<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Worth the Trip]]> Copyright 2016 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 Fri, 12 Feb 2016 09:22:52 -0500 Fri, 12 Feb 2016 09:22:52 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Lineup Revealed for Roots Picnic Fest in Philly]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 11:16:26 -0500 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]]>
<![CDATA[11 Things to Do for V-Day -- With or Without a Date]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:30:16 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_244651840.jpg

Whether you're spending Valentine's Day with a significant other or with friends this year, take a look at these 11 Valentine's events and deals in the DMV area this weekend.

1. Union Market Valentine's Weekend

Head over to Union Market (1309 5th St. NE) for Valentine's specials throughout the weekend.

Buffalo & Bergen is offering four cocktails for $40 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday through Sunday. Call (202) 543-2549 or email amy@buffalobergendc.com to reserve your spot.

Participate in Chris and Alex Perrin's #SweatDate workout at Dock 5 on Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Righteous Cheese presents a cheese, champagne and chocolate tasting class Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This event is 21+ and tickets are $79.06; you can buy them online here.

Get Valentine's Day portraits taken at Lab 1270 on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The package is $82.99; photographer Emma McAlary will photograph customers for 15 minutes and give them three high-resolution downloadable images. Purchase tickets here.

2. "Brunch in Love" at Smith Public Trust

Brunchman D.C. is throwing a Valentine's brunch party Saturday at Smith Public Trust (3514 12th St. NE), featuring brunch chow and mimosas available for purchase from noon to 2 p.m. Four DJs will throw a dance party from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. This is a 21+ event and tickets are $10. RSVP here.

3. "Black as Your Heart" Dinner at City Tap House

City Tap House (901 9th St. NW) presents an "Anti-Valentine's Day" celebration with a three-course dinner for $45 with optional beer flight pairings of porters and stouts. Call (202) 733-5333 or email lcascone@publichouseusa.com to make a reservation.

4. Glen Echo Park's Red Dress Ball

Singles, couples, beginners and advanced dancers are all invited to to the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park (7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, Maryland) for swing dancing Saturday. The Eric Felton Jazz Orchestra will perform. Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for those under 18. Swing lessons run from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., and dancing is from 9 p.m. to midnight.

5. Art Soiree at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown

The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown (3100 South St. NW) will host a bevy of events leading up to Valentine's Day, starting with a performance by jazz singer Cassandra Allen Thursday at 7 p.m. The event is free; you can RSVP online here.

On Friday at 8 p.m., the annual "Single Valentine" event will feature Philly's Tara Hendricks band and DJ Sabeel Chohan. RSVP to this free event to mix and mingle with fellow singles.

Spice up your weekend with a Valentine's Silent Disco featuring three live DJs on Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets include headset rental and are $15-20. RSVP online here.

For a more traditional Valentine's Day, enjoy a candlelit five-course dinner while listening to the Lauren White band on Sunday at 7 p.m. View the dinner menu and reservation menu here.

6. Valentine's Day Winemaker's Dinner and Party at Veritas Winery

Veritas Winery (151 Veritas Lane, Afton, Virginia) is offering a five-course meal with wine pairings for $140 per person this Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m. Courses include pan-fried gnocchi, caramelized sweet potato bisque, and chocolate and coffee chili-braised pork shank. After dinner, stay for music and dancing. Find tickets here.

7. Galentine's Brunch at Joe's D.C.

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab (750 15th St. NW) is hosting brunch Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with half-priced wine by the glass, draft beers and cocktails. Make a reservation here or call (202) 489-0140, and mention "Galentine's Brunch" to get a free glass of sparkling wine with your meal.

8. Pizzeria Paradiso Valentine's Day Extravaganza

Each Pizzeria Paradiso location (Dupont, Georgetown and Old Town) will feature a tap takeover and different beer theme (sour, sweet and chocolate and flower) from noon Saturday to 11 p.m. Sunday. What's better than pizza AND beer?!

9. Valentine's Weekend Special at Vendetta Bocce Bar

Enjoy a "Lady and the Tramp"-inspired dinner for two, available Friday through Sunday at Vendetta Bocce Bar (1212 H St. NE). This meal comes with shared pasta, a half-bottle of champagne and a shared dessert for $35. There are also free bocce ball courts for a fun game with your date!

10. Cupid's Undie Run

If you're willing to brave the cold, strip down to your skivvies and dash a mile for charity for Cupid's Undie Run, which will raise money for the Children's Tumor Foundation this Saturday. The event kicks off at noon, with the run set for 2 p.m. Registration is $55.

11. Crawl in Love Bar Crawl

The Crawl in Love bar crawl will meander through NoMa and Bloomingdale this Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m. The first 100 people to sign up will score coozies, as well as specials at five participating bars: Boundary Stone, Pub & The People, Wicked Bloom, Ivy & Coney and Baby Wale.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Megafort Competition Back at Nat'l Building Museum]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:07:32 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/Ultimate+Megafort+2015.+Photo+by+Yassine+El+Mansouri+%2813%29.jpg

Look, there are just some facts you have to acknowledge in this world. And one of them is that you're never too old to build an indoor fort.

The Ultimate Megafort building competition is returning to the National Building Museum (401 F St. NW) in March.

On Wednesday, March 2, hack together cardboard, tape and other materials provided by the museum in an effort to make the best fort and prepare for the Great Battle of the Foam Balls.

Check out the gallery above to see some of last year's forts, castles and strongholds.

Aspiring cardboard architects must register in advance online here. Admission to the event will run you $20, unless you're a member of the Keystone Society. (In that case, the event is free!). The competition runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Port City Brewers will serve drinks and Union Kitchen will be catering, as if you need a reason beyond adults-only fort building to attend. 



Photo Credit: Yassine El Mansouri]]>
<![CDATA[Find D.C.-Area Ice Skating Rinks]]> Fri, 18 Dec 2015 11:43:57 -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. Open Nov. 14-March 16, weather permitting. Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Rates: $8 adults; $7 kids; $3 skate rentals.

Washington Harbour Ice Rink (3050 K St. NW) -- This Georgetown rink is D.C.'s largest. You'll find it at the Georgetown waterfront surrounded by restaurants... just in case you need to warm up with a tasty bite when you're done.Opening date delayed due to unseasonably warm weather. Rates for 2015-16 unknown; rates for 2014-15 season were $10 adults; $9 kids; $5 skate rentals. 

Canal Park Ice Rink (202 M Street, SE) -- If you’re looking to spice up your skating experience, check out College Night on Thursdays, Rock n Skate on Fridays or Cartoon Skate on Saturdays. Opens for the season Nov. 7, with grand opening celebration Nov. 14. Rates: $9 adults; $8 kids; $4 skate rentals. 


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. Already open for the season. Rates:$9 adults; $8 kids and seniors; $4 skate rentals.

Skating at the Square (131 Gibbs St., Rockville) -- Take a twirl on the ice at Rockville Town Square, just steps away from plenty of restaurants and shops if you need to warm up afterward. Already open for the season. Rates: $13 adults; $12 kids and seniors; price includes skate rentals.

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. From Dec. 7 through New Year's Day, you can enjoy Snow on the Row, when snow falls on the ice rink each night. Already open for the season. Rates: $9 adults; $8 kids and seniors; $4 skate rentals.

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

The Loy E. Harris Pavilion (9201 Center St., Manassas) -- Take a spin on the ice in Old Town Manassas. Opening Nov. 14; will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays starting Jan. 4. Rates: $8 adults; $7 kids age 10 and younger; $4 skate rentals. Free skate Wednesdays in January from 6 to 8 p.m., not including skate rental.



Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Presidents Day at the Nat'l Constitution Center]]> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 17:22:16 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/shutterstock_268449434.jpg

Hey, it's an election year. What better way to learn about the role of the POTUS than with a Presidents Day Weekend Celebration in Philadelphia? 

Interactive exhibits and lots of kid-friendly activities will help examine the role of the Constitution to visitors of all ages. You'll also find craft activity tables, a presidential costume contest, and a chance to meet re-enactors depicting Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt. 

You'll find it all at the National Constitution Center (525 Arch St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, about three hours from downtown D.C.). Admission runs $8-$14.50 per person this Friday though Sunday, with free admission Monday for Presidents Day.

EVENTS INCLUDE:

  • Presidential Costume Contest for Kids
  • Kids Town Hall: Meet the Presidents 
  • Hail to the Chief Quiz Game 
  • Growing Up: President Style Show 
  • Presidential Leadership Tours 

You'll also find plenty of programming for Black History Month at the center, including a giant game board to test your knowledge of history; an Emancipation Proclamation document workshop; an interactive show that looks at the lives of Thurgood Marshall, Bessie Coleman, Jackie Robinson and more; President Obama inauguration artifacts, and plenty more.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[8 Things to Do for Black History Month]]> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:28:51 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_242294497.jpg

Black History Month has officially started. Check out eight events happening around the city to commemorate the month, learn more about important historical leaders and celebrate black history.

1. See Civil Rights Movement exhibits at the Newseum

Learn more about the Civil Rights movement from current exhibitions at the Newseum (555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW). The exhibition "1966: Civil Rights at 50" depicts the events of 1966, including the rise of the Black Power movement and the riots in more than 40 cities that summer. "Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement" takes a look at the college students involved in the movement and features a part of the original Woolworth's lunch counter from the first sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina.

2. Attend the 27th Annual Black Film Festival at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library: Feb. 2, Feb. 9, Feb. 23

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (901 G St. NW) near Chinatown will play three movies from 2015 during their free film festival: NWA biopic "Straight Outta Compton" (Feb. 2), Spike Lee's "Chi-Raq" (Feb. 9), and Stanley Nelson's "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution" (Feb. 23). Visit the library's website for showtimes and other information. 

3. Celebrate Frederick Douglass' Birthday at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and around Anacostia: Feb. 12 from 1:30 to 10 p.m. & Feb. 13 from 10:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Celebrate Frederick Douglass' 198th birthday throughout the weekend of Feb. 12-13 at his home (1411 W St. SE) and around Anacostia. Several free events will take a look at Douglass' remarkable life, including a children's story program and a book signing for local historian John Muller's "Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia." Go here for specific times and locations for the events.

4. See "Queen Nur's Voices of Courage: Profiles of 19th Century African-American Women": Feb. 18, 10:15 a.m. & 12 p.m.

Storyteller Queen Nur highlights the lives of seven notable African-American women: Sojourner Truth, Maria Stewart, Cathay Williams, Frances Harper, Ida B. Wells, Mary McLeod Bethune and Mary Church Terrell. Familiarize yourself with these important historical figures through the vivid art of storytelling at the Publick Playhouse Cultural Arts Center (5445 Landover Road, Cheverly, Maryland).

5. Attend "Ashes and Embers: A Screening and Discussion with Ava DuVernay": Feb. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. 

The 1982 film "Ashes and Embers" chronicles the life of an African-American Vietnam War veteran, directed by Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima. "Set amidst the challenges of Black urban life in the early 1980s, the film is the story of a disillusioned African-American Vietnam vet grappling with his turbulent past and struggling inside a chaotic political environment to make a future for himself," event planners say.

Academy Award-nominated director Ava DuVernay will lead a discussion with Gerima about the film and its re-release. The event, to be held in the National Museum of Natural History's Baird Auditorium (10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW), is free, but attendees should register online here

6. See "From History to the Dream" at Zenith Gallery: Feb. 5-March 5

Discover contemporary black artists at Zenith Gallery (1429 Iris St. NW), which is showcasing works from local artists across a wide variety of media from watercolor paintings to jewelry. The exhibit runs for a month starting on Feb. 5; meet-the-artists receptions will be held Feb. 5 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Feb. 6 from 2 to 6 p.m.

7. Take a Black History Month Lunch Cruise on the Potomac: Feb. 20, boarding at 11 a.m.; sailing from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Enjoy a lunch cruise on the Potomac River with a performance from D.C. saxophonist Frankie Addison. A DJ will also be on board spinning music from a variety of African-American artists through the ages, including Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and more. You can book tickets ($49.90 for adults; $29.95 for kids) online here. The Spirit of Washington cruise leaves from Pier 4 on Water Street SW.

8. Attend "Blacktivism: The New Generation" at The George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs: Feb. 5 from 7 to 9 p.m.

This event looks at the new generation of black activism and current experiences of black lives through photography, multimedia pieces and artistic performances. You'll find it the second floor of GW's SMPA building (805 21st St. NW). Register for the free event online here.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrate Mardi Gras With These 6 Events in DC]]> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 11:03:39 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_323360105.jpg

Traditionally, Mardi Gras is a celebration all about stuffing yourself with delicious foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. So you kind of have to do it... right?

Check out these local spots celebrating the holiday with specials and events:

1. Bayou Gras Block Party

Chef David Guas, a New Orleans native, invites guests to his newest outpost of his popular Bayou Bakery (901 Pennsylvania Avenue NE) for the fifth annual Bayou Gras Block Party this Tuesday. The event will feature a live band and tons of food and drinks under a heated tent.

From 6 to 9 p.m., enjoy authentic "N'awlins" dishes, including parade route food that consists of the choice of jambalaya, Crawfish Monica, Muff-a-lottas or andouille and shrimp gumbo, among other traditional meals and desserts. All night, a pop-up bar will serve up New Orleans-style cocktails, and Abita draft beers will be poured in souvenir cups. Additionally, kids 12 and under eat free, with mac and cheese, hot dogs and Abita root beer on the menu.

Tickets can be purchased at the eatery or online here.

2. Mardi Gras at Black Rooster Pub

The Black Rooster Pub (1919 L Street NW) will host a Mardi Gras celebration Tuesday. Starting at 5 p.m., catch live entertainment including stilt walkers and fire eaters. Additionally, planners say "original songs, gritty vocals, a slamming horn section and driving rhythms" will be provided by the D.C. band King Soul starting at 6 p.m.

The pub will be serving a special Cajun menu and 22-ounce Hurricanes all night long.

3. Round Robin Bar at the Willard

From now through Tuesday, the Round Robin Bar (1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW), a lively meeting place for the political and social elite since the 1850s, will be serving up Mardi Gras-themed cocktails.

Located just off the lobby of the Willard InterContinental, the bar will offer specialty cocktails for $15, including the Bayou Bloody Mary, made with Tito's vodka, Tabasco sauce and spicy green beans and garnished with crawfish, and the Vieux Carre, made with rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Benedictine and bitters.

Cajun cuisine lovers can choose from two dishes: a New Orleans po-boy on a french baguette or a chicken and andouille gumbo.

4. Venetian Mardi Gras at Masseria

Experience a Venetian Mardi Gras celebration at Masseria (1340 4th St. NE) from Tuesday through Feb. 14. Chef Nicholas Stefanelli will prepare a $95 five-course tasting menu with dishes including Grande Lasagna di Carnevale (lasagna, meatballs, beef, salumi, ricotta, mozzarella and tomato.

On Friday, Feb. 12, a "super-chic soirée" following dinner will be complete with free-flowing Italian sparkling wine from Ca' d'Or Franciacorta, which will debut at Masseria before anywhere else in the U.S. Keeping with the European theme, the celebration will begin late and continue until the wee hours of the morning. From 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., up to 100 guests can party Venetian-style, complete with decorative masks, candles and dancing for $75.

You can make reservations for the dinners or event online here.

5. Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar

As part of its annual Carnaval celebration, several locations of Paladar Latin Kitchen will offer a two-week long special menu that runs from now and ends with a Fat Tuesday party on Feb. 9. The first week's menu features drink specials including half off select Latin beer and wine bottles. The second week includes half off select mojitos and margaritas.

As the Brazilian Carnaval festivities typically involve street parties, diners can also enjoy a $5 street food menu. Celebrations will be held at the restaurant's Annapolis, Rockville, Gaithersburg and Tysons Corner locations and will offer live entertainment, dancing and, of course, beads.

You can make reservations online here.

6. Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade & Ball 

Arlington's 17th annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, when participants donning decorative masks and dressed in festive outfits will parade down Wilson Boulevard from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street at this family-friendly event. 

After the parade, head to the Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd.) for the Mardis Gras Ball from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. This ticketed event will feature traditional Louisiana food and a variety of beverages, as well as live music from the Yamomanem Jazz Band and the 8 Ohms Band. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $20 or at the door for $25. Proceeds help offset parade costs and also benefit St. Charles Church.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[5 Things to Do in Alexandria After Seeing 'Mercy Street']]> Fri, 15 Jan 2016 16:09:19 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/MS_101_AP_0518A--057.jpg

PBS's new drama "Mercy Street," set in a Civil War-era hospital in Alexandria, is premiering Sunday. Museums and tours throughout Alexandria have special events and exhibits to further explore the area's Civil War history.

Museums

Carlyle House: This historic home shared grounds with the real-life "Mercy Street" hospital but today, it's a museum. Step back in time to see Civil War medical supplies and hospital rooms at a new exhibit, "Who These Wounded Are: The Extraordinary Stories of the Mansion House Hospital."

Alexandria Black History Museum: Alexandria was one of the first cities on the Union side during the Civil War. The exhibition "The Journey to Be Free" tells the dramatic and tragic story of the freedmen who came to Alexandria. The museum's director, Audrey Davis, is a historical consultant for "Mercy Street."

Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum: The apothecary opened in 1792 and operated until 1933. Now it's a museum hosting a collection of medical artifacts from botanical herbs to hand-blown glass equipment, along with archival material from figures like Robert E. Lee and Martha Washington. In honor of the PBS show, the museum will feature special relics purchased by the real-life versions of the characters.

Tours

Mercy in Alexandria Tour: Stops on this tour include the Carlyle House, three other museums and the site of the first Civil War casualties. All tours are conducted by a trained military historian, according to the website. The short version of the tour is tailored for "Mercy Street" fans; the long version dives deeper into the Civil War medical history and includes a boat trip.

Explore the Real Mansion House: The Mansion House is normally closed to the public, but on Jan. 30, the doors will open for a view of the original lobby. The tour begins in the original hospital lobby with coffee, bagels and a presentation co-conducted by "Mercy Street" historical consultant Audrey Davis. It includes a visit to the Carlyle House museum.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Antony Platt/PBS]]>
<![CDATA[Chocolate Lovers' Festival in Fairfax]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 08:50:38 -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. 6-7, 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 10 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 in Fairfax.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[7 Chinese New Year Bashes You Won't Want to Miss]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 15:31:40 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-73363280.jpg

Ready to ring in the year of the monkey? Celebrate Chinese New Year at these special events around the D.C. area.

1. Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown: Feb. 14

D.C.'s Chinese New Year parade marches through Chinatown on Feb. 14 starting at 2 p.m. Head downtown for your chance to see lion dancers, dragons, marching bands, Chinese folk dancers and more amid the crackle of fireworks.

2. Chinese New Year at the Kennedy Center: Feb. 5- 8

The Kennedy Center will host several free events, kicking off the first weekend in February with a free pop music show Friday featuring artists from a major southern Chinese city, Shenzhen. On Saturday, Family Day will offer all-day activities including calligraphy lessons and red lantern-making. The Shenzhen Lily Girls' Choir performs Sunday night. The last free event is set for Monday, with performances in Beijing Opera and acrobatics from the Henan Arts Troupe. Go here for more info on events.

3. Lunar New Year Ceremony and Festival at Maryland Live!: Feb. 5

Maryland Live! Casino (7002 Arundel Mills Circle, Hanover) will host a day of special events Feb. 5 to welcome the Year of the Monkey. A Cai Qing ceremony at 11:30 a.m. will feature the "plucking of the greens" by a "lion" to bless the New Year and bring prosperity, planners said. A Lunar New Year festival will follow from noon to 4 p.m., with lion dances, the chace to visit the money god for good luck, and more.

4. Chinese New Year Festival in Falls Church: Feb. 6

The 9th annual festival will be held at Luther Jackson Middle School (3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church) with free admission and a full day of activities spanning across different Asian cultures. Along with traditional Chinese dragon and lion dances, the festival will include Korean, Thai and Indian dances. See the full program of events online here. The fest will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

5. Family Art Activities at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: Feb. 6, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Spend a day in a Smithsonian museum with your little ones, making masks and learning about ribbon dancing. A local dance troupe from the Madison Chinese Dance Academy will perform. Find more info here.

6. Wolfgang Puck's The Source: Feb. 8 to Feb. 20 

For something a bit more luxe, savor a seven-course Chinese New Year menu at The Source (575 Pennsylvania Ave NW), available Feb. 8-20. At $110 per person, it's definitely a "treat yourself" meal. A night market with lion dancers and traditional market stalls will be open Feb. 11 for a cool $85 per person. See the full list of events online here.

7. Chinese Lion Dance at the Mandarin Oriental: Feb. 11 in the main lobby

The Mandarin Oriental (1330 Maryland Ave SW) will offer a range of events and special packages this month. A lion dance Feb. 11 starts at 5 p.m. and will include refreshments and appetizers. Their Empress Lounge will offer afternoon tea and cocktails with a Chinese New Year menu Fridays through Sundays throughout February. For fine dining choices, order from a limited Chinese New Year menu at their restaurant, Muze.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Can You Sled on Capitol Hill This Year?]]> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 08:04:24 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/465277094-%281%29.jpg

With a historic blizzard expected to wallop the D.C. area, residents are getting ready to hunker down and ride out the storm. But once it's safe to venture back outside, they'll be able to do something that's been banned for 15 years: sled down Capitol Hill.

In December, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton added language permitting sledding on Capitol grounds to a new federal spending bill, lifting a ban that took effect in 2001.

Language added to the 2016 omnibus spending package instructs Capitol Police not to interfere with sledders in the future, and President Barack Obama signed it into law.

The Library of Congress relays the language used in the bill:

"Use of Grounds.–The Committee understands the need to maintain safety and order on the Capitol grounds and commends the Capitol Police for their efforts. However, given the family-style neighborhood that the Capitol shares with the surrounding community the Committee would instruct the Capitol Police to forebear enforcement of 2 U.S.C. 1963 ("An act to protect the public property, turf, and grass of the Capitol Grounds from injury") and the Traffic Regulations for the United States Capitol Grounds when encountering snow sledders on the grounds."

Last winter, determined children and families gathered for a "sled-in" to protest the ban after U.S. Capitol Police warned that sledding was prohibited on Capitol Hill.

Local blog Popville.com reported details of the March 5, 2015 "sled-in," which was shared via a Change.org petition. "If you are up for a little civil disobedience, a sled-in is planned for today.... Come armed with sleds!" the petition said in part.

While the sled-in wasn't legal, Capitol Police did not enforce the ban that day.

Holmes Norton said she's looking forward to giving families a chance to enjoy the snow.

"Capitol Hill is this city's iconic snow sledding hill, and Congress got out of the way, allowing our kids to freely enjoy what promises to be one of the best snowfalls in years," she said. "Last year, when D.C. families came together with strong community support for non-enforcement of the antiquated sledding ban on Capitol Grounds, they empowered our efforts in the Congress. All families need to worry about now is picking the best time to go sledding."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[5 DC-Area Artists You Won't Want to Miss]]> Mon, 18 Jan 2016 21:34:08 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-477801942.jpg

D.C. has always had an active and vibrant music scene. If you're looking for new music to obsess over or wondering what your favorite local artist is up to, check out these upcoming shows. 

Airhead DC -- Jan. 20, doors at 7:30 p.m. @ Black Cat

D.C. native Vishal Narang makes crunchy, experimental pop music under the name Airhead DC. His music is surf pop on Nyquil, but gravelly textures keep it interesting. He opens for Texan musician Bayonne.

Elena & Los Fulanos, Near Northeast and Ballad've -- Jan. 21, doors at 7:30 p.m. @ Black Cat

Listen to cozy music from this bilingual folk rock band. Weaving Spanish and English together, airy vocals from lead singer Elena Lacayo blend soothingly with gentle instrumentals. Fellow D.C. folk rockers Near Northeast and Ballad've will share the stage. 

Loud Boyz -- Feb. 5, doors at 8 p.m. @ Rock & Roll Hotel

Rock out with the Loud Boyz, who are keeping D.C.'s punk tradition alive. This five-piece band is headbanging without being neck-breaking. The members got together in 2014 and released their debut album just last year. It'll be a night of crashing guitars and rough vocals with support from Baltimore punks War on Women and D.C. garage rock band The Rememberables.

GoldLink -- March 16, doors at 7 p.m. @ 9:30 Club

2015 was a busy year for D.C. rapper D'Anthony Carlos, otherwise known as GoldLink. He followed up his 2014 mixtape with his much anticipated debut album "And After That, We Didn't Talk." GoldLink has described his music as "future bounce," and it's a fitting term. His quick, rhythmic flow matches the smooth instrumentals, making sure listeners will really bounce to his music, even if its content can be somewhat somber. It's a joint show with Seattle producer Sango that you won't want to miss.

Logic -- March 31, doors at 7 p.m. @ Echostage 

Logic released his first mixtape in 2010 and since then, the young rapper has steadily released music each year. His latest release is sophomore album "The Incredible True Story" from last November. The Gaithersburg, Maryland, native has a melodic flow that easily switches from speedy rapping to tenor vocals and a musical sensibility that has an old school feel to it.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fresh Snow, Fresh Look at Canaan Valley Resort]]> Wed, 13 Jan 2016 11:53:15 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_215877634.jpg

Need another reason to get out of the city for a bit? Take a visit to Canaan Valley Resort -- it's just 3.5 hours from D.C., has fresh snow, an updated look and special deals.

Whether you want to coast down the 1,200 feet of tubing lanes, take skiing lessons or enjoy cross- country skiing at the White Grass Cross Country Ski Center, Canaan Valley Resort has plenty of wintry fun in one location.

All-day lift tickets start at $25; multi-day tickets start at $44 per person. Discounts are available if you order online. Special promotions include Heroes Day, Snow Days, and military discounts.

If you're new to the slopes, you're in luck! January is Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month at Canaan Valley. Tuesdays through Thursdays in January, you can take Introduction to Skiing or Boarding lessons. The $49 package includes a beginner lift ticket, a ski or snowboard rental, and the 1.25-hour lesson. You can upgrade your lift ticket to include access to the entire mountain for an extra $20. Reservations are recommended; call 304-866-4121 ext. 9-2630 to make yours. Minimum ages are 7 for skiing or 9 for snowboarding. 

Has it been a couple years since you've been to Canaan Valley Resort? A recent renovation has added two wings to the main lodge that now house 160 newly constructed lodge rooms and public spaces. Cabins and cottages are also available, starting at $119 per night.

Other activities on-site:

  • Skate at the ice rink
  • Work out at the Beech Club
  • Swim at the resort's indoor swimming pool
  • Relax (OK, this one's our own idea)

After a long day of skiing, you can grab a bite to eat at the Laurel Lounge, Seasons Cafe or the Hickory Dining Room. 



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[DC Restaurant Week Extended After Blizzard]]> Sun, 31 Jan 2016 08:41:43 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_1279683.jpg

It's that time again! D.C.'s Restaurant Week is here, and Alexandria's is coming up, with discounts on lunches and dinners at dozens of local spots.

Due to the blizzard we're still slowly digging out of, D.C.'s Restaurant Week has been extended through Feb. 3, with three-course, prix-fixe lunches for $22 and and dinners for $35.

An eye-popping variety of restaurants -- more than 200 -- includes not just District spots but also Maryland and Virginia ones as well. Some popular participating eateries include 1789, Birch and Barley, Dino's Grotto, Policy and Smith & Wollensky. Some restaurants may have delayed openings due to snow. (See the full list here.)

You can make reservations online here.

Alexandria's Restaurant Week is set for Jan. 29-Feb. 7, with 60+ Alexandria spots offering a $35 three-course dinner or a $35 dinner for two. More than two dozen restaurants are also dishing up $10-$20 lunch specials as well. Participating spots include BRABO, Il Porto, Jackson 20 and Warehouse Bar & Grill. (See the full list here.)

You can make reservations online here

Brooke Evans contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Dupont Circle Snowball Fight Set for Sunday Morning]]> Sat, 23 Jan 2016 03:27:17 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/snowball3.jpg

Join the D.C. Snowball Fight Association as it takes on the weekend blizzard for a snowball fight in Dupont Circle Sunday morning.

This storm's fight is named "Snow Wars: The Snowball Strikes Back," a play on "Star Wars." Attendees are encouraged to dress as their favorite Star Wars or space-themed character.

The battle was originally scheduled for Saturday but was pushed back to Sunday at 10 a.m. due to safety concerns during an intense snowstorm.

Since Metrorail and Metrobus service will be suspended through the weekend, the snowball fight is expected to be attended more by those within walking distance of Dupont. The Snowball Fight Association said it hopes to organize another big event once Metro services are operating or on a future snow day.

Following the fight, Ping Pong Dim Sum of Chinatown will host the official after party, where awards for best Snow Wars outfit will be presented. Winners will receive redeemable vouchers for food and drinks.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[National Mall Reopen for 1st Time Since Blizzard]]> Wed, 27 Jan 2016 09:55:29 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-506274856.jpg

The National Park Service says the National Mall will reopen Wednesday, nearly a week after a historic blizzard closed the malls.

The agency said in a statement that the mall and related memorials will reopen at noon.

Tickets to the Washington Monument will be available at 9 a.m. The first trip up will be at noon, the National Park Service said. 

The Ford's Theatre National Historic Site will open at 11:30 a.m. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stunning Images From Harbin Ice Festival]]> Wed, 06 Jan 2016 11:16:14 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/harbin-ice-thumb.jpg At the 32nd Harbin Ice Festival in China, the main attraction is Harbin Ice and Snow World, which covers more than 750,000 square meters (185 acres). Its structures required more than 330,000 cubic meters (87176777.3 gallons) of ice and snow to create. Over one million visitors are expected to attend the festival, where buildings of ice are bathed in ethereal lights and international ice sculptors compete for honors.

Photo Credit: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bei Bei Gets Ready for Public Debut]]> Fri, 15 Jan 2016 05:59:17 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_177099788106-Panda.jpg The National Zoo's panda cub will make his public debut Saturday morning, and the National Zoo is prepping for big crowds. News4's Megan McGrath has more on how you can catch a glimpse of the cute cub.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Get Rustic at the Riverrink Winterfest]]> Sat, 02 Jan 2016 10:55:38 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_350748197.jpg

Planning a trip to Philly this winter? Consider a stop at the Blue Cross RiverRink (101 S Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia) while their Winterfest is still running, offering you a rustic experience right down to the antlers.

You can, of course, take a spin on the skating rink along the Delaware River, but there's a whole lot more than that: You'll also find winter warming cottages, decked out with strings of holiday lights and plenty of seasonal decor; firepits, plus a cozy lodge with rustic decor right down to (erm, up to) the antler chandeliers. Garces Group and the Franklin Fountain Confectionary Cabin are on site serving up food and treats.

General admission to the Winterfest is free. Tickets for ice skating are available in timed sessions daily through Feb. 14. Skating is $3 for rink access only, or $13 with skate rental.

Winterfest is open Mondays through Thursdays from 1 to 11 p.m., Fridays from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Coachella 2016 Lineup Announced]]> Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:35:44 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/178*120/Coachella+Art+2015+%287%29.jpg

Organizers of the annual desert music festival Coachella have announced this year's lineup for the two-weekend festival in April in Indio, California.

Word that leaked last week that LCD Soundsystem and Guns n' Roses were headlining was confirmed on Monday night when Coachella posted its instantly iconic flyer. The only headliner missing was Sunday's big gun, EDM god Calvin Harris.

Joining those artists near the top of the bills: Ellie Goulding, Sufjan Stevens, Jack U, M83, Underworld, the Kills and Foals (Fridays); Ice Cube, Disclosure, Zedd, A$ap Rocky, Chvrches, Halsey and James Bay (Saturdays); and Sia, Majo Lazer, Flume, Beach House, the 1975, Rancid and Mikke Snow (Sundays).

Another name that jumped out immediately: Prayers, who just last year played our SoundDiego LIVE at the Air Conditioned Lounge.

Lucky music fans hoping to attend Coachella on April 15-17 or April 22-24 this year will have to get in digital line on Wednesday morning (Jan. 6) at 11 a.m. to buy tickets, unless they scooped them up last June during the presale.

FRIDAYS:
LCD Soundsystem
Ellie Goulding
Sufjan Stevens
Jack U
M83
Underworld
The Kills
Foals
Of Monsters and Men
G-Eazy
Purity Ring
Rae Sremmurd
Volbeat
2manydjs
Lord Huron
St Germain
Savages
The Last Shadow Puppets
Joey Bada$$
DJ Mustard
Borns
Christine & the Queens
Snakehips
Robert DeLong
Bob Moses
Ibeyi
Marco Carola
Parov Stelar
Black Coffee
Years & Years
Nicole Moudaber
Skin
Lido
Health
Mavis Staples
Sasha
Goldroom
Carla Morrison
Nic Fanciulli
The Front Bottoms
Skepta
Sam Feldt
Lemaitre
Louis the Child
Frances
George FitzGerald
DJ EZ
Gallant
Haelos
Lapsley
Miami Horror
SG Lewis
Sheer Mag
Mbongwana Star
Nina Las Vegas
Nora En Pure
Masha

SATURDAYS:
Guns 'n Roses
Ice Cube
Disclosure
Zedd
A$ap Rocky
Chvrches
Halsey
James Bay
Grimes
Courtney Barnett
Run the Jewels
The Arcs
RL Grime
Gary Clark Jr.
Silversun Pickups
Lush
ZHU
Deerhunter
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Rhye
Bat for Lashes
The Damned
Vince Staples
Tchami
Nina Kravitz
Snails
Rufus Du Sol
Lost Frequencies
Chronixx
Vanic
Justin Martin
AlunaGeorge
Mano Le Tough
Shamir
DJ Koze
BadBadNotGood
Moon Taxi
SZA
Ex Hex
Mr Carmack
Sophie
Protoje
Always
Zella Day
Dubfire
Matthew Dear
DMA's
Matoma
Algiers
GoGo Penguin
The Black Madonna
Cloves
Strangers You Know
Amine Edge & Dance
Phases
The Dead Ships

SUNDAYS:
Calvin Harris
Sia
Major Lazer
Flume
Beach House
The 1975
Rancid
Mikke Snow
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Matt and Kim
Chris Stapleton
Cold War Kids
Death Grips
The Chainsmokers
Maceo Plex
Baauer
Kshmr
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
Adam Beyer & Ida Engberg
Wolf Alice
Pete Yorn
Hudson Mohawke
Kamasi Washington
Claptone
TokiMonsta
Melody's Echo Chamber
Autolux
John Digweed
Thomas Jack
Anderson .Paak
Nosaj Thing
Deafheaven
Epik High
Tensnake
Alessia Cara
Crystal Fighters
The Vandals
Joywave
Prayers
Young Fathers
The Heavy
Tei Shi
Meg Myers
Soul Clap
Cassy
De Lux
Girlpool
Fur Coat
AC Slater

And Despacio all weekend long.

More information is available HERE.
 

]]>
<![CDATA[12 Reasons to See ZooLights Before It Closes]]> Fri, 01 Jan 2016 14:37:24 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/zoo+lights.jpg

ZooLights at the National Zoo wraps up on Jan. 2 -- which means you've still got time to see it!

Read on for 12 big reasons to go:

1. ZooLights features dazzling representations of animals and holiday sights made from more than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights.

2. Did we mention admission is free?

3. For the first time this year, ZooLights also features a light show set to music.

4. You can go "snow" tubing (AKA, zoo tubing) on Lion and Tiger Hill -- even without real snow. Check out the zoo's three 150-foot-long "snow tubing" snowless tracks. Rides are $3 each.

5. Local music artists will perform nightly on the Meadow near the Great Ape House.

6. Several exhibit buildings will stay open late for evening visitors: the Small Mammal House, the Great Ape House, the Reptile Discovery Center, the Think Tank and the Kids' Farm.

7. At the Zoo-magination Station in the visitor center, watch as trains journey through a land of LEGO and an "alphabet countryside."

8. You can take a ride on the National Zoo Choo-Choo, a trackless train that travels through the Kids' Farm exhibit and offers plenty of ZooLights views. Rides are $3 each.

9. A Fast Pack offers eight ride tickets for $20, good for any rides, including the carousel, zoo tubing or the National Zoo Choo-Choo.

10. You can design your own winter wonderland based on the theme "It's a Small, Small Mammal World." The grand prize? An exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo's Small Mammal House.

11. Panda Claws, ZooLights's official ambassador, will be around for free photo ops from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. each night.

12. It's Metro-accessible! Tip: Use the Cleveland Park stop when you're going to the zoo, and the Woodley Park stop to go back home -- you'll be walking downhill both ways.

ZooLights at the National Zoo (3001 Connecticut Ave. NW) is open through Jan. 2 from 5 to 9 p.m.

]]>
<![CDATA[2016 Health and Fitness Expo]]> Fri, 08 Jan 2016 13:28:31 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*120/2e19d8231a834c1a95ca80d3accef2ff.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Visit D.C.-Area Holiday Light Spectaculars]]> Fri, 18 Dec 2015 05:59:56 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/IMG_02001.JPG

Take advantage of the shorter days and longer nights this season by visiting some of the most spectacular holiday light displays located in D.C., Maryland and Virginia:

D.C.

ZooLights (3001 Connecticut Ave. NW) -- More than 500,000 LED lights will brighten the animal kingdom this holiday season at the Smithsonian National Zoo's annual ZooLights festival. New this year, ZooLights will feature a dazzling light show set to music. Visitors will also be able to enjoy live music performances, tasty winter treats and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping. Through Jan. 2; 5-9 p.m.; admission is free.

MARYLAND

D.C. Temple Festival of Lights (9900 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington) -- The annual festival of lights at the Washington, D.C. Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (often referred to as the Mormon Temple) features free performances nightly in the state-of-the-art theater located in the Visitors' Center, with different artists or groups showcased each night. Performers include bell ensembles, choirs, orchestras and more. Be sure to arrive one hour before the performance begins, as concert tickets are handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. While waiting for the performance to start, walk through the Mormon temple grounds illuminated by more than 600,000 lights, which also includes decorated Christmas trees and international crèches. Through Dec. 31; most performances 6, 7, 8 p.m. nightly; admission is free.

Winter Lights Festival (11950 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg) -- Pile the whole family into the minivan for a leisurely drive through Seneca Creek State Park. The 20th annual Winter Lights Festival offers 3.5 miles of enchanted scenery and takes you past more than 365 illuminated displays, plus 65 animated vignettes that light up the night. Themed areas of the iridescent drive include Winter Woods, Teddy Bear Land, Victorian Village and the North Pole. Through Dec. 31 but closed Dec. 25; Sun.-Thurs. 6-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 6-10 p.m.; admission prices vary by vehicle but are $12 for regular passenger vehicles Mon.-Thurs. and $15 Fri.-Sat.

Festival of Lights (301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro) -- Add a little twinkle to your holidays and drive through the 29th annual Festival of Lights at Watkins Regional Park. The spectacular holiday event features more than a million sparkling lights and is sure to leave everyone amazed. The Festival of Lights is also offering attendees the chance to make a difference. Bring canned goods and nonperishable items to make a donation to local food banks. Through Jan. 1; 5-9:30 p.m.; admission prices vary by vehicle but are $5 for regular passenger vehicles.

Annmarie Garden in Lights (13480 Dowell Road, Dowell) -- Stroll down a lit path to experience Annmarie Garden in Lights. The glittering woods features "light sculptures" taking the shape of mythical beasts, wild animals, planes, pirates, princesses, circus performers, dinosaurs and more. Through Jan. 2 but closed Dec. 24-25; 6-9 p.m.; admission $6.

VIRGINIA

Bull Run Festival of Lights (7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville) -- Visit the Holiday Village to see Santa's Enchanted Lights, and watch as 40,000 lights dance to the season's most popular holiday music. Dazzling displays aren't all you'll find -- a carnival full of thrilling rides will be open through Jan. 2. And don't forget to snap a photo with Santa on your way out! Through Jan. 3; Mon.-Thurs. 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sun. and holidays 5:30-10 p.m.; admission prices vary but fees for regular passenger vehicles are $15-$25; coupons for most weeknights available here. Carnival tickets cost extra.

Meadowlark's Winter Walk of Lights (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna) -- Take advantage of the unseasonably warm winter and walk through Meadowlark's half-mile tour of lights complete with animated displays. Keep your eyes open for Flurry the Snowman and Molasses the Gingerbread Man out on the trail. Through Jan. 3; 5:30-10 p.m.; ages 13 and older $12; ages 3-12 $7; ages 2 and younger free.



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

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

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

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

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

Check out last year's light art above.



Photo Credit: Georgetown BID]]>
<![CDATA[Holidays in the Village of Leesburg]]> Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:40:32 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/VALTree1.jpg

Head west of D.C. for a less-congested holiday celebration in the village of Leesburg, where you'll find a five-story tree with more than 15,000 lights.

Leesburg will also play host to live music and plenty of holiday-themed events. This year, the village is celebrating the coming holidays with free horse-drawn carriage rides and breakfast with Santa at participating restos. Kids can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy breakfast or lunch and receive a photo and souvenir.

Full Holiday Event Schedule:

  • Breakfast With Santa: reservations required, $15/seat. Kids 4 and under free. Locations:

    • King Pinz
      Saturday, Dec. 5
      9 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
      Call (703) 443-8001

    • Smokehouse Live
      Saturday, Dec. 12
      8:30 a.m. & 10 a.m.
      Call (571) 447-5483

    • Eggspectation
      Saturday, Dec. 19
      8:30 a.m. & 10 a.m.
      Call (703) 777-4127

You are also encouraged to bring a donation for Toys for Tots.

The Village at Leesburg is centered around 1602 Village Market Blvd. SE, about an hour from downtown D.C.



Photo Credit: Village at Leesburg]]>
<![CDATA[Winterthur & Longwood Gardens: Holiday Tours]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 18:39:20 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/shutterstock_162579758.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

WHEN:

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

WHERE:

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

COST:

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

WHEN:

Now through Jan. 3

FEELING LUCKY?

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



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

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

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

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

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

Cost for bonfire: Free and open to the public.

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Festival Highlights:

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the festival:

When: Now through Dec. 12

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

Where: 8100 Corporate Drive, Hyattsville, Maryland

Cost: free admission



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Very, very close.

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

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

For the stressed housewife:

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

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

For the hungry housewife:

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

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

For the sporty housewife:

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

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

For the housewife who needs a membership:

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

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

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



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

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

PANDORA Ice Rink at Baltimore's Inner Harbor:

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

Christmas Village

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

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

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

Merriment & Melodies in Harbor East

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Charleston, South Carolina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York, New York

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

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

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

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

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



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

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

OPEN THANKSGIVING:

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

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

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

Target: Open at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day

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

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

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


CLOSED THANKSGIVING AND BLACK FRIDAY:

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


CLOSED THANKSGIVING, BLACK FRIDAY HOURS ANNOUNCED:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nightmare on M Street

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

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

Ghosts of Lafayette Park

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

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

Capitol Hill Haunts

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

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

Alexandria's Original Ghost and Graveyard Tour

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

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

Nightly Spirits White House Pub Tour

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

THE DISTRICT

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

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

MARYLAND

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

VIRGINIA

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

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



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>