Girls Gone...Mild?
December 10, 2008 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Fun evening places to go in Washington, DC?

A friend and I are going to DC on Christmas night to spend a long weekend doing museum-y things during the day which we're really excited about. I can get around the area well, and I have been to DC a few times on business but we don't have any plans for fun things to do after the museums close.
Possibly relevant:
We're staying on Connecticut near L street.
We're too stodgy for the loud and rowdy club scene but not ready to go back to the hotel in the evening with a cup of tea.
We like good drink and good food.
We're open to different types of experiences from the fancy schmancy to the casual and/or funky.
What should a couple of late 30's/early 40's girls do for fun?
posted by pointystick to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This is on Xmas Eve or other night? Some stuff might be closed so keep that in mind.

You're staying just down the street from Dupont Circle, the nifty and historically gay neighborhood.
Go there, eat some good food at any of many good restaurants (I like Skewers), check out Kramerbooks for coffee and books, drink at the Big Hunt if you don't mind a little rowdiness.

There are cooler neighborhoods, but that one is very tourist-friendly.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:38 AM on December 10, 2008

Best answer: There are some great suggestions in this thread.
posted by ryanshepard at 11:50 AM on December 10, 2008

Response by poster: Potomic Avenue, We will be arriving the night of 12/25.

I can't believe I misse dthat other thread. D'oh!
posted by pointystick at 12:05 PM on December 10, 2008

Best answer: You're close enough to the Science Club that it'd be worth a stop in.
posted by exogenous at 12:18 PM on December 10, 2008

Best answer: The monuments on the Mall are gorgeous after dark. True, the museums are all closed, but the Lincoln Memorial, WWII Memorial, and Jefferson Memorial are open 24/7, and once the sun goes down they're brilliantly illuminated and totally worth seeing. It being Christmas day, I'd imagine that the number of tourists will be relatively light to begin with, but if you can manage to get yourselves down there after 10PM it should be really deserted. Standing in those places with no more than a handful of people is quite a different experience than dealing with the massive crowds that assemble during daylight hours.
posted by valkyryn at 12:21 PM on December 10, 2008

Best answer: I'll throw in my hat for a stop at the Jefferson Memorial at any time after dark. It's open 24 hours, and it was always my favorite stop after a long night at work along the Mall. Sit out there, have a smoke, bring a snack, drink some tea, and enjoy the view.

Christmas Day is going to be relatively light on things to do, but the museums are good. If it's open, head over to the National Portrait Gallery in Chinatown - it's probably my favorite museum in the city.

Suggestions in the other thread are also good, all depending if they're open or not.
posted by SNWidget at 12:30 PM on December 10, 2008

Best answer: Staying at the Mayflower? Just so you know, the hotel bar itself (Town and Country) is considered by some to be one the best bars in D.C. You're also not that far away from Recessions (around L and 18th), which is a quirky little divey place that's worth checking out.

Dupont is not a bad suggest, since you'll be so close. You might also want to check out the U Steet neighborhood, sort of D.C.'s Harlem, a historically Black neighborhood with tons of history and culture. Some ideas: Busboys and Poets, Marvin's, Jojo's (for jazz), Saloon. I could keep going, but everything is so close to each other that you'll have no problem just walking down the street and finding something.

I think every food recommendation possible has been made in previous threads. I'll just say that you can do a lot worse than Bistro D'oc, which is conveniently located across the street from Ford's Theatre.

If you're more into the cultural side of things, you might want to see what the Smithsonian might have for evening events, or even the Library of Congress. Also, when it comes close to the time, the DCist blog has information about upcoming events as well.

Have fun in D.C.!
posted by General Malaise at 12:33 PM on December 10, 2008

Best answer: Check out Brickskeller's for lots of beer choices, try the Kennedy Center for their free 6pm shows
posted by sandmanwv at 12:48 PM on December 10, 2008

Best answer: Christmas night, as in Dec. 25th? Everything will be closed, but things will be fine the next day. The monuments will be great to check out, yeah, but note that inaugural preparations are in full swing now, so the Capitol Terrace, some parts of the Capitol Grounds, and the White House north fence will be inaccessible and a bit unsightly due to inaugural stand and bleacher construction.

Also, the road in front of Lincoln Memorial is being repaved at the moment, so there's lots of ugly fences you have to navigate to get to the steps. Still worth it, though.

If you have time during the day, be sure to check out the new Capitol Visitor Center on the east side of the Capitol. Right near there are the Library of Congress and Folger Shakespeare Library. If you can't get up to the Washington Monument, the old Post Office Tower on Penn Ave might be open if it's not too cold and windy on the 26th/27th.
posted by brownpau at 1:38 PM on December 10, 2008

Best answer: The evening of 12/25 most dining establishments will be closed. All, really. Once or twice some of us went to the Capital Hilton for dinner; it was the only option on the 25th. I suppose other hotel dining will be available.

Be sure to visit the Capitol Christmas tree, always much nicer than the tree on the Ellipse. (Although this year's is much less garish than usual.)

The Capitol tree features ornaments made by schoolchildren in the state the tree came from. This year it's Montana.

The 26th is traditionally a big crush at all of the museums. The Botanic Gardens (at the foot of Capitol Hill) is always great at Christmas.
posted by jgirl at 2:18 PM on December 10, 2008

Best answer: Check out the bar at The Tabard Inn - it's very cozy and laid back. If you can get a reservation, Sunday brunch at the restaurant is also delicious. There are a lot of great hotel bars in the area that won't be loud/rowdy - I like Urbana at the Hotel Palomar. Take a cab or a long walk up to U street and check out some of the bars/restaurants in the area. Busboys and Poets is eclectic - it's a bar/coffee shop/restaurant at 14th and V st. People seem to like Marvin, a few doors down, but it's usually pretty crowded.

For yumminess, a few restaurants in the chinatown/Gallery Place area (just down the red line from Dupont) that are great for girls' night outs are Rasika, Zaytinya, Jaleo (Rasika's pretty expensive, but Zaytinya and Jaleo are meze/tapas). In the dupont area, you can get good pizza at Sette Osteria and Pizzeria Paradiso, both walking distance from your hotel.

Oh, and I will totally second Science Club, I love it.

Have fun!
posted by echo0720 at 3:29 PM on December 10, 2008

Best answer: I was recently in DC visiting people for Thanksgiving. A nice coffee shop/ dinner spot was Busboys & Poets. A little more expensive but also cute atmosphere was Cafe Saint Ex. And a cool bookstore I very briefly stopped by, I think on dupont circle?, with bar and cafe within, was Kramers.

And remember to stop by stephen colbert at the american museum of american history :) (well it may as well be called that...)
posted by mdn at 4:34 PM on December 10, 2008

Response by poster: These are all fabulous - thanks for everything thus far!

We'll arrive pretty late on Christmas Day, so we'll likely not have to worry about dinner that night but also thanks for the heads up on museum crowds on the 26th and also the inauguration construction.
posted by pointystick at 7:49 PM on December 10, 2008

not sure if your still checking this but a place most def. worth going to, especially if your on U Street:

Oohs and Aahs

if you like southern/soul food its amazing, and as someone who has foolishly gone to georgia browns (another soul food place in DC) it doesnt compare. more food, cheaper, better atmosphere, etc.

now is it cheap? no but i ate there last night for 22$ - got 2 huge pieces of lightly fried catfish (have 1 left over - literally half the fish), a LOT mac-and-cheese and 2 large chunks of cornbread.

i would skip the cornbread (a little dry for my tastes) but since i havent had good southern/soul food since i moved to DC in July -- WOW. be aware that lunch is until 4 and dinner is 4 to close.

if your around dupont and want good pizza check out Alberto's - close to dupont circle

good italian (also near DuPont circle) - Giovanni's Trattu - good italian, not too expensive

finally if you want a good hamburger, check out Ray's Hell Burger. Have to take the metro to get there (Courthouse) but its the best burger in DC, hands down.

if your looking for anythign else you can me-fi me or check out yelp DC

good luck!
posted by knockoutking at 4:35 PM on December 13, 2008

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