DC on Black Friday... Non Shopping Suggestions, Please!
November 22, 2013 8:43 AM   Subscribe

My husband and I have the opportunity to be dropped off at the Metro (red line, Glenmont side) at around 11:00am and picked back up there around 5:30-6:00pm on Friday 11/29, the day after Thanksgiving. What should we do? What's open?

We are both very good with public trans and have no problem with transfers. I have some familiarity with DC as I grew up in the area but a lot has changed in 15 years. We're just looking for some fun stuff to do that is open and preferably free or cheap, and we're not interested in shopping on Black Friday and would rather avoid key shopping areas and the crazies that come along with that. We're in our 30's, nerdy, adventurous.
posted by juniperesque to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (10 answers total)
There's a 2:00 presentation of A Christmas Carol at Ford's Theatre. Not cheap, though.
posted by The Blue Olly at 8:49 AM on November 22, 2013

All the Smithsonian museums will be open. They are all free. If you want to avoid crowds, I recommend the less popular ones like Freer, Sackler, and Renwick. Especially the Renwick if you like baskets.
posted by Sock Ray Blue at 9:08 AM on November 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

If you want to go to one of the more popular museums be there at 9 AM when it opens. You'll probably get 90 minutes before it starts getting annoyingly crowded.

If the weather is decent you also have all the outdoor momuments on the Memorial Mall.
posted by COD at 9:30 AM on November 22, 2013

Depending on the weather, the National Arboretum is actually quite nice.

It's sort-of metro-accessbile, but it's a relatively cheap cab ride.

DC probably won't be too crowded because most of Congress will be off/out.
posted by Thistledown at 9:51 AM on November 22, 2013

Smithsonian. There's not even a close second.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:08 AM on November 22, 2013

honestly, if it was me, i would avoid the national mall altogether. it's filled with children and lots of families and while i'm not a child-hater, there are just too many people for me there on holidays.

there are probably going to be a fair amount of people at the national zoo, too, but you might find it a little better to navigate around them outside instead of inside of buildings. no baby panda out yet, sadly, but the tiger cubs are out now. and the zoo is open until 4:30 and on the red line, too.

it probably won't take all your time, so i suggest walking down the hill and exiting at the harvard street entrance/exit and walking down to dupont circle from there through adams morgan. it's about 1.5 miles down 18th st, which isn't so bad. plus lots of places you can potentially stop in and grab a coffee or sandwich.

then you're in dupont, you're at a red line metro, and you can hop back on the train for glenmont.

this, of course, assuming it's not raining or snowing or bitterly cold. :)
posted by kerning at 11:15 AM on November 22, 2013

My go to recommendation is the National Building Museum. Sadly, it's no longer free, but it's an interesting architectural view of the united states, is in a fantastic building and is never so crowded you feel claustrophobic.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 12:37 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, and it's on the red line. Judiciary Square. When you're done, go to Chinatown Coffee at 5th and H.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 12:40 PM on November 22, 2013

Nth-ing the Smithsonian! Here's the current list of exhibits, across all the museums. Also do not forget the Nat'l Gallery of Art, which is not part of the Smithsonian, but is nonetheless also free, and on the Mall; their current exhibits are here.

Oh, and the Ice Rink just re-opened for the season as well. There's a café at the Ice Rink, and a nicer/pricier one on the lower level of the Gallery's West Wing ("the most civilized place to eat on the Mall" as my dad says).
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 12:47 PM on November 22, 2013

The Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle has a unique Van Gogh exhibit on right now, of multiple painting he did over time of the same subject.
posted by chrisulonic at 3:42 PM on November 22, 2013

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