<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Worth the Trip]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcwashington.com/blogs/worth-the-trip http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Wed, 02 Dec 2015 00:14:34 -0500 Wed, 02 Dec 2015 00:14:34 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Winterthur & Longwood Gardens: Holiday Tours]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 18:39:20 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/shutterstock_162579758.jpg

Winterthur, a historic museum, garden and library in Delaware, is kicking off the holiday season with a pair of special exhibitions that spotlight the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany and the rich jewel tones of Tiffany glass.

These exhibitions are included in two all-day tours of Winterthur and Longwood Gardens coming up Dec. 4 and Dec. 12.

The tours begin with the "Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light" exhibits at Winterthur that feature Tiffany's windows, lamps and opalescent flat glassware. The accompanying exhibit "Tiffany: The Color of Luxury" features a look at our country's shifting material culture of elegance and refinement.

Next stop will be at the former home of H.F. Dupont, featuring the dried-flower tree that made with 60 varieties of greenery and blooms.

The tour concludes with an evening tour of Longwood Gardens, where you'll see hundreds of sparkling snowflakes, bright tree forms, and illuminated fountains. Lunch is included at Winterthur; free time is allotted at Longwood Gardens to pick up a bite on your own.


Friday, Dec. 4: 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 12: 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

COST: $170-$210/person
Order online or call 202-633-3030.

Winterthur is located at 5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52) in Winterthur, Delaware, about three hours from downtown D.C.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Christmas on the Potomac at Nat'l Harbor]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 18:55:32 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/shutterstock_244428523.jpg

Start the holidays off right with a stay at the Gaylord National to enjoy the many holiday-themed events they have during the Christmas season. 

Gaylord National's Christmas on the Potomac features two million twinkling lights (yes, you read that right), nightly snowfall and dancing fountains.

Gaylord is also home to the seasonal favorite ICE!, an indoor wonderland carved out of -- you guessed it! -- ice. This year's theme is Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town and includes the new Frostbite Factory, a live ice-carving zone.

You'll also find a gingerbread decorating corner and the kids' favorite, an Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt.


Gaylord National Resort, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Maryland


Accommodation costs vary; activities $16-$35/person


Now through Jan. 3


Enter for a chance to win a two-night stay at Gaylord National Resort.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrate a Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 13:45:50 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_118180813.jpg

What better way to celebrate a Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas better than with a bonfire -- and plenty of hot cider and cookies, of course?

On Friday, Dec. 11 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, an entire community will gather around a roaring fire to celebrate the Christmas season at the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum from 6 to 8 p.m.

Warm up by the fire, and then head to the barn to enjoy hot cider and cookies. The museum will also offer wagon rides and tours of historic buildings. Carolers will be there to welcome the season, accompanied by the Lititz Moravian Trombone Choir.

Landis asks that you bring a non-perishable food item for local shelters to the event.

Cost for bonfire: Free and open to the public.

Location for bonfire: 2451 Kissel Hill Road, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (2.5 hours from downtown D.C)

If you stay in town for the weekend, head over the next day for the Days of the Belsnickel lunch tour (Dec. 12, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.), when you can join a guided tour of the village of Landis Valley, followed by a lunch ($36/person) in the historic 1856 Landis Valley House Hotel.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Smithsonian Holiday Festival: Weekend Fun Around D.C.]]> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 20:46:09 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_204954997.jpg

Celebrate the holidays in the DMV with C3PO (yes, the real one), chocolate tastings, movie screenings, and toy exhibits during the Smithsonian Holiday Festival on the weekend of Dec. 5-6. 

Ten Smithsonian museums around the D.C. area are taking part in this two-day holiday fest, with the main event being held at the National Museum of American History (1400 Constitution Ave, NW).

Go for musical performances, book signings, trunk shows, kids' activities, and our favorite: space food sampling. Because everyone loves the taste of freeze-dried ice cream.

If you're an aviation enthusiast, make your way to the Air and Space Museum on Saturday, Dec. 5 where you can build a biplane ornament and design your own space mission patch.

Most events are free; all are open to the public. See the full calendar of activities planned here.

Festival Highlights:

  • Zoo Lights, Nov. 27-Jan. 2, 5-9 p.m. at the National Zoo

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Free Winter Fun With Georgetown Light Display]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:10:09 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GLOW+2014_Photo+Sam+Kittner+courtesy+Georgetown+BID2.jpg

Georgetown is host to some excellent holiday shopping, as well as a spin on the biggest ice rink in the region -- but you'll also get to enjoy some free winter fun, thanks to the Georgetown GLOW light exhibition.

Artists from the area and from across the world are sharing their light-art exhibits, which will go on display by the C&O Canal, Georgetown waterfront and other nearby areas.

You can see it all Dec. 11-20; the lights will be lit from 6 to 10 p.m. on those nights.

Visitors can also enjoy live music and store deals while they walk by the light displays organized by the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID).

Check out last year's light art above.

Photo Credit: Georgetown BID]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Georgetown GLOW Light Display]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:18:30 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*144/GLOW+2014_Photo+Sam+Kittner+courtesy+Georgetown+BID1.jpg Look no further than Georgetown for free winter fun with the Georgetown GLOW light exhibition by the waterfront and C&O Canal.

Photo Credit: Georgetown BID]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Dancers? Robots? Sure, Artomatic's Got 'Em]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 13:49:21 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_87029822.jpg

What started in 1999 as an art exhibit for a small group of friends in D.C. has grown to a nonprofit festival attracting thousands of art enthusiasts each year. The best part about Artomatic? Anyone can share their art at this non-juried, monthlong arts festival.

The six-week event in Hyattsville, Maryland, features all types of art, from visual to performance, as well as demos that range from building your own robots to drawing nude models. Special events also include fire dancers, live music and short plays. 

Participating artists were all selected on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Throughout the festival, you'll also find professional development workshops, tours, seminars and themed events.

On Thursday nights, a First Responders Happy Hour runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. First responders should show their badges or go in uniform.

About the festival:

When: Now through Dec. 12

  • Wednesdays & Thursdays, 5-10 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to midnight
  • Sundays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: 8100 Corporate Drive, Hyattsville, Maryland

Cost: free admission

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Christmas Walk, Boat Parade of Lights in Alexandria]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 13:54:47 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Boat_Parade_679_CREDIT_R_Kennedy_for_Visit_Alexandria.jpg

With December comes plenty of holiday cheer, and Old Town Alexandria has just the festive weekend coming up to get you in the Christmas spirit.

The Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights returns Saturday, Dec. 5 as a highlight of the annual Scottish Christmas Walk weekend. The annual weekend celebration commemorates the Scottish heritage of Old Town Alexandria.

The festivities kick off at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 4 with the Heather and Greens Sale. A variety of fresh wreaths, garlands and heather bundles will be available for sale, with the proceeds helping the Campagna Center to serve more than 2,000 children and families in Alexandria.

Later in the evening, sample the best beer, wine and food from Scotland at the Taste of Scotland event. Patrons' Hour begins at 6:30 p.m., with doors opening for general admission at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $110 and also benefit the Campagna Center.

Take the opportunity to explore some of Alexandria's historic homes at the Holiday Designer Tour of Homes, starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5. Buy your ticket in advance for a special rate of $35.

Old Town's annual parade also begins at that time. Go to watch the Scottish marching units, dancers and dignitaries wind through the streets before finishing in Market Square with a live concert.

The fun continues at sundown as dozens of decorated boats illuminate Alexandria's harbor at the annual parade of boats. Tommy McFly of 94.7 Fresh FM serves as this year's parade announcer. A panel of judges will award prizes to the most festive boats, including Best in Show, Thinking Outside the Christmas Box and Hardiest Souls.

Even the big man himself is scheduled to make an appearance at the Alexandria City Marina at 4:15 p.m. Santa Claus will arrive by fire boat before heading to the Torpedo Factory Art Center to meet children until 7 p.m. From 4 p.m. until 9 p.m., the art center's holiday festival will feature live music and gift shopping along with free snacks and drinks.

Check the website for a complete list of information and events, like a holiday marketplace and a visit with Santa.

Photo Credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria]]>
<![CDATA[Bei Bei to Meet His Adoring Public in Jan.]]> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 11:51:25 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/12247798_10153696546512902_1074890636480567760_o.jpg

Hey Bei Bei, hey Bei Bei, hey! The National Zoo's giant panda cub, Bei Bei, will make his public debut Jan. 16, the zoo announced Tuesday.

Bei Bei will be nearly five months old by then. Since his birth Aug. 22, he's lived indoors with his devoted mama, Mei Xiang. Although she's been taking him out of the den since he was about a month and a half old, they have been shielded from the public.

Now the excitement is only going to grow. Massive crowds converged at the zoo when Bei Bei's older siblings, Tai Shan and Bao Bao, made their debuts, and the same result is likely in January. If you go, plan to visit early in the day when crowds are lighter, and consider weekdays instead of weekends.

If you're a member of Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ), you might not have to deal with the crowds. The week before Bei Bei meets the public, the zoo will offer a special preview for FONZ members. More details are coming soon, the zoo promised.

Bei Bei took his first steps just last week, under the watchful eye of his mom -- a milestone caught on video. His accomplishment was rewarded with a congratulatory cuddle from Mei Xiang, who prompty scooped him up.

The zoo said last week they expect Bei Bei to begin wandering around and leaving the den on his own to explore the indoor enclosure.

Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo
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<![CDATA[A Look Inside the D.C. Archives]]> Thu, 12 Nov 2015 21:31:53 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/111215+dc+archives.jpg Some of the treasures of the D.C. Archives in storage in Shaw include the handwritten wills of George Washington and Frederick Douglass. News4's Mark Segraves reports on the plan for a new Archives building and how the items are being preserved in the meantime. ]]> <![CDATA[Live Like a 'Housewife' at These Potomac Spots]]> Thu, 12 Nov 2015 15:18:42 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/111115+real+housewives+potomac.jpg

The latest "Real Housewives" franchise is hitting close to home.

Very, very close.

Thursday, BRAVO announced that the "The Real Housewives of Potomac" will premiere in January. Just like other installments of the franchise, the "Potomac" edition looks to dish up plenty of drama, old money, and painful-looking shoes.

You might be sighing inwardly, but just in case you're looking to live it up, we've got the rundown on "Housewife"-worthy Potomac destinations for when you just need to feel like a "Housewife" (with a capital H).

For the stressed housewife:

Between event planning, picking the kids up from prep school and lunches at the country club, being a housewife sure can be stressful. Luckily, Bella Moda Salon and Spa is right in the heart of Potomac to freshen up with a facial, unwind with a massage and take care of those split ends.

Every housewife knows that nothing compliments new bling like a fresh manicure. AcuSpa is the perfect destination for a fresh coat before meeting girlfriends for lunch.

For the hungry housewife:

Savor award-winning French cuisine at L'Auberge Chez Francois. The seasonal menu will transport you to the French countryside, even if you're not a reality star. Sip on a specialty cocktail while enjoying a delectable six-course prix-fixe dinner menu. Just make sure to save room for the crème brûlée or Grand Marnier Soufflé for dessert.

After a long night of attending galas and charity events, every housewife needs a relaxed brunch. The brunch buffet at Normandie Farm features made-to-order omelets, pancakes and waffles, as well as a raw bar and the restaurant's famous popovers. Reservations are recommended at the Potomac landmark that opened in 1931.

For the sporty housewife:

Gotta burn off all those brunch calories, right? Don a Lululemon hoodie, load up the Range Rover and head to  the Billy Goat hiking trail, which features 7.8 miles of rock-hopping and breathtaking views of the Potomac River. You just may want to stop by the Old Angler's Inn for a bite to eat and a beverage afterward.

When the ladies are killing your vibe and you literally cannot even anymore, bring back the zen with a trip to Village Yoga. Detox the negative energy while getting in housewife-worthy shape.

For the housewife who needs a membership:

Since the area prides itself on being "invitation-only," any visitor will need some connections to gain access to the elite country clubs of Potomac. The prestigious Congressional Country Club is the perfect place for your next grand event. Check your connections, though, because it's rumored that the membership waiting list is a whopping 10 years.

The Tournament Players Club Potomac at Avenel Farm, named one of the Top 10 Courses in Maryland by Golf Digest, recently underwent a historic renovation. Check out the new course that was just chosen to host the Quicken Loans National in 2017.

Have any "Housewife"-worthy spots in the Potomac area you'd like to share? Comment below!

Photo Credit: BRAVO]]>
<![CDATA[Tips for Air Travel With Children]]> Fri, 13 Nov 2015 00:03:05 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/111215+travel+with+kids.jpg Are you planning to fly with your children over the holidays? News4's Adam Tuss has tips from TSA agents on how to make getting through security easier.]]> <![CDATA[Holiday Fun at the Baltimore Waterfront]]> Thu, 05 Nov 2015 14:11:28 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_220036219.jpg

As much as we love turkey, it's never too early to get in the Christmas spirit. Jingle all the way to Baltimore from mid-November through the end of December to celebrate the holidays on the waterfront with these seasonal events.

PANDORA Ice Rink at Baltimore's Inner Harbor:

Skate with the best views in Baltimore at the PANDORA Ice Rink. The holiday rink includes a skate shack, rentals, concessions and entertainment. Keep an eye out for special events like Skatefest, as well as learn-to-skate programs throughout the season. Nov. 13-Jan. 18. Tickets range from $7 to $9, with season passes available.

Christmas Village

Visit West Shore Park as it's transformed into a traditional German Christmas market. Browse more than 40 vendors for traditional European crafts, arts and jewelry that make perfect holiday gifts. Food, sweets and drinks will also be available, as well as special holiday-themed programming each weekend. Nov. 26-Dec. 27. Admission is free weekdays and ranges between $1 and $5 on weekends. Print a coupon here.

National Aquarium's Holiday 4-D Experience: "The Polar Express"

Make all your childhood dreams come true. Hop aboard "The Polar Express" for a 4D trip to the North Pole, and breathe in the aroma of hot cocoa in the National Aquarium's 4D Immersion Theater. Nov. 13-Jan. 3. Movie tickets are $5 extra when purchased with general admission.

Merriment & Melodies in Harbor East

As our favorite elf once said, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." Luckily, every Wednesday in December brings a new musical delight with the Merriment & Melodies Choral Arts Series. Enjoy hot chocolate while marveling at holiday stilt walkers and acrobats. Fit in some holiday shopping with special retail events and extended hours. Dec. 2, 9 & 16. Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m.

Still looking for more? Check out the whole list of waterfront events.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Nom Your Way Through NoVA for Restaurant Week]]> Thu, 05 Nov 2015 14:17:01 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_1674382.jpg

There will be no need to compromise on where to go out to eat from Nov. 9 to Nov. 15. The Taste of NoVA Restaurant Week is back with a special Best Restaurants edition.

Several of Northern Virginia Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2015, featured in the November issue, will participate in the week-long culinary celebration by offering fixed-price menus.

Three-course dinners will range in price from $18-$35 at select eateries, and various restaurants are also offering lunch specials.

Some restaurants will showcase uniquely crafted menus with new items, while others will highlight popular favorites. Be on the lookout for several newcomers to the 50 Best Restaurants list.

Stop by Cork & Table for fresh, seasonal food and a dinner menu featuring items such as puree of organic butternut squash with white truffle oil, and roasted pork tenderloin with sherry mushroom sauce.

You could also take a lunch break at Kapnos Taverna for coastal-inspired Greek dishes with a special that offers three different types of gyros.

Browse through the list of featured restaurants and menus at TasteofNoVA.com. Make a reservation and be sure to mention Taste of NoVA to enjoy some discounted dining. Bon appétit!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Find D.C.-Area Ice Skating Rinks]]> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:15:37 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Sculpture+Garden.jpg

Grab your friends, family or special date and lace up your skates! We've picked out the top ice skating rinks in D.C., Maryland and Virginia for you to explore.

(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, located on the National Mall. The rink's perfect soundtrack will get you pumped to stay even once you get chilly. Open Nov. 14-March 16, weather permitting. Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Rates: $8 adults; $7 kids; $3 skate rentals.

Washington Harbour Ice Rink (3050 K St. NW) -- This Georgetown rink is 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.Opening date delayed due to unseasonably warm weather. Rates for 2015-16 unknown; rates for 2014-15 season were $10 adults; $9 kids; $5 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. Opens for the season Nov. 7, with grand opening celebration Nov. 14. Rates: $9 adults; $8 kids; $4 skate rentals. 


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. Already open for the season. Rates:$9 adults; $8 kids and seniors; $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. Already open for the season. Rates: $13 adults; $12 kids and seniors; price includes 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. From Dec. 7 through New Year's Day, you can enjoy Snow on the Row, when snow falls on the ice rink each night. Already open for the season. Rates: $9 adults; $8 kids and seniors; $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. Opening date delayed due to unseasonably warm weather. 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. Opening Nov. 14; will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays starting Jan. 4. Rates: $8 adults; $7 kids age 10 and younger; $4 skate rentals. Free skate Wednesdays in January from 6 to 8 p.m., not including skate rental.

Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Need a Weekend? We've Got Fall Getaway Ideas]]> Thu, 22 Oct 2015 11:52:11 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_64518730.jpg

Summer vacation feeling like it was a long time ago? We understand. Sounds like it's time for a long weekend. Read on for three road trip ideas you can accomplish in three days or less.

Charleston, South Carolina

Explore Charleston's top must-see spots during a leisurely morning stroll starting at the majestic White Point Garden, historic Battery Row and Rainbow Row, and ending at Waterfront Park.

Stop in for a true Southern-style brunch at Halls Chophouse, home to Low Country favorites like shrimp and grits and crabcake eggs Benedict. If you find yourself there on a Sunday, enjoy the soulful sounds of live gospel singers that welcome guests every weekend. Or begin the day with bottomless mimosas and a satisfying breakfast downtown at neighborhood favorite Toast! Order dhe Deluxe French toast stuffed with peaches or jumbo breakfast sandwich on a homemade buttermilk biscuit -- a true breakfast of champions.

Then journey to America 's oldest landscaped gardens at Middleton Place, a half-hour drive from downtown. Explore Charleston's most scenic 65-acre plantation by foot or horse-drawn carriage, home to a house museum, plantation stable yards and centuries-old camellias and azaleas that bloom in the winter and spring. Or walk off your hearty breakfast by shopping down historic King Street, home to a number of charming boutiques teeming with quintessential southern charm.

Stop in Mira Winery's Napa Valley Education Center just off King Street for a tasting and tour, home to critically acclaimed single vineyard wines from Napa.

Close out your day by having a drink on The Rooftop at The Vendue for the best bird's eye view of the city. (Side note: The Vendue has been chosen as one of the top five small-city hotels in the country by Travel + Leisure.)

Once done with your drink, head downstairs to Drawing Room for an unforgettable dinner featuring dishes that are just as gorgeous as they are delectable. Consider the foie gras with brandied fruit or the fresh catch of the day, such as the roasted grouper with Carolina gold rice.

Or experience a dinner of innovative American cuisine at one of Charleston's newest restaurants, Barony Tavern, opened under the direction of renowned Executive Chef/owner Robert Carter. Enjoy the quail and grits or delectable crawfish-stuffed shrimp in a unique atmosphere reminiscent of old-world aristocratic style.

New York, New York

A quick jaunt north always helps round out fall for those who live in the DMV.  For a quintessential NYC experience, try to get tickets to the hottest musical in town, "Hamilton" (think "Book of Mormon" except with a scandalous Founding Father and hip-hop tracks), but since that's a real budget-buster, consider as well the Off-Broadway production of "Eclipsed" with Academy Award-winning Lupita Nyongo. The real-life story of the women who tried to end the Lilberian conflict in 2003 will move you to tears.

Whatever you decide to do, start your day right by fueling up with brunch at L'Amico Restaurant. A bright shining star in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, sheltered within the homey EVENTI Hotel, the iron-cast, floor-to-ceiling doors flood the calming space with light while you inhale the best pizza in Midtown. L'Amico's white mushroom pie, slathered with generous amounts of truffle paste, fontina, taleggio, sage and, of course, thinly slivered white mushrooms wakes the soul.

Or brunch at the Ritz Carlton Central Park, with its classic views of Central Park, and a gorgeous brunch. If you've got the bucks, indulge your beating Big Apple heart by actually staying at this delightful five-star property and waking up to the sun rising over the city. If you do, be sure to save time for their La Prairie Spa, which features a 90-minute caviar facial.

By this point, you've nearly emptied your wallet, so enjoy several of the free seasonal things to do in NYC. Head over to Tompkins Park for cuteness overload with the Tompkins Square Halloween Dig Parade, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24, or go to the Botanical Gardens for a massive pumpkin carving competition that same day.    

After all this walking, rest your feet for the evening with afternoon cocktails on the Viceroy Hotel's The Roof for a strong jalapeño margarita, as well as a packed-to-the-gills social scene, before going to lower Midtown to enjoy a spectacular feast at JUNI, currently one of the best restaurants in the city. 

This One Michelin Star baby of Chef Shaun Hergatt commands attention with a vibrant fluidity and interesting texture. Each of the seven courses within the selections of herbivore, omnivore and tasting will surprise you with eye-popping twists on traditional classics such as quinoa, lamb and even cheese. Chef Hergatt is the Willy Wonka of food and you should not miss the opportunity to eat at JUNI before it gets too crowded for words.

If you're in town later this fall, close out your night by bursting your stomach with laughter at the New York Comedy Festival, Nov. 10-15. Billy Crystal, Sarah Silvermann, Kathy Griffin and Norm MacDonald are among the headliners.

If you're not sure when you're going to get to New York this fall, there's always a stroll along the Highline. Free and cheap, gorgeous and full of surprises, this elevated park spanning 1.45 miles is soothing and tranquil, a rare feat for NYC. 

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Crazing the start of ski season? Hey, it starts earlier the farther north you go. Make the most of ski season with an early trip to New Hampshire. Amtrak can get you there in one day, for roughly the same cost of a ticket to New York (about $200).

Once you arrive, bundle up and hit the slopes at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire's largest Alpine ski area, with 464 acres of skiing and snowboarding on 62 trails and 35 glades. Tickets can be purchased online and snowmaking starts Nov. 1.

Of course, with many classic ski resorts, they offer "other" winter activities for those who like the snow, but don't like the strenuous activity involved with skiing and snowboarding. Tubing, snowmobiling and sledding are all options.

Then retreat from the slopes at Omni Mount Washington Resort for some quality après-ski living. With its 25,000-square-foot spa and exclusive wine tasting as part of Montage Deer Valley's Wine & World Cup package, the Omni Mount Washington Resort is the nicest resort in Bretton Woods and has the best food to fuel up before hitting the slopes again at night for some night skiing.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Which Stores Are Open -- and When -- on Thanksgiving and Black Friday]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:46:04 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20151030+Black+Friday+Shopping.jpg

Already planning your Black Friday shopping? Here's a list of store hours -- as we know them now:


Macy's: Open 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day

Sears: Open from 6 p.m. Thanksgiving to 2 a.m. Black Friday, then will re-open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Black Friday.

Wal-Mart: Open 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day

Target: Open at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day

Kmart: Open from 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day to 10 p.m. Black Friday.

Best Buy: Open from 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day to 1 a.m. Black Friday, then will re-open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Black Friday. 

Sports Authority: Open from 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day to midnight, then will re-open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Black Friday.


REI: Closed on Thanksgiving AND Black Friday; is instead encouraging employees to get outside on Black Friday.


Costco: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Black Friday

Game Stop: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 5 a.m. Black Friday

Staples: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 6 a.m. Black Friday

DSW: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 7 a.m. Black Friday

A.C. Moore: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 7 a.m. Black Friday

Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) stores: Closed on Thanksgiving, many stores opening at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. Black Friday

Lowe's: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 5 a.m. Black Friday

TJ Maxx: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 7 a.m. Black Friday

Nordstrom: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 8 a.m. Black Friday

Marshalls: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 7 a.m. Black Friday

Home Goods: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 7 a.m. Black Friday

Sam's Club: : Closed on Thanksgiving, open 10 a.m. Black Friday

Home Depot: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 6 a.m. Black Friday

Barnes and Noble: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 8 a.m. Black Friday

Crate and Barrel: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 9 a.m. Black Friday

Burlington Coat Factory: Closed on Thanksgiving, open 8 a.m. Black Friday

<![CDATA[Boo-zy Bar Crawls & Ghastly Ghost Tours in the DMV]]> Wed, 28 Oct 2015 11:40:34 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_309592571.jpg

Halloween is in sight, so finalize your costume, grab your friends and head out for some wicked fun. Check out the spooky bar crawls, ghastly ghost tours and haunted pub events in the D.C. area you won't want to miss.  

Nightmare on M Street

Night owls are invited out on Halloween to roam the streets of D.C. for the Nightmare on M Street bar crawl. Enjoy the spirit of D.C. nightlife as you bar hop between Dupont Circle, U Street corridor and Gallery Place. Nightmare on M Street’s Oct. 31 celebration kicks off with early registration starting at 3 p.m. and invites D.C.’s Halloween revelers to stay late. Event tickets include food and drink specials offered from 3 p.m. until midnight, plus no-cover admission to all participating bars. Start your crawl at one of the check-in options: Gryphon, Sign of the Whale, James Hobans, The Exchange and Sudhouse D.C.

Saturday, Oct. 31; tickets $30 at various registration locations or online.

Ghosts of Lafayette Park

Who would've guessed that the rich history of our nation's capital is haunted by ghosts and ghouls of scandals past? Washington's Lafayette Park didn't receive the nickname "Tragedy Square" for its pristine conditions and clean corridors. A lengthy list of conspiracies, crimes of passion, duels and assassinations have darkened the reputation of the park. Professional tour guides will walk you through a road map of the District's paranormal activity. Meet at 303 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.

Nightly through mid-November; tickets $17 for adults (ages 12+); $10 kids age 7-11; free for kids age 6 & younger.

Capitol Hill Haunts

Along with the Ghosts of Lafayette Park, Washington D.C. Ghost Tours also offers an exclusive look at one of the most historic and (supposedly) haunted sites in the country: Capitol Hill. Ghost stories get political as tour guides recount the tales of the haunted souls surrounding the Lincoln conspiracy trials, the spectres of presidents and the curse (dun dun dun!) surrounding, apparently, everything on the Hill. Uncover the mysteries behind the haunted history of the Supreme Court building, the Library of Congress and the U.S. Capitol. You won’t hear about this from the day-time tour guides. Meet at 303 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.

Nightly through mid-November; tickets $17 for adults (ages 12+); $10 kids age 7-11; free for kids age 6 & younger.

Alexandria's Original Ghost and Graveyard Tour

Eighteenth-century costumed tour guides lead you by the light of a lantern through the quaint streets of Old Town Alexandria. Learn the ghost stories, legends and folklore haunting Alexandria's past -- as well as "unsolved mysteries, tales of romance and angry ghosts looking for revenge," tour organizers promise. Tours leave from the Ramsay House Visitors Center (221 King St., Alexandria).

Nightly through Oct. 31, and Fridays and Saturdays from Nov. 1 to Nov. 28; tickets $13 for adults; $7 for children ages seven to 17.

Nightly Spirits White House Pub Tour

Nightly Spirits' White House Pub Tour is a two-and-a-half hour historic walking tour complete with beverages at each of the three to four stops. A licensed D.C. tour guide dressed in costume will lead you and your party through some of the most historic and haunted pubs and buildings in the District. The tour also comes with a surprise gift for each person during check-in. All tour guests must be 21 or older. Tours leave from the Occidental Grill (1475 Pennsylvania Ave. NW).

Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:30 p.m.; tickets $25.95 for Tuesday-Thursday; $32.95 for Friday-Saturday.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Va. Halloween Light Show Heads 'Downtown']]> Tue, 20 Oct 2015 04:20:45 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Edwards+light+show.jpg

They're at it again! A Leesburg, Virginia, man is putting on a spectacular Halloween light show, but this year, the home's lip-syncing monsters are jamming to Macklemore's "Downtown." 

Just grab your keys and head to 1816 Woods Edge Drive to catch the "Edwards Landing Lights" show. 

Decorated with over 8,500 lights, the house light show is produced by over 2,500 channels of computer animation. The music does not broadcast from the house, but viewers can “hear the lights” by tuning their radios to 98.1FM.

Two years ago, a YouTube video of the light show gained over 7 million views. This is the fifth year Brandon Bullis has put on a Halloween light show, according to The Today Show.

According to the Bullis’ Youtube account, producing the light show is a personal hobby and is not business-affiliated. The electric bill for the display ranges from $25-35 during Halloween season because they used energy efficient LEDs.

The show runs on a continuous loop from 7-9 p.m. through Halloween. 

Photo Credit: EdwardsLandingLights, Youtube.com
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<![CDATA[Your D.C.-Area Fall Fest Roundup]]> Thu, 22 Oct 2015 12:01:06 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/food+trucks+09102015.jpg

Cooler weather and shorter days are looming, but you can still squeeze in plenty of outdoor fun. Check out some great fall-themed festivals to enjoy before the cold really sets in.


Wunder Garten at NoMa (150 M St. NE) -- Venture to this pop-up beer garden from now until mid-November for beer tastings, campfires and the best food truck offerings in D.C. Check out the REI Community Space website for plenty of outdoor fall activities at Wunder Garten, including a Zombie Preparedness class Friday, Oct. 30. Admission is free. 

Second Annual Barktoberfest (335 Water St. SE) -- Drink for the benefit of your furry best friend at this pet-friendly event supporting the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL) on Saturday, Oct. 24. Spend the day enjoying local and national craft beer, live music and food trucks, as well as many fun events for your four-legged companion like a canine costume contest. 1-5 p.m.; admission is $50 for VIPs, $35 for general admission and $10 for non-drinking guests. 


Corktoberfest (Montgomery County Agricultural Center, 501 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg) -- Beer not your thing? The Montgomery County fairgrounds is hosting its first annual Corktoberfest weekend Oct. 24-25. The event features two days packed with wine, live entertainment, food and vendors. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; tickets $17-$30. 


Tysons Fall Harvest and Beer Festival (8025 Galleria Drive, Tysons Corner) -- On the weekends of Oct. 24-25, you can check out the Tysons Fall Harvest and enjoy the flavors of fall. Cozy up with apple cider and partake in some pumpkin bowling pumpkin smashing, face painting, a hay maze and even a corn cannon. Noon-4 p.m.; admission is $10 in advance; $15 on-site. Kids younger than 15 get free admission but some activities cost extra.Family four-pack for $40 includes activity wristbands.

First Annual LoCo Brewfest (21730 Red Rum Drive, Ashburn) -- Sample the best of Loudoun at this Saturday, Oct. 24 festival, which will host 14 breweries, restaurants and food trucks. In the meantime, download the event app to create a wishlist, rate your favorites and connect with friends. 1-6 p.m.; tickets $10-$20.  

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Reston Changes Name for 'Back to the Future' Day]]> Sun, 25 Oct 2015 07:28:41 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/back+to+the+future.jpg

Great Scott! Marty McFly arrived (will arrive?) in "the future" at 4:29 p.m. Oct 21, 2015.

Reston, Virginia, is celebrating the future imagined in 1989's "Back to the Future Part II" by ceremoniously changing the town's name to Hill Valley, Marty's fictional hometown, RestonNow.com reported.

The name will be in effect from Wednesday through the end of Reston's Washington West International Film Festival, according to RestonNow.

On Sunday, you can catch a red-carpet screening of "Back to the Future." Christopher Lloyd ("Doc" Emmett L. Brown), Claudia Wells (Jennifer in the first "BTTF"), co-writer/co-producer Bob Gale, and others will appear at the screening -- although we hate to break it to you that it's already sold out.

All proceeds from the festival will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds research for a cure for Parkinson's Disease, RestonNow reported.

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures]]>
<![CDATA[Salute to Virginia Distilling: 7 Chefs, 5 Distilleries]]> Thu, 15 Oct 2015 12:13:31 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_296398943.jpg

Feast on tasty creations from some of Virginia's top young chefs at this year's Salute to Virginia Distilling Dinner.

Seven emerging chefs are teaming up with five of Virginia's biggest distilleries to please palates and raise money for Farm Aid in seven savory courses. Farm Aid supports family farming through grants, activism and promotion.

The Oct. 22 dinner, which begins with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., will feature various dishes inspired by Virginia agriculture.

Expect to see:

James River Distillery, A. Smith Bowman, Copper Fox, Virginia Distillery Co. and Catoctin Creek will provide beverage pairings throughout the evening.

Tickets to the event, which will be held at Trummer's on Main (7134 Main St., Clifton), are $175 per person and available online now.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Scare Scale: We Rank This Year's DMV Halloween Events]]> Thu, 22 Oct 2015 12:02:22 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/haunted-house2.jpg

Well, it's time to dust off the old broom stick, crack open the coffins and summon the undead.

Just for you, we've ranked 10 of the DMV's top Halloween events -- starting with the not-so-scary and ending with the downright freaky:

10. Boo at the Zoo

Scare Scale: 

The National Zoo's fun-filled Halloween festival is perfect for the little ones. Even the youngest of ghosts and ghouls will enjoy the 40+ stations featured at the Halloween spectacular at the National Zoo (3001 Connecticut Ave NW). You'll find animal demonstrations, keeper chats and decorated trails, along with musicians, jugglers and a DJ spinning Halloween favorites. This is an excellent excuse to bust out this year's costume a few days early.

Oct. 23, 24 and 25; tickets $20 for members; $30 for non-members.

9. "Not-So-Scary" Halloween Party

Scare Scale: 

Hey, this one has even highlighted its non-scariness! Adventure Park USA (11113 West Baldwin Road, Monrovia, Maryland) is throwing a "Not-So-Scary" Halloween Party, transforming the park into a happy home of haunts. The special event returns with both indoor and outdoor attractions for all ages. Guests are encouraged to go in costume and enjoy some trick-or-treat sweets with special guests like Batman, Spiderman, Dora and Diego.

Oct. 24; tickets $25 online; $30 at door.

8. The Halloween Circus

Scare Scale: 

If you're looking to get your ghastly groove on this Halloween, check out the Black Cat's Halloween Circus (1811 14th St NW). This year's frightening affair will feature Jonny Grave & The Tombstones, Sara Curtain and Footwerk, plus burlesque with Gigi Holiday and Cherie Sweetbottom. These performers will come together for one night only for a Halloween filled with raucous, raunchy and wild fun.  

Oct. 31; tickets $10 in advance; $12 date of show.

7. D.C. Dead: Mutation

Scare Scale: 

"Walking Dead" fans, rejoice (or shudder in terror) as you prepare to put your zombie-hunting skills to the test. At D.C. Dead: Mutation, you and five other teammates will be equipped with "neurotoxin" darts and sent inside a zombie-infested building. It'll be up to you and your team to find the hidden weapon that will end the invasion of the undead. One part haunted house and two parts interactive theater, D.C. Dead is a thrilling (AKA, terrifying) opportunity to explore the hidden hallways of the Anacostia Playhouse ‚Äč(2020 Shannon Place SE). Salvage supplies and work to save humanity, but beware: Flesh-hungry mutants lurk around every corner.

Oct. 22-25; Oct. 27-Nov. 1; performances start every 20 minutes and last about 45 minutes; first performance 7 p.m.; last performance 11 p.m. Tickets $35 to start; $40 during Halloween weekend.

6. Field of Screams

Scare Scale: 

Explore a variety of shiver-inducing attractions at Field of Screams in Olney, Maryland: the Haunted Trail, the Nightmares in 3D Haunted House, the Hades Hayride and the Paintball Apocalypse, which -- yes! -- lets you fire paintballs at zombies as you ride past. On the Haunted Trail, you'll be able to explore 13 small haunted houses throughout the woods; Nightmares in 3D will have you donning 3D glasses before you creep through a house packed with animatronics and scary sights and sounds. The Hades Hayride features "numerous stations of horror." Just hope your cart doesn't break down!

Oct. 22-25; Oct. 29-Nov. 1; attractions $15-$20 individually; value packs $48-$88.

5. Markoff's Haunted Forest

Scare Scale: 

Three dimly lit trails winding through Markoff's Haunted Forest (19120 Martinsburg Road, Dickerson, Maryland) are the main attractions at this fright fest. Walking down a dark path into a living scene of nightmares is not for the faint of heart, no matter which of the trail choices you pick. In addition, you can indulge in a dozen other spine-tingling events, from zip lines to zombie hunts.

Oct. 22-24; Oct. 29-31; ticket prices vary.

4. Laurel's House of Horror

Scare Scale: 

Laurel's House of Horror is back for a second season, guaranteeing an experience filled with fright and delight. Visitors should be on the lookout for surprise appearances from "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" series actor R.A. Mihailoff ("Leatherface"). Laurel's abandoned movie theater is (allegedly) notorious for paranormal activity, so expect ghostly encounters when stepping inside for the House of Horror.

Oct. 22-25; Oct. 28-Nov. 1; Nov. 6-7; general admission tickets $25.

3. Fear Forest 

Scare Scale: 

Celebrating 10 season of blood, sweat and fears, Fear Forest is sure to be one of the scariest sites this October. Featuring attractions such as Fear Crops and Haunted Hay Wagon Ride, Fear Forest will have plenty of spooky surprises lurking among the shadows as you travel deeper into the forest.

Oct. 22-24; Oct. 28-31; tickets $13 per attraction or $18 for both attractions.

2. Scream City Washington, D.C.

Scare Scale: 

Brought to you by the creators of Field of Screams in Maryland, the 2015 Halloween season will premiere the terrifying Scream City Washington, D.C. Two state-of-the-art haunted houses will be completely enclosed in one location at RFK Memorial Stadium (2400 E. Capitol St. SE). The event may be too intense for young children, so leave kids 13 and younger at home.

Oct. 22-25; Oct. 27-Nov. 1; ticket prices vary.

1. Bennett's Curse

Scare Scale: 

Bennett's Curse is one of the best and scariest haunted house attractions, according to Haunt World reviews. The immersive environment creates a premium terror for thrill-and-chill seekers. This year, the fright factor will increase with an added a fourth haunted house. Starting with the horrifically epic Medieval Underworld, you must also survive Inferno 3D and the Sanctuary of Insanity, only to end in the new Legends of Halloween. Wondering just how scary this is? Even their website is terrifying.

Oct. 22-25; Oct. 29-Nov. 1; Nov. 6-7; general admission tickets $35.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[B&O Railroad Museum: Witches & Wizards Day From Platform 2 3/4]]> Mon, 12 Oct 2015 10:31:03 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_65685442.jpg

This month, blow off some steam at the B&O Railroad Museum (901 West Pratt St., Baltimore) as they celebrate the Golden Age of Steam. During October, the museum is hosting several events for adults and kids in honor of the museum's historic steam engine collection.

Check out a few that are certainly worth the trip:

Witches & Wizards Day -- Oct. 24

Young witches and wizards are invited to discover the world of wizardry and magic. Bring the kids dressed in their favorite magical costumes and take a ride on a real steam train. The Wizards Express will depart from Platform 2¾ twice that day, at 11:30 a.m. and then at 2 p.m.

The day will also feature:

  • an enchanted walk through the B&O Magical World of Magic and the Magical Object Tour
  • Herbology class, Edible Potions class, and wand-making and hat-making craft stations
  • hands-on steam educational experiments at the Young Wizards Academy
  • Quidditch game
  • Wizard Show (two 15-minute performances each hour in the Roundhouse)

Halloween Toddler Time & Costume Parade -- Oct. 28

Take the little ones out in costume for a Halloween parade through the B&O Roundhouse. Other special Halloween treats include a railroad story, craft-making and the chance to take photos with Choo Choo Blue, the museum's mascot.

Steamin' Saturdays -- Oct. 17, 24 & 31

Celebrate the steam engine by taking a ride on an actual steam-powered train. Every Saturday in October, the B&O Railroad Museum is offering rides on its historic steam trains. Meet behind St. Elizabeth's Hospital No. 4 any time between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a 20-minute round-trip steam train ride, traveling along America's first commercial mile of railroad.

With paid admission, train rides are an additional $3 for adults, $2 for children and free for B&O members. Steam train rides are offered the first weekend in October every hour on the hour and Saturdays throughout the entire month from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Diesel train rides in October are offered Thursdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. and Sundays at 1:00 p.m.  

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Scary Movie Film Series Haunts Arlington]]> Mon, 12 Oct 2015 11:55:35 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/219*120/exorcist-still.jpg

Grab a costume and get ready to scream! 

Every Monday in October, you can catch an outdoor screening of a classic horror movie in Crystal City. The series began Oct. 5 with "Pet Semetary."

The movies are free and will begin as soon as darkness falls (muah-ha-ha). Just grab a blanket and head down to the courtyard on S. Bell Street between 18th and 20th streets in Arlington.

In between screams, snap a picture of your costume and tag #CrystalScream on Twitter or Instagram for a chance to win $20 to the Schakolad Chocolate Factory in Crystal City. You'll need some chocolate to comfort you after watching these creepy flicks. 

The movie schedule is below:

  • Oct. 5 - "Pet Semetary"
  • Oct. 12 - "Scream"
  • Oct. 19 - "Poltergeist"
  • Oct. 26 - "Exorcist"

The series is a partnership between the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) and Vornado/Charles E. Smith.

"The cooler fall temperatures and earlier sunsets combined with Halloween make for the perfect opportunity for a scary experience," said Crystal City BID CEO/President Angela Fox.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.]]>
<![CDATA[Md. Renaissance Fest: 3 Weekends Left!]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 14:17:06 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_103039565.jpg

Got a need for mead? You'd better attend to it soon, as the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Anne Arundel County has just three weekends remaining: Oct. 10-11, 17-18 and 24-25.

The fairgrounds in Crownsville have once again been transformed into a 15th-century village, complete with acrobatics, jousting and, of course, plenty of enormous turkey legs to nom.

Live entertainers perform throughout the day each weekend; catch puppet shows, juggling, music and more. See the full entertainment lineup here. The fest will wrap up its final weekend (Oct. 24-25) with a special jousting competition "to determine who is the greatest knight in the land."

Dozens of food vendors and artisans will be offering their fare throughout; see the complete list here.

Tickets are $19 for adults, $7 for kids and $16 for seniors for single-day passes. Group rates and multi-day passes are also available.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[6 Awesome D.C.-Area Pumpkin Patches]]> Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:16:14 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_221795956.jpg

As the leaves change color and the air begins to cool, local farms are throwing festivals to celebrate the turning of the season. Pumpkin patches, giant slides and hayrides abound -- here's a look at some of the festivities happening in the D.C. area.


Homestead Farm (15604 Sugarland Road, Poolesville) -- Homestead Farm's pumpkin patch is open every day, but the farm offers hayrides for $3 per person on Saturdays and Sundays. Pumpkins are available to purchase by the pound. 

Butler's Orchard (22200 Davis Mill Road, Germantown) -- The 35th Annual Pumpkin Festival at Butler's Orchard features free hayrides, a corn maze, giant slides, live music and more. Every weekend in October from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., festival-goers can enjoy a day on the farm that's very kid-friendly. Admission is $11 per person, but kids under age 2 are admitted free. Note: The Pumpkin Festival is held weather-permitting, so be sure to check Butler's Orchard's website before you leave the house. 

Miller Farms (10140 Piscataway Road, Clinton) -- Miller Farms takes October seriously. Every day, guests can go on a wagon ride through the 267-acre farm, navigate their way through a corn maze, and frolic through a pumpkin patch. The farm is open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $9 per person. Weekdays, the farm is open by reservation only (call 301-399-5442) for $8 per person.


Cox Farms (15621 Braddock Road, Centreville) -- The Fall Festival at Cox Farms is one of the largest and longest-running festivals in Northern Virginia. The festival is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with giant slides, hayrides, a pumpkin patch and much more. There's a dark side, too -- on Friday and Saturday nights, you can explore the Fields of Fear.

Ticonderoga Farms (26469 Ticonderoga Road, Chantilly) -- This kid-friendly festival features a pumpkin patch, petting zoos, pedal carts, playgrounds, hay forts and more. Open every day ($9.95 on weekdays, $16.95 on weekends), the farm offers plenty for the kiddos to do at the Pumpkin Festival.

Great Country Farms (18780 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont) -- Pumpkin patches, pick-your-own pumpkins and a brand-new corn maze highlight the farm's Fall Harvest Festival, which is open every day through Halloween ($10 on weekdays, $12 on weekends).

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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<![CDATA[Haunting Season Begins at Virginia Estate]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 10:16:05 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20151002+Shocktober.jpg

Paxton Manor in Leesburg is getting terrifying... and it's not because of high real estate prices.

The estate, a 140-year-old mansion on the grounds of Paxton Campus, has launched its award-winning haunted house tour for a sixth year. During Shocktober, the mansion opens its doors and guides the brave through its ghoulish basement caverns... otherwise known as the Haunted Well of Souls.

Shocktober offers a terrifying back story for the caverns: An exiled family was forced to move into the caverns, where they lived for many years. "Things went well for The Carver family and they thrived and multiplied," the website says. "Though as time went on things began to go wrong..."

Since those caverns are apparently now known as the Haunted Well of Souls, you can draw your own conclusions.

Paxton Manor is located at 601 Catoctin Circle NE in Leesburg. Shocktober runs Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. through October.

The event raises money to benefit Paxton Campus, which provides services for people with disabilities and their families.

<![CDATA[Why This Year's 'Terror Behind the Walls' Is Best Yet]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 13:04:29 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/terror+behind+the+wall+2015.jpg

Even if you've been before, you need to check out the Eastern State Penitentiary this fall as they kick off the 25th season of "Terror Behind the Walls" with two brand-new attractions!

Friday marks opening night for the prison-turned-haunted house, with continuous shows starting at 7 p.m. America's largest scare center announced two groundbreaking new attractions earlier this month.

In addition to the typical interactive haunted house tour, which allows you the possibility of being incorporated into the show, "Terror" is unveiling Quarantine, a 4D exhibit along the tour that takes people into the mind-altered views of someone suffering from an infectious disease. Depth perception, mind games and visuals bring the outbreak to life!

The final attraction along the tour is entitled Break Out, and takes place near the end of the tour. Just when visitors think they have reached safety, they find themselves amid a prison break, as inmates escape the cells in whatever means possible ... including using YOU as part of their getaway! It's an experience you won't want to miss.

"Terror Behind the Walls" is a Hollywood-quality production that takes almost three hours to prepare for each night. The six continuous haunted attractions are a must-see this weekend thanks to discounted pricing!

All general admission tickets for Friday and Saturday are $13.

Eastern State Penitentiary is located at 22nd St. and Fairmount Ave in Philadelphia.

Photo Credit: Eastern State Penitentiary]]>
<![CDATA[Beer Garden, Dance Party Welcome Fall at Smithsonian Castle]]> Mon, 28 Sep 2015 07:43:47 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_30897988.png

With the leaves and our wardrobes changing into fall colors, the Smithsonian invites you to embrace the transition with A Party for the Season: A Garden of Colors, coming up Friday.

From 8 to 11 p.m., enjoy a one-time-only beer garden and dance the night away with DJ Alkimist in the Enid A. Haupt Garden at the Smithsonian's fabled castle (1000 Independence Ave. SW).

Smithsonian staff will also be leading a guided tour of the grounds, with a special focus on fall seasonal plants.

The beer garden will feature seasonal specialties from Ommegang Brewery, a New York brewery specializing in Belgian-style ales, and Boulevard Brewing Company, a Missouri brewery offering a sour pumpkin beer.

You'll also find a photo booth to remember the evening with your friends and a pumpkin-carving demo to make your upcoming Halloween all the more special.

Tickets are $25 and you must be 21 or older; they're available online here. A VIP special offers a special pre-party hour with an open bar featuring beer, wine and specialty cocktails and small bites for $50.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Your County (and State!) Fair Roundup]]> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:23:41 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_150530525.jpg

You may think of county fairs as a summer thing, but there are nearly a dozen county and fair fairs to enjoy in September! Enjoy the first taste of fall with a (dizzying, and/or fried) thrill.

It's high time for all the fun that Ferris wheels, Tilt-a-Whirls, petting zoos and fried Oreos have to offer. Read on for our round-up of all the upcoming fairs in the DMV:

County Fairs in Maryland:

Prince George's County Fair

When: Sept. 10-13

Rosecroft Raceway (6336 Rosecroft Drive, Fort Washington)

Drive in a NASCAR simulator, study art carved by chainsaw artists, and see who wins the most beautiful baby competition at the Prince George's County Fair. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-11, and free for kids 5 and younger.

Anne Arundel County Fair

When: Sept. 16-20

Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds (1450 Generals Highway, Crownsville)

Want to shop a massive flea market? Or maybe you're looking to compete in the Arundel's Got Talent contest? Then head on down to the Anne Arundel County Fair. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for kids ages 15-6, and free for kids 5 and younger. Discounts are available.

Charles County Fair

When: Sept. 17-20

Where: Charles County Fairgrounds (8440 Fairground Road, La Plata)

Like a museum outdoors, this county fair offers countless exhibits: from rabbits, sheep and cattle to quilting, needle art and clothing. Lawnmower racing and sheep shearing are also featured. Tickets are $5 for adults, and free for kids ages 10 and younger. Day passes are available.

Great Frederick Fair

When: Sept. 18-26

Where: Frederick Fairgrounds (797 E. Patrick St., Frederick)

Stars such as Jeff Foxworthy, Kellie Pickler and Chase Bryant collide (but not literally) with epic Demolition Derby for this all-out country-inspired county fair. You can also bring home a prize cake from the cake auction. Tickets are $8 for adults and free for kids ages 10 and younger. Discount days are available.

St. Mary's County Fair

When: Sept. 24-27

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

Carnival rides share the fairground with abundant 4-H competitions, as well as horse shows and pig racing. A special feature of this fair is the "Queen of Tolerance," chosen to remind Marylanders that their state originally sheltered the Catholics who escaped persecution -- hence the state nickname "The Free State." Admission is for adults are $5, $1 for kids 6-12, and free for kids younger than 6. Carnival rides are extra.

County Fairs in Virginia:

Sorry to tell you this, but most of Northern Virginia's county fairs were in August. However, there are plenty of Maryland county fairs to enjoy, as well as all of the state fairs. Check them out below!

State (and "State") Fairs:

D.C. "State" Fair

When: Sept. 12

Where: Old City Farm and Guild (925 Rhode Island Ave. NW)

This year, the D.C. "State" Fair holds its first-ever pet parade, inviting you to bring your friendly pet on a leash, or in a cage, tank, or aquarium to the event. Costumes are encouraged for you and your pet, although not required. Other fair contests include honey, home brews, pies and flower arrangements -- and even a pot- growing competition called "Best Buds." Admission is free. 

The Maryland State Fair

When: Now through Sept. 7

Where: Maryland State Fairgrounds (2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium)

Established in 1878, the Maryland State Fair invites visitors to take a seat in the grandstand and catch a horse race. Demonstrations and an exhibition hall feature prized livestock, quilts and more. Tickets are $8 for adults, $3 for kids ages 11-6, and free for kids 5 and under. Discounts available. 

State Fair of Virginia

When: Sept. 25-Oct. 4

Where: The Meadow Event Park (13111 Dawn Blvd., Doswell)

Petting zoos, featuring rabbits, cows, doves and Virginia-area fish, are only a few of the attractions this grand state fair has to offer. Country bands including Jackass Flats, Steep Canyon Rangers and The Tams will also be performing. Tickets are $12 Mondays-Thursdays and $15 Fridays-Sundays for adults. Admission for kids ages 12-5 is 8 Mondays-Thursdays and $10 Fridays-Sundays. Discounts days and early bird specials available. Rides cost extra.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Free Outdoor Movies: September Schedule]]> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:25:58 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DSC_0871-7223.jpg

September is here, but there are still quite a few free outdoor film series around town. Pack up your blankets and coolers for a D.C.-area tradition. 

Read on for our list. Don't see your fave film series? Add it in the comments!

NOTE: Film schedules are subject to change due to weather. Please check with the venue to verify dates and times before you head out.


Columbia's Lakefront Summer Festival -- Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through mid-September. Movies begin at dusk.

  • Sept. 4: Sleeping Beauty"
  • Sept. 5: "Maleficent"
  • Sept. 11: "Monkey Kingdom"
  • Sept. 12: "Furious 7"

National Harbor Movies on the Potomac -- National Harbor Plaza, 137 National Plaza, Fort Washington. Movies begin at 6 p.m.

  • Sept. 6: viewers' choice, TBD
  • Sept. 13: "Matilda"
  • Sept. 20: "Monsters, Inc."
  • Sept. 27: "James and the Giant Peach"

Summer Movies at the Wine Bin -- 8390 Main St., Ellicot City. Movies start at 9 p.m. in June, July and August, and at 8 p.m. in September.

  • Sept. 5: "The Sound of Music"
  • Sept. 12: "The Godfather"
  • Sept. 19: "Guardians of the Galaxy"


Lovettsville Movies on the Green -- Town Green within the Town Center Development, Lovettsville. All movies begin at dusk.

  • Sept. 11: "Miracle"

Mosaic District: Films in the Park -- Strawberry Park, 2910 District Ave., Fairfax. Movies begin at 7 p.m.

  • Sept. 4: "The Lego Movie"

Photo Credit: Friends of Screen of the Green]]>
<![CDATA[Md. Corn Maze Features Taylor Swift's Face]]> Mon, 21 Sep 2015 13:07:22 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dfcbffcb-0373-4cc9-8df8-86db161740fa.jpg

Seeing Taylor Swift in person may be much easier than purchasing a pricey concert ticket this fall.

Summers Farm in Frederick, Maryland modeled its 12-acre corn maze after the Grammy winner and included the words "dare to be different."

Farm owner Jeff Greenwood, a longtime fan, picked Swift as the maze's theme this year, saying he wanted to highlight Swift's messages of self-confidence and staying true to oneself.

"We always try to find someone that is unique and connects to our customers, and we feel that Taylor is an amazing person.... We just feel that she is just a real, honest, true person who believes in being herself and tries to help people build confidence in themselves," Greenwood told NBC Washington.

Greenwood called Swift "an amazing role model, not just for the youth but for just anybody, because she really is an honest, true person. She truly believes in, you are who you are and that's who you should be. That's what we should be, also."

Swift herself posted an Instagram of the maze with the caption "Lawn goals."

Want to give it a try? The maze will be open from Sept. 26 to Nov. 1 this year. Be prepared to stay awhile, because navigating through Swift's face could take up to two hours -- although it could take as little as 30 minutes. Check out a flyover video of the maze here.

The maze is divided into phases to accommodate all age groups, according to Summers Farm's website.

Previous years' mazes were modeled after 2012 presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, as well as local sports teams such as the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins.

Photo Credit: Summers Farm
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<![CDATA[Plenty of Food, Gorgeous Views at Taste of Georgetown]]> Wed, 16 Sep 2015 14:14:36 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/TOG-2014_Photo-Sam-Kittner4.jpg

Georgetown is home to plenty of high-end shopping, scenic waterfront views and historic landmarks that predate Washington, D.C. itself. Oh, and a whole lot of food. Coming up Oct. 3, you can indulge in a lot of that goodness during one of the the District's most anticipated annual food festivals, Taste of Georgetown.

Enjoy creative tastes from more than 30 of the neighborhood's best restaurants, featuring both new concepts and established favorites. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can meander along K Street NW, between Wisconsin Avenue and Thomas Jefferson Street to enjoy sweet and savory tastes along a gorgeous waterfront view.

This mouth-watering event will also include an expansive craft beer and wine garden, foodie competitions and kids' activities.

Admission is free, but food is $5 per tasting, or $20 for five tastings. Beer and wine garden tickets are $4 per tasting, or three for $10. Buy tickets in advance online when they become available. Tickets will be sold on-site, but you can get discounts for buying multiple tickets online.

Proceeds benefit the Georgetown Ministry Center, an organization that helps guide homeless people toward stability and housing.

Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/kittner.com, courtesy Taste of Georgetown]]>
<![CDATA[Seaport Day in Alexandria: Build a Boat (Out of Anything!)]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 11:01:51 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_51088681.jpg

Picture that famous "Little Rascals" soap box derby... only this race happens on water, using just about anything that floats.

Seaport Day in Alexandria -- featuring the aptly named Anything That Floats Race -- is coming up Sept. 26 at Waterfront Park (0 Prince Street, Alexandria, Virginia).

The race is only part of the fun. The Alexandria Seaport Foundation's Seaport Day is a six-hour bash with beer, wine and (of course) a chowder competition. The kid-friendly event will also offer educational exhibits, kids' activities and live music as you cheer on competitors sailing down the Potomac River.

The event is free, but there's a $100 race registration fee for those who want to compete. In addition to a boat exhibit, you'll likely see some boat-building before the event, when participants will construct boats using, quite literally, anything that floats. Cardboard, milk jugs and even old bicycles are on the list of permitted items.

The Alexandria Seaport Foundation aims to help at-risk youth turn their lives around and provides families, community groups, and schools with meaningful experiences, according to its Facebook page.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Corn Maze Honors Gov. Hogan in Maryland]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 11:03:57 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/hogan-maze-chopper.jpg

A Maryland farm has constructed a massive corn maze outlining a portrait of Gov. Larry Hogan to benefit the American Cancer Society, WTOP reported.

Hogan revealed his cancer diagnosis June 22, and recently announced on Facebook that 95 percent of his stage III non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is gone.

The owners of Lawyer's Farm in Frederick County, Maryland, lost their father to cancer, according to their website, and dedicated this year's maze to Hogan.

The maze design includes other Maryland themes such as the shape of the state itself, Black-Eyed Susans, the Maryland flag, an Oriole and the hashtag #HoganStrong, which emerged on Twitter after the governor announced his diagnosis.  

The maze, with more than seven miles of trails, opens Sept. 19, WTOP reported.

The farm will hold a donation day Nov. 1, when all proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. Last year, the farm generated nearly $12,000 for the American Brain Tumor Association.

Photo Credit: Chopper 4]]>
<![CDATA[Indulge for Less: Silver Spring Restaurant Week]]> Tue, 08 Sep 2015 10:28:10 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_90159118.jpg

Venture up the Red Line this week to experience the best cuisine Silver Spring has to offer at guilt-free prices.

More than 20 restaurants are participating in Silver Spring's first Restaurant Week, beginning Sept. 8 and ending Sept. 13.

Restaurant Week deals include two- and three-course lunch and dinner options, which range from $12 to $27.

Head to 8407 Kitchen Bar or Mix Bar and Grille for a taste of new American dishes. AG Kitchen serves "NYC's Best Cubano," seafood paella and Brazilian-style samba chicken on its Restaurant Week menu. Jackie's offers delicious farm-to-table options, while Scion serves up "sophisticated comfort food."

Reservations are highly recommended. Find the complete list of participating restaurants and make reservations here.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral: Mourn the End of Summer]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:03:41 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/JAZZ+BAND+MASTER.jpg

With Labor Day around the corner, it's time to mourn the passing of heat waves, jean shorts and tan skin at the 30th Annual Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral -- possibly the happiest of funerals.

The free procession kicks off with a wake Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. on the Bethany Beach Boardwalk. Costumes are strongly encouraged. 

Past guests have dressed as mourners, sugar skulls, nuns... some people even deck out their baby strollers to look like coffins adorned in flowers.

Three dixieland jazz bands will provide the soundtrack to the funeral as mourners help carry a casket containing a mannequin, representing the summer of 2015, to its final resting place at the Boardwalk Bandstand.

The bands -- the Dixie Cats, the Downtown Dixieland Band and the Jazz Funeral Irregulars -- will play classic tunes such as "Amazing Grace," "Basin Street Blues" and "Just A Closer Walk With Thee."

"Jazz Funerals in New Orleans are considered a positive writ of passage into eternity for those who depart," Jazz Funeral founder Moss Wagner said. 

Funeral weekend will kick off with a silent auction Sept. 4 from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. at the Bethany Blue Restaurant (6 N. Pennsylvania Ave).

The auction offers gift cards, gift baskets, services such as chartered boat rides, massages and house cleanings and advertising space in real estate booklets. The dixieland bands will also be featured.

All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross of Delmarva to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

"Since New Orleans experienced so much devastation from Hurricane Katrina and since the recovery process in New Orleans still continues to this day, our lighthearted Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral celebration is meant to show respect and admiration for the Jazz Funeral tradition that was born in the Big Easy," Assistant Chairperson Marie Wright said.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Jazz Funeral organizers by emailing jazzfuneral@comcast.net or by leaving a message at 302-537-1585.

Photo Credit: Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral ]]>
<![CDATA[Shoot for the Stars at Rock Creek Planetarium]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:09:22 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_287705705.jpg

Be among the stars without actually traveling to space... or flying to Los Angeles.

Located in the heart of the city, the Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium (5200 Glover Road NW) allows you to explore the universe for free.

While high-tech software projects the image of the night sky onto a large, dome-shaped ceiling, rangers guide you through the constellations and galaxies. The planetarium, built in 1960, remains the only one in the entire National Parks system.

Tickets can be picked up at the Nature Center's front desk up to 30 minutes before the show. There is no admittance once the planetarium doors close.

Held Wednesdays at 4 p.m., Young Planetarium is a family-friendly program that helps educate kids about the solar system. It's suitable for kids ages 4-10 and their families.

On weekdays at 1 p.m., you can check out a Seasonal Night Sky showing, which is appropriate for age five to adult. It features an in-depth look at that evening's constellations and is storytelling-focused. 

On weekdays at 4 p.m., the show Exploring the Universe changes its topic every month and focuses on the science of astronomy. The showing is appropriate for age seven to adult. 

In August, Fire and Ice: Moons of the Solar System takes the viewer through the moons in our sky. In September, the planetarium will be celebrating Rock Creek Park's 125th anniversary by presenting a history of advances in astronomy. 

Star-gazing sessions also occur once a month from April to November, when telescopes are set up on Military Field, off of Military Road NW. The event is run in conjunction with the National Capital Astronomers Association.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Top 5 Virginia Wineries]]> Thu, 09 Jul 2015 19:16:49 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/181*120/wineryrvv2.jpg

As a photojournalist and wine-finder extraordinaire, I tend to crave the visual aspects of a scene rather than critically rating every last sip of wine -- everyone's a critic in their own right, anyway. More often than not, I'm happy with a $6 bottle of wine from the grocery store.

To me, wine tasting is all about the experience, not just using three or four adjectives to describe the flavor of a wine. In fact, the best wine-tasting experience I've ever had was at a winery with less than stellar wine (it didn't make my top five cut). The presentation and customer experience were extraordinary enough to surpass the imperfections of the glass in my hand.

Whether you're a die-hard wine expert who follows your palette or you have a multi-stop winery adventure in mind, the wineries on this list promise something new -- melding tasty wines with an excellent tasting experience.

Read on for my picks for Top 5 Virginia Wineries:

5. Winery at La Grange -- 4970 Antioch Road, Haymarket

The Winery at La Grange reminds me of my favorite coffee shop in D.C. It's small and comfortable, and there's a surprise around every corner of the three-story, 18th-century manor. The country setting is peaceful -- and a sunset wine experience pairs best with their shimmering outdoor walkways. Wine tastings are $13 per person.

What you'll love: The staff telling you all the ghostly experiences that happened in the house (be sure to check out the creepy and equally awesome basement). Supposedly, Mr. Benoni, the previous owner of the house, has a liking for haunting.

4. Otium Cellars -- 18050 Tranquility Road, Purcelleville

This German-inspired, horse-loving winery offers import varieties that offer a look into the Bavarian roots that owner Gerhard Bauer is passionate about. You'll see silos in the distance, along with acres of land under vine while looking out from the outdoor pavilion. It's a great summer destination for an outdoor experience. Wine tastings are $10 per person.

What you'll love: The covered and screened-in pavilion with 360-degree fireplace, and the on-site private equestrian facility that breeds world-class Hanoverians.

3. Doukenie Winery -- 14727 Mountain Road, Hillsboro

Doukenie is a staple for its great grapes and the large crowds it draws. Winemaker Sebastien Marquet is known for his helpfulness in steering winemaker novices in the right direction. The patio is a great landing point when you arrive, especially on weekends when live music plays. Tastings are $10 per person.

What you'll love: The entire scene -- the lake, the silo, the picnic tables and the vines -- make for a great gathering place.

2. Stone Tower Winery -- 19857 Hogback Mountain Road, Leesburg

Stone Tower sits along the rolling hills of Loudoun County's countryside. Owners Mike and Kristi Huber saw a vision for the old farmland and turned it into a beautiful, still vineyard. The interior of the winery boasts a massive dining table in its tasting room. An upstairs event space with twinkling lights and vintage decor serves well for wedding receptions as well.

What you'll love: The outdoor seating overlooks the vast acreage of the old farmland. A massive new tasting room is set to open in a few weeks.

1. Glass House Winery -- 5898 Free Union Road, Free Union

Glass House Winery sits on a piece of land most would wish to call home. Visitors see grape vines glisten in the sun before they enter a very unique tasting room set inside a tropical conservatory, inspired by the owners' time on the coast of Honduras. Outside the greenhouse lies a patio overlooking a private lake and lush yard. Glass House is a destination worthy of a few days' time -- so it helps that they also have a B&B. The spot sits near the Rivanna River for customers hoping to kayak or fish before sipping and tasting.

What you'll love: Owner Michelle makes homemade chocolate treats each week that go along perfectly with their chocolate wine. Plan a stay at the award-winning onsite bed and breakfast, too.

Follow us on Twitter at Worth the Trip D.C.

Photo Credit: Sarah Pixley]]>
<![CDATA[Monticello Hosts Heritage Harvest Festival]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 16:01:45 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-53403048.jpg

Thomas Jefferson is famous for authoring the Declaration of Independence -- but did you know he was also a revolutionary gardener? He's even been dubbed America's "first foodie," and his historic estate will soon celebrate his legacy with a food and garden bonanza.

The Heritage Festival at Monticello (931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, Virginia) kicks off Friday, Sept. 11, featuring more than 35 pre-festival workshops to choose from. 

Spend a few hours with a gardening expert and learn about the evolution of coffee, explore Thomas Jefferson's experimental garden or pick from a list of other premium workshops ($15-$55).

The main event is Saturday, Sept. 12 on Monticello's West Lawn, where you will find chef demonstrations, a bounty of fruit and vegetable tastings and kids' activities, all included with your ticket. 

General admission tickets are $15 until Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. and bump up to $20 on the day of the event. Tickets for kids ages 5-11) are $8; kids under age 5 get in free. There's also a $40 family pass option for two adults and two children. VIP packages are also available.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>