<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Worth the Trip]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcwashington.com/blogs/worth-the-trip http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usTue, 31 May 2016 10:44:55 -0400Tue, 31 May 2016 10:44:55 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Free Outdoor Movies in the DMV]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 16:45:45 -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.

IN THE DISTRICT:

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"

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"

 

IN MARYLAND:

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"

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"

 

IN VIRGINIA

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[What to Do Today: Your Memorial Day Guide]]> Mon, 30 May 2016 07:50:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-535367748.jpg

Memorial Day brings many good things: the unofficial beginning of summer, barbecues, days off work and a chance to honor those who sacrificed everything for their country. Our guide will keep you from missing a single fun or meaningful event.

Forecast: A few clouds and temperatures in the high 60s to low 80s. The western suburbs of D.C. have a chance for a few sprinkles in late morning. There's also a chance for rain in the afternoon, and showers east of I-95 in the evening.

National Memorial Day Parade

Of course D.C. has one of the biggest Memorial Day parades in the nation. This parade happens on the National Mall, honoring veterans from the Revolutionary War onward. The parade begins at 2 p.m. along Constitution Ave NW and runs between 7th and and 17th streets NW.

Note that there are numerous road closures in effect around the Mall for the parade:

  • Constitution Avenue NW from 23rd to 6th streets NW
  • 15th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Constitution Avenue NW
  • 14th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
  • 10th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Constitution Avenue NW
  • 9th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Constitution Avenue NW
  • 7th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
  • 6th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Constitution

National Memorial Day Concert

Lucky people who live in D.C. or are visiting for Memorial Day can actually go to the concert -- although the show also looks good broadcast live on PBS. The Beach Boys are headlining this year, along with the U.S. Navy Band and other musical military acts. The free event takes place on the Capitol's West Lawn -- try to ensure your spot by showing up when gates open at 5 p.m. The concert starts at 8 p.m.

Falls Church Memorial Day Festival and Parade

Falls Church celebrates with a 3K fun run starting at 9 a.m., with live music from 40 Thieves at 9:15 a.m. and kids' amusements all day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a 165-year-old farmhouse is open for tours. In honor of Memorial Day, a veterans ceremony is set for 11 a.m, with a performance by the Falls Church Concert Band at 12:15 p.m. and a parade kicking off at 2 p.m.

Rockville Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade

Rockville celebrates Memorial Day with the Rockville Band and Chorus at 9 a.m., a ceremony at 9:30 a.m. and a parade at 10:30 a.m.

National Museum of the Marine Corps 

A Huey medevac helicopter shot down during the Vietnam War has been transformed into modern art on display at this museum in Triangle, Virginia.

"Washed Ashore" at the National Zoo

With "Washed Ashore," the zoo has debuted stunning animal sculptures -- all made from trash, to inform and remind people about the more than 300 billion pounds of trash that winds up in our oceans.

PostSecret at the National Postal Museum

For the past 12 years, Germantown resident Frank Warren has received thousands of postcards bearing the anonymous senders' deepest secrets, and shares them on his website, PostSecret. More than 500 of the postcards -- works of art in themselves -- are on display at the Postal Museum through Aug. 3.

Visit Arlington National Cemetery

A quarter-million American flags will be placed on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of fallen soldiers -- which promises to be a profound sight. On Memorial Day, the Memorial Day Roses Foundation will also give visitors roses that they can leave on the graves.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Places to Visit in DC With Family & Friends]]> Sun, 22 May 2016 09:15:06 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/2016-05-23_0529.jpg Forget the museums and monuments on the National Mall. We found some spots in D.C. you may want to check out. First 4 Traffic's Melissa Mollet reports.]]> <![CDATA[BioBlitz Events Give Hands-On Experience in Local Parks]]> Fri, 20 May 2016 12:47:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/2016-05-20_1245.jpg This weekend, nature-lovers can help National Park Service workers document the flora and fauna in local parks. News4's Megan McGrath talks with a Park Service spokeswoman about the offerings, including a tour of a "magical garden" in the District's Kenilworth neighborhood.]]> <![CDATA[Kingsmill Resort's Lazy River: Actually Pretty Fast]]> Tue, 17 May 2016 13:01:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/kingsmill2.jpg

You don't need to go far for a family vacation filled with water parks, relaxation and history -- Kingsmill Resort is rolling out the red carpet with their Ultimate Family Fun vacation package.

The resort's three-night, four-day vacation package starts at $125 per person per night and includes tickets for you and your family to three key Williamsburg destinations: Busch Gardens, Water Country USA and Colonial Williamsburg. The package also includes daily breakfast, complimentary shuttle service, free parking and discounted golf.

You should also know that Kingsmill's massive onsite lazy river (which is actually pretty fast) is opening May 27 -- all 250,000 gallons of it.

The lazy river, which whisks guests along at up to 5 mph, surrounds the resort's outdoor pool -- and because Kingsmill is on the banks of the James River, you may see Navy ships sitting idle just beyond your deck, a unique feature of the location.

Inside the resort, you'll find an indoor pool that's always a balmy 85 degrees and a sports club fit for an athlete. Other highlights include the Kingsmill Spa, with 50 services covering head to toe.

The Ultimate Family Fun Vacation package is available most days May 27 thorough Sept. 5.

Kingsmill Resort is located at 1010 Kingsmill Road, Williamsburg, Virginia, about three and a half hours from downtown D.C.



Photo Credit: Kingsmill Resort]]>
<![CDATA[Our Picks for Virginia's Best Tea Rooms]]> Mon, 16 May 2016 17:13:32 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_419886892.jpg

Afternoon tea never looked so good. Whether you fancy traditional British tea or Southern tea, Virginia has plenty of proper tea rooms for your next tea-drinking destination.

Rosemont Manor
16 Rosemont Manor Lane, Berryville

Presidents have walked the halls of this historic manor in Berryville, where you'll find a selection of curated teas where they blend traditional British afternoon tea with the old-fashioned Southern tea charm.

"You are stepping back into a time where people were kinder, more gracious, where life slows down for a moment and you truly get to enjoy the time, season and the moment," said Michael Haymaker, director of design at Rosemont.

Rosemont Manor is located about an hour and 40 minutes from downtown D.C.

The British Pantry
41153 John Mosby Highway, Aldie

The only way you could know about the British Pantry is if you've driven by it. That's how we found out about this gem of a tea room. This tiny British-style tea room offers creative afternoon teas, like the Winter Warmer, Tears for Downton Abbey and Bunny Whimsy, depending on the time of year and upcoming holidays. Kids seem to love learning the etiquette of using proper tea settings -- and chowing down on the tasty mini-cake bites, of course.

The British Pantry is located about 90 minutes from downtown D.C.

White Oak Tea Room
5690 Roanoke Road, Troutville

This pub-style tearoom is located in an 18th-century house known as the Cloyd House. The refurbished home-turned-tavern has guests enjoying premium whole leaf teas in flavors such as ginger root, lavender and peach apricot along with Assam, Kenyan and Yunnan blends.

White Oak Tea Room is located about four hours and 15 minutes from downtown D.C.

Crest Hill Antiques and Tea Room
4303 Fauquier Ave., The Plains

Crest Hill Tea Room is located in The Plains, an area with some of the best rolling farm fields of Virginia -- and throughout May, Crest Hill is celebrating Mothers Day every day. The spot offers a luncheon with petite soup, assorted tea savories with chocolate tier, pastries and veggie garnish. Each guest will also receive a long-stemmed rose, a gift and a 15 percent discount in the store.

Crest Hill is located about an hour and 35 minutes from downtown D.C.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[GI Film Festival Coming Up]]> Mon, 16 May 2016 17:25:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2016-05-16_1723.jpg Co-founders Laura Law-Millet and Brandon Millet preview some of the films being shown at the upcoming G.I. Film Festival, called the "Sundance for Veterans." The festival runs May 21-29, in and around D.C. ]]> <![CDATA[Celebrate National Kids to Parks Day With Buddy Bison]]> Tue, 17 May 2016 16:00:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000014743095_1200x675_687360067711.jpg Grace Lee, executive director of the National Park Trust, and Buddy Bison dish on National Kids to Parks Day, coming up May 21.]]> <![CDATA[10 Activities to Cheer You Up Despite the Rain ]]> Fri, 13 May 2016 10:45:23 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_332856707.jpg

D.C.'s record-breaking stretch of rainfall is making our yards look like jungles, but worse might be the effect on our moods. Days and days of dreary weather is wearing on the psyche -- so we dug deep and found ways to have fun despite the weather.

1) Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden for an indoor walk through nature.

A stroll through the U.S. Botanic Garden (100 Maryland Ave. SW) may be the closest you'll get to a true nature walk this week. Head to the gardens Saturday at 10:30 a.m. for a free yoga session sponsored by WithLoveDC, which aims to foster acceptance and accessibility for everyone in D.C.

2) Pretend you're skipping town at the EU embassies.

Leaving town to escape the weather might be a bit of a logistical challenge. Lucky for you, 28 EU embassies are opening their doors Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a day packed with food, culture and a massive scavenger hunt. Keep your umbrella handy though because this annual event always promises long waits in outdoor lines.

3) Get a head start on swim season at Great Wolf Lodge.

If you really miss D.C.'s summer humidity, Great Wolf Lodge (549 East Rochambeau Drive, Williamsburg, Virginia) may be just the place for you to celebrate the summer to come. The lodge's indoor water park includes a variety of slides and pools the whole family can enjoy. While you're there, plan a visit to Elements Spa Salon for a truly relaxing getaway.

4) Embrace the gloom and search for comfort foods.

A rainy day is a perfect opportunity to leave your neighborhood in pursuit of good food. Baked and Wired (1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW) in Georgetown offers cupcakes and coffee in a cozy environment if you're willing to take on the weekend lines. For a quieter scene, head to Teaism, which has multiple locations around the District, and get a bite to eat and, of course, a great cup of hot tea.

5) Or stay home and get cooking.

If you really can't bear the thought of heading out in the gloom, search for a new recipe to try at home. Look to websites like Allrecipes, Epicurious or Pinterest for a wide variety of new ideas, or call your friends for a baking day and recipe swap.

6) Work off all that food at an indoor trampoline park.

Now that you've eaten your way through a weather-induced slump, it's time to get your adrenaline going at Flight Trampoline Park (7200 Fullerton Road, Springfield, Virginia). Bouncing around on 15,000 square feet of interconnected trampolines only 30 minutes away from the city will certainly cheer you up on even the most dismal of rainy days. Check the park's website for a schedule of unique trampoline workout classes called "Fit Flight," which are hosted four days per week.

7) Climb out of the gloom with a rocky adventure.

An afternoon of indoor rock climbing is another way to get ready for all the outdoor fun that is yet to come this summer. Multiple gyms and climbing locations in the area -- including Sportrock (Alexandria and Sterling) and Earth Treks (Arlington and Rockville) -- offer rock walls and climbing classes for beginners. Be sure to check website like Groupon and LivingSocial for local deals on climbing passes.

8) Fly high at trapeze school.

Few indoor workouts are more invigorating than soaring through the air at the Trapeze School New York (1299 New Jersey Ave. SE). The school's flying trapeze course is a fun way to escape both your comfort zone and the bad weather. Take an indoor class now and come back again to experience the outdoor rig when the weather gets warmer.

9) Enjoy the rain or sunshine at Biergarten Haus on H Street.

The D.C. treasure otherwise known as Biergarten Haus (1355 H St. NE) offers multiple indoor and outdoor bars, giving you the perfect social space no matter what the weekend weather turns out to be. Enjoy three outdoor spaces plus a rooftop deck if the sun shows for a moment, or stay inside for two stories of German-inspired boozy fun right here in the District.

10) Do dinner and a show at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse.

Of course, if the weather really does have you down, a movie marathon paired with take out pizza are classic rainy day standbys. But at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington, Virginia), you can relax with a classic movie while the pros do the work for you. The theater serves alcohol and a full menu and provides tableside service to moviegoers.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Mount Vernon Estate's New Chintz Room Opens]]> Mon, 09 May 2016 13:59:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/mv6.jpg

After almost two years of restorations, the Chintz Room at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate reopened to the public Saturday.

The redo came after Mount Vernon's architecture team discovered evidence that radically changed its understanding and interpretation of the second floor room, according to a release.

Forensic analysis uncovered evidence for early repairs to the east wall that trapped a small fragment of the room's first, floral (known as "chintz") wallpaper.

"The careful research carried out by Historic Preservation and Collections staff is breathing new life into this space," Mount Vernon Senior Vice President Carol B. Cadou said in a release. "This room will give visitors a real taste of the vibrancy of the late 18th century."

The space has been previously known as the Nelly Custis Bedchamber, but documentary evidence shows that during the Washington's lifetime, the space was actually known as the Chintz Room, the release said.

Curatorial staff discovered that the bed hangings were most likely those purchased by Washington in Philadelphia in 1774, made by Betsy Ross.

Although few of the original furniture remains, the Washingtons' detailed records allowed curators to find accurate period objects to furnish the room. However, an original crib, gifted to Nelly Custis Lewis by Martha Washington in 1799, will return to the room.



Photo Credit: George Washington's Mount Vernon]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Mount Vernon's Newly Restored Room]]> Mon, 09 May 2016 13:56:42 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/mv6.jpg After almost two years of restorations, the Chintz Room at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate reopened to the public Saturday.

Photo Credit: George Washington's Mount Vernon]]>
<![CDATA[7 Ways to Experience the World (Without Leaving DC)]]> Sat, 07 May 2016 09:01:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Dragon+Boat+festival.jpg

A trip around the world requires time, money and planning -- but this month, you can take a staycation that feels like travelling across the globe during Passport DC.

Passport DC fills the entire month of May with embassy tours, festivals, special exhibits with an international theme.

Find a full list on the Cultural Tourism DC website, and read on for our guide to the best events:

She Who Tells A Story: Women Photographers From Iran and the Arab World

  • Through July 31
  • Admission: $10 for adults; discounts for youth, students and seniors

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (1250 New York Ave. NW) features this collection of photographs and videos through July. The artists are Arab and Iranian women who captured images of life in different Middle Eastern countries.

Flower Mart at the Washington National Cathedral

  • May 6-7
  • Free admission

For the past 76 years, the flower market has welcomed spring at the Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW). You can pick up Mother's Day flowers from dozens of vendors, shop artists' markets, or for a fee, take special tours of the cathedral.

Around the World Embassy Tour 

  • May 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Free admission

More than 30 embassies will open their doors to the public on Saturday so everyone can experience food, art and culture from countries from Afghanistan to Venezuela. The organizers recommend bringing a photo ID. A map of all the participating embassies is online here. Pro tip: The N2, N3, N4 and N6 bus lines go right past most of the embassy tour stops! 

Shortcut to Europe: European Union Embassies' Open House

  • May 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Free admission

Euro-philes get their own embassy tour day on Saturday, May 14. Celebrate European culture with food, dancing and films from Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and more than a dozen other embassies. The event website has a map online here.

Eurovision Screening Party Event With Live Broadcast From Stockholm

  • May 14, 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Admission: $15

Eurovision is a massive competition, when European countries duke it out over which country submitted the most popular song of the year. Sweden is hosting this year, and people in the State can catch Eurovision during the House of Sweden (2900 K St. NW) watch party May 14 beginning at 1:30 p.m.

National Asian Heritage Festival: Fiesta Asia Street Fair

  • May 21, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Free admission

You should expect Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 3rd and 6th streets to be filled with dancing, martial arts demonstrations, flash mobs and the smell of cooking on Saturday, May 21 when this festival takes over.

The Washington, D.C. Dragon Boat Festival

  • May 21-22, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Free admission

The D.C. Dragon Boat festival promotes Chinese culture and the sport of dragon boat racing -- when teams in ornate water crafts will speed down the Potomac River near Thompson's Boat Center (2900 Virginia Ave. NW). A traditional lion dance and eye-dotting ceremony will kick things off 8:30 a.m. ob Saturday, May 21. You can watch races during the day, and also visit the nearby arts and crafts area. Find the full schedule online here.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[MGM Casino at National Harbor to Open This Year]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 15:59:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2016-05-03_1556.jpg The $1.3 billion MGM Casino at National Harbor will be finished and open by the end of the year. General Manager Bill Boasberg and Alison Bybee, vice president of Food and Beverage Operations, bring us up to speed on the progress being made on this major new resort.]]> <![CDATA[Chemistry of Perfect Beer: 'Science on Tap' Fest]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 11:12:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/craftbeerfestival.jpg

Get educated on the chemistry of a perfect beer at Richmond's upcoming craft beer festival, Science on Tap.

Held at the Science Museum of Virginia, the all-ages festival will feature live music, food trucks and a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into creating a signature draft.

In addition to the 10 participating local breweries serving up their drinks, five special beers crafted exclusively for the festival will be unveiled, said Sarah Zalesiak of the Emerging Leaders Council of the Science Museum of Virginia.

Admission is $10 for attendees 12 years and older. Kinds younger than 12 will be admitted free with a paying adult. Museum exhibit admission is not included with festival admission.

The festival is set for Saturday, May 7 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Participating Breweries:

  • Ardent Craft Ales
  • Bold Rock Hard Cider
  • Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
  • Legend Brewing Company
  • Midnight Brewery
  • Old Bust Head Brewing Company
  • Steam Bell Beer Works
  • Strangeways Brewing
  • Starr Hill Brewery
  • Triple Crossing Brewery



Photo Credit: Shutterstuck]]>
<![CDATA[Park Rx: Get Healthy in National Parks]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 14:33:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000014569121_1200x675_677812803539.jpg Getting outside is good for physical and mental health, doctors say. National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis discusses a new movement to encourage people to get out and exercise.]]> <![CDATA[Virtual Tour: Dupont Underground Is Open]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 18:59:50 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DU+V2+Cropped+IMG_0862.JPG D.C.'s newest art exhibition opened Friday beneath the crowded streets of Dupont Circle.

Photo Credit: Sophia Barnes]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrate Pirates at the Blackbeard Pirate Fest]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 11:22:57 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Blackbeard+Festival+pic.jpg

Ahoy, matey! Grab your eye patch and bandana and join 50,000 other pirate enthusiasts for... a giant pirate festival, obviously.

The Blackbeard Pirate Festival in downtown Hampton, Virginia returns for its 17th year, featuring pirate costumes, battle re-enactments, bird shows, replica pirate ships, colonial games, cannon-loading and so much more.

Named one of the Top Five Pirate Festivals in North America by USA Today Travel last year, the celebration will kick off with the Blackbeard Ball on June 3 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina Hotel (700 Settlers Landing Road). It will continue with a weekend of events on June 4 (10 a.m.-10 p.m.) and June 5 (noon-6 p.m.).

The festival will offer a nod to Blackbeard the Pirate and other outlaws who sailed through Virginia shores in the 1600s and 1700s, looking to rob ships filled with tobacco and other goods.

Blackbeard himself (played by interpreter Ben Cherry) will be at the festival, along with more than 100 other pirate and militia re-enactors, who are sure to get into some street skirmishes.

Other attractions will include a replica of Blackbeard's pirate camp and vessels, 17th- and 18th-century goods for sale, a re-enactment of Blackbeard's well-known battle with Lt. Maynard, a funeral procession parade and a plethora of treasures for all.

A children's area will feature kid-friendly colonial games and performances and the Picaroon School for Aspiring Pirates.

Saturday night will end with a firework show to celebrate the festivities.

Although the weekend festival is free admission, the Friday ball costs $35 in advance (call 757-727-6348) or $40 at the door.

For pirates who are shipping into the festival, dock space is available. For more information, call Hampton Public Piers at (757) 727-1276, Customs House Marina (757) 868-9375, Bluewater Marina (757) 723-6774, Sunset Boating Center (757) 722-3325, or Joy’s Marina (757) 723-1022.



Photo Credit: Hampton Blackbeard Pirate Festival]]>
<![CDATA[Shenandoah Apple Blossom Fest Kicks Off April 22]]> Mon, 21 Mar 2016 15:51:23 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_114014035.jpg

So let's take stock. Carnival? Check. Wine festival? Check. Talent show? Check. Tennis competition? Check. Fire truck rodeo? Sure, why not?

The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival pretty much has any type of small town-style fun you could want to have, and then some. It's all happening April 22 to May 1 in Winchester, Virginia.

Events run the gamut from an Apple Blossom's Got Talent! competition to a midway chock full of rides and games, plus that wine fest we mentioned: two days (April 22-23) featuring 20 Virginia wineries and serving as the official kickoff for the 89th annual Apple Blossom Festival.

Other notable events include tasting and orchard tours of Winchester Cider Works, an Oldies Rock 'n' Roll Dance, an apple pie-baking contest, the coronation of Queen Shenandoah, and a fire truck rodeo with a display of new and antique firefighting equipment.

Winchester is far enough that you'll feel like you're getting away from everything, but not so far that you'd need to stay the night... unless you're really interested in that wine festival, anyway. Plan for about a two-hour trip if you're driving from downtown D.C. on a Saturday or Sunday.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[5 Music Fests Just a Bus Ride Away]]> Wed, 30 Mar 2016 16:29:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/181*120/GettyImages-495071509.jpg

Can't make it to Coachella? That's not a problem -- there are plenty of great music festivals on the East Coast. 

If you're ready for a road trip or bus ride, these five festivals not only have a diverse lineup but are also accessible to east coast music lovers. 

1. Roots Picnic: June 4 -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Lineup: Usher, Future, Migos, Kehlani & more

The 9th annual day of music hosted by The Roots boasts a lineup of older and newer talent: Usher, DMX and Swizz Beatz share a stage with Kehlani, Willow Smith and Leon Bridges. The venue is Festival Pier at Penn's Landing, so you can also enjoy a waterfront view of the Delaware River. Find tickets online here.

2. Firefly Music Festival: June 16-19 -- Dover, Delaware

Lineup: Florence & the Machine, Earth Wind & Fire, D.R.A.M & more

The four-day festival returns for its fifth year. It'll be especially poignant this year with Earth, Wind and Fire as part of the lineup; founding member Maurice White died earlier this month. D.C. rapper Goldlink will also share the stage. For those who want a full festival experience, campgrounds are available for tents and RVs. Other activities include an on-site craft beer bar, public hammocks and group yoga classes. Find tickets online here.

3. Moogfest: May 19-22 -- Durham, North Carolina

Lineup: Grimes, Skepta, Ryan Hemsworth & more

For serious music lovers and creators, Moogfest is a combination music festival and technology conference. Its namesake is Dr. Robert Moog, a pioneer in electronic music and inventor of the Moog synthesizer, which continues to be used by musicians today. Festival partners include Google and MIT Media Lab, with presentations and workshops available. As for the lineup, it includes music innovators GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, Grimes and Blood Orange. Find tickets online here.

4. Governors Ball Music Festival: June 3-5 -- New York City

Lineup: Miguel, The Strokes, Kanye West & more

Governors Ball is quickly growing to be one of the biggest music festivals on the east coast. Its lineup has grown enormously since it started as a single-day festival in 2011. Kanye West returns as a headliner with The Strokes and The Killers. Spanning the first weekend of June, a range of music genres will be represented from Beck and FIDLAR to Miguel and Joey Bada$$. While there won't be a camping experience, a range of activities from lawn games and food trucks to art installations will make sure you're entertained, just in case you find some down time between sets. The Randall's Island location is accessible by ferry, subway, bus, car and even on foot. Find tickets online here.

5. Boston Calling - May 27-28 - Boston, Massachusetts

Lineup: Sia, Janelle Monáe, Haim & more

Since 2013, Boston Calling has festivals twice a year, one in May and one in September. It’s also one of those rare festivals where female musicians are just as represented as their male counterparts. This year will feature performances from Janelle Monáe, Australian singer-songwriter Sia, and Swedish pop star Robyn. Get to City Hall Plaza by public transportation, walking or driving. Find tickets online here.



Photo Credit: Getty Images for Reebok]]>
<![CDATA[Deciding to 'Tri']]> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 17:18:49 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2016-04-25_1718.jpg "Tri" -- about a woman who has trouble finishing things, until she's inspired to do a triathlon -- opens Tuesday night at the Northern Virginia Film and Music Festival. Director Jai Jamison and producer Ted Adams.]]> <![CDATA[Reston's First Nanobrewery Now Open]]> Mon, 18 Apr 2016 21:15:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/224*120/2016-04-19_1000.jpg

Cheryl Brio Simon, the widow of Reston founder Robert E. Simon, cut the ribbon Saturday at Reston's first and only nanobrewery.

The Lake Anne Brew House is located at Washington Plaza.

A nanobrewery operates on a smaller scale than a microbrewery.

Owners Jason and Melissa Romano say they could have up to 12 selections on tap.

]]>
<![CDATA[NOVA Film Festival Kicks Off Thurs.]]> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 13:42:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000014455918_1200x675_670868547592.jpg The biggest film festival in the Mid-Atlantic kicks off Thursday, offering 10 days of screenings, music and parties. Fernando Mico, director of the Northern Virginia International Film and Music Festival, stopped by News4 Midday with a preview of the big event.]]> <![CDATA[Mid-Atlantic Spring Beer Fest Stars 35 Local Breweries]]> Mon, 18 Apr 2016 16:31:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_215895166.jpg

Taste-test beers from 35 regional breweries at Capitol City Brewing Co.'s third annual Mid-Atlantic Spring Beer Festival.

Coming up Saturday, April 30 in Shirlington, the event will feature craft brewers such as D.C. Brau and Flying Dog.

But don't drink on an empty stomach! A variety of local restaurants and food trucks, including Busboys & Poets and Urban Poutine, will be showing off their favorite springtime fare as well.

Tickets must be purchased at the event, and ticket sales begin at 11:30 a.m. The festival runs from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., but all beer taps close at 6 p.m.

Admission for beer drinkers is $30, which includes a wristband, an official tasting glass and 10 drink tickets. Additional (or unlimited!) drink tickets can be purchased at the event.

The festival is free for non-drinkers and children.

It will be held rain or shine.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Nat'l Park Week Offers Free Entry to 410 National Parks]]> Fri, 08 Apr 2016 06:47:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/national+park+pic.jpg

How many national park trips can you fit into one week?

With dozens of national parks in the DMV alone, you better start planning!

From April 16 to 24, all 410 national parks in the United States will have free admission to celebrate the National Park Service's 100th birthday.

"It's a great time to experience and celebrate our parks and historic places, and discover and share with each other how these treasured places are vital and relevant to people from all backgrounds from all over the country," said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation in a press release.

This unique celebration will open with National Junior Ranger Day on April 16, where parks will host kid-friendly activities and hand out Centennial Junior Ranger booklets and badges.

Events throughout National Park Week include Earth Day (April 22), a National Park Instameet (April 23) and more. Find more info about National Park Week events and locations online here.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Top 10 Virginia Day Trips for Spring]]> Wed, 30 Mar 2016 17:26:44 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/8.+Ride+a+horse.jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Top 10 Maryland Day Trips for Spring]]> Wed, 30 Mar 2016 17:26:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/thumb-Elk-Neck-State-Park-shutterstock_71828848.jpg Temperatures are rising and flowers are blooming. Celebrate springtime at one of these Maryland spots for the perfect day trip.]]> <![CDATA[Marine Corps Museum Reopens With 2 New Aircraft]]> Fri, 01 Apr 2016 14:28:57 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/IMG_0020_HD.jpg

The National Museum for the Marine Corps in Virginia is reopening Friday, with a newly renovated space and several upcoming events.

The museum had been closed since January due to "significant" logistical and engineering processes needed to install two new historic aircraft in the space, museum officials said.

The museum opened its doors Friday with the new aircraft on display: A restored World War II SBD Dauntless dive bomber is suspended from the ceiling of the central gallery, and a new tableau features a Vietnam-era Sikorsky UH-34D helicopter, the museum said.

"The addition of the aircraft is part of the Museum's ongoing efforts to more completely interpret the history of the Marine Corps and share more of the collection," Museum Director Lin Ezell said on the museum's official website.

But the new additions are just the start. In March, the museum also broke ground on another 117,000 square feet of new space, which will ultimately feature a giant-screen theater, a children's gallery, a sports gallery, a Hall of Valor, two additional historical galleries and more. The new galleries will begin opening in 2017, with all exhibitions completed by 2020.

Next Saturday, April 9, Family Day will offer an afternoon of kid-friendly activities throughout the museum and on the grounds, featuring games, crafts, learning activities and more from noon to 3 p.m.

Other special upcoming events include History in Your Hands (April 17), a program for visitors who are blind or who have low vision, and Geography Day (April 20).

You'll find the museum at 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway in Triangle, Virginia, about 34 miles from downtown D.C. The museum, which launched in 2006, is free and open to the public.



Photo Credit: National Museum of the Marine Corps]]>
<![CDATA[Light City Brings Jaw-Dropping Displays to Baltimore]]> Wed, 30 Mar 2016 11:24:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/cms696.jpg

Baltimore will shine bright this week during Light City, a large-scale celebration of lights and innovation featuring jaw-dropping displays and special events.

The first large-scale light festival of its kind in the U.S., Light City Baltimore is running now through Sunday, featuring 29 light art exhibits along Baltimore's scenic waterfront, as well as delicious food options, innovation conferences, and dozens of concerts and performances.

Some of the week's events include Light City Cruises on the Bay (Friday-Saturday), a light-themed scavenger hunt at the National Aquarium (through Saturday) and a Family Glow Party at the Port Discovery Museum (also Saturday).

See the full schedule of Light City events, times and locations online here.

During daylight hours, four conferences will center on the question: How do we become a more responsible and equitable society? Industries represented in the conferences include health, sustainability and more. See all conference info here.

At night, music groups such as local 9 Mile Roots and performers such as the Theatre of Fire will take over the scene, among the illuminated exhibits. 

For younger festival-goers, the Bright Lights Youth Festival will take place at the IMET Columbus Center on Friday and Saturday. The schedule of events includes a youth debate, rap battles and more.

Families can also visit Mini Kiddie Light City in Pierce's Park on the Baltimore waterfront, nightly from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and until 10 p.m. Saturday. Find interactive crafts, kid-friendly entertainment and unique snacks such as lighted cotton candy.

As if free entertainment and beautiful exhibits aren't not enough, local restaurants, bars, tourist attractions and stores will have special deals and discounts during the festival. You won't want to miss the Light City Sunset Specials at Aggio or two rides for $5 on the scenic Harbor Carousel.



Photo Credit: Atelier Mateo M]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Light City's Jaw-Dropping Displays in Baltimore]]> Wed, 30 Mar 2016 16:31:37 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/lightcitybaltimore21.jpg Light City Baltimore brightens up the city this week with interactive and unique illuminated exhibits for all ages to enjoy.

Photo Credit: Jen Lewin Studio by Frank Lanza]]>
<![CDATA[Spring Road Trip: Chanticleer Gardens in Pa.]]> Wed, 30 Mar 2016 16:28:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/177*120/chanticleer22.jpg

Martha Stewart called Chanticleer Gardens "breathtaking," so you know it must be good. 

The gardens, located in Wayne, Pennsylvania, date back to the early 20th century, featuring 5,000+ plants and 35 acres of gardens. Seven horticulturists are responsible for the design, planting and maintenance of specific areas -- they basically keep everything looking fantastic for your viewing pleasure. 

Inside the grounds, you'll find many varieties of trees and gardens, including the Asian woods, a pond garden, a ruin and gravel garden, a teacup garden, a tennis court garden and a woodland area.

Brand new is the elevated walkway with two viewing platforms and staff-made White Oak furniture. At its highest point, the walkway is eight feet above a blooming meadow where a grove of quaking aspens runs through it. Sounds magical, right? 

We've been told the gigantic Katsura Tree in the middle of the garden is a must-see.

Chanticleer Gardens is located at 786 Church Road in Wayne, Pennsylvania, about two and a half hours from downtown D.C. It's open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. From May through Labor Day, the garden is also open Friday evenings until 8 p.m. The 2015 season begins April 1 and ends Nov. 1.

Admission is $10 for those age 13 and older, and free for kids age 12 and younger. Members of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and local arboreta get in for $8; Radnor Library cardholders get in for $5. Garden professionals are admitted free.



Photo Credit: courtesy of Chanticleer, photo by Lisa Roper ]]>
<![CDATA[Blossoms Without Crowds: Alternative Viewing Spots]]> Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:04:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/CherryBlossoms2.jpg

It's getting warmer, Metrorail is standing room only and "escalefters" (those who stand on the walking side) are clogging the escalators. Ah, it must be cherry blossom season.

As thousands of people flock to the Tidal Basin to see the blossoms in peak bloom, consider one of these alternative locations for an uninterrupted view.

  • American University in Northwest D.C. also serves as an arboretum and is home to more than 75 different tree species, including the Korean Cherry. The trees were planted in 1943 outside of the old School of International Service, now renamed as the East Quad Building, blooming each year as a plaque testifying to the AU-Korean friendship.

  • Anacostia Park offers a view of the blossoms along the Anacostia River. The National Park Service and the 11th Street Bridge Park are hosting the second annual Anacostia River Festival on Sunday, April 17, the official closing program of the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival. The free event will feature activities including kayaking, boating, fishing workshops, art projects, music and a bike parade (although the cherry blossoms themselves will be long gone by then).

  • Historic Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown is one of the most scenic areas in the city. Formerly home to Robert Woods Bliss and his wife, Mildred, the estate and the garden make for a perfectly lovely, perfectly tucked-away place to view the blooms.

  • Foxhall Village, slightly northwest of Georgetown, is a secret spot where locals like to take in the blossoms. Yoshino cherry trees line most streets, but Surrey Lane features Quanson cherry trees that blossom slightly later than trees around the Tidal Basin.

  • The Kenwood area in Chevy Chase is (quietly) renowned for its beauty during cherry blossom season. Locals say this is one of the best, least congested ways to take in the cherry blossoms.

  • The Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Northern Virginia has a number of walking paths that circle around beautiful lakes surrounded by cherry trees. The flowering trees at Lake Caroline echo the scene of the blossoms along the Tidal Basin.

  • Montrose Park is a well-kept secret in Georgetown just a few steps from Dumbarton Oaks. The park is publicly owned and chock full of open space and beautiful trees.

  • Stanton Park, a four-acre park located in Capitol Hill, is surrounded by cherry trees. Busy streets run nearby, but the park offers a play area, walkways and a grassy area perfect for a spring picnic.

  • The U.S. National Arboretum is not just a primo locale to check out the cherry blossoms; this botanical research center is also home to several other varieties of shrub and floral life. For the botany buffs, an open-air tour will give you the history and habits of the arboretum's blossoms.

  • Washington National Cathedral is one of D.C.'s most awe-inspiring structures. The beautiful neo-Gothic design makes it a wondrous place to just sit and exist any time of year, but during the spring when the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom, the cathedral's other-worldly beauty becomes even more apparent.

We're collecting the best of the best cherry blossom pictures to post to our site, so tweet your best cherry blossom snaps to @NBCWashington with the tag #cherryblossoms.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cherry Blossoms: Peak Bloom Dates Narrowed]]> Sat, 19 Mar 2016 07:49:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_128774186.jpg

The National Park Service said the peak blooms for the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park will start on March 23-24.

NPS said the current progression of the blooms and a cooler weather forecast over the next seven days has allowed them to narrow the target to two days.

Last week, they announced the peak bloom would occur between March 18 and 23. Two weeks ago, the NPS had announced peak bloom dates would be March 31 to April 3.

Peak bloom is considered to occur when 70 percent of the Yoshino cherry trees along the Tidal Basin are in bloom. The NPS said that in past years, unusually warm or cold temperatures have resulted in peak bloom as early as March 15 and as late as April 18. The average date for blooming is April 4.

In response to the earlier peak bloom, the Tidal Basin Welcome Area, located near the paddle boats at Maine Avenue SW and Raoul Wallenberg Place SW, is now scheduled to be open from March 18 to April 3, moved up from April 2-17.

Organizers have already announced the dates for this year's National Cherry Blossom Festival. It's scheduled to run for four weeks from March 20 to April 17. The festival is a big boost for city and regional tourism.

Here's a peek at some of the best events:

  • Saturday, March 26: The official opening ceremony features performances at the Warner Theatre (513 13th St. NW). Tickets are free but are required to attend; see the festival website.
  • Saturday, April 2: Oh, go fly a kite! The Blossom Kite Festival, a family-favorite tradition, has competitions and demonstrations. You can bring your own kite, or kids can make their own!
  • Saturday, April 9: The Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival will blast off above the water after a full day of enjoying food vendors, an artists' marketplace and more.
  • Saturday, April 16: The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade boasts a 10-block-long lineup of balloons, bands and all things pink. Grandstand tickets are on sale now for $20, but standing room along the route is free.
  • Saturday, April 16: After the parade, six blocks near Capitol Hill turn into a celebration of Japanese culture with food, performances and more during the Sakura Matsuri Festival. Tickets are $10 and free for children under 12.
  • Saturday, April 16-Sunday April 17: The Cherry Blast at the Carnegie Library (801 K St. NW) is a celebration of Japanese pop culture, including anime, cosplay, fashion and gaming, plus a Japanese-inspired dance party. You can also indulge in Tokyo street food, sake tastings and sushi workshops. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

To celebrate the National Park Service's 100th birthday, festival officials say they will also hide a special cherry blossom themed gnome in parks this spring. Those who find "Petal the Gnome" will win a festival prize package.

This year marks the 104th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees from Japan as a symbol of friendship with the United States.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[National Harbor Restaurant Week Starts Mon.]]> Mon, 21 Mar 2016 08:16:07 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/national+harbor.jpg

How does dinner with a view sound? Well, you're in luck. Monday kicks off restaurant week at National Harbor. 

From Monday through Friday, more than a dozen restaurants will offer $20 two-course lunches or $38 three-course dinners. 

Many of the participating restaurants are located along the waterfront. Click here to make your lunch or dinner reservations.

After your meal, you can take your receipt to the Capital Wheel for 20 percent off a regular price ticket. 



Photo Credit: Erica Jones]]>
<![CDATA[Cherry Blossom Festival: 8 Key Events ]]> Thu, 17 Mar 2016 21:41:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-98192546.jpg

The cherry blossoms might peak earlier than expected, but this year's National Cherry Blossom Festival is also on the horizon.

The fest will run for four weeks, from March 20 to April 17, and it's usually a big boost for city and regional tourism. It always includes dozens of events, including everything from high-end bashes to family-friendly arts and crafts projects, plus several festivals-within-the-festival.

You can see a complete calendar of events here, and read on for a breakdown of some of the key events:

  • Saturday, March 18: The Pink Tie Party is held before the festival even officially begins. Held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW), the party is a chance to don your finest pink attire, chow down at food and beverage stations and bid in silent auctions. Tickets are $225 for regular admission and $300 for VIP admission. The bash is a fundraiser for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

  • Saturday, March 26: The official opening ceremony features performances at the Warner Theatre (513 13th St. NW). Tickets are free but are required to attend; see the festival website.

  • Saturday, March 26: A free family day at the National Building Museum (401 F St. NW) offers hands-on activities for kids including making origami, designing a memorial for the National Mall, building tatebanko dioramas and meeting DuAro the robot. Kids will also have the chance to try on traditional Japanese clothing. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Saturday, April 2: Oh, go fly a kite! The Blossom Kite Festival, a family-favorite tradition, has competitions and demonstrations. You can bring your own kite, or kids can make their own!

  • Saturday, April 9: The Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival offers a full day of food vendors, live music, an artists' marketplace and more, ending with fireworks high above the water. Admission is free; the event runs from 1 to 9 p.m.

  • Saturday, April 16: The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade boasts a 10-block-long lineup of balloons, bands and all things pink. Cast members from "Jersey Boys," pop artist Tiffany, Miss America 2016, "The Voice" contest Sisaundra Lewis and many more will join in. Grandstand tickets cost $20, but standing room along the route is free. The parade runs from 10 a.m. to noon.

  • Saturday, April 16: After the parade, six blocks near Capitol Hill turn into a celebration of Japanese culture with food, performances and more during the Sakura Matsuri Festival from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 and free for children under 12.

  • Saturday, April 16-Sunday April 17: The Cherry Blast at the Carnegie Library (801 K St. NW) is a celebration of Japanese pop culture, including anime, cosplay, fashion and gaming, plus a Japanese-inspired dance party. You can also indulge in Tokyo street food, sake tastings and sushi workshops. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

To celebrate the National Park Service's 100th birthday, festival officials say they'll also hide special cherry blossom-themed gnomes in parks this spring. Those who find "Petal the Gnome" will win a festival prize package. (See what Petal looks like here.)

This year marks the 104th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees from Japan as a symbol of friendship with the United States. 

Peak bloom for D.C.'s famed cherry trees is expected to begin around March 23-24, the NPS said. Peak bloom is considered to occur when 70 percent of the Yoshino cherry trees along the Tidal Basin are in bloom. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Spring OysterFest Means Seafood, Music and Plenty of Wine]]> Thu, 03 Mar 2016 17:19:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_170943890.jpg

Whether you're a seafood fan or an avid wine lover (or both, let's face it), there's a Spring OysterFest for that.

The fest, to be held in Madison, Virginia, will dish up a menu from Rappahannock Oyster Company featuring fresh oysters, crab cakes and stuff'n muffins, as well as a variety of the vineyard's Virginia wines.

It's happening March 19 from noon to 5 p.m. at Early Mountain Vineyards (6109 Wolftown Hood Road, Madison, Virginia.). Admission for ages 21+ also includes an Early Mountain wine tasting and a stemless wine glass to keep.

You're also welcome to bring picnic lunches to enjoy on the back lawn.

Advance tickets are $15; vineyard wine club member tickets are $12, and tickets at the door are $20. Those under 21 get in for free. Find tickets online here.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA['Taverns, Taprooms and Tippling Houses' Festival]]> Tue, 01 Mar 2016 13:21:44 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Day+in+Old+New+Castle.jpg

If you love history, gardens, festivals or even just beer, A Day in Old New Castle is there for you (if you can get to Delaware, anyway).

This event, featuring beautiful and historic home and garden tours in a 350+-year-old town along the Delaware River, is 92 years old, making it the nation's oldest event of its kind.

Old New Castle's cobblestone streets will be filled with historical civilian and military encampments, the Fort Delaware Coronet Band, colonial dancing, a beer garden, theater, a homebrew competition, activities for children, storytelling, old-time games and more.

The festival is set for on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult tickets are $20, tickets for kids ages 6-12 are $5, and children under 5 get in free. Purchase tickets here.



Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of the Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau]]>
<![CDATA[5 Beers, 5 Bands for DC Brau's 5th Anniversary Bash]]> Tue, 01 Mar 2016 13:18:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_2072816111.jpg

DC Brau promises to satisfy all the beer connoisseurs, audiophiles and foodies in your friend group at their 5th anniversary party, coming up April 16.

Tickets are now on sale for the event, which will be held from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the DC Brau Brewery (3178 Bladensburg Road NE).

DC Brau will also debut five beers at the party, developed via collaborations with other breweries across the country. The headlining brand-new brews will be two IPAs, an imperial stout, a Belgian-style saison and a German-style dunkel.

The musical lineup is stacked with metal bands including D.C.-born Loud Boyz. Serpent Throne, Torche, The Sword and Kvelertak will also take the stage. 

Food trucks will serve up barbecue, pizza, hot dogs and Dangerously Delicious Pie.

Tickets are $45 in advance, or $60 at the door. The ticket only includes admission to the concert; beer will be for sale at the event. A $200 VIP ticket includes the concert, free unlimited beer, a special bar and special access to the new beer releases.

DC Brau will offer a free shuttle ride to the event from the Rhode Island Metro stop and warns people about driving. Parking is limited.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[NoVa Restaurant Week Now Through Mon.]]> Tue, 08 Mar 2016 14:26:37 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_72296035.jpg

Cross ramen noodles off your shopping list for the week: Northern Virginia Restaurant Week is running from March 7 to March 14.

More than 60 restaurants are participating in Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties. Each restaurant is encouraged to set their own lunch and dinner menus and offer a special discount price.

If you want to impress a date (or your mom), Restaurant Week can help you without making your wallet cry. Here are a few participants that Yelp gives triple-dollar sign ratings, making them some of the priciest in the entire Restaurant Week lineup:

  • Morton's The Steakhouse (11956 Market St., One Freedom Square, Reston)
  • The Melting Pot (11730 Plaza America Drive, Suite 100, Reston)
  • Tuscarora Mill (203 Harrison St., Leesburg)
  • Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston)
  • McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Steaks (multiple locations)
  • Trummers on Main (7134 Main St., Clifton)

Many other restaurants are participating, and all of them can be found on the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce website



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Day Trip: Delaware's Wildflower Celebration Is Coming Back]]> Mon, 22 Feb 2016 12:58:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Wildflower+Celebration.jpg

Looking for a fun, cheap way to celebrate the beginning of spring?

Plan a day trip with friends and family to the 12th Annual Wildflower Celebration at the Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Delaware (3120 Barley Mill Road).

The free festival will take place, rain or shine, on Sunday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors will have a chance to explore the park and its wildflowers, enjoy live music and participate in gardening demonstrations and other family programming. Food will be available for purchase.

The first 1,000 families to enter will receive a free native plant.



Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of the Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau]]>
<![CDATA[Find D.C.-Area Ice Skating Rinks]]> Mon, 22 Feb 2016 17:47:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/IMG_5767.JPG

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

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

D.C.:

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

Washington Harbour Ice Rink (3050 K St. NW) -- This Georgetown rink is D.C.'s largest. You'll find it at the Georgetown waterfront surrounded by restaurants... just in case you need to warm up with a tasty bite when you're done. Open through mid-March. Rates: $10 adults; $9 kids, seniors and military; $5 skate rentals. 

Canal Park Ice Rink (202 M Street, SE) -- If you're looking to spice up your skating experience, check out College Night on Thursdays, Rock n Skate on Fridays or Cartoon Skate on Saturdays. Open through mid-March. Rates: $9 adults; $8 kids, seniors and military; $4 skate rentals. Two admissions for the price of one on Tuesdays. 


MARYLAND:

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

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

VIRGINIA:

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

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

The Loy E. Harris Pavilion (9201 Center St., Manassas) -- Take a spin on the ice in Old Town Manassas. Rates: $8 adults; $7 kids age 10 and younger; $4 skate rentals. 



Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Lineup Revealed for Roots Picnic Fest in Philly]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:16:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-81489402.jpg

The Roots Picnic music festival announced its lineup last week, which features covers a wide range of hip-hop and soul super-acts, including Future, Usher, Leon Bridges, The Roots (well, of course) and Blood Orange.

The Roots Picnic will take over Philly on Saturday, June 4 on the Festival Pier at Penn's Landing (601 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia), meaning festival-goers can soak up the music right on the Delaware River. 

You can also expect to flip your hair back and forth with Willow Smith and have an experience extraordinaire with Jidenna. Twenty-three artists are scheduled to perform during the day-long festival; all of them are listed below and on the festival website

As of Tuesday, DMX was also still scheduled to appear, despite reports that he collapsed Monday night and was hospitalized after being found unresponsive. He is expected to fully recover, sources said

Fans of the Comedy Central show "Broad City" may recognize the funny ladies who announced the lineup on YouTube, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson.

Tickets are on sale for $85 through Ticketmaster

Whether you decide to hoof it with a three-hour (without traffic) cruise via car or three-hour train ride, the 2016 Roots Picnic will likely be worth the trip.

Roots Picnic 2016 Lineup:

  • Future
  • Usher (backed by The Roots)
  • Leon Bridges
  • The Roots
  • Blood Orange
  • Kehlani
  • Kaytranada
  • Swizz Beatz
  • Jidenna
  • Ibeyi
  • DMX
  • Metro Boomin
  • Migos
  • Lil Dickey
  • LOLAWORLD
  • Willow Smith
  • Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals
  • Everyday People featuring DJ MOMA
  • LIL UZI VERT
  • Rich Medina
  • Tish Hyman
  • Paris Monster
  • GoGo Morrow



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>