Things to do in DC alone after work during the work week?
September 19, 2007 7:20 AM   Subscribe

Things to do in DC alone after work during the work week?

I'm in DC for the rest of the week and am looking for something to do after work until friday. Are any museums open after 5? Are any monuments accessible after 5? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

If it helps I'm near dupont circle and can get on the train.
posted by damn dirty ape to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (23 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Monuments are accessible as late as you want, but the visitors centers will close probably by 6

Museums are open until 530.

HERE is a list of things to do this week.
posted by chickaboo at 7:24 AM on September 19, 2007

The zoo is great, and the grounds are open until 8pm (the buildings close at 6pm).
posted by occhiblu at 7:37 AM on September 19, 2007

Go see the Mountain Goats.
posted by grateful at 7:42 AM on September 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

I made this list of think tanks that host free lectures, panels, and discussions in response to a question about things to do in DC during the workday. Many of them also host events in the evenings, after work. Not sure whether any of them have things going on this week, but it's worth a look, and there are probably a dozen other such institutions if none of those strike your fancy. Basically, someone in DC somewhere is always hosting a discussion about something, and they're usually giving away free food (and in the evenings, often free booze).
posted by decathecting at 7:45 AM on September 19, 2007 [4 favorites]

Free concerts at the Kennedy center at 6pm on weeknights.
posted by probablysteve at 8:16 AM on September 19, 2007

If you get tired of hoofing it looking at the sights, you could pick up a good read at Kramerbooks and either read there over dinner and an Irish coffee, or head over to Brickskeller and sample one of their literally 1,000's of beers from around the world (Guinness Record holder for most beers). Both are right in the circle.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 8:27 AM on September 19, 2007

The zoo is great – and free!

Talk to your concierge, when I was in DC for a week we took a great day tour. I’m sure they have some good evening tours.
posted by doorsfan at 8:56 AM on September 19, 2007

The Smithsonian American Art Museum, unlike other museums is open until 7pm. They are not on the Mall but at Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro exit on the Red Line. The area has lots of nice restaurants so after your visit, you can have dinner.

If you're so inclined, tonight there is a lecture by former Washington Post architectural critic, Ben Forgey in the museum's auditorium at 7pm.

Disclaimer: I work at the museum.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 9:08 AM on September 19, 2007

I've pulled together links to some of the more useful D.C. events calendars here.

A few interesting things coming up:

Wed. 9/19, 6:30 PM:

Free screening of Kurosawa's "Sanjuro" at the Japan Information and Cultural Center.

Wed. 9/19, 6:30 PM:

Sonic Circuits Festival of Experimental Music Films at the Goethe Institut:

The video and film works presented on this evening employ the principles of field recordings, found materials, and granular synthesis to visual media and their accompanying sound tracks.

More info here

Wed. 9/19, 7 PM:

Washington Post architecture critic Benjamin Forgey's lectures at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on "Changing Context: Architecture in Washington". Should be free food (and maybe drink) at the reception afterwards.

Wed. 9/19, 7:30-8:30 PM:

National Park Service "Civil War Washington Through the Eyes of a Poet" talk at Sylvan Theater:

Walt Whitman spent ten years in Washington, DC witnessing the nation's struggle through the Civil War, President Lincoln's death and the long recovery afterwards. What brought him here, and what inspired him to stay? Using the good grey poet's own words we will retrace his footsteps through the Washington he knew and ultimately uncover the traces he left behind.

Fri., 9/21, 7 PM

Free film at the Sackler Gallery: Petchthai Wongkamlao's "Hello Yasothorn":

Filmed in retina-scorching garish colors and featuring a cast clad in retro-1960s outfits and hairdos, zany musical is a prime example of Thailand's bounty of over-the-top comedies. Wongkamlao stars (under his stage name Mom Jokmok) as a country bumpkin who travels to Bangkok to retrieve the woman of his dreams. (2005).

Or c'mon up to Mount Pleasant for Taking the Piss at Marx Cafe on Friday night - we're friendly folks :)
posted by ryanshepard at 9:26 AM on September 19, 2007

If you're a Jodie Foster fan, you could head up to the Uptown Theater to see The Brave One (2 stops north on the metro at Cleveland Park)--it's a fantastic single-screen movie theater from 1933 with a balcony and everything.

There's fairly regular talks at the bookstore Politics and Prose a bit further north (5105 Connecticut Avenue)--I always caught the bus, but it's walkable from the Van Ness station if you like walking. Tonight at 7pm there's a talk by Naomi Klein about her new book (The Shock Doctrine) and tomorrow night at 7pm there's a talk by Dave Barry about his new book. The bookstore has a nice selection and coffeeshop, and is open until 10pm.

The zoo is great as well--with the weather as nice as it is today, it is a pleasant walk and the animals tend to be really active at both dusk and dawn. (If you take the metro, get off at the Woodley Park station.)
posted by iminurmefi at 9:34 AM on September 19, 2007

After you go to the Uptown, you should grab a slice at Vace or just wander around Cleveland Park.

Or go to American Art (one of my favorite museums) and then have dinner at Zaytinya or Poste.

Wander down to the U Street corridor.

Partake of one of the fabulous restaurants here in DC (I've recommended two!). Take in a lecture at Politics and Prose (Alan Greenspan will be there tonight!). DC after 5pm is fun! Don't make me wish I lived in the city!
posted by wildeepdotorg at 10:44 AM on September 19, 2007

Wow, thanks for all the great suggestions. Keep them coming please.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:42 AM on September 19, 2007

Seconding Vace if you're up that way. You could also jump on the Red Line and head out to Silver Spring and take in a movie at the great AFI Silver Theater. Grab some dinner at the bar at the Quarry House after the show.

If you decide to head over to Georgetown,
Martin's Tavern is the kind of a place where you can go for dinner with a book or the paper and not feel at all out of place. Get a few Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPAs on tap while you're there.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:19 PM on September 19, 2007

I'd head over to Georgetown one of the nights if you haven't been there yet. Probably want to do it today or tomorrow as friday gets crowded with the bar scene

If you are looking for a bar scene, the Front Page (right off the circle) and Tom Toms (in Adams Morgan) have really great drink specials on thursdays. Though both can get pretty crowded.

If you like Irish bars, the 4Ps (or the 4 Green Fields now) is right up the red line a stop or two. They have live Irish music.

If you just want to grab a beer, def go to the Brickskeller. You won't be disappointed with their selection and it can be quiet.

Bookstores, coffee shops, restaurants, etc are abundant... just walk up CT Ave or even P St.

Go to the zoo, visit the monuments at night, go see a movie, or catch a concert. Tons of stuff to do here.
posted by CAnneDC at 12:37 PM on September 19, 2007

Starting in Dupont you're really set to get to anywhere you want (either by metro or by walking, or bike) So print out a quick google map!

To start you off Best Cellar's has free tastings every day, the other little wine shop on Connecticut next to the starbucks on the circle has tastings on thursday. /end lush

If you want to go to Georgetown, from Dupont Circle I suggest walking down P Street, where you get to see some fantastic old houses... In Georgetown go to Bierro Paradiso, which to me is much better than Brikskeller (which is constantly out of stock of whatever beers that you have painstakenly chosen ahead of time), having many more interesting beers on tap...

There's also a really great veggie indian place across the street...

From Dupont to get to the zoo, walk to woodley park from adam's morgan: just go straight up connecticott and across the bridge... If you want to go to Adam's Morgan take the right on Calvert, (the zoo is further up)

and for happy hour in AM, I suggest Soussi or Toledo Lounge...
Tonight however! if its not too late for you tonight!
Wednesday, Sept. 19

Gordon Biersch in downtown Washington unveils its special Festbier from 5:30 to 8. An oompah band plays, free snacks are handed out in the bar area and, once the ceremonial wooden cask is tapped (probably between 7 and 7:30, if previous parties are any indication), everyone can drink from it for free until it runs dry.

posted by stratastar at 1:01 PM on September 19, 2007

ugh too much caffeine.

I also highly recommend Quarry House in Silver Spring (as well as getting the hell out of dodge -err georgetown) before bar time hits on a drinking night...

One other thing that's fun (if you're into that sort of thing) is to go through some of the nicer designery/home/clothes stores on the U street/14th street strip they close a bit later ~7PM...

Also go to Great Wall China, on 14th and P, for best spiciest chinese in the city.. (order from MaLa menu)...
posted by stratastar at 1:15 PM on September 19, 2007

As a currently unemployed resident of the District, this post and the linked to by decathecting are giving me a lot of great ideas. More free stuff!!!!

BTW, Sanjuro, sequel to the classic Yojimbo, is being screened at the Japanese Embassy tonight, for free.

Embassy of Japan
1155 21st St. NW
Washington, DC
• Information: 202-238-6949
• Price: Free

I'll be there.
posted by willie11 at 2:01 PM on September 19, 2007

And a quick correction: Greenspan will not be at Politics and Prose tonight. He will be speaking at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium. Tickets range from 15 - 40 dollars.

I believe Naomi Klein is speaking at Politics and Prose tonight. I think she's speaking there to sell us a book about how we shouldn't buy things.
posted by willie11 at 2:09 PM on September 19, 2007

Go get Ethiopian in Adams Morgan. Ask your concierge for recommendations.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:34 PM on September 19, 2007

Go see the Apples in Stereo tonight at the 9:30 Club. That's where I'll be. Looks like it's not sold out.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 3:12 PM on September 19, 2007

Ike Arumba - I'm going too! Email if you wanna meet!
posted by grateful at 4:19 PM on September 19, 2007

I know you're looking for things to do after work during the week; if you're here Sunday, check this out.

Excerpt of an email I received from a friend last week:

The Washington National Opera is putting on a modern version of Puccini's La Boheme and are playing a live simulcast on a jumbo-tron on the Mall. It is also being broadcast live to 32 college and university campuses around the country. It is anticipated that this will be the largest audience ever for a single opera performance.

The "official" flyer:

Join us for the free, live simulcast of
La Bohème on Sunday, September 23rd

Powell Tate is proud to be supporting Washington National Opera's live simulcast of Puccini's La Bohème. The free simulcast will take place on Sunday, September 23rd at 2:00 pm EDT at the Washington Monument on the National Mall.

We invite you, your colleagues, your family and friends to join us on the Mall on September 23rd for an afternoon of exciting drama and to celebrate Washington National Opera's continued leadership in expanding access to opera.

This production of La Bohème truly has something for everyone to enjoy. Innovative director Mariusz Trelinski has updated Puccini's timeless tale of ambition, love, loyalty, and loss. The contemporary production is set in the 21st century and features a cast of talented, young and captivating artists. Those who haven't been to the opera before will recognize it as the "original" Rent, the acclaimed blockbuster musical. You'll soon realize why this is one of the most beloved operas in the world.

We hope you'll join us for what is expected to be the arts event of the Fall. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs and pillows, and we'll see you on the Mall on September 23rd at 2:00 pm.

posted by ASM at 8:21 PM on September 19, 2007

Thanks for all the suggestions. I saw Sanjuro the other night and loved it.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:24 PM on September 21, 2007

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