<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Worth the Trip]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcwashington.com/blogs/worth-the-trip http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Thu, 05 Mar 2015 15:31:01 -0500 Thu, 05 Mar 2015 15:31:01 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Prince George's Restaurant Week Underway]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:38:19 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Annapolis+Restaurant+Week.jpg

The weather isn't exactly warming up just yet, but at  least some delicious dishes are, thanks to Prince George’s County’s Restaurant Week (now through March 8).

Monday through Sunday more than 30 restaurants will be dishing up three-course meals for a steal. Most lunches are a mere $20 and dinners are $35 but some are even cheaper. The Italian Inn is serving veal parmigiana lunches for only $8 and NY Strip Steak dinners for $16.

This week is an opportunity to visit National Harbor and enjoy some mouth-watering eats and entertainment at some of the best sports in the county. Try a new cuisine or delve into the deals on your old favorite dishes. There’s a diverse variety of restaurants featured, including The Common, The Walrus Oyster & Ale House, Public House National Harbor, McLoone’s Pier House National Harbor, BOND45 Prime Steak and Seafood.

Sample menus:

KBQ Real Barbeque
9101 Woodmore Centre Drive, Suite 322, Lanham

$16 Dinner:

  • Entrée: Brisket, Pulled Pork, Chicken Breast, Half Chicken, Hot Country Sausage Link, Pulled Smoked Turkey, Two Meats, Four Chicken Tenders, Half Slab
  • 2 Sides: Side Salad, Broccoli Salad, Macaroni and Cheese, Sautéed Green Beans, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Black Bean and Corn Salad, Seasonal Vegetables, Fresh Cut French Fries, Raisin Carrot Salad
  • Bread: Regular Cornbread, Jalapeño Cornbread, Whole Wheat Dinner Roll, Brioche Bun
  • Seasonal Dessert
  • Beverage

Italian Inn
6221 Annapolis Road, Hyattsville

$8 Lunch:

  • Entrée: Homemade Baked Lasagna, Eggplant Parmigiana, Chicken Parmigiana, Veal Parmigiana, Chicken Alfredo
  • Sides: Soup or Salad

$16 Dinner:

  • Entrée: 12 oz. NY Strip Steak, Chicken Alfredo, Shrimp and Crab Alfredo, Shrimp Alfredo, Fried Jumbo Shrimp Dinner
  • Sides: Garlic Bread, Choice of Soup or Fresh Garden Salad

Redstone American Grill
155 National Plaza, Oxon Hill/National Harbor

Dinner:

  • Appetizer: Seared Beef Rolls, Calamari, Crab Stuffed Mushroom
  • Entrée: Rotisserie Classic Chicken, Pasta Primavera with Grilled Chicken, Teriyaki Flank Steak, Parmesan Walleye
  • Desert: Banana Cream Pie or Truffles

Harrington’s Pub & Kitchen
177 Fleet St., Oxon Hill/National Harbor

$35 Dinner:

  • Soup or Salad: House Salad, Chicken & Leek Soup, Caesar Salad
  • Entrée: Corned Beef and Cabbage, Lemon Herb Broiled Cod, Blackened Chicken Pasta
  • Desert: Golden Raisin Bread Pudding, Pub Sundae, Apple Crisp



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Philly Flower Show & Magic Gardens]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 13:58:18 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_73529551.jpg

Philadelphia: home of the Liberty Bell, brotherly love, cheesesteaks and... gardens? Yes, gardens. Philly also houses the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Magic Gardens. Be sure to visit both (after grabbing a cheesesteak on your way, of course).

The Philadelphia Flower Show: Feb. 28-March 8

The Flower Show is a dazzling spectacle held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (1101 Arch St., Philadelphia). More than 260,000 people typically flock to the oldest and largest indoor garden show to see large-scale gardens, landscapes and avant-garde floral creations. After viewing the beautiful flowers (and possibly cursing your non-green thumb), check out gardening workshops and lectures run by experts.

Additional events include Wedding Wednesday (March 4), when brides-to-be can sip on champagne while receiving advice on wedding decor and catering from local experts, and a Girls Night Out party, full of shopping, food and wine, on March 5.

Proceeds benefit the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and its City Harvest Program, which feeds more than 1,200 families per week during the growing season. View ticket prices and purchase them here.

While the Flower Show is a limited time event, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is open every day. But why not visit them both and make it a garden-filled Philly weekend?

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Magic Gardens artist Isaiah Zagar began this project with a humble passion to beautify Philly’s South Street neighborhood. In the '60s, Zagar and his wife, Julia, bought and renovated rundown buildings and transformed them into bright mosaics.

Still devoted to this beautification almost 30 years later, Zagar started work on a lot near his studio, excavating tunnels, and sculpting and mosaicking walls across 3,000 square feet.

When this newly colorful lot went up for sale, the community refused to see his artwork destroyed. Zagar’s work then adopted the titled Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens and is now a nonprofit organization, offering mosaic workshops, concerts and exhibitions alongside the captivating walls.

The labyrinthine design allows visitors to step out of their daily lives and wander around the walls for as long as they please, learning about art and passion along the way.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Bringing Back the Taste of Frederick]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:26:37 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_61014949+copy.JPG

The annual Taste of Frederick event used to dish up seriously delicious food and fun for the community -- at least until the recession hit in 2008. But it's returning this summer with a grand slam event featuring Carolina League baseball champs the Frederick Keys.

Foodies and families will be able to enjoy an entire day of feasting, fun and baseball with the comeback of the annual event, which returns July 19.

More than 20 restaurants will be serving up samples of their best dishes at Harry Grove Stadium (21 Stadium Drive, Frederick, Maryland) from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., that day, and the Keys will follow with a baseball game against Potomac at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $25 in advance and kids under 12 get in free. Tickets will include unlimited signature tastes from every restaurant, a kids' zone, the baseball game and fireworks.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Find D.C.-Area Ice Skating Rinks]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 17:23:17 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Sculpture+Garden.jpg

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

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

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. $8 adults; $7 kids; $3 skate rentals. Open Nov. 14-March 16, weather permitting. Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

Washington Harbour Ice Rink (3050 K St. NW) -- The newish 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. $10 adults; $9 kids; $5 skate rentals. Opens for the season Nov. 15.

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. $9 adults; $8 kids; $4 skate rentals. Opens for the season Nov. 15.


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. $8 adults; $7 kids; $3 skate rentals. Already open for the season.

Skating at the Square (131 Gibbs St., Rockville) -- $9 adults; $8 kids; $3 skate rentals. Open through mid-March.

VIRGINIA:

Pentagon Row Ice Outdoor Skating Plaza (1201 S. Joyce St., Arlington) -- Grab your friends and skate on the newly renovated and expanded ice rink. $9 adults; $8 kids; $3 skate rentals. Already open for the season.

The Loy E. Harris Pavilion (9201 Center St., Manassas) -- Take a spin on the ice in Old Town Manassas. $7 adults; $6 kids; $3 skate rentals. Nov. 15-March 1. Closed Dec. 25.



Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[A "Dog Dogs"' World: Del. Exhibit]]> Fri, 06 Feb 2015 16:01:50 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2015-02-05_1028.jpg

A new exhibition at the Delaware Art Museum will feature photographs of Elliott Erwitt's most memorable mutt mugs, spanning decades.

Elliott Erwitt: Dog Dogs will showcase 65 photos taken between 1946 and 2004. Erwitt says he got his best shots when he would bark at dogs to get their attention. It's one thing to use the word "treat," but barking is something only the pros know.

About the photographer: Erwitt immigrated to the U.S. in 1939, and eventually studied photography at Los Angeles City College. Dogs have always been a focal point for him, so much so that he's published four books about them, "Son of Bitch" (1974), "Dog Dogs" (1998), "Woof" (2005) and "Elliott Erwitt's Dogs" (2008).

The Dog Dogs exhibit will run March 7 to May 24 at the Delaware Art Museum (2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, Delaware), about two and a half hours from downtown D.C. Admission is $12 for adults, and $6 for kids.



Photo Credit: Elliott Erwitt / Magnum Photos]]>
<![CDATA[Experience Winter Wildlife Via Sea]]> Tue, 27 Jan 2015 13:21:36 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/181*120/dolphinshutter.jpg

Although it's winter, a trip to the beach can still be fun -- it's the perfect time to see winter wildlife around Virginia Beach.

From now until March, Rudee Tours (200 Winston Salem Ave., Virginia Beach) is open for wildlife watching during the winter season. Located just off the shores of the Atlantic, this touring boat gets close to Virginia's most majestic creatures near and in the sea. Be prepared to spot whales, dolphins, seals and many bird species off-shore.

Most of the tour guides have several years of navigating the Atlantic and know where all the hot spots for wildlife viewing are. This type of boat trip is a great reason to get outdoors and enjoy a different type of winter activity. 

The tours use boats with heated cabins, bathrooms, snack bars and full bars. But don't forget to wear warm jackets and hats. Hours for winter wildlife tours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on select days through March.

While you're in Virginia Beach, it's also a good idea to stop by the aquarium. There you can see even more of the region's -- and beyond -- wildlife including otters, sharks, turtles and seals. The Virginia Aquarium is located at 717 General Booth Blvd. in Virginia Beach.

Rudee Tours is located on 5th and Pacific in the Virginia Beach resort area about three and a half hours from downtown D.C. 



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[2015 Bluegrass Jam in Richmond]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 16:58:24 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/181*120/bluegrass43.jpg

Although a cold front is gripping the D.C. area, you may be itching to get out of the house. If so, head down to the Richmond Bluegrass Jam this Saturday, an all-day -- and INDOOR -- music fest featuring 30 bands on three stages.

If you're daring enough, the fest also offers up one stage with a dedicated open mic all day to showcase your budding music skills. Bring your own instruments, of course.

Admission to the fest is free, but donations are strongly encouraged. Local craft beer and food vendors will be set up during the festival, as well as food trucks. The event is family-friendly, with kids' activities throughout the day.

The festival isn't just for music lovers to unite; it's also raising funds for the Fisher House of Richmond, which provides a place for military families to stay while their wounded warriors receive medical care. In the past five years, the festival has donated roughly $64,000 to the veterans and their loved ones.

The festival runs from noon to midnight Feb. 21 at the Cultural Arts Center (2880 Mountain Road, Glen Allen, Virginia), about two hours south of downtown D.C.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Savor, Sip and Style Home Show in Ellicott City]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 17:03:59 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/homfeshow3.jpg

You don't have to be in the running for a new home remodel to enjoy a good home show. The Savor, Sip and Style Home Show in Ellicott City, Maryland features food and wine tastings, fashion shows and, of course, plenty of ideas for home remodeling.

If you're going mainly for the wine and food, we recommend buying a VIP ticket ($20 per person) that includes five drink tasting tickets from six wineries, including a winery from the hills of San Gimignano, Italy brought to you by Sarah Fioroni, a featured chef and sommelier from Tuscany.

The home show features other staples like landscaping, home, health and wellness booths along with fashion shows and food and drink exhibitors.

Staying the night before the event may ensure you get the most bang for your buck. The overnight package special ($167.78 per couple) at Turf Valley Resort gives you two VIP tickets to the home show, breakfast for two and accommodations in a Golf View room. The resort features plenty of things to do, including a nature trail, two golf courses, saunas and indoor/outdoor pools.

Tickets for the Savor, Sip and Style home show are $10 per person or $20 for a VIP ticket. The home show runs the weekend of Feb. 21-22 at Turf Valley (2700 Turf Valley Road, Ellicott City, Maryland), about 80 minutes from downtown D.C. The show is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Ways to Celebrate Black History Month Around D.C.]]> Fri, 13 Feb 2015 16:36:12 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_107987048.jpg

Black History Month isn't over yet! There are still plenty of local exhibitions, performances and activities keeping the celebration alive. Check out our list of local activities and events to expand your knowledge of black culture and history.

Newseum – 1965: Civil Rights at 50

Visit one of D.C.'s most popular museums to experience "1965: Civil Rights at 50," a temporary exhibit that explores the influence and dynamic of the media during the Civil Rights Movement. Spend your day exploring the compelling stories, historic images and memorable front pages that changed the history of America.

Dates: Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (through Jan. 2016)

Admission: $22.95 adults
 

Frederick Douglass Birthday Celebration

Light 197 candles and get ready to celebrate the birthday of black reformer Frederick Douglass. The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (pictured above) is hosting its annual Frederick Douglass birthday celebration this weekend. Don't miss out on an array of activities including: a house party, historical trek, book signing, scrapbook workshops, house tours and more! Check out the celebration website to get all the event details.

Date: Friday, Feb. 13 & Saturday, Feb. 14

Admission: Free

Black History Month Cruise aboard the Spirit of Washington

Climb on deck for an educational and entertaining midday cruise highlighting significant influencers and events in African-American culture. Listen to a variety of notable black artists including Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross as you cruise along the waterfront.

Date: Saturday, Feb. 21 at 11 a.m.

Tickets: $48.90 adults; $28.50 ages 3-12

 

Living the Dream... Singing the Dream

Head over to The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts to see the Washington Performing Arts Gospel Choir in action. The choir is bringing back the soulful music and energy it has used to celebrate African-American history for more than 20 years. This year's annual concert honors the life and legacy of Civil Rights pioneer Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Date: Sunday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.

Tickets: $25 - $70

Black History Month Celebrations at Montgomery Parks

Each Saturday this February, Josiah Henson Park in Montgomery County is offering free entertainment and activities to celebrate Black History Month. Take a guided tour of the park to learn about Henson's journey to escape slavery on the Underground Railroad. You can also drop in for spoken word poetry or a viewing of PBS documentary "The Search for Josiah Henson."

Date: Saturdays, Feb. 14, 21, 28 from noon to 4 p.m.
 

Black Movements Dance Theatre: Spring Dance Concert

Black Movements Dance Theatre returns to the Davis Performing Arts Center at Georgetown University to perform their Spring Dance Concert in honor of Black History Month.

Date: Friday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $8- $10
 

From the History of The American People: Jacob Lawrence's Struggle

Attend a discussion and artistic exhibition about the collective African American journey at The Phillips Collection. "Struggle Series," a 30-panel collection by Jacob Lawrence, illustrates the common struggle experienced through a variety of events and scenes in African-American history. Discussion panelists include Professor Spencer Crew of George Mason University, and David Driskell, founder of the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland.

Date: Friday, Feb. 27 at 2:30 p.m.

Admission: $12 adults
 

Bessie and Bill: Black Wings in Flight

Want to involve your children in Black History Month fun? Bring your kids out for a history rich and family friendly performance at the Smithsonian's Discovery Theater. "Bessie and Bill: Black Wings in Flight" tells the captivating tale of the first female African-American pilot, Bessie Coleman, and pioneer African-American aviator Bill Powell.

Dates: Feb. 18-26; various times

Admission: $5-$8  



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Beyond Dinner: V-Day Adventures]]> Wed, 04 Feb 2015 17:39:17 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_146643788.jpg

From comedy shows to dining at your favorite restaurant, there are plenty of local places to enjoy yourself this Valentine's Day. Don't miss out on awesome deals for your day of love.

The Sweetheart Slopes

Celebrate Valentine's Day with the perfect weekend getaway at Whitetail Resort (13805 Blairs Valley Road, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania). Search for red puzzle pieces as you ski or snowboard your way down the slopes. Finding a piece of Whitetail's heart will earn you a V-Day gift courtesy of the resort. Gifts include a Whitetail keepsake, two eight-hour midweek lift tickets and sweets. Then cozy up at one of Whitetail's nine lodging partners after a long day on the slopes.

Date: Saturday, Feb. 14
Lift tickets: $45-$75; equipment rentals extra

We Heart Cheese: Chocolate, Cheese & Baller Bubbly

Sometimes it pays to be cheesy on Valentine's Day -- especially at Union Market cheese shop and bar Righteous Cheese (1309 5th St. NE, Washington, DC). Enjoy an intimate pairing and tasting class featuring special bottles of champagne, handmade chocolates and an assortment of artisanal cheeses. Purchase your tickets if you're a foodie or wine enthusiast looking for a romantic way to indulge.

Date: Friday, Feb. 13 & Saturday, Feb. 14
Tickets: $72-$81

Valentine's Day Adventure

Get your heart pumping this V-Day with a day of adventurous romance at Terrapin Adventures (Savage Mill, 8600 Foundry St., Savage, Maryland). Their Valentine's Day special includes three hours of zip lines, giant swings, challenge courses and high ropes. Chocolate amenities and the chance to win free gifts top off the afternoon of fun.

Date: Saturday, Feb. 14 & Sunday, Feb. 15
Tickets: $100 per couple

My Funny Valentine

Notaviva Vineyards (13274 Sagle Road, Purcellville, Virginia) is providing laughs and liquor for the fourth year in a row at their annual stand-up comedy performance, My Funny Valentine. The Virginia winery combines a variety of wine options with live performances every weekend. This year's headliner is Baltimore native Jason Weems, a semi-finalist on the NBC series "Last Comic Standing."

Date: Friday, Feb. 13 & Saturday, Feb. 14
Tickets: $37

Love On The Run

If you're looking for a way to offset the chocolate and wine this V-Day, look no further. Work up a sweat with your partner at fitness adventure and scavenger hunt Love On The Run (check in at The Ballroom, 5521 Landy Lane, Bethesda, Maryland). Participants who attend this free event have the chance to compete for prizes including a gift card to Whole Foods and more.

Date: Saturday, Feb. 14
Cost: Free (suggested donation of $10 to Bethesda Cares)
RSVP here.

Tango at Philadelphia Museum of Art

It's 5 o'clock somewhere. Various entertainment acts fill the Great Stair Hall at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia) every Friday from 5 to 8:45 p.m. This Friday, Feb. 13, enjoy a special Valentine's edition of the aptly titled Art After 5. The museum will offer dance lessons centered on the romance and passion of tango. This vibrant take on Valentine's Day can be accompanied by a tasting menu at Granite Hill, and museum members can enjoy a sneak peak of the newest exhibition, "Ink and Gold: Art of the Kano."

Date: Feb. 13.
Cost: Free with museum admission ($20 for adults); Granite Hill tasting menu $60 per person.


Natalie Lylo contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Presidents' Day Food, Tours and History ]]> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 17:13:31 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/469968673.jpg

Party like it's 1732 this Presidents Day weekend.

Alexandria, Virginia -- George Washington's adopted hometown -- is packing February with more than a dozen presidential festivities, and we also have several other suggestions for you to get a taste of history.

George Washington's Birthday Parade: Feb. 16, 1-3 p.m.

Forget a frosted cake and numbered candles -- George Washington's birthday deserves a massive parade. The annual George Washington Birthday Parade follows a one-mile route through Old Town Alexandria. More than 3,000 participants will include bands and horses.

Adulteration of Chocolate Tasting: Feb. 15, 3-5 p.m.

Step inside Gadsby's Tavern Museum (134 North Royal St.) for a delectable tasting experience pairing rum, brandy, whiskey and Madeira -- George Washington's favorite drink! -- with American Heritage Chocolate. Raise a glass to our first president on Sunday, Feb. 15. Along with your chocolate and spirits, you will receive a helping of history on 18th-century beverages and their consumption by our founding fathers. Tickets are $45.

You can see a full list of Alexandria events and information here. And read on for more ways to celebrate Washington, as well as presidents James Madison and Abraham Lincoln:

George Washington's Birthday Weekend, Feb. 14-16

Head south of Alexandria for fun at Mount Vernon. It's is a spectacular site to tour even without special events going on, but George Washington's Birthday Weekend mixes in special extras, including a sample of Washington's favorite breakfast Feb. 14-15 (included in admission). Other events include an 18th-century dancing demo, wreath-laying ceremonies at Washington's tomb, storytelling, a military demonstration with the Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps, and more. All of Mount Vernon's events will be open free-of-charge Feb. 16.

Madison and the Constitution Tour: Feb. 14 & 16

Visit Montpelier in Virginia, the lifelong home of James Madison. Take the Madison and the Constitution Tour (Saturday and Monday, 1 p.m.) to learn more about Madison and his role as father of the Constitution. Tickets are $20 for adults, $7 for children older than six; admission is free for kids under 6.

Ceremony at Lincoln Memorial: Feb. 12, 12 p.m.

Stop by the Lincoln Memorial to honor President Lincoln for a wreath-laying ceremony and a dramatic reading of the Gettysburg Address. Too cold outside? Snuggle in at home that night and watch the 2012 historical drama "Lincoln."

Tours of Lincoln's Cottage: Daily

Lincoln used to retire to his "country" cottage -- in Northeast D.C. back when downtown life got to be too much. Back then, his cottage really was in the country, and even as the city sprang up around it, the beautiful grounds evoke a sense of Lincoln's time and place. One-hour tours of the cottage on the grounds of the Old Soldier's Home are offered daily, on the hour each hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are strongly recommended because weekend tours often sell out.

Presidential Family Fun Day: Feb. 15, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

The National Portrait Gallery (8th & F streets NW) hosts an afternoon of crafts and performances in the Kogod Courtyard. Kids will get to meet "George Washington" and "Abraham Lincoln," join in activities like Presidential Polaroids and making picture frames, get their pictures taken with the Washington Nationals Racing Presidents and more.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Paladar Latin Kitchen Celebrates Carnival]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 17:12:31 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/skewersght.jpg

Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar has two weeks of surprises waiting for you during their fourth annual celebration of Carnival.

Paladar restaurants feature a Central and South American-inspired menu, and are best known for their freshly made guacamole. The four locations in the D.C. area will make it easy for you to reap the benefits of their 16-day Carnival Celebration, running Feb. 2-17.

The Carnival Celebration features two weeks of half-price margaritas, hand-muddled mojitos, and sangrias (except Feb. 13-14). You'll also find Carnival street foods available during the two-week celebration, including steak skewers, Brazilian cheese breads, fritters and tostones.

You'll also have the chance to win a $1,000 Paladar gift card. Now through Feb. 16, Paladar is giving out scratch-off tickets, which could let you win up to 25 percent off your check or other prizes. Those scratch-off tickets will then be entered into a contest where you can win the grand prizze.

On Feb. 17 -- the day the celebration coincides with Mardi Gras -- Paladar will have live music at each location. Paladar has locations in Rockville, Annapolis, Gaithersburg and Vienna.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[A Chocolate Lovers Festival in Fairfax]]> Mon, 02 Feb 2015 21:07:56 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/chocochallenge2.jpg

The annual Chocolate Lovers Festival in Fairfax is an excellent leadup to Valentine's Day: It's your chance to buy your sweetheart (or yourself) whatever chocolate goodies they (OK, or you) desire.

The two-day chocolate festival, to be held the weekend of Feb. 7-8, features historic re-enactments, children's activities, and a Kiwanis Club chocolate chip pancake breakfast. You can also check out the chocolate sculptures submitted for the event's art contest. But keep your hands to yourself: All you can do it sit back and drool over the beauty of it.

The Taste of Chocolate event during the festival will have vendors offering samples of their creations, as well as items for sale. Many historic buildings around the area will have open houses for the public to meander through.

Most events are free, but some require a fee. The festival website lists any costs for each event in the festival.

The festival runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. A good starting point for the festival is at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax VA 22030



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Groundhog Day Parties: Yes, They're a Thing]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:01:46 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_112362842.jpg

Weather maps are blanketed with white and light blue. Terms like "blizzard," "below-freezing" and "record-setting" have been dominating the forecast. This is not OK.

In other words... where is spring?

Famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil will determine whether we can ditch the down jackets and scarves for a lighter look after Groundhog Day this Monday. Of course, Phil's predictions aren't always accurate, but that doesn't stop celebrations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

PENNSYLVANIA:

Obviously, Punxsutawney is the center of all things groundhog. Various vendors, fun crafts, live music and more will take over the small town about an hour outside of Pittsburgh. You can see the groundhog's prediction up close Monday at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, and later watch fireworks, shop vintage items, and enjoy food and games. See a full list of Groundhog Day events here (PDF).

You can also watch Phil's prognostication inside at Philadelphia's The Grey Lodge Pub (6325 Frankford Ave) from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Events include breakfast, beers on tap, a Hawaiian shirt contest, and a live reenactment of the groundhog's prediction.

VIRGINIA:

Head to the Virginia Living Museum (524 J. Clyde Morris Boulevard, Newport News) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday for a day of activities, including groundhog-related crafts and interactive exhibits. The museum's resident groundhog Chesapeake Chuck will make an appearance. Chuck will be back at the museum Monday for the official annual ceremony.

MARYLAND:

For those wishing to avoid the cold (and are also 21+), the Baltimore Architecture Foundation's annual Groundhog Day party is Monday at the Peabody Heights Brewery (401 E. 30th St., Baltimore). A ticket gets you drinks, snacks and a tour of the brewery.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Roots & Blues Festival in Lancaster]]> Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:29:54 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/181*120/musicjje.jpg

Join 50+ national music artists for the two-day Roots and Blues Festival in the national historic district of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

The festival, set for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6-7, will gather artists from around the U.S. to take one of 10 stages. Bringing the 50 artists into such a small town was no easy task, so the fest will be spread across eight venues, all within a few blocks of each other.

For the music pros, master class sessions will be held at the Ware Center on both days. Some sessions will also include talks with famous musicians, including Liberty DeVitto, Billy Joel's drummer; and Kenny Aaronson, a bassist who has played with the likes of Bob Dylan and Neil Schon.

Find a complete schedule of events for the festival online. Tickets start at $20 per day and reach $225 for a two-day VIP pass.

A little fact about Lancaster: The entire city is a national historic district and the only city in the U.S. with that designation. That means tons of history and lots of attractions.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Food, Art and Wine at the Virginia Beach Chill Fest]]> Thu, 08 Jan 2015 12:50:53 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_76145926.jpg

The Virginia Beach Chill Fest has nothing to do with this week's miserable weather, and everything to do with fun. Bundle up and head south -- this fest features three big events (and yes, they're all indoors).

Start off with Restaurant Week (Jan. 10-19), when you can sample local favorites from specially priced, prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus from more than 80 participating Virginia Beach restaurants. You can score a two-course lunch for just $10, with three-course dinners starting at $20.

Just leave some room for extra wine. The Coastal Virginia Wine Fest (weekend of Jan. 17-18) at the Virginia Beach Convention Center will feature 40 Virginia wineries, which will offer hand-picked selections to taste and buy. You'll also find a craft beer garden and up to 80 vendors showcasing specialty foods, arts and crafts. You can even watch local celebs take part in a grape stomping competition. The wine fest will be held Jan. 17 from noon to 7 p.m. and Jan. 18 from noon to 5 p.m.

At the convention center during those same hours, you'll also find the MOCA Art Show. Between the wine and food tastings, the show from the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art will feature 100 juried artists including painters, sculptors, agra-artisans and jewelers. The art show takes place not at the museum itself, but during the Coastal Virginia Wine Fest. Admission is included with purchase of a wine fest ticket, which start at $40 per person.

Virginia Beach is located about three and a half hours from downtown, D.C.
 



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Educate Yourself: Chocolate & Wine Classes in Va.]]> Tue, 13 Jan 2015 13:51:39 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_50516272.jpg

Ever dreamed about becoming a chocolatier? Or maybe just about chocolate? OK, the latter is more likely, but either way, Artfully Chocolate in Alexandria offers several tasty classes for those interested in a hands-on experience (because who doesn't want more time with chocolate?).

If the wine and chocolate sound great on their own, Artfully Chocolate offers a wine and chocolate pairing seminar. Attendees learn all about the ins and outs of fine chocolate and wine, and how to maximize the flavors of both. Four wines and chocolates are provided during the event. 

For the true chocoholic, a chocolate-tasting class might be the best choice. Tasting classes offer an introduction to the culture of fine chocolate, and teach students what to look for in chocolate. You'll also get an overview on how chocolate has evolved over the centuries. Six chocolates are included in the class. 

If you want to get a bit more creative, take a course on making your own mosaic or painted serving tray. You'll get to taste 2-3 glasses of wine and chocolate pairings during the session.

Each of the three options takes place at Artfully Chocolate, and run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

You can pay for classes on Artfully Chocolate's website, but be sure to check out LivingSocial first for a discount on classes.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Wine Wednesday: Otium Cellars in Purcellville]]> Wed, 07 Jan 2015 15:47:47 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/183*120/Screen+Shot+2014-10-27+at+8.18.56+PM.png

If you need a little German-inspired wine pick-me-up, then a trip to Loudoun County's Otium Cellars should be your next stop.

Veer off of Main Street in Purcellville, Virginia and take a drive down a short gravel road to find Otium Cellers (18050 Tranquility Road) next to silos and horse pastures. The winery offers seven varieties: the expected (Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Cab Sav, Pinot Noir) and the not-so-much expected: Blaufrankisch, Malbec and Dornfelder.

The German import varietals offered by the winery give you a look into the Bavarian roots that owner Gerhard Bauer is passionate about.

Otium is expecting big changes this year, with a new addition to the tasting room and the cellar expected around April. Don't worry -- the construction won't hinder your wine tasting; currently you can sip your wine outside in the covered and screened-in pavilion (with a 360-degree fireplace) that overlooks the sweeping views of the hills under vine. We loved the upstairs section inside the main tasting room with large, picturesque views of the farm land.

While visiting, make sure you taste the 2013 Pinot Noir, which deserves a second look because the original vines had to be up-rooted and re-planted in 2010 due to excessive moisture. That vintage is back with a vengeance. The 2012 Pinot Gris also won our hearts with its very light and crisp fruit flavors.

Wine tastings at Otium are $10 and includes eight wines: five reds and three whites. The winery is open Mondays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and weekends 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Otium offers live music most Fridays as well.;

Otium is also part of Goose Creek Farms, a private equestrian facility that breeds world-class Hanoverians and offers weekly riding lessons. Pigs, chickens and ducks also call this farm their home -- and if you visit, bring your dog, too; they are very pet-friendly.

Otium Cellars is located about 70 minutes from downtown D.C.



Photo Credit: Sarah Pixley
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<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Otium Cellars in Purcellville, Virginia]]> Wed, 07 Jan 2015 15:48:51 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/211*120/Screen+Shot+2014-10-27+at+8.25.40+PM.png Veer off of Main Street in Purcellville, Virginia and take a drive down a short gravel road to find Otium Cellers (18050 Tranquility Road) next to silos and horse pastures. The winery offers seven varieties: the expected (Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Cab Sav, Pinot Noir) and the not-so-much expected: Blaufrankisch, Malbec and Dornfelder.

Photo Credit: Sarah Pixley]]>
<![CDATA[Authentic Blue Ridge at the Floyd Country Store]]> Mon, 05 Jan 2015 15:06:53 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2015-01-05_1505_001.jpg

The Floyd Country Store is a lot more than just a country store -- it's a reason we love small towns. And at 206 South Locust St. in Floyd, Virginia, you'll find everything you could want from one: the Floyd Country Store is a music venue, cafe, live variety show and, of course, a store.

Our favorite feature is the monthly live radio broadcast, featuring the best old-timey music from around the Blue Ridge Mountains. The show is broadcast from inside the store and includes comedy quips, skits, jingles and authentic local bluegrass. Tickets are usually $10 in advance. Each radio show is streamed live and then re-broadcast by nearby local stations.

If you feel like shopping, the Floyd store features a variety of items particular to country living. You'll see plenty of enamelware, books and the occasional set of suspenders for your britches. Music is also available for purchase from local Blue Ridge musicians.

For your stomach: The cafe is known for their East Carolina-style pulled smoked pork barbecue, Chicken Brunswick stew and skillet-baked cornbread, but the locals will say the old-fashioned milkshakes are most popular.

The music for your ears: Many local musicians take the stage at Floyd's, mainly because the audience has a deep appreciation for traditional music. You'll find music and dancing every Friday evening, Americana tunes every Saturday afternoon, and a traditional mountain music jam every Sunday. 

This store is worth the trip and Floyd is worth the stay if you choose to make it a weekend adventure. The Floyd Country Store is located about four hours from downtown, D.C. If you need help with accommodations (or other local activities), there's a guide for that, too.



Photo Credit: Floyd Country Store]]>
<![CDATA[D.C. Restaurant Week: Oh, It's On]]> Tue, 20 Jan 2015 13:20:07 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_81319588.jpg

Grab your fork and spoon, D.C. Restaurant Week returns Monday.

More than 240 local restaurants are participating in the twice-annual promotion, which offers three-course prix-fixe lunches for $20.15 and dinners for $35.15. 

Participating spots include 1789, Aggio, Farmers Fishers Bakers, Lincoln, Urbana and of course, many, many more. (See the full list here.) Restaurants in near-in suburbs like Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Arlington and Alexandria have also joined in.

You can make reservations online through OpenTable, and even reserve a preferred parking spot before heading out the door through Parking Panda. 

Restaurant Week will wrap up Jan. 25, although some restaurants have extended their promotions in the past, so keep your eyes open. 

This year, the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is asking diners to get social with their Restaurant Week experiences by participating in the 7 Days/7 Winners social media contest. 

Diners who want to join in on the fun should post pictures of their delicious Restaurant Week dishes to Instagram using the hashtag #DMVRW, follow @RAMWdc on Instagram and tag the participating restaurant. 

Once you post your photo, you'll automatically be entered to win prizes, including roller derby tickets, brunch gift certificates, cookbooks and a grand prize of two tickets to the 33rd Annual RAMMY Awards and Gala June 7. 

Winter Restaurant Week sponsor True Aussie Lamb is also hosting a photography contest for diners. Diners who upload a picture of a participating restaurant's featured Australian lamb dish to Instagram using the hashtag #AussieLambDC will be entered to win prizes. (Here's a tip: Mazagan Restaurant in Arlington, Smith Commons in D.C. and Graffiato in Penn Quarter will all be offering True Aussie lamb dishes.)



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[An Aerial Adventure in Harper's Ferry]]> Mon, 05 Jan 2015 12:31:07 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_154191794S.jpg

High-flying adventure might be closer to the home than you think.

The Adventure Park at Harper's Ferry is the newest offering in the River Riders family of outdoor fun. The park has six aerial forest trails with 12 elements each, making for a total of 72 challenges and zip lines. 

Elevated wooden platforms high in trees are connected by bridges, swings and zip lines. Participants ages four and older can move at their own pace through self-guided aerial trails, choosing paths that fit any challenge and comfort level.

In addition to the Adventure Park, guests can go whitewater rafting, tubing, kayaking, canoeing and mountain biking in the surrounding area.

Discounted 2015 season passes are also available, which includes unlimited two-hour climbs and other perks, from LivingSocial.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Alexandria Restaurant Week Coming Up]]> Fri, 02 Jan 2015 09:11:50 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_10076518.jpg

The lull between the New Year and Valentine's Day can be dreary, but that isn't a reason to stop making plans with friends and family.

So that's what Alexandria Restaurant Week is for.

During the promotion Jan. 23-Feb. 1, score discounts on lunch, dinner for two, or prix-fixe three-course menus at nearly 60 restaurants.

Participating restaurants include BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier, Cheesetique, Chart House, Teaism Old Town and more.

You can find a complete guide to participating restaurants, including menus and links to make reservations, online here.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[National Children's Museum to Close Sunday]]> Fri, 02 Jan 2015 12:36:31 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2015-01-02_0707.jpg

This weekend is your last chance to visit the National Children's Museum at National Harbor.

 

The museum plans to move back to the District after two years in Maryland. It will close Sunday, but no reopening date has been set yet -- museum officials are still searching for a new space.

Some exhibits will be relocated to D.C. public libraries in the meantime.

The museum cited a lack of affordable expansion space as a factor in the decision to move.

"We're in 17,000 square feet of space now," said Ross Hechinger, chair of the museum's board. "We're looking to at least double that space, if not more."

Museum officials also want to return to D.C. because it's more centrally located.

A quarter of a million kids and families had visited the museum since it moved to Prince George's County.

]]>
<![CDATA[Going to the Winter Classic? Here's What to Know]]> Thu, 25 Dec 2014 13:18:51 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/215*120/2014-12-22_1656.jpg

Hockey fans, rejoice! The 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is coming to the District, and Washington Capitals fans are already gearing up for the big day.

But before you venture out into the New Year to see the Caps battle the Chicago Blackhawks, we've got everything you need to know.

Where & When:

Nationals Park (1500 S. Capital St. SE) is hosting the big game, which kicks off at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1.

Getting to the Game:

By Metro: Metro is the quickest and easiest way to get to Nats Park. Take the Green Line to the Navy Yard station, located half a block from the stadium, or take the Orange, Blue or Silver Line to the Capitol South station, which is about a 15-minute walk to the park. Visit Metro's website to get your personalized route.

By Circulator: Hop on the Circulator from Union Station or H Street NE and take it to the Navy Yard. See all stops here.

By Car: Several streets will be closed around Nationals Park on game day, so driving might not be the best way to get to the event. If you do choose to drive, the following streets will be closed or have limited access during the game:

  • N Street SE from 1st Street SE to Van Street will close at 8:30 a.m.
  • Half Street SE between M and N streets will close at 8:30 a.m.
  • Van Street SE between M and N street will be accessible to taxis and stadium traffic only, and will be one-way during the game.
  • 1st Street SE from M Street SE to Potomac Avenue will be accessible to stadium traffic only.
  • Potomac Avenue SE between South Capitol and 1st streets will be accessible to stadium traffic only.

You can find driving directions on the NHL's website, and parking passes are available online here at a variety of prices.

By Charter: Parking for charter buses, limousines and large vehicles is located in Parking Lot W, between M and L streets SE and 7th Street SE. Buses will be permitted to drop off guests on the west curb of 1st Street SE between M and N streets SE.

By Taxi: A taxi stand is located on M Street SE between South Capitol and Half streets SE.

What NOT to Bring:

The following items are prohibited inside ticketed areas:

  • Metal, plastic or glass containers of any kind except for clear, factory-sealed plastic water bottles no larger than 1 liter; juice boxes; insulin containers or baby food
  • Food items except those contained in single serving bags within a soft-sided container or cooler not exceeding 16"x16"x8"
  • Hard coolers or ice chests
  • Backpacks and bags exceeding 16"x16"x8"
  • Umbrellas
  • Weapons, fireworks and other illegal substances
  • Camera lenses in excess of eight inches, tripods and monopods
  • Animals except service animals
  • Beach balls and other inflatable items
  • Laser pens and pointers
  • Alcohol not purchased at Nationals Park
  • Noisemakers not provided by the NHL
  • Skateboards
  • Strollers
  •  Any other item deemed dangerous or inappropriate or otherwise violating the guest conduct policy

Finding Your Seat:
You can find a PDF seating map for the event on the NHL's website.

During the Game:

Re-Entry: Fans may not exit and re-enter the park using the same ticket. In the event of an emergency, guests should contact a gate supervisor, who may permit a guest to re-enter the park at the same gate.

Guest Services: Nationals Park has three Guest Services locations. They can be found behind Sections 103, 131 and 320. Guest services remain open until 30 minutes after the game to assist guests with lost and found items, lost or missing guests, transportation information, emergencies, and accommodations for guests with disabilities.

Fan Support Line: Fans experiencing problems with unruly behavior or a security issue are encouraged to text "NHL" along with a brief description of the issue and their location to 69050 to contact Nationals Park officials during the game.

For more information, check out the NHL's A-Z Guide for game day, or print an Official Game Day Guide to take with you to the game.

]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Pits and Cocktails: Outdoor Dining in D.C.]]> Wed, 31 Dec 2014 13:51:10 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008800818_1200x675_370484291875.jpg The Washington Post's Lavanya Ramanathan shares how D.C. restaurants and bars such as A-Bar, Bourbon Steak and Iron Gate have incorporated fire pits to enhance outdoor dining in the winter.]]> <![CDATA[Find D.C.-Area Holiday Light Displays ]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:58:28 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/520916115.jpg

The days are just about as short as they can get -- good thing there's plenty of holiday lighting displays to light up the night. Check out our top picks in D.C., Maryland and Virginia:

D.C.:

ZooLights (3001 Connecticut Ave. NW) -- Visit the Smithsonian National Zoo for a holiday extravaganza. Enjoy winter treats, live musical performances, and 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights that brighten the Zoo. Through Jan. 1; 5-9 p.m.; admission is free.

MARYLAND:

Washington D.C. Temple Festival of Lights (9900 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington): The Mormon temple grounds are illuminated by 600,000 lights, and when you want to get out of the cold, duck into the indoor theater for nightly performances that vary from bells to choirs to swing music and more. (Free tickets are available 90 minutes before each performance.) You'll also find Christmas trees decorated in international themes, an exhibit of crèches from around the world, and a life-sized outdoor nativity. Through Jan. 1; most performances 6, 7 and/or 8 p.m. nightliy.

Winter Lights Festival (1950 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg) -- Drive through 3.5 miles of 365 illuminated displays and 65 animated vignettes at Seneca Creek State Park. Through Dec. 31; Mon.-Thurs.: $12; Fri.-Sun. $15. Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 6-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 6-10 p.m.

Lights on the Bay (1100 E College Parkway, Annapolis) -- Grab your friends and head out to Anne Arundel Medical Center's 20th annual holiday light show, Lights on the Bay. Enjoy a two-mile scenic drive along the Chesapeake Bay with 70 animated and stationary displays lighting the roadway. Through Jan. 1; 5-10 p.m. nightly, including holidays.

Festival of Lights (301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro) -- Drive through this holiday display featuring more than one million lights. Through Jan. 1; check site for pricing information.

Bike the Lights (Symphony Woods, Columbia) -- On Dec. 15, you can take spin a around Howard County's Symphony of Lights. Bicyclists can take a 1.4-mile ride while watching the illuminated light displays, featuring more than 70 animations and 250,000 bulbs. Admission is $10 in advance; $12 at the door; children under 10 are free. Dec. 15; 4-5:45 p.m.

Annmarie Garden in Lights (13480 Dowell Road, Dowell) -- Take a walk through the magical woods, where light sculptures of mythical beasts, pirates, circus performers and more will surround you on your journey. Through Jan. 3; 6-9 p.m.; admission $7 for ages 5 and up.

VIRGINIA:

Bull Run Festival of Lights (7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville) -- Visit Santa's Enchanted Lights in the Holiday Village, and watch 40,000 lights dance to the season's holiday tunes. Through Jan. 4; Mon.-Thurs. 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sun. 5:30-10 p.m. Check site for varying ticket prices.

Winter Walk of Lights (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna) -- Now through Jan. 4, take a half-mile walking tour of lights with animated displays. You may run into Flurry the Snowman and Molasses the Gingerbread Man on the trail! Click here for more information on special events in December. Through Jan. 4; 5:30-10 p.m.; $6-$13.



Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Christmas and History in Fredericksburg, Va.]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 10:02:07 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/6543086435_783ced6133_b.jpg

The historic town of Fredericksburg, Virginia is never short on holiday cheer. Join in on the many cheery festivities happening this month and beyond.

  • Jingle Bell Christmas Carriage Rides: Now through Jan. 3, you can ride through Fredericksburg’s 40 blocks of historic neighborhoods, where you’ll see the quaint cobbled streets and picturesque architecture. Travel down Caroline Street to see the decorated store windows, past Kenmore Plantation, down Washington Avenue and then wind your way past Fredericksburg's official Christmas Tree.

 

  • Breakfast with Santa at Eileen's Bakery: Three Sundays, Dec. 7, 14 and 20, offer the chance to enjoy a breakfast buffet with an area set up for the kiddos to decorate their own pancakes. Seating times are 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Each child will have a personal visit with Santa and receive surprise gift.

 

  • Fredericksburg Christmas Parade: On Saturday, Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m., more than 90 floats from community groups will take to the streets for the annual downtown Christmas parade. The parade begins at the Visitor Center in the 700 block of Caroline Street and winds its way up to the 700 block of Princess Anne Street.

 

  • Spotsylvania Courthouse Luminary: On Sunday, Dec. 7, more than 500 luminaries will be placed on the courthouse lawn, accompanied by music provided by local chorus groups. Sip hot cocoa at this free event which takes place from 4:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dress for cold weather and bring a blanket or chairs.

 

  • Annual Spotsylvania Christmas Parade: On Saturday, Dec. 6, this frozen wonderland will take over the historic courthouse district starting at 1 p.m. Expect to see fire trucks, antique cars, horses, floats and of course, Santa Claus.

 

  • Holiday Night Walk: On Saturday, Dec. 20, stroll through Fredericksburg while enjoying the lights and sights of the holiday season. Walk at your own pace along three- or six-mile trails. A cookie checkpoint will offer hot drinks and homemade cookies. Start between 3 and 5 p.m.; the free event finishes by 8 p.m.

 

  • Potomac Point Winery Open House: On Saturday, Dec. 6 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Potomac Point will be offering up to 20 percent off wine and gift shop merchandise. Sampling their signature wine grog and shop ready-made gift baskets. You'll also find live holiday music and a visit from Santa.

Fredericksburg is about 54 miles south of downtown D.C.



Photo Credit: Rainier Homoroc]]>
<![CDATA[A Month of Holiday Fun in Alexandria]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:28:29 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/cms623.jpg

Listed as one of the top 10 Christmas-Crazy Towns by HGTV, Alexandria has a lot to offer when it comes to holiday fun.

Check out our top picks for seasonal events in and around Old Town Alexandria:

  • City of Alexandria Tree Lighting Ceremony (301 King St.) -- Join Santa and Mrs. Claus the day after Thanksgiving as they help light the city tree in Market Square. You'll also find live entertainment and a community singalong. 6.-8 p.m.; free admission.

 

  • Scottish Christmas Walk and Parade (various locations) -- Immerse yourself in Scottish sights and sounds as bagpipers march in full finery. You'll also have the chance to tour Old Town homes decorated for the holidays, shop for gifts at a holiday marketplace, sample Scotch and more. Dec. 5, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Dec. 6, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

 

  • Mount Vernon by Candlelight (3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway) -- From Nov. 28 through Dec. 21, "Martha Washington" will host evenings of candlelight tours, fireside caroling and festive treats. Saturdays and Sundays, 5.-8 p.m.; $22 adults; kids 11 and younger $15.

 

 

  • Holiday Boat Parade of Lights (105 N. Union St.) -- On Dec. 6, watch as Alexandria's harbor light ups as more than 50 illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront. 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.

 

  • Holiday Favorites With the Colonial Handbell Ringers (201 S. Washington St.) --The Colonial English Handbell Ringers will be using more than 80 handbells to perform several loved "Nutcracker Suite" selections, as well as new arrangements of popular classics. Dec. 14, 2 and 4 p.m. Free admission, but reservations are required; call 703-746-4994.

 

  • Waterskiing Santa Comes to Old Town Alexandria (Alexandria's Waterfront between King and Oronoco streets) -- Witness Waterskiing Santa, his wakeboarding reindeer and all of his friends (including the Grinch) perform in a waterfront performance on Christmas Eve. Pre-show at 12:45 p.m.; main show 1 p.m.; free admission.



Photo Credit: R Kennedy for ACVA]]>
<![CDATA[Your Holiday Market Roundup]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 15:17:14 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Downtown-HolidayMarket-5.jpg

The holiday season is just around the corner. Gather your shopping stamina and holiday cheer, and check out the best markets the area has to offer.

THE DISTRICT:

  • The festive outdoor Downtown Holiday Market has returned to 8th and F streets NW, featuring more than 150 local artists, crafters and small businesses. Rotating daily, 60 vendors will offer gifts such as jewelry, pottery, paintings and textiles. You'll also find food vendors (think hot donuts!) and live entertainment. Friday, Nov. 28-Tuesday, Dec. 23; noon-8 p.m.

 

  • Modern light displays and public art will dominate the first-ever Georgetown GLOW exhibition. Stroll down an M Street transformed by lights, and view works of art from local, regional and international artists. You'll also find art along the the Book Hill Park area of Wisconsin Avenue, as well as at Washington Harbour and office buildings south of M Street. Many Georgetown stores and restaurants will run promotions throughout the weekend. Friday, Dec. 12-Sunday, Dec. 14.

 

  • Embrace the holiday spirit at the Smithsonian Holiday Festival, which will offer musical performances, films, book signings, apparel and jewelry trunk shows, and family craft activities throughout the museums. Saturday, Dec. 6-Sunday, Dec. 7, varying times and locations; see complete schedule here.

VIRGINIA:

  • Inspired by traditional German Christmas markets, Tysons Corner Center will host their second annual Christmas Market (1961 Chain Bridge Road, McLean). For 20 days, shoppers can explore 20+ exhibitor booths and a large tented pop-up store for Käthe Wohlfahrt, a German merchandiser. Tysons' Winterfest 2014 will also feature a Christmas tree, ice skating rink and beer garden, as well as outdoor seating around fire pits and entertainment. Friday, Dec. 5-Wednesday, Dec 24, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., ending at 4 p.m. Dec. 24.

 

  • For its fourth year, the GRUMP Holiday Arts & Crafts Show (Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington) will feature 75 local vendors, selling everything from locally designed T-shirts to handmade soap. In addition to shopping, you'll find a make-your-own-gift craft station and a gift-wrapping station. GRUMP will also offer kids a gingerbread history lesson, cookie decorating and ornament making, and will air repeat screenings of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Sunday, Dec. 14, 11a.m.-5p.m.

 

  • The Del Ray Artisans Fine Art & Fine Craft Holiday Market (Nicholas A. Colasanto Center, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria) will feature pottery, jewelry, glass, cloth and paper from local artists. You'll find different vendors and free refreshments each weekend. Fridays through Sundays until Dec. 21: Fridays 6-9 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sundays noon-4 p.m.

 

  • More than 90 artisans will showcase handmade jewelry, woodcraft, textiles food and other products at the Fine Arts and Crafts Show (Ida Lee Park Recreation Center, 60 Ida Lee Drive NW, Leesburg). Saturday, Dec. 6, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

MARYLAND:

  • Stay warm while shopping for gifts at the National Harbor Holiday Market with hot chocolate and other winter treats. On Saturdays, the market (201 Waterfront St., National Harbor) will offer festival carousel rides with Santa and carol performances. Weekends through Dec. 21, noon-5 p.m.

 

  • Charities will offer new ideas at the Takoma Park Alternative Gift Fair. These are gifts that give back: Past events have offered gifts like training kits to educate a rural women's group to produce clean fuel charcoal briquettes ($10) or a month of fresh, local vegetables for a low-income family ($40). You'll find the fair at the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church (310 Tulip Ave., Takoma Park). Saturday, Dec. 6, noon-4 p.m.



Photo Credit: Downtown Holiday Market]]>
<![CDATA[Nearby Slopes Open for the Season]]> Mon, 01 Dec 2014 09:13:27 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/cms626.jpg

Winter is on its way -- or judging from the pre-Thanksgiving snow that fell on the D.C. area, it's already here. Embrace the new season in nearby Pennsylvania, where three almost-local ski and snowboard resorts reopened for the season on Black Friday.

Read on for the details:

Liberty Mountain (78 Country Club Trail Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania) -- Liberty Mountain opened its six trails to the public on the three-day weekend after Thanksgiving. The slopes are closed again Monday through Thursday, Dec.1-4, but will reopen Friday, Dec. 5. Lift tickets are available online. About 80 miles from downtown D.C.

Whitetail Resort (13805 Blairs Valley Road, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania) -- Trails opened Black Friday with the breaking of the resort's "First Chair" ceremony banner. The resort is closed again during the week of Dec. 1-5, but will reopen Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6-7. Lift tickets are available online. About 92 miles from downtown D.C.

Roundtop Mountain (925 Roundtop Road, Lewisberry, Pennsylvania) -- Slopes opened Black Friday, and unlike Liberty and Whitetail, Roundtop's slopes are open Monday, Dec. 1, although snowtubing is closed Monday. The slopes will be closed Tuesday throught Friday and will reopen the weekend of Dec. 6-7. Lift tickets are available online. About 117 miles from downtown D.C.

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<![CDATA[Holiday 'Stache Bash in Norfolk]]> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:47:17 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/189*120/shutterstock_208397449.jpg

Although No Shave November is coming to an end, a Norfolk barber shop is asking facial hair connoisseurs to hold off on the clippers and razors for a few more weeks.

On Sunday, Dec. 7, the second annual Holiday 'Stache Bash will host a facial hair fashion show, as well as a competition between mustaches, beards and clean-shaven faces.

The hairy event, co-hosted by Jake's Place Men'’s Barbering Lounge and Spa, will benefit Hope House Foundation, a Virginia organization that supports adults with disabilities at their homes.

The event will start at 4 p.m. at the Belmont House of Smoke (2117 Colonial Ave.) in Norfolk, Virginia. Admission is free, but a $5 suggested donation is encouraged.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock ]]>
<![CDATA[Richmond Tattoo Arts Festival]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:20:08 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/shutterstock_186576560.jpg

Think ink: The Richmond Tattoo Arts Festival is coming up this weekend. Starting Friday, a select group of world-renowned tattoo artists will gather at the Greater Richmond Convention Center (403 N. Third St.), including Big Gus, star of Spike TV's "Tattoo Nightmares."

On-site tattooing will also be available; however, you should schedule an appointment beforehand.

Not in search of new ink? Enjoy shopping from the festival's many vendors, including Chaos Cards, Hardnox Clothing and Belzel Books.

You can also join the audience to watch competitions, like Best Sleeve Tattoo or Best Portrait Tattoo.

The festival runs Friday through Sunday; see the complete schedule here. Tickets are still available. One-day passes are $20; three-day passes are $40; ages 12-17 get in for $5; kids younger than 12 get in free. Military, fire and police personnel with valid ID get a $5 discount.
 



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[VRE Santa Train Tickets Now on Sale]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 08:37:44 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/vre+train.jpg

All aboard!

Tickets for the Virginia Railway Express Santa Trains will go on sale at 9 a.m. Monday.

The trains will run from stations in Fredericksburg, Manassas, Woodridge and Burke Centre. Ticket sales are nonrefundable and are limited to six orders per person for most trains.

Tickets are available for $5 at the four stations and $6 online. All tickets must be purchased in advance. Proceeds will benefit rail safety education.

The stations also will serve as drop-off sites for the Marines Corps Toys for Tots campaign.

Click here for more information.

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<![CDATA[Wine Wednesday: Pippin Hill Farms Winery]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:43:29 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/cms625.jpg

The closest you can get to a Napa Valley wine experience is closer than you think. All it takes is a trip to the Monticello Wine Trail, which will put you in the realm of the idyllic Virginia winery Pippin Hill Farms.

Husband-and-wife team Dean and Lynn Andrews opened Pippin Hill in 2010. The Andrews originally wanted a location where they could preserve the character of the land and keep it timeless. They came across the Bundoran Farm preservation development and never looked back. 

Their idea behind the winery has always been to make guests feel like they were "coming home." Of course, anyone who visits would probably decide that calling Pippin Hill their home would be a dream come true -- its location in a valley means it offers sweeping views of the hills about 15 minutes south of Charlottesville.

Wine tastings are $6 and consist of a variety of five whites, five reds and two sparkling wines. The winery's fave: the estate-grown 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. The tasting room is open daily (except for Mondays) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You'll also find vineyard-to-table cuisines to enjoy at the hand-carved wine bar or rustic wooden tables in the tasting room. The menu consists of bistro-style eats, made-from-scratch bread and even artisan catering cuisine.

Whether you're celebrating a wedding in the winery's granery, sitting on the veranda with friends or enjoying a quick sip at the wine bar, Pippin Hill Farms is the ideal event destination along the Monticello Wine Trail.

Pippin Hill Farms is located at 5022 Plank Road in North Garden, Virginia, about three hours from downtown D.C.

The Andrews have also recently opened a restaurant on main street in Charlottesville (401 E. Main St.) called the Red Pump Kitchen. (Not so) coincidentally, you can find the actual red pump to which the name refers on the veranda at the winery.



Photo Credit: Sarah Pixley]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Pippin Hill Farms]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:42:48 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/181*120/apip2.jpg.jpg The closest you can get to a Napa Valley wine experience is closer than you think. All it takes is a trip to the Monticello Wine Trail, which will put you in the realm of the idyllic Virginia winery Pippin Hill Farms.

Photo Credit: Sarah Pixley]]>
<![CDATA[Thanksgiving in Natural Bridge, Virginia]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 12:55:29 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_588239381.jpg

Forget about cooking and cleaning this Thanksgiving -- spend the holidays at Natural Bridge for an easy (and nearby) holiday getaway. Yes, there's more than just a bridge. There's also turkey.

The Natural Bridge Hotel is offering a Thanksgiving day buffet ($26.95 per person) this Thanksgiving, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Why choose the Natural Bridge Hotel versus any other Thanksgiving Day plan? No cooking, less stress, and, hey, there's also that 215-foot-tall Natural Bridge that Mother Nature carved from limestone located near the hotel (photo op time!).

During your stay, check out the caverns, too. They descend 34 stories underground, swerving through layers of limestone. A tour will last 45 minutes, but book soon, because the caverns close for the season Dec. 1.

The Cedar Creek Trail is another activity you should plan on visiting during your stay. The trail goes under the Natural Bridge, makes its way through the picturesque Lace Falls, a 50-foot cascading waterfall, and ends at the James River a few miles south.

Accommodations at the Natural Bridge Hotel include rooms in the historic hotel ($79-$99 per night) as well as a village of single-room cottages.

Natural Bridge is located at 15 Appledore Lane, Natural Bridge, Virginia, about three hours west of downtown D.C. Call 800-533-1410 for more info.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Virginia Cider Week: Our Picks]]> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 14:43:18 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_217621018.jpg

Attention, cider lovers everywhere: Virginia is attempting to entice you with Cider Week 2014. (Is it working yet?) From Nov. 14 to 23, you can bring your friends out for a week full of food, events and most importantly, hard cider.

Here are our picks for the best events this week:

Virginia Cider Harvest Tasting (1797 Hydraulic Road, Charlottesville) -- On Friday, Nov. 14, kick off Cider Week at Charlottesville's Whole Foods for the season's best cider. Free admission; 3-6 p.m.

Cider Under the Stars (5909 Long Fall Lane, Delaplane) -- On the weekend of Nov.14-16, Custom Adventure Tours is putting on a three-day camping event, during which you can go hiking and taste hard ciders at Cobbler Mountain Cellars. Different events each day will let you explore the area and meet new people while tasting hard cider along the way. $195 with camping gear and setup provided; $135 if you bring your own gear.

Richmond Cider Celebration (100 N. 17th St., Richmond) -- On Saturday, Nov. 15, head to the 17th Street Market to taste hard ciders and apple juices, take workshops on juice pressing, and more. Local restaurants will also be offering food for sale. $20 ticket includes 10 cider tastings; free admission for those under 21; 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cider Press Sampling (Virtue Feed & Grain, 106 S Union St., Alexandria) -- On Sunday, Nov. 16, enjoy the Second Annual Cider Press and taste unlimited samples of hard ciders. This event will benefit SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) of Northern Virginia. You'll have the chance to win fun prizes and listen to live entertainment. $25 in advance or $35 at the door; 7-10 p.m.

Hill & Holler Cider Dinner (2801 E. Franklin St., Richmond) -- On Sunday, Nov. 16, visit food stations in Libby Hill Park for bites from Richmond's top chefs. Enjoy dinner in a rustic setting with pairings of hard cider with each dish. $65; 3-6 p.m.

Home Cidermaker's Workshop (900 Preston Ave., Charlottesville) -- On Wednesday, Nov. 19, learn the art and science behind cider making. Juice and home cider making supplies from Fifth Season will be available for purchase. Free admission; 6-8 p.m.

Cider Happy Hour with Blue Bee Cider (212 W. 6th St., Richmond) -- On Thursday, Nov. 20, bring your friends to Blue Bee Cider and enjoy six ciders in bottles, with one or two more on tap. Free admission; 5-8 p.m.

Clash of the Pippins (2545 Rural Ridge Lane, North Garden) -- On Saturday, Nov. 22, get your blindfolds ready and be the judge at a blind cider tasting at Albemarle Ciderworks. $15; 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Cider Fest 2014 All-Day Festival (6065 Turkey Sag Road, Keswick) -- On Sunday, Nov. 23, end Cider Week at Castle Hill Cider for a day full of live music and Virginia's best cider. Local performers Erin and the Wildfire and We Are Star Children will be taking the stage. $25; 10 a.m.-6 p.m.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Walking With Lincoln in Virginia]]> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:12:52 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_215837239.jpg

Get to know President Abraham Lincoln with a tour depicting his final footsteps in Virginia. Think of it a scavenger hunt with a historical twist.

The "Walk in Lincoln's Final Footsteps" program will guide you to six of the spots Lincoln last visited in Virginia, as well as offer a few nearby attractions that are also worth the trip.

The itinerary first takes you back to June 1862, with a visit to General Grant's headquarters, and ends in April 1865 with Lincoln's final visit to the Centre Hill Mansion, where he met with Major General George L. Hartstuff to discuss the downfall of the Confederacy and the end of slavery.

The stops in between include Fort Wadsworth, Point of Rocks, Fort Mahone and the Wallace House.

If you're not up for visiting each stop in person, you can also opt to watch a video presentation of each location.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Pittsburgh Hosts First-Ever Juice Fest]]> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 15:16:45 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/shutterstock_215590762.jpg

Mildly obsessed with juicing? Say "carrot-kale-apple-ginger" in a single breath? You're not alone.

Local juice companies, foodies and wellness professionals will converge at the Pittsburgh Juice Fest this Saturday.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., watch live demos, shop from 30+ vendors, attend classes and, of course, sample all the juices the festival has to offer. You'll also have the chance to determine who has the best juice in Pittsburgh. Vote your picks for categories like "meanest green juice," "most unique juice," and "best seasonal juice."

Attendees are asked to check in at the beginning of the event at the Pure Athletex SportsPlex (119 Neely School Road, Wexford, Pennsylvania). The day's first class, Gluten Free 101, gets under way at noon. See the complete schedule here.

Early bird tickets are $10. The VIP package, which includes a T-shirt and an Organically Social membership card, is $35. Children younger than 10 are free.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Silver Spring Throws Tree-Lighting Bash]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 16:02:44 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tree38.JPG

OK, so it's not Thanksgiving yet, but it's never too early for art. On Saturday, downtown Silver Spring will light up its 35-foot-tall Christmas "tree" -- actually a public art installation made from chimes, bells, pinwheels and ribbons.

The Re-Imagining the Holidays celebration will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fountain Plaza on Ellsworth Drive, and will include an a capella performance by the University of Maryland’s Generics and the B Natural Group of Montgomery College. Tommy McFly of 94.7 Fresh FM wil hosts.

Throughout the evening, you'll also find giveaways, face painting, hot cocoa and dining specials, as well as the chance to meet Maryland Youth Ballet dancers and Nutcrackers. An ice-skating Santa will be on the rink at Veterans Plaza from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.



Photo Credit: Clark Day ]]>
<![CDATA[World of Color Expo: Pop-Up Painting Classes]]> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 15:18:34 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/painterx.jpg

You may be an experienced artist, or maybe you're a novice who wants to hone your skills. Either way, you can encourage your inner creative genius at the World of Color Expo at the Dulles Hilton, coming up Nov. 12-15).

The event brings experienced painters from all over the region into one location to offer classes, seminars and demos. Register to improve your skills or just spend the day with friends learning something new.

Painting classes will be held in well-lit classrooms and vary by skill level. Courses include painting with oils and acrylics, learning how to paint animal portraits in pastels, and mastering the techniques to create breathtaking skies with oils. There's even a kick-off painting party on Tuesday (6:30-9 p.m.) that will be giving out $75 worth of supplies, a holiday wine glass and a painting for each person that attends. Cost of the event is $35.

Regular class fees start at $18 plus supplies for a two-hour session. One-day registration is $40, and is required to get into any class. If you prefer to register for the entire expo instead of an individual day, you'll pay $125. Registration for entire expo includes a goody bag, name badge, unlimited entry and the ability to purchase classes.

Don't feel like painting? That's OK, because painting demos will let you just be a member of the audience -- Bob Ross would be proud.

The World of Color Expo will be held at the Dulles Hilton (13869 Park Center Road, Herndon, Virginia), about 40 minutes from downtown D.C. The Hilton is also offering special packages for guests to stay for the event.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Chocolate: The Exhibit in Philadelphia ]]> Mon, 27 Oct 2014 12:52:35 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_122911063.jpg

Chocolate is one commodity that will never go out of style. If you love chocolate as much as we do, then Chocolate: The Exhibition at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will satisfy your all your cacao cravings.

This sweet new exhibit features interactive displays, tastings, special programs and traces chocolate to its rain forest origins. After you've interacted and learned a thing or two about the famous cocoa bean, you'll sample tasty chocolate goodies from Philly's many chocolatiers, mixologists and patissiers.

The exhibit also has four not-to-miss special events:

Sustainable Chocolate Day: Nov. 2, noon-2 p.m. Melted varieties of chocolate will flow through the museum's commons room, with visitors receiving a box of delicious treats for dipping. $8 per person.

Cuisine from the Collections: Chocolate Edition:  Nov. 8, 7-10 p.m. The museum's annual event features edibles from the everyday to the exotic.

Hot Chocolate Bars: Nov. 28-30 and Dec. 27-30, noon-2 p.m.  Visitors get the chance to warm up with the ultimate drink of hot chocolate --- and 20+ toppings. $6.95 per person.

One Last Shot of Chocolate: Beer and Chocolate Tasting: Jan. 15, 7-9 p.m. A reception that offers a sweet to savory menu of foods with just the right kind of beer to go with them. Ages 21 and older; $35 per person.

Admission to Chocolate: The Exhibition is $5, but you can save $2 when you purchase tickets online with promo code "TV2014."

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is located at 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, about three hours from downtown D.C.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[The Maryland Irish Festival Returns]]> Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:10:04 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/irishfestival.jpg

The Maryland Irish Festival is back at the Maryland State Fairgrounds this weekend, giving you the chance to celebrate Irish culture, Nov. 7-9.

Expect to experience plenty of live Irish music and dance along with a wide variety of Irish cuisine and beer. Kids can enjoy a play area with bouncy castles, activities and games.

Live music includes the Brock McGuire Band and Makem & Spain. You'll also find an Irish baking contest, a book fair and more; see a complete list of events here.

General admission is $20 for each day. For seniors, it's $15; teens, $5 and kids younger than 14 and active military members (with ID) get in free. Three-day general admission is $50; seniors pay $35.

Timonium is located about 75 minutes north of downtown D.C.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>