Extended Weekend: What to Do?

Photo courtesy of F1RSTBORN
Jive Turkey, courtesy of F1RSTBORN

In town for the holidays and not a cook? Looking for some dining options other than wrestling with a big ol’ Butterball and your mom yammering in your ear? Hosting relatives and looking for things to get them out of the house? Or are you an international visitor and don’t celebrate with us Yanks?

We’ve got you covered.

Behold, a quick-and-dirty WeLoveDC look at dining and fun options for the upcoming four-day weekend.

Photo courtesy of ten safe frogs
Turkey Lurkey, courtesy of ten safe frogs


Surprisingly, there’s a lot of dining options for you in DC, but be warned: most places require reservations. Cost varies per person, but usually is inclusive of a three-course meal; many places also still offer their regular menu.

1789 is open from noon – 9 p.m. but has been taking reservations since last year; they may have some smaller tables available, but you probably should pass if you’ve got a decently-sized group. They’re serving up a traditional three-course meal for $54 a person; they’ve got their regular seasonal menu out as well.

CommonWealth may be a Brit gastropub, but they’re serving us Yanks on Thursday for $25 a person. Theirs is also a nice three-course family-style meal and if you’ve got the munchies, they’ll have their late-night pub menu to pick from. Again, reservations suggested but they’ve got some space available. They’re open 1-8 p.m. and can handle groups up to 10 people.

The Old Ebbitt Grill is opening their doors from noon – 11 p.m. and will have a standard turkey platter available alongside their regular menu. It’ll run you $22.95 a plate, though kids can get a smaller portion for $12.95. Reservations suggested, but they can also handle large groups up to 25 in number; make sure you call ahead if you’re going to swarm the place.

Now, if take-out is more your speed, you’re going to find it hard to gather the grub this late; most places took orders thru yesterday with pick-up today. But there’s a couple of places you can still get a nice take-home meal from.

Balducci’s can get you an a la carte or complete meal for you and a group of your closest friends, ranging from $160 – $290. Advance orders are preferred, with pickups today and thru 3 p.m. tomorrow.

The Odeon Cafe on Connecticut is serving complete meals for one person at $18.95 a pop; they’ll need at least an hour’s notice and you can pickup on Thanksgiving day.

(For a larger list of available DC-area restaurants, check out WaPo’s Thanksgiving Day food guide.)

Photo courtesy of J.H.Gray
Christmas Train, courtesy of J.H.Gray


Black Friday blues? Annoying relatives? Send them out for the day! Where to go is the question, but fortunately there’s lots of answers.

The obvious choice here are the Smithsonian museums, which are all open on Thanksgiving day. I mean, we have the National Museum of American History that just reopened! Also, keep in mind that the Museum of Natural History is extending its hours on Friday and Saturday until 7:30 p.m. so visitors can check out the new Ocean Hall.

Keep in mind that the Corcoran, Newseum and International Spy Museum are all closed on Thursday, but will be open – and jammed with people – for their regular hours the rest of the weekend.

Feeling more in the holiday mood? Well, we’ve got some tree-lighting ceremonies happening on Friday in Alexandria, Reston and the National Harbor. There’s also the Reston Holiday Parade which starts Friday at 11 a.m. at the Reston Town Center.

For those of you train enthusiasts – or the kids in all of us – don’t forget the 12th Annual Norwegian Christmas at Union Station. You can catch this year’s train move through an authentic Norwegian winter landscape on Friday / Saturday between 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday between noon – 6 p.m. Then hop the Metro down to the U.S. Botanic Garden, where this year’s train theme is “Windows to Wonderland.” It’s all indoors (so no frozen toes!) in the East Gallery but can also be seen from the outside when the Conservatory is closed. The display is open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. starting on Friday.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There’s lots of movies showing this weekend – Australia, Four Christmases, Bolt, Twilight, Quantum of Solace – as well as a variety of theater and music offerings. Tell us your plans in comments, or let us know of other great weekend ideas in the area!

Having lived in the DC area for ten years, Ben still loves to wander the city with his wife, shooting lots of photos and exploring all the latest exhibits and galleries. A certified hockey fanatic, he spends some time debating the Washington Capitals club with friends – but everyone knows of his three decade love affair with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A professional writer, gamer, photographer, and Lego enthusiast, Ben remains captivated by DC and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.

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