On the menu: feast, rest, fun!
After you sleep off the post-Thanksgiving dinner food coma, stuff your holiday weekend with these things to do from a Christmas pop-up bar to drive-in movies and more. Here are our 10 suggestions of some of the best activities to do after your turkey-filled feast.
Shop local small businesses at holiday markets or online
Shopping local is even more important this year as small businesses try to keep their doors open under the coming impact of COVID. Make your list and check it twice, and hit up makers and retailers online, at storefronts or holiday markets across the city on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and every day until the main gift-giving event.
Visit the Native American Veterans Memorial
The National Museum of the American Indian might be closed, but you can still visit the recently dedicated Native American Veterans Memorial, located on the grounds. It's the first national landmark in DC to focus on the contributions of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who have served in the military. Native Americans have served in every major military conflict in the U.S. since the Revolutionary War.
Take a Cultural Tourism heritage trail walk
Walk off some of those Thanksgiving pounds and learn about the history of DC's neighborhoods on a Cultural Tourism heritage trail walk. Each trail offers a one- to two-mile trek punctuated by large poster-sized markers that combine stories, historic photographs and maps to bring DC history and culture to life. There are 17 heritage trails throughout the city, so pick one and get some fresh air! Before you go on any tours, though, check the Cultural Tourism D.C. website for intel on where to pick up tour pamphlets—there’s even a mobile app with audio to make your walking tour an immersive experience.
Toast the start of the gift-giving season at a Christmas pop-up bar
The wildly popular Christmas pop-up formerly in Shaw has found a new (COVID-friendly) home in Adams Morgan. Miracle at Death Punch Bar (2321 18th St., NW) will open on Black Friday. Expect a Nightmare Before Christmas vibe with “naughty” and “nice” shots, hot Bad Santa mulled wine, and cognac-spiked Jingle Bells nog.
Spend time at some of the area's non-Smithsonian museums
Phillips, African American Civil War Museum, Hillwood, National Museum of Women in the Arts--these are just some of the stellar non-Smithsonian museums in the DC-area to get your art, history and culture fix.
Go to the drive-in movies
Park Up DC, the city's popup drive-in movie theater, returns with date-night and family-friendly movies after Thanksgiving. Celebrate with family -- or use as cover to get away from them -- with titles that include: Bad Santa, Like a Boss, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Frozen I and II, and more.
Feel the spirit of the season at a Christmas tree lighting
Kick off the holiday season at The Wharf as they officially light our Christmas tree and transform the waterfront into a winter wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights. End your evening by roasting s'mores around the firepit at Camp Wharf!
Put on your skates for winter Ice & Lights
Head to Cameron Run Regional Park for a winter light show and ice skating. Dress warmly to wander the dazzling Winter Village while taking your holiday photos. Then, grab some skates and hit the ice rink. Tickets to the rink will be limited and staggered to keep visitors safely apart.
Catch Zoolights Express--it's on the move!
The National Zoo’s annual holiday extravaganza ZooLights will be reimagined as a holiday mobile this year. ZooLights Express, powered by Pepco, is a massive 24-foot truck that will drive around DC neighborhoods starting Friday, November 27. The amazing light display has been a Washington tradition for 13 years, so the zoo decided to take their animals on the road so that people can safely view this year’s “Panda Claws.”
Arm your phasers for Asian Science-Fiction Film Shorts
If you could use a little break from reality, check out the film offerings from Alternate Realities: Science Fiction Across Asia. Presented by the National Museum of Asian Art, watch offerings like Mekong 2030, where five short films imagine the Mekong River’s fate, and The Halt, set in 2034 after a volcanic eruption has plunged the Philippines into darkness.
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