Entertaining families for Colonials Weekend can be the cause of numerous headaches, whether your parents have never visited the District or are returning for a repeat trip.
If your parents are visiting for the first time, you’ll want to give them a classic D.C. experience without revisiting the repetitive tourist destinations. And if your parents are practically locals themselves, switch out favorite museums and restaurants for newly opened spots or places off the beaten path.
For frequent Foggy Bottom visitors:
Dine with D.C. VIPs
Skip the long reservation line at the Foggy Bottom favorite Founding Farmers and head over to Bombay Club at 815 Connecticut Ave. NW. The restaurant is only slightly further than Founding Farmers, which is almost guaranteed to be packed, but is completely walkable. You’ll also be more likely to avoid seeing the first-week hookups you don’t want to take home to mom.
Just 10 minutes away, Bombay Club is known for its crispy kale chaat appetizer and traditional tandoori entrees that range from $12 to $30. The restaurant not only serves delicious authentic Indian cuisine, but also stands as a consistent fixture for D.C. politicians. Former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright are known to frequent the restaurant, giving parents an only-in-D.C. experience.
Art meets athletics
The pop-up art installation The Future of Sports is half art and half science fiction, mashing neon, athletics and engineering into one exhibit. The Future of Sports features a futuristic basketball court and a neon stationary bicycle room that are all interactive art. The vertical running track toes the line between surrealism and time travel.
Only steps away is a bar that provides drinks for the parents and snacks for the students. The Future of Sports’ 10,000 square feet of games and autograph-covered walls in the coloring book-style locker room opened last week, so even parents who frequent the District haven’t seen it.
Laugh off family politics
Colonials Weekend is the perfect time to take the family to a political satire show and try to re-earn our most politically active rating. The Capitol Steps originated as a group of Senate staffers that wanted to pursue political comedy and now is a troupe of 28 members, 18 of whom are former staffers from the Hill.
Go see the Capitol Steps to enjoy a no-holds-barred performance on today’s political climate. The group will have shows on Friday and Saturday night at the Ronald Reagan Building located at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are available for $40.50 per person so you can sit back, have a laugh and hope the comedy doesn’t cause a heated political debate.
For novice Washingtonians:
History behind buildings
These unique walking tours, hosted by D.C. Design Tours, highlight design and architecture around the District. For $35 per person, parents and students can learn about the city’s history without ever setting foot in front of a monument.
On Friday at 1 p.m., attend the Capitol Hill tour to get a unique look at the history of places like the Capitol Building, the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court. D.C. Design Tours provides two other options this weekend. On Saturday at 1 p.m., take a short walk to Dupont Circle and explore Embassy Row’s architecture and city layout. The tours are ideal for D.C. newcomers as they explore the history of lesser known places.
The Newseum, located at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, is dedicated to the history of journalism and the First Amendment. It has a $24.95 entrance fee, unlike all the Smithsonian museums in the area, so having parents in town is the time to go so your wallet stays sealed. The Newseum’s permanent exhibits include a hall of daily updated newspapers from around the world and a gallery of every Pulitzer Prize-winning photo.
For Colonials Weekend, make sure to check out their new exhibit on Civil Rights in the 1960s that is open through January. As D.C. is constantly in motion with protests and politics, students experience that atmosphere everyday so parents will enjoy a peek inside that lifestyle at the Newseum.
D.C. is known for putting a spotlight on cupcakes with Georgetown Cupcakes, which got its own TV show on TLC, and Baked and Wired, a local favorite, both sitting in the same neighborhood. Families will love putting these bakeries to the test and taking part in the often highly contested debate over which cupcake is best.
Take your family to both shops and grab Georgetown Cupcakes’ specialty Red Velvet ($3.25), which is the perfect opponent for Baked and Wired’s Teresa’s Birthday Cakecup ($3.90), named after the shop’s owner. Georgetown Cupcakes is known for their gourmet frosting, while Baked and Wired goes for a quirky approach with fun names and large servings. Try both and decide which deserves the crown for the District’s best cupcake.