The Weekend Scene: What to Do Around DC Nov. 15-17

What to Know

  • It's going to be a cold and blustery Saturday around the D.C. metro area
  • Wind sticks around through the weekend, and rain is possible to the southeast of DC on Sunday

Holiday lights are going up, ice rinks are open and it's chilly outside. Thanksgiving may be a couple of weeks away, but D.C. is already embracing the winter thrills.

— Pupusas are an iconic D.C. dish. Dive into their history here.

— A D.C. hotel made Time Magazine's list of 100 Greatest Places in the World to Visit.

— It's Bei Bei's last weekend in D.C., and the two Metro stations nearest the zoo will be closed. (Don't worry, a shuttle will get you even closer to the Asia Trail.) 

Over the Weekend

Bei Bei's Farewell
The National Zoo

Bei Bei's days in D.C. are numbered: The 4-year-old panda is moving to China on Tuesday. Of course, the National Zoo is sending him off with a panda-rific celebration.

This weekend, you can pick up dumplings at the zoo, and all weekend you can make crafts, attend zookeeper Q&As or watch Bei Bei dig into frozen fruit cakes. 

Metro Cooking DC
Washington Convention Center
Starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday

If you love cooking and/or eating, this is the place to be this weekend. A lineup of celebrity chefs — including Martha Stewart and local faves Erik Bruner-Yang and Kwame Onwuachi — will take the stage. You can sharpen your kitchen skills with classes on knife work, making soul food and more. There will also be a beer garden, BBQ center and more. 

Adult general admission tickets start at $21.50. Kids under 4 are free.

ICE! at Gaylord National
201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Maryland
Through Dec. 30

Bring the kids to this icy wonderland decked out with "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" ice sculptures. Tickets start at $25 for a child and $30 for an adult.

More than 2 million pounds of ice were used to create a winter wonderland at Gaylord National. It's themed after the Christmas classic "How the Grich Stole Christmas." News4's Megan McGrath visited on opening weekend.

National Gallery of Art Ice Skating Rink

One of D.C.'s most picturesque ice skating rinks is open for the season. Tickets for two 45-minute sessions are $9 for anyone 13 and over or $8 for anyone eligible for discounts. Skate rentals cost $4. 

RENT 20th Anniversary Tour
National Theatre (1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW)
Nov. 15-17

If you want to catch the Broadway fave "RENT" in D.C., this is your chance. Tickets cost $54-$114.

World Press Photo Exhibition 2019
Dupont Underground (enter on Dupont Circle at 19th Street)
Through Dec. 8

View some of the most compelling examples of photojournalism in an innovative space. General admission is $15.

Winter Walk of Lights
Meadowlark Botanic Gardens, Vienna, Virginia
Nightly admissions from 5:30-9:15 p.m. through Jan. 5

Wind through a dazzling display of lights; then stop by the gift shop and s'mores snack shop. Tickets start at $8. 


ROOTSTOCK Cider and Music Celebration
Nov. 16, noon-4 p.m.
Hook Hall (3400 Georgia Ave. NW)

At the ROOTSTOCK Mid-Atlantic Cider and Music Celebration, you are in for a day of local cider, food and music. Try unlimited samples of over 50 ciders from around the region and the world. Fill up on local food while you listen to live music from two local bands. At the end of it all, you can take home a free souvenir tasting glass. Tickets start at $20 for designated drivers and $39 for general admission.

Free Pick
Vince Ebert: Sexy Science
Nov. 16, 7-8 p.m.
National Academy of Sciences (2101 Constitution Ave. NW)

Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue? Get ready to learn the answers to this question and laugh with a German physicist during the Sexy Science: Serious Humor event. This event mixes learning and laughter to create an engaging hour of fun. Make sure to register for this free event to ensure you snag a spot.

Torpedo Factory Art Center Anniversary Ball
105 N. Union St., Alexandria, Virginia
Nov. 16, 7-10 p.m.

The Torpedo Factory building is turning 100 — and the arts center is also celebrating its 45th year. Dress to impress at this celebration with a big-band performance, the special premiere of a documentary, roving performers, a bar and more. Tickets start at $75.

Free Pick
Holiday Tree Lighting & Block Party
Fountain Plaza, Silver Spring
Saturday, 6-10 p.m.

Light up Silver Spring's holiday tree and have a fun, wintry time on the plaza. There will be an art battle at 8 p.m., special murals, warm drinks, holiday art stations and more. 


Free Pick
Nov. 17, 11 to 1:30 p.m.
Dock5 (1309 5th St. NE)

Get your heart rate up in preparation for the holidays during the rooftop exercise SWEATgiving event. Try your hand at a high-intensity interval training workout and wind down with a hip hop yoga flow to live music. Make sure to dress in layers for the outdoor group run. Donations are welcome. 

Generation Hope Pancake Battle
Nov. 17, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Nationals Park (1500 S. Capitol St. SE)

Enjoy a full brunch, complete with pancakes, mimosas and beyond, that benefits an organization dedicated to helping teen parents, Generation Hope. Tickets start at $70 for single adults and $130 for a couple.

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