Despite the stress of finals, job searches and apartment hunts, GW students will still need to find a way to entertain their families between Commencement ceremonies and graduation parties. If the monument tour seems like a tired option, there’s hope – try these ideas to help visiting friends and relatives enjoy the nation’s capital.
Places to Go
Enjoy a baseball game, or two, over the weekend. The Nationals are hosting a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, and fans who go to the 7 p.m. game will receive a commemorative button in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.
May 16: 1:05, 7:05 p.m. – Tickets: start at $10
nationals.mlb.com – Metro: Green Line to Navy Yard
Mount Vernon’s Wine Festival and Sunset Tours
The festival is an elegant way to end a day spent touring D.C. Listen to live jazz, drink some wine and take a tour of George Washington’s historic home. Be sure to buy tickets early for this event, as it often sells out fast.
May 15-17: 6-9 p.m. – George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens
Tickets: $30 – www.mountvernon.org
Metro: Yellow Line to Huntington, Fairfax Connector bus to Mount Vernon.
National Asian Heritage Festival – Fiesta Asia 2009
This annual street fair features martial arts performances, art exhibitions, live music and lots of pan-Asian cuisine. Admission is free, so this is a good place to go after, say, a fancy graduation lunch at Smith and Wollensky’s.
May 16: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. – Free – Pennsylvania Ave. NW between 3rd & 6th streets
www.asiaheritagefoundation.org – Metro: Blue Line to Federal Center or Red Line to Judiciary Square
Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival
A night at this festival would be a great, albeit belated, Mother’s Day present. Enjoy performances by Esperanza Spalding, Janis Siegel and other jazz artists, and take a walk along the waterfront after the show. There are some free events each night, such as a performance by the Mimi Jones Band on Thursday and the Women in Jazz competition on Friday.
May 14-16: 7 p.m. – John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets: $38 – www.kennedycenter.com – Metro: Blue/Orange lines to Foggy Bottom, Kennedy Center Shuttle
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
While the zoo may be a perennial favorite for families visiting the city, make sure to pay a visit this week: Happy the hippo, a longtime resident of the zoo, will be moving to Milwaukee County Zoo at the end of the summer. The zoo is also near Adams Morgan, one of D.C.’s many colorful neighborhoods and a nice place to spend a few hours.
3001 Connecticut Ave. – Free – nationalzoo.si.edu – Metro: Red Line to Woodley Park/Adams Morgan
GI Film Festival
In honor of armed forces week, the Carnegie Institute is showing a series of war movies and documentaries. Highlights include a screening of “Valkyrie” and the premiere of “Perfect Valor,” a documentary about the war in Iraq.
May 13-17 – Carnegie Institute of Washington – 1530 P St. NW
Tickets: $10 – gifilmfestival.com – Metro: Red Line to Dupont Circle
National Museum of Crime and Punishment
Where else in D.C. could you legally crack a safe and try to hack into a computer? This museum has a replica police station, a crime lab and doubles as the set of America’s Most Wanted. Current exhibits include a vast collection of medieval torture devices and a display on America’s dumbest criminals.
575 7th St. NW between E and F streets – Tickets: start at $14.95
crimemuseum.org – Metro: Red/Yellow/Green lines to Gallery Place/Chinatown
Places to Eat
Ben’s Chili Bowl
Ben’s Chili Bowl has been a D.C. culinary landmark since the 1950s. The menu features tasty varieties of all things chili: chili dogs, chili con carne and chili burgers, to name a few items. They even have vegetarian options. Ben’s is open until 4 a.m. on the weekends, so you can grab a snack after a late-night graduation bash.
1213 U St. NW – benschilibowl.com – Metro: Green/Yellow lines to U street/Cardozo
Tryst is the ideal place for people who are craving caffeine but are tired of Starbucks. Located in the heart of Adams Morgan, Tryst has the usual coffee drinks, plus homemade sandwiches, salads and desserts. The comfy chairs and quirky atmosphere make it a good place to spend an afternoon catching up with friends or relatives.
2459 18th St. NW – Metro: Red Line to Woodley Park/Adams Morgan
Enjoy one last meal courtesy of Mom and Dad before striking out on your own. With seafood dishes like tempura soft-shell crabs and pan-seared sea scallops, Kinkead’s won’t disappoint. It’s on campus too, making it a nice spot for a post-Commencement dinner.
2000 Pennsylvania Ave. NW – kinkead.com – Metro: Blue/Orange lines to Foggy Bottom