Not afraid of a little rain
October 29, 2012 6:44 PM   Subscribe

Stuck in DC, suggestions for fun things to do Tuesday and Wednesday?

The fiancee and I are stuck in a hotel a block south of the national mall. It's a nice holiday Inn and there's a bunch of FEMA people staying here too so I'm not too worried about safety stuff. Just in case we bought some food and water in case power goes out or anything, and we're from Houston so it's not our first hurricane.

Having got the disclaimers out of the way, and assuming the weather clears up enough that it's safe to walk around, does anyone have any suggestions for museums or sights we could do Tuesday while the Federal employees (so smithsonian and Capitol, etc. closed) are off? We've already seen the newseum and spy museum, and seen all the sights connected to the green area around the Washington Monument. Restaurant recommendations are appreciated too.
posted by DynamiteToast to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (16 answers total)
If you're not sick of museums, the Lichtenstein exhibit at the National Gallery is surprisingly good. Also, have you seen the National Museum of the American Indian? There's only a few similar museums in the country. Bonus - the food court there is pretty good.
posted by kat518 at 7:13 PM on October 29, 2012

Bistrot Du Coin is excellent.
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 7:23 PM on October 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Unfortunately, all the Smithsonian museums (including the National Gallery, and the Zoo) announced that they'll stay closed tomorrow, as will the Phillips Collection (and all Metro rail and bus, at least through the morning -- you can check for updates at

The Washington Post's @Goingoutguide is trying to keep up on openings/closings here and on Twitter. It looks like Kramerbooks might be worth a shot for lunch tomorrow (call first!). I'd say Ben's Chili Bowl, too, but that's one heckuva hike from the south side of the Mall.

I hope you can still find a way to make the best of it! Capitol Hill is probably the easiest/most interesting walk from where you are just to get out of the hotel, and I suspect a few of the local-heavy bars/restaurants on Pennsylvania Ave between the Capitol and Eastern Market will try to open. I'll memail you if I find out about anything specific.
posted by argonauta at 7:40 PM on October 29, 2012

I think a lot of the non-fed museums will stay closed too, but other good independent museums you might want to look into are the Corcoran Gallery and NatGeo museum. Maybe catch a movie at the Landmark E Street Cinema if it's open?
posted by NikitaNikita at 8:04 PM on October 29, 2012

Cheap Eats 2012. I love working through this list each time it comes out, there are some real gems on here and everything is very reasonably priced.
posted by Loto at 8:17 PM on October 29, 2012

argonauta probably has the best idea. Metro won't be running trains or buses tomorrow, either. Haven't heard whether Capital BikeShare will be open again, but I would guess not. You'll need to be pretty enthusiastic walkers to get much further than Capitol Hill (which is the most interesting neighborhood nearby). If you are good walkers, though, I would bet you'd find places open around Logan Circle / Dupont Circle / U Street Corridor. I would guess your best bet is going to be exploring neighborhoods rather than trying to see attractions.
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:22 PM on October 29, 2012

Haven't heard whether Capital BikeShare will be open again, but I would guess not.

Last word I heard was they're closed tomorrow (Tuesday).
posted by inigo2 at 10:37 PM on October 29, 2012

Just to pile on: all Smithsonian museums in DC, as well as the Udvar-Hazy out by Dulles plus stuff like the zoo, are closed Tuesday; the decision about Wednesday will be announced sometime Tuesday afternoon. (Full disclosure: I work for the Smithsonian.)

As for smaller museums or movie theaters: unlikely to be open, but CALL them before you go: not just check their websites or listen to a recorded message, telephone and make sure you talk to an actual live human being --- back in 2003, when hurricane Isabelle came through? The theater I worked at was closed the day after because the power was out, but it was AMAZING how many people not only drove there through the storm remnants but were also absolutely LIVID that we had the temerity to be closed: "What do you mean, you're closed? But I don't have any power at home, what am I supposed to do?!?" Sheesh.....

Yeah, it's boring to be boxed up in a hotel, but please stay safe.
posted by easily confused at 2:48 AM on October 30, 2012

The DC Drag Race may still be on for tonight.
posted by Irontom at 4:05 AM on October 30, 2012

Update on Metro: just heard they'll start running.trains & buses at 2:00, on a Sunday schedule.
posted by EvaDestruction at 6:24 AM on October 30, 2012

This might be of interest:

Unfortunately it looks like almost everything is closed. The Kennedy Center and a few theaters are open.
posted by rq at 8:44 AM on October 30, 2012

The DC Drag Race may still be on for tonight.

Nope, it's on Thursday.
posted by inigo2 at 8:51 AM on October 30, 2012

Things are looking much better in DC today. Check out the #openindc hashtag on Twitter, and this link from EaterDC (open Cap Hill joints include Ted's Bulletin and Tunnicliff's, though Metro and the Circulator and cabs can also get you around just about anywhere now), as well as this this one from Washingtonian magazine. Hope you have a great couple of days!
posted by argonauta at 9:36 AM on October 30, 2012

Thanks for all the help guys. Smithsonian's twitter just announced they'd be open tomorrow, so we should have plenty to do, although it's a little annoying that they don't open til 10. Looks like most local restaurants are trying to open by dinner tonight.
posted by DynamiteToast at 10:38 AM on October 30, 2012

While this doesn't help you out if you're vegetarian, Ted's Bulletin's peanut butter bacon burger is a minor treasure. And if The Sweet Lobby nearby is open, too, their macarons are delicious. And the coffee and tea at Peregrine, which is also in the neighborhood, is quite good.
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:54 AM on October 30, 2012

The Zoo's grounds actually open at 6 a.m. (During normal days in October, at any rate; you may want to call.) It's actually much better to be there before the buildings open and if you time it correctly, you can see many of the animals getting fed. You could try taking a bus or the Metro there, or you could take a long walk up Connecticut and over Rock Creek park. It's a great (okay, it's pretty long) walk, but steep. Metro instructions here. Dupont Circle, where Bistrot du Coin is, has many restaurants and interesting buildings. Embassy Row is close by, and it's fun to wander through.
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:02 PM on October 30, 2012

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