New Year’s resolutions are easy to make but hard to keep. Lose 15 pounds, get above a 3.5 GPA and venture beyond Foggy Bottom are all worthwhile goals, but between new classes, back to school blues and dreary D.C. winter weather, it can be hard to maintain the initial spurt of motivation.
As D.C. is a city as unique as its inhabitants, venturing off campus into the surrounding areas can provide new afternoon activities and a few checks off any bucket list.
Kelly’s Fine Art Gallery and Frame Shop
510 North Washington St., Alexandria, Va.
Art and drinking might be replacing the more typical dinner and a movie date. Kelly’s Art and Frame, in Alexandria, Va. welcomes guest to BYOB while they create artistic masterpieces – or at least attempt one. A three-hour session usually goes for $60 but is currently on sale for $30. Classes are offered Tuesday evenings from 7 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Sundays starting at either 11 a.m. or 3 p.m.
Gilbert Indoor Range
14690 Rothgeb Drive, Rockville, Md.
For some a guilty pleasure, for others a hunting hobby, firing a gun has an alluring appeal. Gilbert Indoor Range in Rockville, Md. offers safety equipment as well as lane and gun rentals. They even throw in some trigger-happy specials, including a Monday “Ladies Night,” free coaching from 7 to 8 p.m. and unlimited range time for one week for $15 or a month for $30.
1507 Connecticut Ave., NW
Creativity shines through with glass, wood or ceramic beads at Beadazzled in Dupont Circle. Guests can create anything to adorn their bodies, from bracelets and earrings to belts, says manager Deborah McClintock. For those looking for guidance, an “Intro to Beading” class is offered for $30, in which students can create a necklace and pair of earrings. In addition to the class cost, supplies – including a clasp kit for $3.99 (plus cost of beads) – are necessary and available for purchase.
Verizon Center, 601 F St., NW
The Washington Wizards offer “Student Rush Nights” for $15 for upper level seats, $35 for Acela Club Level seats or $45 for lower level seats, as well as a coupon for a free 5-way Chili Mac from Hard Times Cafe.
3313 Ross Place, NW
For those adventurous in the kitchen, Ed and Jinny Fleischman’s cooking classes are taught right out of their kitchen. “First Friday” classes, which run the first Friday of every month, are just $45, while weekday classes go for $70. In return, chefs-in-training get recipe explanations and in-the-kitchen instruction.
DC Combat Labs
4455 Connecticut Ave., NW
The scientific recipe for a hard body can include hours of sweat, intensive training and a heavy dose of fun – all easily found at DC Combat Labs. Try out variations on mixed martial arts training while working toward both boosting self-defense and dropping a few pounds. Co-founded by alumnus Michael Dobson, a wide range of classes are offered for all experience levels, although first timers reap the benefits of a free trial week.
Bikram Yoga Dupont
1635 Connecticut Ave., NW
This Dupont studio sits on the top floor overlooking Connecticut Avenue. The room gradually heats as yogis go through the motions of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Cited benefits include improved circulation, elimination of toxins and reduction of injury risk during stretching. For those who can stand the heat, it is a 90-minute alternative to traditional yoga. Full-time students pay $10 for classes offered at 6:15 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and noon.
555 12th St., NW
Hammocks, intended for stretching – not for sleeping – hang from the yoga studio at Crunch Fitness. They are crucial tools for the AntiGravity yoga classes that help provide a new twist to the old stretch. Hammocks are used to lift participants off their feet, allowing them to stretch and bend freely in the air. First time yogis can register online for free guest passes or enroll at a monthly rate of $39.99, plus a $99 registration fee.
This article appeared in the January 17, 2012 issue of the Hatchet.