here.

You can also take a mobile tour, whether you're in the museum or not, by texting the word "lens" to 56512.

5. Don't miss the special opening weekend events!

The dedication ceremony will be held outside the museum on the morning of opening day, Saturday, Sept. 24: 

  • 9 a.m.: gathering and musical prelude
  • 10 a.m.: dedication ceremony begins
  • 1 p.m.: museum opens to the public

The Freedom Sounds Festival will be held on the Washington Monument grounds on the following days:

  • Friday, Sept. 23, noon-5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 24, noon-5 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 25, noon-5 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.

Headliners will include The Roots and Public Enemy; see more here.

6. Try avoiding the Metro stations nearest to the museum (which is located at 1400 Constitution Ave. NW). The Smithsonian and Federal Triangle stops will likely be very crowded.

Instead, try walking from other stations, such as Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Metro Center or McPherson Square. They're nearly as close but might not be as busy. (Note for Northern Virginia residents: Safety Surge #9 will be happening then.)

7. If you'd like to skip Metrorail, consider the Circulator bus, which has a route along the National Mall and will be adding extra service during opening weekend, or try Capital Bikeshare. Find more details here.

8. To get through possible security screenings more quickly, don't bring large day-packs, backpacks or luggage to the museum or its events.

9. The grand opening events will happen rain or shine. But you should prepare ahead of time because umbrellas won't be permitted during the dedication ceremony on Saturday morning. Instead, bring ponchos or raincoats. (However, umbrellas are OK at the Freedom Sounds festival and at the museum itself, officials say.)

10. Here's what's not allowed inside the museum:

  • tripods
  • monopods
  • selfie sticks
  • guns
  • 3D weapons
  • knives
  • pen knives
  • pets
  • food and drinks
  • scissors
  • aerosol cans, including pepper spray and Mace
  • tools
  • smoking
  • placards, signs, or banners

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Natl' Book Festival at Convention Center This Sat.]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 16:18:44 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-84707419.jpg

The Library of Congress National Book Festival is coming up this Saturday, and as usual, there's plenty of famous names on the roster, including Lois Lowry, Shonda Rhimes, Katherine Paterson and Jeffrey Toobin.

Stephen King, whose event is now sold out, will be opening the Main Stage of festival to reflect on his lifelong works.

The event is also family-friendly, with two children's authors stages, as well as various interactive programs throughout the day ranging from readings by local kids' authors to a bookmark coloring station.

You'll also find shopping opportunities (naturally). Politics & Prose, the official bookseller of this year's festival, will be selling selected novels from the festival's authors on the expo floor.

You'll find it all at the Washington Convention Center from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. See the festival's full schedule here.

In order to make the event easier to navigate, the Library of Congress is now offering a free app, available on both Android and iOS. The app includes a full schedule of the day's speakers, book signings, presentations and activities and can be personalized based on the user's preference. Users can also take videos and photos to post directly to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #NatBookFest.

Book lovers who can't attend the festival can also download the app to follow the live feed throughout the day.

The National Book Festival began in 2001 as a way of promoting literacy and books, bringing together both readers and writers for a day-long celebration.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Road Trip! Richmond Folk Fest: Food, Music, Culture]]> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 14:42:46 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/20151010DP-141-Bolivian+Parade-by+Dave+Parrish.JPG

Road trip time! Celebrate the sounds of the season with the Richmond Folk Festival, coming up Oct. 7-9.

The Richmond Folk Festival features more than 30 bands on seven stages. Not only is it three days' worth of music, but it's also free. Along with the nonstop music, the festival will also host dance performances, a Virginia Folklife demonstration area, kids' activities, a folk arts marketplace and regional and ethnic foods.

And then there's the food. If the 32 food vendors don't satisfy you, then the food demos just might. Learn how to make fried dried apple pies, Mexican barbacoa and stuffed grape leaves, and bake bread with Barbara Gillespie, owner of Grateful Bread in Floyd, Virginia. You'll also find craft beer tents placed around the waterfront.

The festival runs:

  • Friday, Oct. 7, 6-10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 8, noon-10 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 9, noon-6 p.m. 

Free parking and shuttles are available from City Stadium. The festival is located at 3201 Maplewood Ave. in Richmond, Virginia, about two and a half hours from downtown D.C.

Photo Credit: Richmond Folk Fest]]>
<![CDATA[By the Numbers: African American History Museum]]> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 15:36:28 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-605691248.jpg

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opens this Saturday. Want to be filled in on the facts and figures?

Here are 10 numbers to know:

400,000 -- The square footage of the building, which is situated on a five-acre space next to the Washington Monument.

230 -- the weight, in tons, of bronze-colored, cast aluminum divided into 3,600 panels that create the signature exterior feature called the Corona.

5 -- The number of floors located above ground. These floors include the Orientation Theater, education space, Center for African American Media Arts, community galleries, culture galleries and more. These is also a below ground-section that includes concourse levels 0-3.

$540 million -- The building's total cost of construction and exhibition installations. This total was funded by both the Smithsonian and by federal funds.

60 -- The percentage of the building's structure that is located below ground. This challenging construction feat marks this museum as one of the largest and most complex in the country. 

12 -- The number of exhibitions that the museum will have during its opening. These inaugural exhibitions are centered around three themes: history, community and culture.

37,000 -- An estimate of how many objects the museum now owns. This number was made possible by donors and institutional support.

3,000 -- The number of artifacts the museum will have on display during its opening. Artifacts include a range of items from pieces of a slave ship to Olympic medals.

350 -- The number of seats in the Oprah Winfrey Theater, which is one of the largest spaces in the museum. This theater aims to act as a forum for performers, leaders and educators to enrich audiences on African American history and culture.

$0 -- The cost of attendance. As with other Smithsonian museums, admission is free, but due to a high level of interest, timed-entry passes will be required.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[County Fairs in the DMV Continue Through Sept.]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 09:51:15 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/county+fairs.jpg

County fairs are a summertime staple -- and in the busy DMV, they continue right into early fall. Escape the city for a day trip to one of the surrounding areas, or celebrate your own county with fried food and carnival rides.

You still have plenty of opportunities to head to the fairgrounds before the season ends.


Allegany County Fair

When: July 16-23

Where: Allegany County Fairgrounds (11490 Moss Ave., Cumberland)

Animals, rides and a demolition derby are on the schedule for the Allegany County Fair this year. Admission is only $1 for anyone who wants to attend.

Anne Arundel County Fair

When: Sept. 14-18

Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds (1493 General's Highway, Crownsville)

Live wood carving, scarecrow making, and tug of war are just three of the many attractions featured at the Anne Arundel County Fair this year. Admission is $16 for those age 16 and older, $5 for kids between 6 and 15, and free for children under age 5. Senior citizens 55 and over, disabled guests, and service members also receive free admission into the fair.

Charles County Fair

When: Sept. 15-18

Where: Charles County Fairgrounds (8400 Fairground Road, La Plata)

Guests at the Charles County Fair can expect a lineup of country and R&B music. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 11 and younger. Season passes are also available for $12.

Howard County Fair

When: Aug. 6-13

Where: Howard County Fairgrounds (2210 Fairgrounds Road, West Friendship)

Howard County Fair features pig races, pony rides and magic shows. A "Kids and Critters" Barn will be open for children to pet and observe furry animals. Tickets go for $5 for adults, free for children under 10 and $2 for seniors 62 and older.

Great Frederick Fair

When: Sept. 16-24

Where: Frederick Fairgrounds (797 East Patrick Street, Frederick)

The Great Frederick Fair will have performances from an array of musicians, including Vince Gill and Foreigner. The fair will also host a crafting contest and an antique vehicle show. Admission $5 for those older than 11; children younger than 11 can enter for free.

St. Mary's County Fair

When: Sept. 22-25

Where: St. Mary's County Fairgrounds (42455 Fairgrounds Road, Leonardtown)

Guests at St. Mary's County Fair can watch the Queen of Tolerance be crowned. There will also be a ton of agricultural competitions and horse pulls. Tickets for adults are $5, tickets for children 6 to 12 are $1, and tickets for children under 6 are free. Season passes are also available.

Washington County Fair

When: July 16-23

Where: Washington County Agricultural Education Center (7313 Sharpsburg Pike, Boonsboro)

The Washing County Fair will have all the typical fair activities -- a carnival, animal exhibits, bull riding and demoltion derby. Admission is free for kids 5 and under and $3 for everyone else.


Arlington County Fair

When: Aug. 17-21

Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Center (3501 Second St., Arlington)

This is the fair to go to if you don't have a car, since it's accessible via several Metrobuses and a shuttle from the Ballston Metro. The fair also offers a bike valet. (And, in fact, there's no space for car parking.) You can learn about the life of a dairy cow, enjoy a show by the Harlem wizards and watch piglets race to the finish line, among plenty of other activities. Submit your photos of the fair to the daily photo contest for a chance to win a prize pack to the 2017 fair. Admission is free.

Fairfax County 4H Fair and Carnival

When: Aug. 4-7

Where: Frying Pan Farm Park (2709 West Ox Road, Herndon)

A classic county fair awaits in Fairfax County with loads of fried food, carnival rides, farm animals and tractor pulls. The folk rock Will Overman Band will perform a concert after the first day of the fair on Thursday night. Admission is free and parking is $7.

Fauquier County Fair

When: July 13-16

Where: Fauquier Fairgrounds (629 Old Auburn Rpad, Warrenton)

The Fauquier County Fair says it's "Shaking It Up" this summer with an entirely new fair schedule. If you're feeling competitive, try the pie-eating contest, the watermelon seed-spitting competition or the cornhole contest. If you're looking for old-fashioned fair fun, head to the barns to see lots of livestock, including cows, miniature horses and rabbits. Neal McCoy, the Country Music Awards Entertainer of the Year, will perform Saturday night. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids.

Loudoun County Fair

When: July 25-30

Where: Loudoun County Fairgrounds (17758 Dry Mill Road, Leesburg)

Enjoy a livestock obstacle course, an Oreo-stacking contest and a rabbit hopping competition at the Loudoun County Fair. The fair will offer discounted tickets on several days. On Tuesday, first responders can enter for free; on Wednesday, kids are admitted for $1 until 4 p.m.; on Thursday, anyone 65 or older can enter for free until 4 p.m., and on Friday, a family of four or more can enter for $5 each until 4 p.m. Regular admission is $13 for adults and $5 for kids. 

Prince William County Fair

When: Aug. 12-20

Where: Prince William County Fairgrounds (10624 Dumfries Road, Manassas)

Tons of events and activities make the Prince William County Fair the largest in the state. Check out the cutest baby contest, marvel at statues carved with a chainsaw and take the chance to touch a sting ray. Each day of the fair features tons of daytime activities followed by a concert most evenings. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for children if you buy them in advance through July 31.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Small Artifacts, Big Stories at the African American Museum ]]> Fri, 16 Sep 2016 11:57:52 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/sept+14+getty+black+power.jpg

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is a moving display of the African American experience, but the wealth of information can, at times, be overwhelming.

The museum contains about 85,000 square feet of exhibition space on five floors, and there are nearly 3,000 objects.

While larger items like a prison tower from Louisiana's Angola prison or the Tuskegee Airmen's Stearman Kaydet are hard to miss, some of the museum's smaller artifacts can be overlooked.

Here are the stories behind some of the museum's smallest artifacts.

Harry and Harriette Moore
Location: Concourse 2  Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: Era of Segregation 1876–1968

Mounted in a shadow box on the museum's second floor are a wallet, locket and two watches that once belonged to Harry and Harriette Moore. But you would never guess by looking at them that these small, personal items survived the unimaginable.

On Christmas Day in 1951, the Moores were killed when a bomb beneath their bedroom exploded.

Harry Moore was the founder of the Bevard County, Florida, chapter of the NAACP, and in 1937, he filed the first lawsuit seeking the equal salaries between black and white teachers in the deep South.

He lost the case, but according to the NAACP, fighting for equal rights became Moore's "driving obsession." In the years before his death, Harry Moore worked tirelessly to protest "unequal salaries, segregated schools and the disenfranchisement of black voters," the NAACP says.

Harry Moore also became very involved following the 1951 shooting of two handcuffed African Americans who were in the custody of a Lake County sheriff.

He began calling for the sheriff's suspension and indictment, and six weeks later, Moore and his wife were killed. The couple's children survived the blast. 

The murder of the Moores remains unsolved. 

Ashley's Sack
Location: Concouse 1  Slavery and Freedom

Rose gave her 9-year-old daughter, Ashley, this sack when she was sold in South Carolina. Inside, there was a tattered dress, three handfuls of pecans and a braid of Rose's hair.

In 1921, Ashley's granddaughter, Ruth Middleton, embroidered her grandmother's story onto the tattered sack. 

"Told her it be filled with my love always. She never saw her again," the delicate embroidery reads. 

The sack is from the Middleton Place Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina, according to the museum. 

The Osnaburg cloth sack is made of the same material used to make slave clothing, according to the Associated Press.

Shards of Glass from 16th Street Baptist Church

Location: Concourse 2  Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: Era of Segregation 1876–1968

After four black girls were killed in the bombing at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, two white civil rights activists carefully collected the shards of stained glass left behind by the blast.

Fifty-three years later, a shotgun shell, a stained glass rosette and 10 shards of green, pink and ivory glass call the National Museum of African American History and Culture home.

The deaths of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley became a landmark moment in the civil rights struggle. The young girls were in a bathroom in the church's basement when the bomb exploded the morning of Sept. 15, 1963, according to History.com.

Two young men, both black, were shot to death in Birmingham in the chaos that followed.

Birmingham was strictly segregated at the time of the bombing, which occurred as city schools were being racially integrated for the first time. The all-black 16th Street Baptist was a gathering spot for civil rights demonstrations for months before the blast.

The bombing became a powerful symbol of the depth of racial hatred in the South and helped build momentum for later laws, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Calls for the perpetrators of the bombing to be prosecuted went unanswered for more than a decade. The investigation was reopened four times over 20 years, and three members of the Ku Klux Klan were eventually convicted. 

A fourth man died before he could be brought to trial. 

The Negro Motorist Green-Book

Location: Concourse level – Sweet Home Café

Artifacts are not exclusive to the museum's exhibition halls. A bevy of artifacts are posted along the walls of the museum's cafeteria, the Sweet Home Café. 

One of the featured items is a 1940 edition of "The Negro Motorist Green-Book," a travel guide that helped keep African Americans safe on the road.

The Green Book was introduced in 1936 and listed hotels, restaurants and other establishments across the United States that welcomed black customers. The guide was meant to help travelers avoid "difficulties and embarassment" while on the road, according to a a 1956 edition of the book.

"The White traveler has had no difficulty in getting accommodations, but with the Negro it has been different," the book's introduction reads.

At its height, The Green Book sold 15,000 copies per edition, according to PBS.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Bring the Kids: Kid-Friendly Fall Festivals in the DC Area]]> Fri, 09 Sep 2016 05:36:22 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_2217959561.jpg

The air is crisp and perfect for outdoor activities, but finding fall events that will keep your kids entertained can be tough.

That's why we've compiled a list of festivals with plenty of kid-friendly activities. Scroll on for a list of family fun in the D.C. area. 

Howard County Farm City Celebration
Sept. 17-Oct. 2, multiple events

During the Farm City Celebration, Howard County farms encourage city slickers to experience rural life. The wide range of events include farmers markets, hay rides and the Farm City Celebration Weekend at Clark's Elioak Farm. Some events are free.

Children's Honey Harvest Day at Brookside Gardens
Sept. 17, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Buzz around at Brookside Garden’s Honey Harvest Day in Montgomery County,. Kids can watch beekeepers harvest honey and participate in bee themed activities. Free with registration.

Harvest Festival at the Agricultural History Farm Park
Oct. 1, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Celebrate the season with live farm animals, a corn maze, a hay ride, historic farming demonstrations and other harvest activities at the 25th annual Harvest Festival at the Agricultural History Farm Park in Montgomery County.

Calvert County Fair
Sept. 28-Oct. 2

The fun for kids never stops at the Calvert County Fair with carnival rides, youth day activities, fair food and plenty of animals. Some days are free!

Fall for Fairfax KidsFest
Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Oct. 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Stop by the Fairfax County Government Center for two stages of free entertainment, scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, pony rides, a petting zoo and more. The KidsFest is designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children

Kids Euro Festival
Oct. 26-Nov. 6, multiple events

This two-week festival, hosted by the 28 European Union Member States, features performances, concerts, movies and other activities designed to expand kids' global understanding. Free admission.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Romiana Lee]]>