Posts Tagged ‘visiting Washington DC’

Discover Holiday Magic in Washington, DC

November 16, 2018
Capitol-DC-nght-011804e2 (c) Karen Rubin

The Capitol Building at night. Washington DC is a sensational destination for the winter holidays © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Washington, DC) – The nation’s capital is one of the best destinations for winter holiday travel, and Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC, helps visitors craft a magical holiday. Find inspiration for memorable getaways on DDC’s holiday landing page on washington.org, and its Instagram and Facebook channels, including festive hotel packages, menus, holiday lights, ice skating rinks, gift markets, can’t-miss exhibitions and events across the city’s welcoming neighborhoods. Speak with a DC travel expert (1-800-422-8644), Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm (EST).

“Washington, DC goes all out for the holidays. Maybe your wish-list includes meeting Santa, light displays and a classic holiday show. It might include visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture, shopping for made-in-DC gifts then dinner at one of DC’s 15 Michelin-starred restaurants. We’ll connect you with the real DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of DDC.

In 2018, DDC’s print, digital and out-of-home holiday advertising campaign urges national consumers to “Discover Holiday Magic in Washington, DC,” with assets targeting New York City and Philadelphia. For added promotion between Nov. 30-Dec. 2; Dec. 7-9, the tourism bureau hosts a holiday-themed Instagram exchange with influencers from key feeder markets.

HOTEL PACKAGES
• Toast the season with “Caviar and Champagne” at The Darcy. This package bundles late check-out, a welcome Taittinger toast and decadent caviar cookies from Siren, the in-house Michelin-starred restaurant. Rates start at $169, thru Feb. 28, 2019.
• This December, Kimpton’s 10 boutique hotels in DC spread cheer with pop-up shops curated by Shop Made in DC, a retail incubator showcasing local makers. Book a “Make a Getaway” package to receive a swag bag and $15 gift card.
• The historic Willard InterContinental offers a Wintertime Holiday Package that wraps upgraded accommodations, $50 food and beverage credit and official 2018 White House Christmas Tree Ornament, starting at $299 (two-night min.), Nov. 16, 2018-Feb. 16, 2019.

SKATING RINKS
• Twirl around the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s rink, November-March. Warm up inside the Pavilion Café.
• Rent skates at riverside rinks at The Wharf, Georgetown and Capitol Riverfront.
• Iceless skating rinks return to the courtyard at the Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown and atop the Watergate Hotel.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS
• Tour America’s historic train stations in miniature at Seasons Greenings: All Aboard! at the U.S. Botanic Gardens, Nov. 22-Jan. 2, 2019. FREE
• Smithsonian National Zoo dazzles with more than 500,000 LED lights, snowless tubing and more at ZooLights, 5-9pm. Nov. 23-Jan. 1, 2019 (closed Dec. 24, 25, 31). FREE
• George Washington’s Mount Vernon celebrates with Colonial dancing, chocolate-making and caroling, Nov. 23-Dec. 31. Candlelit tours run Nov. 23, 24, 30; Dec. 1, 7, 8, 16.
• The District’s Holiday Boat Parade welcomes Santa to The Wharf with lighted boats and fireworks, 6-9pm, Dec. 1. FREE
• Holiday in the Park thrills Six Flags America with lights, rides and s’mores: Nov. 23-25, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 21-23, 26-31.
• Lit in early December, National Christmas tree in President’s Park on the Ellipse will be attended by 56 decorated state and territory trees, Santa’s Workshop and nighty musical performances thru Dec. 31. FREE
• The National Menorah will be lit on the Ellipse throughout Hanukah. On Dec. 2 at 4pm, American Friends of Lubavitch celebrate with Dreidelman and donuts. FREE

SHOPPING
• The Downtown Holiday Market runs Nov. 23-Dec. 23 in Penn Quarter. Source more local gifts at Shop Made in DC in Dupont; Union Market in NoMa; Brookland Exchange at Monroe Street Market and Steadfast Supply in Capitol Riverfront.
• CityCenterDC dresses up with two monumental reindeer, an overhead installation in Palmer Alley and holiday tree lit on Nov. 24.
• Georgetown Glow, an outdoor light art exhibition, illuminates the historic district between 5-10pm, Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 2019.

PERFORMANCES AND ATTRACTIONS
• The Kennedy Center hosts shows including The Second City’s Love, Factually (Dec. 4-31), Washington National Opera: The Lion, the Unicorn and Me (Dec. 14-16) and the National Symphony Orchestra’s Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 20-23).
• At Warner Theatre, the Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker recasts the classic in the Lincoln White House (Nov. 29-Dec. 28).
• Richly dressed, A Christmas Carol (Nov. 15-Dec. 30) cheers Ford’s Theatre.

DINING AND NIGHTLIFE
• Circle around outdoor firepits at Masseria near Union Market; Bourbon Steak in Georgetown and Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse, a 2019 Michelin “Bib Gourmand” pick.
• Indulge in holiday teas at Peacock Alley at the Willard InterContinental Washington, DC; the Empress Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC; Tea Cellar at the Park Hyatt Washington DC and the lobbies of the St. Regis Washington D.C. and Line DC.
• Among tempting New Year’s Eve options, humanitarian and Michelin-starred chef José Andrés offers tasting menus at China Chilcano, Jaleo and Oyamel.

Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. washington.org.

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Capital Christmas: A December Vacation in Washington, DC Checks Every Box on a Holiday Wish List

December 5, 2017
Capitol Building at Night, Washington DC

December is an enchanting time to visit Washington DC. Destination DC can help plan a visit © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Washington, DC) –- Destination DC (DDC), the official marketing organization for Washington, DC is primed to help travelers plan unforgettable December holidays in the nation’s capital. Washington.org is packed with seasonal inspiration on a holiday landing page including hotel packages and deals, festive menus, ice skating rinks, Christmas markets, can’t-miss events and more. Scroll instant inspiration on DDC’s Instagram and Facebook accounts or speak with a travel concierge (1-800-422-8644), Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm EST.

“Whether your ideal December getaway includes a family photo with the National Christmas tree and A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre or a morning at the MLK Memorial, an afternoon of ice skating at the National Gallery of Art’s rink and a Michelin-star dinner, we can help you plan an unforgettable holiday in Washington, DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of DDC.

Among special packages and events:

SEASONAL HOTEL PACKAGES

Between Nov. 28-Dec. 20, the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC displays lavish holiday décor from 20 area designers. The luxury Georgetown hotel treats travelers with 30% off suites, Dec. 4-31, 2017.
The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown’s Deck the Halls offer includes Santa’s milk and cookies at turn-down and an in-suite holiday tree. The Ritz-Carlton Washington, DC welcomes guests to Savor the Season with a 30-foot gingerbread Washington Monument and a $50 food and beverage credit.
Winter packages at the Willard InterContinental include a delicious welcome amenity and the official 2017 White House Christmas ornament thru Dec. 31.

ICE SKATING RINKS

Twirl around the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s rink thru March 11, 2018. Warm up inside the Pavilion Café and visit Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry in the West Building thru Jan. 21, 2018. FREE
New: The Potomac-side rink at The Wharf in SW DC joins the party of neighborhood rinks in Georgetown and Capitol Riverfront.
New: Glide on iceless”rinks at the Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown and the Watergate Hotel.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS AND TOURS

ZooLights animates the National Zoo with more than 500,000 LED lights, snowless tubing and concerts between 5-9pm until Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 24, 25, 31). FREE

George Washington’s Mount Vernon offers character-guided candlelit tours, 18th century dancing and fireside caroling, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 17.
Holiday in the Park illuminates Six Flags America with lights, rides and s’mores Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 22-23, 26- Jan. 1.
Tour America’s roadside attractions in miniature at Seasons Greenings: National Parks and Historic Parks at the U.S. Botanic Gardens thru Jan. 2. FREE
The National Christmas tree in President’s Park on the Ellipse is attended by 56 decorated trees, Santa’s Workshop and musical performances thru Dec. 31. FREE
The National Menorah will be lit on the Ellipse throughout Hanukah. On Dec. 12 at 4pm, the American Friends of Lubavitch celebrates with dreidels and donuts. FREE

SHOPPING

Find only-in-DC gifts at Made in DC, a new store in Dupont Circle and Steadfast Supply in Capitol Riverfront. Pop-up Christmas markets: Downtown Holiday Market in Penn Quarter and Union Market’s Brief Assembly run thru Dec. 23.
CityCenterDC, the Penn Quarter’s luxury shopping and restaurant destination, dresses up with a giant reindeer, a sky-high tree for the season. Between Dec. 1-3, a 12-foot-high igloo adds to the Instagram fun.
Georgetown Glow, an outdoor exhibition of light-art installations dots the historic shopping district between 5-10pm, Dec. 8, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018. FREE

PERFORMANCES AND ATTRACTIONS

New: Digital gallery Artechouse welcomes The Imaginary World of the Nutcracker, Dec. 7, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018.
The Kennedy Center hosts seasonal shows including Merry Tubachristmas! (Dec. 11, FREE), Second City’s Twist Your Dickens (Dec. 5-31) and the National Symphony Orchestra’s Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 14-17).
The Washington Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker (thru Dec. 24) swaps George Washington for the Nutcracker Prince at Warner Theatre.
A richly dressed A Christmas Carol (thru Dec. 31) takes over Ford’s Theatre.
New: Christmas Illuminated is one of many exhibits at the Museum of the Bible.

DINING AND NIGHTLIFE

Toasts the season at Drink Company’s Miracle on Seventh Street, a trio of over-the-top pop-up bars thru Dec. 31.
Find lavish holiday teas in the Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC and Tea Cellar at the Park Hyatt Washington DC. The St. Regis Washington D.C. celebrates 12 days of Champagne (Dec. 12-24).
Among the city’s New Year’s Eve delights, Michelin-starred chef José Andrés offers tasting menus at China Chilcano, Jaleo and Oyamel.

Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities.

Visit washington.org.
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Frightfully Elegant Halloween Experience Awaits in the ‘Transylvania Suite’ at The Hay-Adams, Washington DC

October 28, 2015
Washington DC at night. The Hay Adams has a very special Halloween planned for anyone intrepid enough to book "The Transylvania Suite." © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Washington DC at night. The Hay Adams has a very special Halloween planned for anyone intrepid enough to book “The Transylvania Suite.” © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Washington, D.C. – This Halloween no creaking coffins are needed for a night or two of haunting retiring at The Hay-Adams, located at 800 16th Street NW in Washington, DC. Count Dracula and ghost-loving guests who book the “Transylvania Suite” for one or two nights, (available Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31) will find the expansive canopy bed dressed in custom designed Italian linens, frightfully embellished with cobwebs and creepily embroidered personalized pillows. This luxurious suite overlooks Lafayette Park towards the White House.

The Hay-Adams Halloween package affords a unique chance to enjoy the legendary elegance of this historic hotel while experiencing a number of creative twists all evening: from a frighteningly outfitted butler to escort guests to the skull- adorned suite, to a gift collection of old and new horror film DVDs, along with more eye-popping surprises. This Halloween experience is priced at $2,995 per night (excluding tax and gratuity).

The “Transylvania Suite” will be fiendishly decorated by designer Barbara Hamilton of the Ociana Group, with all the trappings of a gentrified haunted house. Those brave enough to take the plunge will be treated to a spirited welcome amenity from Pastry Chef Josh Short, tricked with blood-curdling cocktails for two delivered to the Halloween lair, followed by a three-course dinner paired with wines which includes a spidery-inspired dessert, served in the suite’s dining room. A diabolically concocted turn-down surprise will be delivered prior to retiring for the night. The following morning guests can celebrate daybreak with a lavish breakfast in bed at their leisure, and who can resist a spicy Bloody Scary to complete the morning feast.

The award-winning Hay-Adams hotel is located at 800 16th Street NW, Washington DC, 20006, across Lafayette Square from the White House. The historic Hay-Adams offers guests Washington’s most prestigious address with views overlooking the White House, Lafayette Square and St. John’s Church, the “Church of the Presidents.”   The hotel is just minutes from the Smithsonian, the Museums, the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, the Mall, as well as convenient to Metro stations and the convention center.

For reservations or more information call (202) 638-6600 or visit www.hayadams.com.

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White House Lifts Camera Ban on Public Tours, Encourages Posting Pix

July 3, 2015
Visitors to The White House, Washington DC are now encouraged to post their photos © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Visitors to The White House, Washington DC are now encouraged to post their photos © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

After 40 years, the White House is lifting its longstanding camera and photo ban on public tours.  Guests are now welcome to take photos throughout the White House tour route and keep those memories for a lifetime. Visitors are also encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag #WhiteHouseTour.

To announce the change in policy, the First Lady posted THIS video on her Instagram account.

Permitted Items: Phones and compact still cameras with a lens no longer than 3 inches are allowed inside the White House.  Photography is permitted but may not interfere with the enjoyment of other guests on the tour.  

Prohibited Items: Video cameras, including any action camcorders, cameras with detachable lenses, tablets, tripods, monopods, and camera sticks are not permitted on White House Tours.  Flash photography and livestreaming are not permitted while on the tour.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Announces Opening of Old Family Dining Room on White House Tour

February 10, 2015
First Lady Michelle Obama has opened the Old Family Dining Room to public tours of the White House © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

First Lady Michelle Obama has opened the Old Family Dining Room to public tours of the White House © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the Old Family Dining Room for public viewing for the first time in White House history. Through a joint effort by the First Lady and the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, and funded by a special donation from the White House Historical Association, the room has been refurbished and will serve as a showcase of 20th century art and design.  Adjacent to the State Dining Room, the Old Family Dining Room has a rich history that dates back to 1825.  Additional information on the history of the Old Family Dining room can be found HERE.

“It is my pleasure to help pull back the curtain on this special part of the White House,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Today and moving forward, the Old Family Dining room will reflect the history of our former First Families and represent the legacy and impact of modern American artists.”

As part of the room’s renovation, the several items have been added to the permanent White House collection for display in the Old Family Dining Room:

Resurrection by Alma Thomas (1891-1978), done in 1966. An educator and artist in Washington, D.C. for most of her career, Alma Thomas was one of the renowned members of the Washington Color School. This painting is the first artwork by an African-American woman featured in the White House.

Early Bloomer [Anagram (a Pun)] by Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), done in 1998, An innovator in many mediums, Rauschenberg received the National Medal of the Arts in 1993.

Study for Homage to the Square: Asking by Josef Albers (1888-1976), done in 1963.

Homage to the Square by Josef Albers (1888-1976), done in 1966. German immigrant artist and color theorist Josef Albers began his “Squares” series in 1950, studying the effects of adjacent colors and the illusions created of squares advancing or receding in space.

Black, White, and Gray by Anni Albers (1899-1994), pictorial weaving adapted as a wool rug done in 1950. A pioneering abstract artist, Anni Albers was best known for her work in textiles.

These were gifts of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, in honor of Barack and Michelle Obama.

New York World’s Fair Tableware , 1939, ceramic plate, china, and glassware. Silver tea set manufactured by Graff, Washbourne, & Dunn. Received by the White House after the conclusion of the fair in 1940. The coffee and tea pots – spherical with triangular spouts – are suggestive of the Perisphere and Trylon, symbols of the 1939 fair.

White House Tours

Public tour requests must be submitted through one’s Member of Congress.  These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (excluding federal holidays or unless otherwise noted).  Tour hours will be extended when possible based on the official White House schedule. Tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Requests can be submitted up to six months in advance and no less than 21 days in advance. You are encouraged to submit your request as early as possible as a limited number of spaces are available. All White House tours are free of charge.  (Please note that White House tours may be subject to last minute cancellation.)

If you wish to visit the White House and are a citizen of a foreign country, you need to contact your embassy in Washington, DC for assistance in submitting a tour request.

All guests 18 years of age or older will be required to present a valid, government-issued photo identification. All foreign nationals must present their passport.

Take a Virtual Tour:

As part of President and Mrs. Obama’s commitment to open the White House to as many Americans as possible, the White House has partnered with the Google Art Project and allowed their 360 Street View cameras to capture the rooms that are featured on the public tour. Now anyone, anywhere, can experience the history and art of the White House via their computer. Take the virtual tour.

For additional information about tours of the White House, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events

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White House Hosts Fall Garden Tours Oct 18 & 19

October 10, 2014

White House, Washington DC

WASHINGTON – This fall, the White House will be opening its gardens and grounds to visitors on Saturday, October 18 from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM EDT, and Sunday, October 19 from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM EDT.  During this event, visitors can see the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden and South Lawn of the White House.  Additionally, the White House Kitchen Garden – the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden – will be accessible to guests.

This event is free and open to the public; however, a ticket is required for all attendees (including small children).  The National Park Service will distribute free, timed tickets at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E Streets Northwest on each tour day beginning at 9:00 AM.  Tickets will be distributed — one ticket per person — on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Washington DC Unveils ‘DC Cool Kids’ Activity Guide for Family-Friendly Adventures in Nation’s Capital

May 10, 2014
Kids can get engaged in a tug of war with an Orangutan at Washington DC's National Zoological Park, where you can visit its unique primate cognitive research center. A new DC Cool Kids guide lets you know the best times to visit  © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Kids can get engaged in a tug of war with an Orangutan at Washington DC’s National Zoological Park, where you can visit its unique primate cognitive research center. A new DC Cool Kids guide lets you know the best times to visit © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Destination DC, the official tourism and marketing office for the District of Columbia, kicks off their summer 2014 with a new 8-page DC Cool Kids Activity Guide that highlights the many budget-friendly, only-in-DC experiences on and off the National Mall.

A printable PDF version of the guide and expanded editorial content can be found on Washington.org/DCcoolkids.

“Travel + Leisure Magazine ranks our city as the #1 destination in America for culture, and with more than 30-plus free museums, dozens of theaters and festivals including the Fourth of July, there are many compelling reasons for families to visit throughout the summer,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, president

and CEO of Destination DC. “Our DC Cool Kids Activity Guide, online content and booking engine connects families with expected and lesser known experiences from the moment they decide to enjoy a summer getaway in Washington DC.”

Packed with class DC-themed puzzles including connect-the-dots and word search challenges, the colorful DC Cool Kids Activity Guide also spotlights family activities at five popular DC-area attractions:

George Washington’s Mount Vernon: Explore the estate with an adventure map (for ages 8 and under) or a spy map (ages 9 and over) to fill in clues and solve puzzles.

National Air and Space Museum: Experiment with the four forces of flight, fold and fly a paper airplane and discover the problems that the Wright brothers faced in the How Things Fly Gallery.

National Museum of American History: Take an American personality quiz and then use the results to discover more about your inner naturalist, innovator, storyteller, discoverer, ambassador or activist as you encounter objects.

National Zoological Park: Coordinate your visit with the daily schedule to meet a giant panda keeper, watch Asian elephants in training, witness a lemur feeding and look out for orangutans overhead.

Newseum: Kids are invited to be an anchor in front of a green screen in the NBC News Interactive Newsroom and review clips of their broadcast.

To further inspire visitors, guide-holders are encouraged to visit all five venues, collecting a DC Cool Kids stamp at each attraction. Participants who collect five stamps will be eligible to enter a sweepstakes to win a summertime trip for four to Washington DC in 2015. DC Cool Kids Activity Guides will be distributed around the city at member hotel concierges and street-side boxes along with Washington, DC’s Official Visitor Guide. The guide is supported online with family-friendly content from DC Cool Kid insider picks to free things to do on Washington.org/DCcoolkids.

“Our goal for DC Cool Kids is to engage more families with Washington, DC,” said Elliott Ferguson. “This summer we’re celebrating the new developments such as the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, the Cambria Suites at CityMarket at O and the reopening of the Washington Monument that help us to attract visitors, drive the local economy and create jobs. We’re looking forward to a busy summer travel

season filled with exciting events and milestones such as the 10th anniversary of the DC Jazz Festival, the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner and of course, July 4th in our nation’s capital. Summer 2014 should be DC Cool.”

For more information about what’s cool in DC this summer and to take advantage of hotel deals, and to access tips from local experts, itineraries and destination round-ups like top hands-on museums, free summer festivals, and family-friendly dining, visit Washington.org.

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