Keeping busy in the city

The countdown to Commencement is dwindling and restaurants are getting booked. To keep your family entertained and avoid the reservation rush, The Hatchet has compiled eight unique, food-free things for you and your parents to enjoy before you graduate.


Metro Stop: Bethesda (Red line)

-D.C. resident artist Joan Danziger’s sculptures have graced the city since her arrival in the 60’s. She has completed several of her wooden creations for public commission, and her work is displayed in national and local galleries alike.

Locally, she has been featured at venues such as the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Fendrick Gallery. Danziger’s exhibit of animals sculpted with human features is currently hanging from the ceiling of the Kennedy Recreation Center on 7th Street, N.W. To see the contemporary wooden sculptures from a spot outside of D.C. but still Metro-accessible, check out her Mythic Landscapes exhibit at Osuna Art in Bethesda, Md.

Osuna Art is located at 7200 Wisconsin Ave. The exhibit runs through June 21 and is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit

Metro Stop: Foggy Bottom/GWU (Blue/Orange lines)

-For a traditional art experience that is more intimate than the vast Smithsonian, the Kreeger Museum offers an impressive holding of 19th and 20th century art in a personal setting. The museum is the former residence of late art collectors and philanthropists, David Lloyd and Carmen Kreeger. A private-mansion-turned-public-venue, the gallery displays more than 180 paintings, sculptures and pieces of traditional African and Asian art.

Works of art from renowned artistic masterminds such as Monet, van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir and Kandinsky are on display, as well as those of Washington artists Gene Davis, Sam Gilliam, William Christenberry and Kendall Buster. The Kreeger Museum is notable for both its extensive collection of prominent artists and its architectural design by American architect Philip Johnson.

The museum is located at 2401 Foxhall Rd., N.W., near the Mount Vernon Campus. Reservations are required for the weekday tours, which are at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday. Saturdays are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost of admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. For more information, visit


Metro Stop: Metro Center (Blue / Orange / Red lines)

Revisit your freshman year, when you were filled with excitement to be living in the nation’s historically rich capital, at Madame Tussaud’s wax museum. The museum’s Spirit of D.C. exhibit allows you to experience United States history in a setting designed to feel eerily real.

You may have been able to sit in on Senate meetings or travel the corridors of the White House during your GW career, but you didn’t get to George Washington’s inauguration, Abraham Lincoln’s assassination or the Watergate scandal. At the museum, you can travel through historical replications from the time of the Founding Fathers to modern day politics. Kickstart your path to distinction by posing with wax figures of history-makers like Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Rosa Parks and Bob Woodward.

Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, located on 11th and F streets, N.W., is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $19.04 for adults and $12.69 for children. For more information, visit


The recently opened Newseum is an interactive museum of news and journalism in Washington, D.C. The 250,000 square foot museum of news features seven levels of displays, 15 theaters, a dozen major galleries, many smaller exhibits, two broadcast studios, and an expanded interactive newsroom.

The museum’s holdings merge five centuries of news history with swift technology and hands-on exhibits. Among the exterior’s exceptional architectural features are a 74-foot-high marble engraving of the First Amendment and an enormous wall of glass through which the interior of the museum can be seen from the outside.

The Newseum, located at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $13 for children. For more information, visit


Metro Stop: Huntington (Yellow Line + Bus from there)

Between your apprehension of going out into the real world and your parents’ realization that their baby is all grown up, all of you are going to need something to take the edge off. Enjoy fine wine in a beautiful setting overlooking the Potomac River at Mount Vernon’s Wine Festival and Sunset Tours.

The festival celebrates the history of wine in Virginia with exclusive evening tours of the mansion and wine cellar, and musical entertainment on the east lawn of George Washington’s Mount Vernon home. You and your parents can bring a blanket and relax on the lawn as you sample wines from 16 Virginia wineries.

The festival runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. from May 16 to May 18 at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. The price is $30 per person. For more information, visit


Metro Stop: Takoma (Red Line)

You may or may not be headed to medical school next year, but you can still impress mom and dad by giving them a tour of The National Museum of Health and Medicine. Founded as the Army Medical Museum in 1862 to study and improve medical conditions during the American Civil War, the museum now holds more than 24 million items.

The collection – which focuses on the history and practice of American medicine, military medicine, and current medical research – includes artifacts like anatomical and pathological specimens and historical medical instruments. The museum features exhibits pertaining to a wide breadth of interests beyond the specific scope of medicine, including Civil War artifacts that document the death of Abraham Lincoln, a hologram of the human body and an interactive station of the anatomy that provides a 3-D perspective of the body.

The National Museum of Health and Medicine, located at 6900 Georgia Ave., N.W., is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. For more information, visit


Metro Stop: Metro Center (Blue / Orange / Red lines)

Take the opportunity to share a few laughs with the folks before the emotional Commencement ceremony. Lewis Black’s trademark mesh of comedic ranting, sarcasm and profanity should do the trick. Although the 59-year-old has written more than 40 plays, he is most identifiable as the host of Comedy Central’s “The Root of All Evil” and his regular appearances alongside Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.”

His Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 2007 and American Comedy Award for Best Male Comic of the Year in 2001 are two testaments to Black’s ability as a funny man. The stand-up comedian, author, playwright and actor is in D.C. for four of his “Let Them Eat Cake” tour performances.

Black will perform at the Warner Theatre at 8 p.m. each night from May 15 to May 18. Tickets range from $59.50 to $75. For more information, visit


Metro Stop: Dupont Circle (Red Line)

With Memorial Day only a couple of weeks away, the second annual GI Film Festival offers a reminder of military courage and sacrifice throughout American history. The festival was the first in the nation to celebrate the armed services exclusively through film and will present domestic and international films from both premier and established filmmakers.

In addition to the feature, documentary, and short film screenings, the festival will feature panel discussions, educational forums and Hollywood “meet and greets.” Festivities will be led by award-winning actors Gary Sinise, Robert Duvall, Stephen Baldwin and Kelsey Grammar and special appearances will include actors from acclaimed military films, distinguished generals and prominent politicians.

The festival runs from May 14 to May 18 at the Carnegie Institution for Science. Show times and ticket prices vary according to film, so visit for more information.

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