With your parents here, there isn’t a lot of time to hit up frat parties. Here are some ideas for nights out that will leave you hangover-free at brunch the next morning.
Politics & Prose
5015 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
This well-known establishment has a large variety of books, a comfortable atmosphere and D.C. spirit (just take a look at the name!). It hosts at least one author every night (recent guests have included Lois Lowry, Nancy Pelosi and former University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg) for a discussion and autograph session. It also boasts the “Modern Times” coffeehouse in the basement, which has free Wi-Fi, open microphones on Wednesdays and Fridays, and some tasty sandwiches and salads. The only problem is the location: P&P is a mile-long, uphill hike from the Van Ness Metro stop.
Kramerbooks & Afterwords
1517 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Right across from the north exit of the Dupont Circle Metro stop, Kramer’s has a full restaurant and bar at the back of the bookstore, which gives the shelves a wonderful smell. There’s live music too on Wednesday through Sunday nights, ranging from New Orleans piano to violin jazz. Make sure to keep an eye out for the quirky reading selection; children’s books called “Everyone Poops” and “Breasts” line the exit.
Busboys and Poets
2021 14th St., N.W.
This bookstore-restaurant hybrid describes itself as “a community resource for artists, activists, writers, thinkers and dreamers.” It holds various open-mikes for poetry as well as a ton of other events, like film screenings, author events and book club discussions. Whatever or whoever you’re looking for, you’re likely to find it here. And it is located on U Street along with cultural institutions like Ben’s Chili Bowl and the Lincoln Theater. This is the area to experience some different D.C. culture.
Landmark’s E Street Cinema
555 11th St., N.W.
This high-tech, eight-screen movie theater hosts the D.C. Shorts Film Festival each September. This year’s screening included an appearance by Rider Strong (a.k.a Boy Meets World’s Shawn Hunter). Running mainly independent flicks, it also has a gourmet concession stand (including an espresso bar) and a nice student discount. And it’s not difficult to find: only one-block walk from Metro Center.
AMC Loews Georgetown 14
3111 K St., N.W.
If you’re looking for a more mainstream theater, look no farther than Georgetown. This chain cinema has fourteen screens and especially comfortable seating, not to mention showings that begin as late as midnight. It’s a bit of a hike from Foggy Bottom, especially on a cold night, but the route is scenic, as it goes through the Georgetown waterfront.
Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center
2700 F St., N.W.
Tucked away in the corner of the Kennedy Center’s Grand Foyer are rows of spray-painted gold folding chairs and a stage inscribed, “Performing Arts For Everyone.” Free performances are held here every night at 6 p.m. These shows are extremely eclectic, with acts ranging from the Bajich Brothers, who play Serbian folk songs on mandolin-like instruments, to the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. There is no dress code and tickets aren’t required, though you might want to show up early, as seats can fill up pretty quickly.