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As much as I hate "holiday creep" in retail, I love seeing people in good spirits as we kick off the holiday season this month. And even though everyone wants to be inside, there's plenty to do if you just take a look!
Here are some things going on in D.C. this month:
It's the best time of year to catch an exhibit, see a show, or go to a sports game. D.C. has the best entertainment in the country on all fronts!
I wasn't lucky enough to catch Lebron's big game here against the Wizards, but we could make up for it by seeing them play the Lakers on November 9, or the Grizzlies on December 13... an early Christmas/Birthday gift for the Wizards-Cavaliers rematch on December 17 would certainly be appreciated! I would also be happy to see the Washington Capitals against the Calgary Flames on November 20 or the Ottawa Senators on November 22. We can hit a sports bar and get really rowdy when the Redskins face the Cowboys on November 30 (I hate the Cowboys).
For artists on the local scene, all of the Busboys and Poets locations host Open Mic Night on different days of the week. Folks are free to perform music or spoken word- and they never disappoint! The legendary Mariah Carey will be performing at the MGM Grand National Harbor on November 24. At the Warner Theatre, just about everyone is coming to visit this month, from Tank and Leela James in concert to Joe Biden and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Kirk Franklin and Ledisi are featured at DAR Constitution Hall on November 25. For a very riveting and interesting performance, the Woolly Mammoth will feature a performance of Felonious Munk's Nothing to Lose (But Our Chains) - a production about a black man who went from six years in a state prison to a six figure job in corporate America and then became an activist. Or, we can head over to Keegan Theatre to see Top Girls (there's an escort turned nun featured amongst the cast of characters). If the traditional shows are more appealing, The Shakespeare Theatre Company is featuring a run of Twelfth Night from November 14-December 20 and they also have a special presentation on Edith Wharton's only known play The Shadow of a Doubt. I'm also really excited about NSO Pops this month, where the orchestra will take us away to Hogwarts while they perform every piece from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets from November 24-26! If you want to escape somewhere more real, Gianandrea Noseda will conduct an orchestral tour through Italy, France, and Spain at An American in Paris. If you're a movie lover, we can go to my favorite theatre (iPic in Rockville, MD) to see Justice League (November 17).
I love, love, love the work of the late Jackson Pollock, and one of his murals will be at the National Gallery of Art starting on November 19. If you love art inspired by the East, the Freer-Sackler Museum has several exhibits that would be of interest- including one on Iranian art that hits close to home for me. Longview Art Gallery is featuring two great artists back to back with Sondra N. Arkin through November 19 and a joint collection by Jason Wright and Mike Weber starting November 30. At the Hirshhorn Museum, legendary Ai WeiWei has his Trace at Hirshorn on display.
Are you an early or late gift shopper? If you are an early shopper, EmporiYum at Union Market in NorthEast D.C. is a great place to pick out unique gifts for the people you love. From November 10-12, the food marketplace will feature small shops with a back drop of food to keep your spirits up. If it's just too early for you to shop for gifts, the Downtown Holiday Market opens November 24. Tents will be set up along 8th and F Street NW to create a whimsical marketplace where you can find that one-of-a-kind gift for someone you know. Allow me to help you find something special for your family and friends. I'm great at gift ideas! Afterwards, we can grab a bite at any of the excellent downtown restaurants before retiring to the room to exchange our own gifts.
One of my favorite (free!) events of the holiday season kicks off on November 24- Zoolights at the National Zoo. Hundreds of thousands of LED light displays will dance to music and create the perfect Winter Wonderland. We can do a tour on the Zoo-choo, partake in some snow-less tubing if you want an adrenaline rush, or ride on the carousel!
I love a beautiful Christmas Tree, and the tree lightings in D.C. never disappoint! CityCenter in downtown D.C. will host one on November 25 at 6pm, and we could do some holiday shopping or enjoy dinner afterwards. The National Tree Lighting will be held on November 30, and the tree will be on display in President’s Park on the White House Ellipse. A romantic winter stroll in the park before dinner would be a wonderful way to start our date! Out at the National Harbor, the tree is going up super early on November 12 at 2pm. And D.C.'s latest and impressive development down at the Wharf will host a tree lighting on Dec. 1st followed by a Holiday Boat Parade on December 2.
I'll be honest, I'm still not sure if I prefer beer or cider. I had the chance to go to Rock the Core fest and thought my mind was made up until I tried a few beers at Bluejacket that left me further confused. Luckily, there are several opportunities this month to continue the taste test. Crafty Bastards festival will be in Nationals Park from November 11-12. When we're not throwing back beers, we can check out some booths featuring unique homegoods, handcrafted jewelry, original art, and locally produced food. In Alexandria, VA, the Lloyd House will host Alexandria Cider Festival with a selection of ciders from 9 Virginia cideries. The ticket also includes a souvenir glass, live music, and fun fall activities. Again at the National Zoo, Brewlights will be held on November 30. A ticket comes with a souvenir, access to multiple event sites, unlimited beer tastings from a dozen breweries with sample foods from top local restaurants.
If you just want to get straight to the hard stuff (pun intended), D.C. Cocktail Week. Who doesn't love cocktails with conversation? From November 13-19, over 40 restaurants in the D.C. area will feature menu items paired with inspirational drinks.