<![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-usSun, 25 Sep 2016 12:07:01 -0400Sun, 25 Sep 2016 12:07:01 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA['We Are America': New African American History Museum Opens]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 16:54:57 -0400 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[Find Your Fun: DC-Area Fall Festivals]]> Thu, 08 Sep 2016 12:15:08 -0400 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.

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[10 Things You Must See at National Mall's Newest Museum]]> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 15:54:30 -0400 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[Exhibits Inside New African American History Museum]]> Thu, 15 Sep 2016 16:11:47 -0400 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]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 15:58:19 -0400 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 16:51:05 -0400 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 Fall Outdoor Movies in the DMV]]> Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:48:49 -0400 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[Free Baltimore Art, Music and Food Festivals in Oct.]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 17:03:59 -0400 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 18:14:15 -0400 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 09:46:48 -0400 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 09:04:52 -0400 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 17:18:44 -0400 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 15:42:46 -0400 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 16:36:28 -0400 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 10:51:15 -0400 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 12:57:52 -0400 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 06:36:22 -0400 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]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Season Beginning in the Shenandoahs]]> Thu, 08 Sep 2016 15:32:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2016-09-08_1529.jpg It's the perfect time of year for goodies like apple cider and apple pancakes. Kelli Stover of Showalter Orchards dishes on an apple butter festival coming up Sept. 17, and Jeffrey Wasnesky of the Pollock Dining Room at Shenandoah National Park's Skyland Resort previews a hard cider dinner he's hosting Friday.]]> <![CDATA[Pike District's Effect on Traffic, Shopping and Dining in Montgomery Co.]]> Mon, 22 Aug 2016 19:53:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000015857220_1200x675_748785219698.jpg Montgomery County is redeveloping the area around White Flint Mall into a community called the Pike District. Chris Gordon reports on the effect on traffic, shopping and dining out in the county.]]> <![CDATA[Summer Concert Guide: The Can't-Miss Music This Season]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 14:12:23 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/summer-concert-guide-composite-gettyImages.jpg

It's time for summer concert season. We know you're excited! Check out some noteworthy performances hitting the D.C. area this summer.


Wale, June 9

Billboard Magazine and 1800 Tequila host a Wale concert June 9 as a part of "Back to the Block," where musicians return to their hometowns for a concert. The show will be at ASIA DC (1720 I St. NW), and doors open at 8 p.m.

Twenty One Pilots, June 10

Twenty One Pilots will "Ride" to Merriweather Post Pavilion (10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Maryland) for a concert June 10. The show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are $75 to $177.

Luke Bryan, June 10-11

Luke Bryan brings two nights of country tunes to Jiffy Lube Live (7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, Virginia) June 10 and 11. The shows start at 7 p.m. and tickets range from $32 to $498 Friday and $59 to $515 Saturday.

Ellie Goulding, June 13

Dance to Ellie Goulding at Merriweather Post Pavilion June 13 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $56 to $275.

Dave Matthews Band, June 18

Stop by Jiffy Lube Live for a Dave Matthews Band concert June 18. Tickets for the 7 p.m. show range from $62 to $842.

Ziggy Marley, June 21

Relax to some reggae at the Fillmore Silver Spring (8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring) with a Ziggy Marley concert June 21. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show, and tickets are $34.50.

Lil Uzi Vert, June 26-27

Lil Uzi Vert will perform two nights at the Fillmore. The June 26 show with special guests 21 Savage and YFN Lucci has sold out, but you can still catch Lil Uzi Vert June 27 for $25. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.


5 Seconds of Summer, July 8

Embrace your inner fangirl July 8 for 5 Seconds of Summer's concert at Jiffy Lube Live. Tickets are $25 to $195, and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Monica, Melanie Fiona & Avant, July 16

Monica, Melanie Fiona & Avant present Love Stories: Chapter 1 at DAR Constitution Hall (1776 D St. NW) July 16 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $57 to $206.

Young Thug, July 21

Head to Echostage (2135 Queens Chapel Road NE) for Young Thug's concert July 21. Doors open at 9 p.m. for the 18+ show, and tickets are $42.60.

Fifth Harmony, July 29

As part of The 7/27 Tour, Fifth Harmony will take the stage at George Mason University's EagleBank Arena (4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax, Virginia) July 29 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $29.75 to $257.18.

Billy Joel, July 30

The Piano Man is set to perform at Nationals Park (1500 S. Capitol St. SE) July 30. The show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are $62 to $649.

Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa, July 31

Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa unite for The High Road Tour. The duo performs at Jiffy Lube Live July 31, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $26 to $263.


G-Eazy, Aug. 4

G-Eazy performs with Logic at Jiffy Lube Live Aug. 4 on The Endless Summer Tour. Tickets to see the California rapper are $30 to $144.50.

Paul McCartney, Aug. 9-10

Spend a night listening to Paul McCartney at the Verizon Center (601 F St. NW) Aug. 9 or 10. Tickets to see the former Beatles member Tuesday or Wednesday are $68 to $4,675, and the shows start at 8 p.m.

Phillip Phillips & Matt Nathanson, Aug. 10

Phillip Phillips and Matt Nathanson are teaming up for a concert at Wolf Trap (1551 Trap Road, Vienna, Virginia) Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. Get tickets for $32 to $42 before they're "Gone, Gone, Gone."

Darius Rucker, Aug. 12

Darius Rucker stops by Jiffy Lube Live for The Good For a Good Time Tour Aug. 12. Tickets are $30.35 to $199, and the show starts at 7 p.m.

Kenny Chesney, Aug. 18

Break out your cowboy boots Aug. 18 for the Kenny Chesney concert at Jiffy Lube Live. Get tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show for $30.25 to $292.

Drake, Aug. 19-20

If you're reading this, it's not too late to catch Drake's concerts at the Verizon Center Aug. 19 and 20. The shows start at 6:30 p.m.; tickets for Friday or Saturday are $115 to $2,028.

Train, Aug. 20

Train rolls into Merriweather Post Pavilion for a show Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $63 to $491.

Miranda Lambert, Aug. 25

Enjoy an evening of country at Miranda Lambert's concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion Aug. 25. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show are $59 to $383.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dogs' Day of Summer at Laurel Pool's Annual Doggie Dip Day]]> Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:38:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_387290323.jpg

Dog parents will have the chance to bring their furry friends to splash in the Laurel Municipal Swimming Pool before it closes for the summer.

Both the main pool and wading pool will be open for humans and their dogs on Saturday, Sept. 10 from noon until 3 p.m. for the pool's annual Doggie Dip Day.

The event is free with proof of membership to the City of Laurel Dr. Bruce Morley Dog Park for up to two dogs. Admission is costs $5 per dog for non-members, but dog owners get in free.

The Laurel Municipal Swimming Pool is located at 9th and Main streets in Laurel.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Road Trip! 10 Places to Cool Off Within 100 Miles of DC]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 11:14:44 -0400 Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags America (13710 Central Ave., Upper Marlboro, Maryland) range from beginner-friendly to... intimidating. Case in point: On the 132-foot funnel known as the Tornado, all you have to cling to is a four-person raft! (Good luck not screaming). You'll also find a huge variety of slides, a water park version of a half-pipe, a lazy river and a "beach." DISTANCE: 16 miles from downtown D.C. ]]> Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags America (13710 Central Ave., Upper Marlboro, Maryland) range from beginner-friendly to... intimidating. Case in point: On the 132-foot funnel known as the Tornado, all you have to cling to is a four-person raft! (Good luck not screaming). You'll also find a huge variety of slides, a water park version of a half-pipe, a lazy river and a "beach." DISTANCE: 16 miles from downtown D.C. ]]> http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_227760997.jpg The heat is on! Whether you're looking for the best local waterparks or want to get out (way out) in nature, read on for our picks.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[100 Things to Do This Summer in the DC Area]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 13:52:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/things-to-do-in-dc-summer1.jpg

You have three months to get outside, see the sights, host some barbecues and much more -- here are 100 ways to make the most of your summer. 

While you're out and about on your summer adventures, tweet or tag us in your photos using the hashtag #NBC4DC. We just may feature you on air or on NBC Washington's Instagram feed!

1. Make a splash in pools, water parks and lazy rivers! See the D.C. area's top 10 places to beat the heat

2. Pick strawberries or enjoy a strawberry dish. Head out in early June to a nearby patch such as Butler's Orchard in Germantown, Maryland. Check out strawberry recipes here.

3. Fire up the grill -- see tips and hamburger recipes to make your backyard BBQ sizzle.

4. Attend the AFI DOCS film festival, June 22-26. There are 90 films representing 30 countries on the slate of documentaries screening at the AFI Silver Theatre (8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring).

5. Crack open some crabs. Check out the Chesapeake Crab Festival on June 25 at Baltimore's Inner Harbor and then on Aug. 27 at Prince George's County's National Harbor. 

6. Dive into Shark Week. Tune into Discovery Channel for a marathon of all things shark starting June 26. 

7. Get welcomed to the jungle. Zipline and climb through Sandy Springs Adventure Park in Montgomery County, billed as the largest man-made outdoor climbing adventure in the world. 

8. Head for the beach. Check out the top beaches within an easy drive of the D.C. area. 

9. Sip fruit-infused water. It's like summer in a glass.

10. Catch a summer movie blockbuster. Buzzworthy movies heading to the box office this summer include "Central Intelligence" (June 17), "Independence Day: Resurgence" (June 24), "Free State of Jones" (June 24), "Ghostbusters" (July 15), and "Bad Moms" (July 29).

11. See an arena concert. Paul McCartney, Maroon 5, Fifth Harmony and Luke Bryan are among the stars coming to town this summer. Find more shows here.

12. Hit the golf course. Tiger Woods hosts the Quicken Loans National tournament in its return to Bethesda's Congressional Country Club, June 23-26. 

13. Take a road trip to the Bayou Boogaloo & Cajun Food Festival, happening June 24-26, in Norfolk.

14. Hit up the Capital Fringe Music Festival, June 25-26. The outdoor music festival -- an offshoot of the Capital Fringe Festival, coming up later in the summer -- showcases live music performances, theater, dance and puppetry. 

15. Upgrade your snow cone. Shave ice is a popular Hawaiian dessert with a fine, snowy texture paired with a fruity, sweet taste.

16. Celebrate National Sunglasses Day. Sport your favorite summer shades June 27.

17. Forage from some of D.C.'s most beloved food trucks at the Fairgrounds (1201 Half St. SE). You still have three chances to catch the monthly food truck fest, Truckeroo, on July 8, Aug. 19 and Sept. 16. 

18. Hit up a music festival. The West Coast may have Coachella, but there are plenty of great music festivals just a bus ride away from D.C., including ;Firefly Music Festival, June 16-19, in Dover, Delaware, and the Vans Warped Tour July 16 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland

19. Enjoy summer fruits. Check out delicious ways to snack up on nature's bounty! 

20. Take home a furry new friend. Hundreds of animal shelters will come together July 23 for Clear the Shelters, a nationwide animal adoption drive.

21. Have a lazy summer day. Stretch out, lounge -- and get your TV binge on! New seasons of "Orange is the New Black," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" will all be on Netflix in June. 

22. Take yourself out to the ballgame. Get tickets to a game at Nats Park.

23. Mix a summer drink. Start your mixology training with a refreshing, fruity cocktail.

24. Celebrate the '80s. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Pretty in Pink" turn 30, and are among the many free outdoor movies playing in the DMV this summer. And, yes, that's totally awesome! 

25. Catch plays, dance, music and "unclassifiable" live performances during the annual Capital Fringe Festival. This year's festival, happening July 7-31, includes shows all over the D.C. area.

26. Giddy up. Shenandoah National Park in Virginia offers guided horseback rides through the scenic Blue Ridge trails. 

27. Visit the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Pretty in Pink" turn 30, and are among the many free outdoor movies playing in the DMV this summer. And, yes, that's totally awesome! The National Mall turns into the Basque Country, starting June 29-July 4 and continuing July 7-10. 

28. Enjoy Rickey Month in July. Dubbed the official cocktail of D.C., the Rickey has been called "air conditioning in a glass."

29. Celebrate the Air and Space Museum's 40th birthday by spending All Night at the Museum. The iconic building on the mall will be open all night -- from 8:30 p.m. July 1 to 10 a.m. July 2 -- for one big, free party, although the 21+ event requires tickets. 

30. Stretch in the park. Here are some of the top outdoor yoga programs in the District with free classes through the summer. 

31. See "ICEBERGS" at the National Building Museum. From July 2 to Sept. 5, the museum will be transformed by massive icebergs built out of transparent polycarbonate panels. Visitors can climb an iceberg and see the "ocean floor" below.

32. Celebrate America. Grab some apple pie, check out a July 4 parade and get ready for the main event -- spectacular fireworks! Find an event near you.

33. Visit The Renwick Gallery. You have until July 10 to check out the larger-than-life installations of the WONDER exhibit on the museum's first floor. 

34. Take a day trip. Who said a staycation has to be boring? Head out to one of these exciting destinations in Maryland or Virginia

35. Kayak or paddle along the Potomac. You can rent stand-up paddleboards and kayaks at the Key Bridge Boathouse (3500 Water St. NW, beneath the Key Bridge) and Thompson Boat Center (2900 Virginia Ave. NW, near the Watergate).

36. Explore Theodore Roosevelt Island. The area is one of D.C.'s hidden gems, and honors our 26th president's love of the outdoors. Explore the trails through wooded swamplands or kayak around the island. 

37. Make a summer playlist. What tops your list of favorite summer jams

38. Stroll along the National Mall. Become a tourist for the day and see the monuments millions travel to see each year. 

39. Have a staring contest with a celebrity. The National Portrait Gallery's "Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze" runs through July 10 and features Oprah Winfrey, Katy Perry, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams and more superstars giving their best "Blue Steel" pose. 

40. Set sail in Annapolis. Maryland's capital is a nautical heavyweight. Take in the gorgeous views, restaurants, bars, boats -- and all the crab cakes you can eat.  

41. Drink by the water. Cheers to the best waterfront bars from Georgetown to Annapolis.  

42. Slide the City. The world's longest water slide will take over Tysons Corner for one day only, July 16. 

43. Scream for ice cream. Celebrate National Ice Cream Day July 17 at one of the best ice cream spots in the DMV

44. Say hello to Bei Bei. Check up on D.C.'s cute panda cub at the National Zoo.

45. Take a hike. White Oak Canyon, Great Falls and Rock Creek Park offer scenic trails to take advantage of.

46. Go wild at an amusement park. Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens and Six Flags America are packed with monster coasters and huge water parks.

47. Go tubing. Float the day away on an inner tube, or turn up the adventure with a rafting, canoeing or kayaking expedition. 

48. Dance in Glen Echo Park. Prepare to sweat in style. 

49. Cool down with a popsicle. If you need some icy inspiration, we've rounded up a collection of popsicles perfect for the young and young at heart. 

50. Escape to Tilghman Island. This quaint Maryland island hosts a seafood festival July 16. 

51. Visit Brew at the Zoo. The Smithsonian National Zoo's annual beer fest will feature 70 craft breweries, live entertainment, plus the chance to meet and greet some animals July 21. 

52. See the horses of Chincoteague. The wild ponies make their annual pony swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague on July 27.

53. Grab a wing. National Chicken Wing Day is July 29. Need we say more? 

54. Watch "Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens." Syfy's fourth installment (yes, FOURTH) of this thrilling-meets-ridiculous franchise premieres July 31.

55. Drink on the roof. You can enjoy the sunset while sipping a cocktail on one of these top D.C. rooftop bars

56. Camp next to a waterpark. Commune with nature and make a splash at Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, Virginia.

57. Try making lobster rolls at home. Here are tons of recipes to inspire you to host a backyard lobster boil. 

58. Take advantage of tax-free shopping. Bookmark these dates: Aug. 5-7 (Virginia); Aug. 14-20 (Maryland).

59. Get Olympic fever! Tune in to see the world's best athletes take over Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics on NBC4, Aug. 5-21.

60. Go to a county fair ... and eat everything fried.

61. Get ready for football. The Redskins; preseason schedule starts Aug. 11.

62. Tour Luray Caverns. Discovered in 1878, gorgeous rock formations in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley is a popular tourist attraction. Bonus: The cooler underground temperatures will help you chill on hot summer day. 

63. Make a wish. The Perseid meteor shower peaks on Aug. 12-13.

64. Find time for wine! Check out our picks for the Top 5 Virginia Wineries. Or indulge at a fest such as the Purcellville Wine & Food Festival on July 16.

65. Ride the Capital Wheel at National Harbor. Take in breathtaking views from 180 feet above the Potomac River. 

66. Try D.C.'s finest cuisine during Restaurant Week. Stretch your dollar, Aug. 15-21.

67. Hit a seafood dive. Baltimore, Annapolis and Ocean City are top contenders for fantastic seafood dives in the mid-Atlantic area.

68. Smell the flowers at the National Arboretum (3501 New York Ave. NE). Walk through the stunning gardens and woods for free until 5 p.m. each day. 

69. Feel the need for speed. Catch a drag race or NASCAR race at Dominion Raceway

70. Make a summer pie. Strawberry season is upon us -- along with plenty of other summer fruits -- so it may be tme to try a new recipe.

71. Dip your toes in the Yards Park fountain. Then dine on the waterfront or catch a free Friday summer concert.

72. Ride a bike. Explore one of D.C.'s many bike trails

73. Tour Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. Catch a tour of the legendary abolitionist's home. 

74. Scour Eastern Market (225 7th St. SE) for fresh fruits and veggies, meats, treats and treasures. Local artists and vendors set up outside, as does a fantastic flea market (7th Street SE between C Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE). Top it all off with a stop at the absolutely perfect local gem Capitol Hill Books.

75. Check out the tall ships. Massive ships from around the world sail into Baltimore's Inner Harbor this summer. Visit Sail Baltimore's website for the full schedule.

76. Jump out of a plane at Skydive Orange. But if freefalling two miles above the ground isn't your thing, check out the indoor skydiving facility iFly in Ashburn, Virginia. 

77. Daytrip to Baltimore. Hang out at the Inner Harbor, see an Orioles game at Camden Yards and check out where Francis Scott Key made history when he wrote "The Star Spangled Banner."

78. Enjoy Jazz in the Garden. Local musicians serenade crowds at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden every Friday evening from 5 to 8:30 p.m. (Find other free outdoor concerts right here.)

79. Make a shrimp dish. We've rounded up everything you want to know about making just about any kind of shrimp. 

80. Take a lunch/dinner cruise. See the D.C. monuments from the Potomac River on the Odyssey or Spirit of Washington.

81. Have a half smoke at Ben's Chili Bowl.

82. Take a DC Duck Sightseeing Tour. The 90-minute tour takes you around the city by sea and land in a double-duty vehicle built during World War II. 

83. Tour the International Spy Museum. Channel your inner James Bond and put your spy skills to the test. 

84. Paddle around the Tidal Basin. Get a workout and a beautiful view of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial. 

85. Play in the sand at National Harbor. The Awakening sculpture is an interactive art installation of a bearded giant emerging from the sand.

86. Spend a day at Mount Vernon. See where George Washington called home, plus take in panoramic views of the Potomac River. 

87. Walk the C&O Canal Towpath. Take in nature and history along this Georgetown treasure. 

88. See the stars in Rock Creek Park. The Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium (5200 Glover Road NW) takes you around the universe -- for free. 

89. Take a break from 2016. Step back in time and explore Colonial Williamsburg

90. Take a stroll through the Historic Congressional Cemetery (1801 E St. SE). More than 67,000 impactful Washingtonians have been buried in the 35-acre cemetery.

91. Swim in style. Hit up one of the pool parties at the Capitol Skyline Hotel (10 I St. SW). 

92. Enjoy fresh air at Catoctin Mountain Park. Fish, horseback ride, rock climb, camp -- you can show off your inner outdoorsman here. 

93. Get a snack from a food boat. Nauti Foods serves up treats on the Potomac

94. Walk around the National Mall monuments at sunset. Stick around a little longer to take some beautiful nighttime photos.

95. Take a brew tour. D.C. Brew Tours' The Original D.C. Craft Brew Tour is a great way to sample the area's beer scene. Plus, your ticket also includes VIP tours of at least three of the four breweries you will visit on the.

96. Bask in some great views of the city at the top of the Washington Monument. It's definitely a tourist-y activity, but summer is the perfect time to head to the top of the tower for the beautiful photo-op. 

97. Visit a farmer's market. FRESHFARM Markets hosts tons of open-air farmers markets all around the city throughout the summer. 

98. Bid farewell to summer. Enjoy the sounds and the last of the summer days Sept. 5 at the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral on the Bethany Beach Boardwalk. 

99. Relax on the Capitol lawn and take in music from the National Symphony Orchestra at D.C.'s free Labor Day Capitol Concert at the U.S. Capitol.

100. Celebrate H Street with food, music, vendors and plenty of neighborhood fun. This year's H Street Festival will take place Sept. 17, just before the official start of fall. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock, NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Alexandria Summer Restaurant Week Returns Aug. 19-28]]> Mon, 08 Aug 2016 13:58:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_51088681-%281%29.jpg

More than 50 Alexandria eateries will serve discounted lunch and dinner dishes to food lovers during the area's annual Summer Restaurant Week from Aug. 19-28.

Participating restaurants will offer lunch for $10, $15 or $20 per person as well as a three-course dinner or dinner-for-two specials for $35.

Popular establishments, such as The Wharf, King Street Tavern and Chadwicks are among the dozens of featured restaurants. The week will highlight restaurants in all corners of the city, including Old Town, Del Ray and the West End.

"At a range of locales, from fine dining establishments to casual neighborhood favorites, guests will savor the flavors of Alexandria's distinctive collective of eateries," the Restaurant Week website says.

See the complete list of participating restaurants and their special menus here.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock ]]>
<![CDATA[Lebron James' 'The Wall' Holds Casting Calls in Md., Va.]]> Thu, 25 Aug 2016 11:38:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/lebron+james+cleveland+contrato.jpg

Have you ever wanted to be on a game show? Well, here's your chance!

"The Wall," an NBC show executive produced by NBA star LeBron James, is holding casting calls in Maryland and Virginia next week.

The show is described as a cross between the "Price Is Right" game Plinko and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." 

In each episode, a 2-person team will answer trivia questions for a chance to win a "life-changing amount of cash," a press release from the show says. 

If you are interested in attending one of the four casting calls, sign up here

The casting calls will be held at the following times:

  • Thursday, Sept. 1
    3 p.m. until 7 p.m. 
    Alfred Street Baptist Church
    301 South Alfred Street
    Alexandria, Virginia 

  • Friday, Sept. 2
    3 p.m. until 7 p.m.
    Mount Ennon Baptist Church 
    9832 Piscataway Road 
    Clinton, Maryland 

  • Saturday, Sept. 3
    10 a.m. until 6 p.m. 
    First baptist Church of Glenarden
    600 WAtkins Park Drive
    Upper Marlboro, Maryland 

  • Monday, Sept. 5
    10 a.m. until 4 p.m. 
    Maryland State Fair 
    2200 York Road 
    Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Burtons Grill & Bar Opens Second Location in No. Va.]]> Mon, 22 Aug 2016 13:55:07 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000015851879_1200x675_748551235877.jpg The restaurant Burtons Grill & Bar, which serves traditional American fare, is opening a second Northern Virginia location Monday in Sterling. Dylyn Coolidge of the restaurant showed News4's Eun Yang how to make candied apples stuffed with Brie, candied bacon and more.]]> <![CDATA[Get Your Passes for African American Museum's Grand Opening]]> Tue, 16 Aug 2016 15:54:06 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NewSmithsonian.jpg

A series of events are set for the grand opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

President Barack Obama, along with other dignitaries, will dedicate the museum at an outdoor ceremony, which is set to begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 24.

Gather at the Washington Monument grounds across the street from the museum to watch the ceremony of a set of Jumbotrons. Also, enjoy a three-day festival.

Admission to the museum is free, but you must have a timed pass to enter for opening day and beyond.

The museum will be open to the public from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on opening day. The museum is offering extended hours Sunday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

After more than four years of construction, the new 400,000-square-foot Smithsonian museum is laid out to allow visitors to take a journey, first following slave ships across the ocean.

Passes will be available online in the coming days, the Smithsonian said. A limited number of passes will be available each day for walk-in visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hop-On Brew, Wine and Distillery Tours in Charlottesville]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 08:45:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/182*120/Screen+Shot+2016-07-11+at+8.57.39+PM.png

Experience all the wine, brewery and whiskey tours that Charlottesville, Virginia, has to offer without having to assign a designated driver:

Charlottesville is known for its rolling hills, historic landmarks and some of the best wineries in Virginia -- worry less about how you get to your destinations with CVille Hop on Tours, where you can visit 30 local wineries along with five ciders, two distilleries and four breweries. 

Notable stops include:

The tours are always accessible to everyone, with no minimum number of participants in your group required. Each bus transports up to 14 people to and from each destination. 

You also get selected tastings at each stop with Hop On exclusive production tours at two facilities. All-inclusive tours start at $65 per person.

If you're looking for more than a brew or wine tour, take a history, outdoor or food tour; find the info on their sister site, Cville Tours

Photo Credit: CVille Hop on Tours - Owners]]>
<![CDATA[Map: D.C. Swimming Pools Open for Summer]]> Sun, 24 Jul 2016 07:43:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/swim5.jpg

Get ready to jump in the pool! Pools in the District are open for the season.

D.C. has 18 outdoor pools and 19 spray parks open to the public; see hours here.

See a map of D.C.'s outdoor pools and spray parks below: 

View D.C. Outdoor Pools and Spray Parks in a full screen map

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[4th Annual Taste of Prince George's Set for Aug. 13]]> Fri, 05 Aug 2016 13:39:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000015677457_1200x675_738905155838.jpg Mark your calendar! The 4th Annual Taste of Prince George's will be held Aug. 13 at Six Flags. More than 30 restaurants will feature their dishes. Founder Quianne Perrin stopped by News4 Midday to talk about what guests can expect. ]]> <![CDATA[Free Outdoor Movies in the DMV]]> Tue, 31 May 2016 19:08:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NoMa-125edited.jpg

Prep your picnic baskets, round up your friends and get ready for summer movie season in the DMV. As always, there are plenty of free outdoor movie series happening all around town, and lucky for you, we've taken the time to compile this nearly endless list. 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.


Adams Morgan Movie Nights -- Marie Reed Elementary School Field, corner of 18th Street NW and California Avenue NW. Movies begin half an hour after sunset.

May 24: "Selma"

May 31: "Rebel Without a Cause"

June 7: "School of Rock"

June 14: "Pretty in Pink"

June 21: "Inside Out"

Capitol Riverfront: Front Flicks -- Canal Park, 250 M St. SE. Movies begin at sunset.

June 2: "Ocean's Eleven"

June 9: "Inside Out"

June 16: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

June 23: "Hitch"

June 30: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

July 7: "Mean Girls"

July 14: "Jurassic World"

July 21: "Minions"

July 28: "Creed"

August 4: "Pitch Perfect 2"

Aug. 11: "The Martian"

Aug. 18: "Skyfall"

Georgetown Sunset Cinema -- Georgetown Waterfront Park, intersection of K and Water Streets and Cecil Pl. NW. Movies begin at sunset. 

July 5: "Planet of the Apes"

July 12: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

July 19: "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"

July 26: "Thelma & Louise"

Aug. 2: "Into the Wild"

Golden Triangle: Golden Cinema Series -- Farragut Square Park, Connecticut Avenue NW and K Street NW. Movies begin at sunset.

May 20: "American President"

May 27: "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

June 3: "Mars Attacks!"

June 10: "Dave"

June 17: "Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb"

June 24: "The Butler"

July 1: "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde"

July 8: "Clear and Present Danger"

July 15: "Manchurian Candidate"

July 22: "National Treasure: Book of Secrets"

NoMa Family Film Night -- NoMa Junction at Storey Park, 1005 First St. NE. Movies begin at sunset.

June 21: "Home"

July 19: "Up"

August 16: "Zootopia"

NoMa Summer Screen -- NoMa Junction at Storey Park, 1005 First St. NE. Movies begin at sunset.

June 1: "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark"

June 8: "The Princess Bride"

June 15: "Guardians of the Galaxy"

June 22: "Jumanji"

June 29: "Fast Five"

July 6: "Pee Wee's Big Adventure"

July 13: "Life of Pi"

July 20: "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

July 27: "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"

Aug. 3: "Apollo 13"

Aug. 10: "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"

Aug. 17: "Jurassic Park"



Bethesda Outdoor Movies -- Woodmont Triangle, corner of Norfolk and Auburn avenues. Movies begin at 9 p.m.

July 26: "Pretty in Pink"

July 27: "Manhattan Murder Mystery"

July 28: "Brooklyn"

July 29: "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"

July 30: "Creed"

Strathmore Comcast Xfinity Outdoor Film Festival -- Strathmore Gudelsky Gazebo, 5301 Tuckerman Ln., North Bethesda. Movies begin at 9 p.m. 

Aug. 20: "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back"

Aug. 21: "Minions"

Aug. 22: "The Wizard of Oz"

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.

May 19: "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"

May 22: "Finding Nemo"

May 26: "Sleepless in Seattle"

May 29: "Monsters, Inc."

June 2: "Crazy, Stupid, Love"

June 5: "Meet the Robinsons"

June 9: "Interstellar"

June 12: "Toy Story 3"

June 16: "Hitch"

June 19: "Maleficent"

June 23: "Dirty Dancing"

June 26: "Minions"

June 30: TBD by online poll

July 3: "Surf's Up"

July 7: "Jurassic World"

July 10: "The Smurfs"

July 14: "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"

July 17: "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"

July 21: "Hot Pursuit"

July 24: "Brave"

July 28: "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"

July 31: TBD by online poll

Aug. 4: "Remember the Titans"

Aug. 7: "Cars"

Aug. 11: "The Longest Yard"

Aug. 14: "The Karate Kid"

Aug. 18: "Zoolander"

Aug. 21: "Hook"

Aug. 25: TBD by online poll

Aug. 28: "Cool Runnings"

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.

May 27: "Skyfall"

May 28: "Live and Let Die"

June 4: "Grease"

June 11: "Moonstruck"

June 18: "Sideways"

June 25: "Wedding Singer"

July 2: "Top Gun"

July 9: "Chef"

July 16: "Pitch Perfect"

July 23: "Raising Arizona"

July 30: "Adventures of Robin Hood"

Aug. 6: "Sixteen Candles"

Aug. 13: "To Catch a Thief"

Aug. 20: "Manchurian Candidate"

Aug. 27: "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope"

Sept. 3: "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"

Sept. 10: "Cinema Paradiso"

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

Oct. 27: "Wizard of Oz"



Alexandria Comcast Outdoor Film Festival -- Waterfront Park, 1 Prince St., Alexandria. Movies begin at 8:30 p.m.

July 15: "Inside Out"

July 16: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

Bush Tabernacle Summer Movie and Skate Nights -- 250 South Nursery Ave., Purcellville. Movies begin at 7 p.m.

June 24: "The Lego Movie"

July 1: "Maleficent"

July 8: "Earth to Echo"

July 15: "The Boxtrolls"

July 22: "Paddington"

July 29: "Mulan"

Aug. 5: "Toy Story 3"

Aug. 12: "Monsters University"

Aug. 19: "Into the Woods"

Aug. 26: "Big Hero 6"

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

May 21: "Inside Out"

June 18: "The Peanuts Movie"

July 16: "Toy Story"

Aug. 20: "Aladdin"

Sept. 17: "Kung Fu Panda 3"

Four Mile Summer Movie Series -- 4109 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Movies begin at sunset.

May 27: "Minions"

June 24: "The Goonies"

July 29: "Back to the Future"

Aug. 26: "Zootopia"

Lake Anne Summer Film Festival -- Lake Anne Plaza, 11404 Washington Plaza W., Reston. Movies begin at sunset. 

July 8: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

July 22: "Toy Story"

Aug. 12: "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

Aug. 26: "Lady Sings the Blues"

Lovettsville's Movies on the Green -- Lovettsville Community Center, 57 E. Broad Way, Lovettsville. Movies begin at sunset.

June 10: "Guardians of the Galaxy"

June 24: "School of Rock"

July 8: "Princess Bride"

July 22: "Mary Poppins"

August 12: "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope"

August 26: "The Peanuts Movie"

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

June 3: "Finding Nemo"

June 10: "The Goonies"

June 17: "Back to the Future"

July 1: "Field of Dreams"

July 8: "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"

July 15: "Babe the Gallant Pig"

July 22: "Raiders of the Lost Ark"

July 29: "The Princess and the Frog"

Aug. 5: "Cool Runnings"

Aug. 12: "Aladdin"

Aug. 19: "A League of Their Own"

Aug. 26: "Karate Kid"

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

Aug. 11: "Kung Fu Panda 3"

Aug. 18: "Maze Runner: Scorch Trials"

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.

June 4: "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water"

June 11: "The Martian"

June 18: "Belle"

June 25: "The Fault in Our Stars"

July 2: "Juno"

July 9: "Fantastic Four"

July 16: "The Book Thief"

July 23: "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"

July 30: "Moulin Rouge"

Aug. 6: "Joy"

Aug. 13: "All That Jazz"

Aug. 20: "The Devil Wears Prada"

Aug. 27: "The Princess Bride"

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.

May 21: "Jurassic World"

May 28: "Hotel Transylvania 2"

June 4: "Snow White"

June 11: "The Good Dinosaur"

June 18: "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"

June 25: "Minions"

July 2: "Shaun the Sheep"

July 9: "Planet 51"

July 16: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

July 23: "Open Season"

July 30: "Pixels"

Aug. 6: "Inside Out"

Aug. 13: "Max"

Aug. 20: "Gnomeo and Juliet"

Aug. 27: "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"

Sept. 3: "Karate Kid"

Sept. 10: "Zootopia"

Rossyln Cinema Outdoor Movie Festival -- Gateway Park, 1300 Lee Highway, Arlington. Movies begin at 8 p.m.

June 3: "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"

June 10: "Beethoven 2"

June 17: "Eat, Pray, Love"

June 24: "Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark"

July 1: "Coming to America"

July 8: "Dirty Dancing"

July 15: "Finding Nemo"

July 22: "Casablanca"

July 29: "Top Gun"

Aug. 5: "Up"

Aug. 12: "Roman Holiday"

Aug. 19: "Casino Royale"

Aug. 26: "The Notebook"

Starlight Cinema Centreville -- 5875 Trinity Parkway, Centreville. Movies begin at sunset.

Aug. 6: "Minions"

Aug. 13: "Inside Out"

Aug. 20: "The Good Dinosaur"

Aug. 27: "Home"

Village at Leesburg Movies Under the Stars -- 1603 Village Market Blvd. Movies begin at 8:30 p.m.

June 15: "Hotel Transylvania"

June 29: "Despicable Me"

July 13: "Hook"

July 27: "Frozen"

Aug. 10: "Finding Nemo"

Aug. 24: "Inside Out"

Photo Credit: Shivan Sarna]]>
<![CDATA[DC Restaurant Week Returns Aug. 15-21]]> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 05:53:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_393216367.jpg

Gird your stomachs -- it's happening again! Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week is coming up Aug. 15-21, as dozens of local spots dish up discounted two- and three-course meals.

Most lunches are $22, with most dinners set at $35.

Participating spots are literally too numerous to list, but include BRABO Tasting Room, Filomena, Macon Bistro & Larder and STK. See the complete list online here; some restaurants' prix-fixe menus are also listed. 

Just a word of caution: These are popular deals, so you should make a reservation to ensure you nab a spot. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Hold Your Nose! Corpse Flower Hits Peak Bloom in DC]]> Tue, 02 Aug 2016 10:15:32 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2016-08-02_0956_001.png

Hold your nose! The corpse flower at the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) has finally started to bloom. 

The flower began opening early Tuesday morning, the USBG wrote on its Facebook page.

Viewers have described the plant's smell as "a combination of garlic, fish, diapers and rotting meat," the USBG said in the statement. That stench is expected to peak between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m Tuesday. 

Your nose won't be happy, but your eyes will enjoy the display. The flower, native to Indonesia rain forests and nicknamed "the stinky plant," can grow up to 12 feet tall. Though the purple-green plant looks like one giant bud, it is actually made up of hundreds of tiny (smelly) flowers.

The last time the garden displayed a blooming corpse flower was 2013 -- and it wasn't the one blooming right now. 

Corpse flowers bloom erratically, since it can take anywhere from years to decades for the large plant to get enough energy to bloom. The plant that's stunning us all with its stinkiness is blooming for the first time, at six years old.

Though it normally closes at 5 p.m., USBG will stay open until 11 p.m. during peak bloom.

If you're not interested in getting an up close and personal whiff of the flower, you can check out the livestream above. 

Photo Credit: Screenshot of USBG Livestream
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Getting a Taste of Philly at the DNC]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 13:21:57 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/217*120/2016-07-27_1320.png You can't go to Philly and not get a cheesesteak. News4 takes a break from the Democratic National Convention to get a taste of the city. ]]> <![CDATA[Gaze at the Stars at Shenandoah Night Skies Fest]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 13:06:11 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/217*120/2016-07-26_1305.png The beauty of the night sky in Shenandoah National Park is always breathtaking. And with this intense heat, there can be no better place to cool down in the evening than under this blanket of stars out in the park. From Thursday until Sunday, the National Park Service presents its Night Sky Event. Greg Redfern, an ambassador for NASA and speaker for the Night Skies Festival, stopped by News4 Midday to offer a preview.]]> <![CDATA[Corpse Flower to Hit Peak Bloom in DC Soon]]> Sun, 31 Jul 2016 11:59:19 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20160725+corpse+flower+botanic+garden.jpg

Planning a trip to the United States Botanic Garden? You might want to plug your nose.

A corpse flower, named for its odor, is expected to hit peak bloom at the garden from Thursday to Sunday, the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) said in a release Monday.

“We’re open until 8 p.m. every night while the flower is getting ready to bloom. As soon as we see it’s going into its ‘stench cycle’ let’s call it, we’re going to stay open until 11 o’clock at night,” said Ari Novy, the executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden, told WTOP Radio.

Viewers have described the plant's smell as "a combination of garlic, fish, diapers and rotting meat," the USBG said in the statement.

Your nose won't be happy, but your eyes will enjoy the display. The flower, native to Indonesia rain forests and nicknamed "the stinky plant," can grow up to 12 feet tall. Though the purple-green plant looks like one giant bud, it is actually made up of hundreds of tiny (smelly) flowers.

The last time the garden displayed a blooming corpse flower was 2013 -- and it wasn't the one you're about to see this week. 

Corpse flowers bloom erratically, since it can take anywhere from years to decades for the large plant to get enough energy to bloom. The plant that's about to stun us all with its stinkiness is blooming for the first time, at six years old.

The corpse flower went on display at the garden Friday. Though it normally closes at 5 p.m., USBG will stay open until 8 p.m. while the flower is there and keep its doors open until 11 p.m. during peak bloom.

Photo Credit: United States Botanic Garden
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Porcupine Born at National Zoo]]> Wed, 20 Jul 2016 12:32:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/255*120/porcupette.jpg

The National Zoo has welcomed an adorable new baby porcupine, or porcupette -- yes, this is a word.

The baby was born Tuesday and appears to be doing well and is nursing, the zoo said.

Its prehensile-tailed porcupine population now totals three, including the newly born baby. The proud parents are Bess and Clark, the zoo said.

The family is available for viewing at the zoo's small mammal house.

The porcupette weighed in at 378 grams Thursday morning. Its sex isn't yet known, but a quill has been collected for genetic testing. The results won't be in for a few weeks, said National Zoo spokesperson Annalisa Meyer.

Bess and Clark had another baby, named Charlotte, back in October. Since then, Charlotte has been moved to a different zoo, Meyer said.

Photo Credit: Smithsonian National Zoo
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<![CDATA[Art Lovers Have Virginia Town Over a Barrel]]> Thu, 14 Jul 2016 20:03:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000015428860_1200x675_725444163613.jpg A wine barrel art project highlights businesses around Purcellville, Virginia.]]> <![CDATA[Rained Out? Find Rescheduled Fireworks Shows]]> Tue, 05 Jul 2016 21:02:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_109507571.jpg

Opted out of seeing fireworks on the Fourth due to the evening's persistent rain? You've got a few more chances! Several spots in Maryland have rescheduled their fireworks shows.

Rescheduled for Tuesday night:

  • College Park (University of Maryland College Park, 7965 Baltimore Ave.)
  • Dundalk (North Point Government Center/Grange Elementary, 1733 Merritt Blvd.)
  • Greenbelt (Buddy Attick Lake Park, 555 Crescent Road
  • Salisbury

Rescheduled for Friday night:

  • Gaithersburg (Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm, 506 South Frederick Ave.)
  • Solomons Island

Rescheduled for July 24:

  • Frederick (Baker Park, 121 N. Bentz St.)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Folklife Fest Brings Basque Country, Sounds of Calif. to DC]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 19:22:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/folklifeCrop.jpg

Head to the National Mall to find the culture and flavors of Basque Country and the sounds of California at this year's Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

The annual festival at the National Mall celebrates traditional cultures and lifestyles, usually featuring one to three themes each year. This year, it's all about the traditions of Basque Country of northern Spain, as well as the music and stories shaping California. 

Basque: Innovation by Culture features traditional Basque foods, such as bean stew and pimientos rellenos, as well as music and dance performations, sports and language lessons.

At Sounds of California, which celebrates the many cultures thriving in one of the country's most diverse states, you'll find musical performances of everything from native song traditions to Japanese American Buddhist traditions to Mixteco fiesta traditions.

The fest also offers several events with the theme "On the Move: Migration and Immigration Today."

See the full schedule here.

"People think it's the greatest way to learn about other cultures and other people," said Richard Kurin, former director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage, in a promotional video. "It is an intimate type of learning where you can learn right from the practitioners of those cultural traditions."

The festival kicks off at the National Mall from June 29 to July 4, then picks up again July 7 through 10. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with special events most evenings starting at 6:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Francisco Guerra]]>
<![CDATA[Maryland Live! Casino to Add $200M Hotel, Events Center ]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 15:09:28 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/maryland+live.jpg

A $200 million expansion of the Maryland Live! Casino will add a 17-story hotel, massive concert venue, luxurious spa and many more amenities to the largest gaming center in the state, casino officials announced Monday.

The hotel is slated to include 310 rooms, an event center, meeting spaces, a spa and new dining options, which will all be adjacent to the casino in Anne Arundel County. The expansion plan also include a 1,500-seat concert venue, a shopping center and about 1,000 parking spaces.

"The addition of our flagship Live! Hotel is just the latest investment we are making to ensure Maryland Live! continues to be the preferred choice for visitors seeking a world-class gaming and entertainment experience," said Robert J. Norton, president of Cordish Global, the developers behind the expansion, in a release.

The plan comes amid the ongoing construction of the MGM National Harbor resort in Prince George's County, which will include hundreds of luxury rooms for guests and more than 3,000 permanent jobs for those in the area. MGM National Harbor is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The Live! Hotel is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the area, including about 550 in construction and about 400 permanent jobs, according to a statement from the casino.

Groundbreaking for the Live! Hotel is scheduled for this fall, and the project should be completed by the end of 2017.

Photo Credit: Maryland Live!]]>
<![CDATA[Fireworks Finder: Fourth of July in the DC Area]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 17:02:40 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20160622+fireworks.jpg

The battle of the booms is on again this year, as tons of spots in and around the District celebrate Independence Day with parades, fireworks and family activities. No matter where you are in the DMV, there's bound to be a close-to-home option for your Fourth of July festivities. 

All events are happening July 4 unless otherwise noted.


National Mall

Head to the National Mall to celebrate independence surrounded by memorials to the founding fathers. While you're at the mall, you can catch an Independence Day Parade from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year's Capitol Fourth Concert from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the U.S. Capitol's West Lawn (East Capitol Street NE and First Street SE) will feature performances by the National Symphony Orchestra, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins and others. Gates for the concert open at 3 p.m. The National Park Service puts on the firework show over the National Mall at 9:09 p.m.

Fireworks by Boat

If you're looking to skip the crowds at the National Mall, watch the fireworks by boat on the Potomac River. A number of ferry companies are offering special cruises, including Odyssey and D.C. Harbor Cruises, so you can spend the evening eating dinner on the river and watching the firework show.

The Palisades

Check out the Palisades' 50th annual parade and picnic. Lineup for the 11 a.m. parade begins at Whitehaven Parkway (enter through Foxhall Road) at 10 a.m., and you are welcome to participate. The parade ends at the Palisades Recreation Center (5200 Sherier Place NW), where you can also enjoy hot dogs, watermelon, live music and moon bounces at a free picnic.

National Archives

Remember the reason we're celebrating with the National Archives' Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. After that, you can catch a live musical performance and take a peek as the Independence Day Parade winds past the building (700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW). If you get there between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., you can also sign a replica of the Declaration.


Spend the evening at the Annapolis City Dock (160 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis) for all the Fourth of July fun you could desire -- a parade at 6:30 p.m., music from the U.S. Naval Academy Band at 8 and fireworks at 9:15 p.m.


The U.S. Navy band Cruisers will serenade guests with a contemporary performance before fireworks choreographed to music light up the sky at the Inner Harbor. The concert will start at 7 p.m. at the Inner Harbor Amphitheatre (201 E. Pratt St., Baltimore) and the fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m.


This year's Germantown Glory July Fourth celebration will kick off with a concert by Tina Turner Revue featuring Suzette Dorsey in the Maryland SoccerPlex at South Germantown Recreational Park (18031 Central Park Circle, Boyds). Fireworks will begin at 9:15 p.m.

College Park

Bring a blanket or lawn chair to relax in the grass under the fireworks celebration at the University of Maryland College Park (7965 Baltimore Ave., College Park). The event will also include hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream and more classic summertime eats. Fireworks will begin around 9 p.m.

Chesapeake Bay (July 1)

Start your celebration early! Watch fireworks over the water in the town of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, on Friday, July 1. The exciting show will begin at dusk.

Deep Creek Lake

Enjoy a fireworks display with an unparalleled scenic view of Marsh Mountain and Deep Creek Lake at the area's annual Fire on the Mountain Fireworks Display. Be sure to check out Deep Creek Lake's website for a full list of ideal viewing spots. Fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m.


A drum circle, picnic areas and a walking trail are all available for visitors to enjoy at Buddy Attick Lake Park (555 Crescent Road, Greenbelt). The drum circle will begin at 5:30 p.m., with music from the Greenbelt Concert Band at 7:30 and fireworks at 9 p.m.

Laurel (July 2)

The city's 38th annual Fourth of July celebration is an all-day event July 2 that will include a parade, a car show, a hot dog eating contest and, of course, fireworks over the lake. The parade begins at 11 a.m. and fireworks will begin at 9:15 p.m., with tons of fun activities in between.

Ocean City

The Reagan Years will perform a free concert on the beach (N. Division St., Ocean City) starting at 8 p.m. Fireworks will follow at 9:30 p.m. 

Prince George's County (July 2-4)

Head to Six Flags America (13710 Central Ave., Upper Marlboro) on July 2, 3 or 4 for an evening of live music followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m. The park's July Fourth Fest also includes special offers for pass holders.


Rockville's Independence Day festivities will kick off with a peace gathering at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park (1800 Pickard Drive, Rockville), followed by three live music performances. Fireworks over the football field will begin at 9:15 p.m.

Solomons Island

Spend the holiday near the water, starting with a boat parade around Solomons Island at noon. Fireworks will begin between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m. 

Takoma Park

Takoma Park will celebrate its 127th July Fourth events with a parade and fireworks at Takoma Park Middle School (7611 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring). The parade will begin at 10 a.m., and evening events -- including a performance by the Takoma Park Community Band and the Polyphony Marimba Ensemble -- will start at 7 p.m. Fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m.


Alexandria (July 9)

Celebrate Alexandria's birthday July 9 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The celebration offers food, entertainment, a concert by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, fireworks and plenty of birthday cake. The event will take place at Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison St., Alexandria).

Arlington (no fireworks)

Arlington promises food trucks, kickball, face painting, moon bounces and more at their Independence Day celebration at Long Bridge Park (475 Long Bridge Drive, Arlington). There is no on-site parking, but you can catch free shuttles from the Pentagon City and Crystal City Metro stations. Along with live performances, the event, which runs from 5 to 10 p.m., offers a view of the D.C. fireworks.

Colonial Williamsburg

Catch some food, entertainment and fireworks at Colonial Williamsburg 4 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at Williamsburg Lodge (310 S England St., Williamsburg). Tickets are $89.95 for adults and $50.95 for children ages 3 to 10.


The City of Fairfax marks its 50th Independence Day Celebration with a parade from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Following the parade, there will be a Superhero Fest, where you can meet your favorite heroes, including Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Captain America and others from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. The evening show at Fairfax High School (3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax) will start at 6 p.m., featuring performances by local bands, capped off with fireworks at 9:30.

Falls Church

Falls Church will celebrate Independence Day at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church) with live music starting at 7 p.m. and fireworks at 9:20 p.m.

Great Falls

Take a walk or jog early at an 8 a.m. 5K in Great Falls Freedom Memorial. Then you can catch a 9 a.m. Little Patriot Parade for toddlers and a main parade at 10 a.m. at the Great Falls Village Centre (776 Walker Road, Great Falls), followed by music, food and games. An evening of live music, games and food trucks at Turner Farm Park (925 Springvale Road, Great Falls) begins at 6 p.m. and ends with an evening firework show.


Head to Bready Park at the Herndon Community Center (814 Ferndale Ave., Herndon) to make arts and crafts, play games and buy food starting at 6:30 p.m. You can listen to live music starting at 7:15 p.m. and catch fireworks at 9:30.


Leesburg kicks off the day at 10 a.m. with an Independence Day Parade that winds through the historic downtown area starting at Ida Lee Park (60 Ida Lee Drive NW, Leesburg). You can taste a variety of food and listen to live music starting at 6:30 p.m., and fireworks are at 9:30 p.m. at the park. You can park in interior lots off Ida Lee drive or at field parking off King Street.


Spend the day in the historic downtown of Manassas and enjoy rides, food and vendors. You can also compete in bike decorating, watermelon eating and apple pie contests. The event lasts from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. and the fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. on the Manassas Museum lawn (9101 Prince William St.).


Catch some DJ music and snack vendors before a firework show at Churchill Road Elementary School (7100 Churchill Road, McLean). The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. If the parking lot fills up, you can catch free shuttle buses from the McLean Community Center or St. John's Episcopal Church.

Mount Vernon

Spend your Independence Day at George Washington's historic estate (3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon). Mount Vernon celebrates with a naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, live music and daytime fireworks at 1 p.m. The day goes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $9 to $19, but kids age five and younger get in free.

Potomac Nationals

As the Potomac Nationals take on the Wilmington Blue Rocks at 6:35 p.m. at Pfitzner Stadium (7 County Complex Court, Woodbridge), you can celebrate the day with an all-you-can-eat pre-game picnic 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and postgame fireworks. Tickets are available online.


Take a spin on a carousel or a ride on a boat from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Starting at 4 p.m., you can enjoy live music at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston) followed by 9:15 p.m. fireworks. Call 703-471-5415 to make a reservation to stay at the park's campgrounds overnight.


Check out a chili dog eating contest and shows by the Old Bay Circus Company at Vienna's Fourth of July Celebration at Yeonas Park (1319 Ross Drive SW, Vienna). You can catch the circus shows at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., and live music starts at 7 p.m. The day culminates with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. 

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<![CDATA[Trillectro 2016 Lineup Announced]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 16:11:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/N77A2743.jpg

Kid Cudi and Rae Sremmurd will headline the fifth annual Trillectro music festival coming up Aug. 27, the event organizers announced Wednesday.

The daylong festival -- which brings together established and up-and-coming R&B, hip-hop, electronic and indie rock artists -- will also feature plenty of local stars including GoldLink, Ari Lennox, Jay IDK and more at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.

More than a dozen total performers will take to the stage, with YesJulz as the host for the third year in a row.

Presale tickets are on sale now for $55-$95, but seats are going quickly. Head to Trillectro's website to see the full lineup and purchase tickets.

Photo Credit: Josh Cogan]]>