If you're coming to Washington during the month of December, you need to know that Santa's Workshop is setting up shop in front of the White House and the National Christmas Tree. There's lots of other great things happening in the nation's capital during the month, including a village of ice sculptures made from 2 million pounds of ice and free musical shows all over town. Check out this guide on exactly what you can do.
One of the most important things to do when a president gets inaugurated is to party. Even those rooting for the other guy put on their tuxes and gowns to attend Inauguration galas and balls. Most states have a state society in Washington, D.C., where members can get together for various events. It is those state societies that hold galas and balls during Inauguration weekend. I checked in with all of them this week and found that some are pretty far along in their planning and already selling tickets. I compiled all of the planned galas and balls so far, so check out this guide on how you can get tickets. Keep in mind that a ticket to a gala can run as low as $100 to more than $400. Just wanted to give you warning before you start seeing the prices. And please post a comment below if you plan to go to a ball. Also be sure to check out my list of hotels that still have rooms available Inauguration weekend.
Washington area hotel rooms are going fast for the weekend of President Obama's Inauguration. But I checked with some recently to see if they still had rooms. Many near the White House, Capitol and along the parade route still have some rooms. And there are some in the suburbs that are close to Metro stops. Check out this listing on where to stay for Inauguration weekend.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. If you'll be in Washington for the holiday weekend, there's lots to do. My list of recommendations includes everything from watching a shark get fed at the National Aquarium to catching a performance of Frank Sinatra songs at the Kennedy Center.
Hurricane Sandy has shut down most of Washington, including its Metro system and museums. If you're staying in a hotel, it's not unreasonable to expect the establishment to provide safety and comfort for its guests. The Mandarin Oriental, for example, has back-up generators and its dining outlets will be open under regular hours. The Washington hotel, which is offering rates at $335, has set up activity rooms with video games, board games, snacks, and other comforts for its guests. An adjoining room has movies and popcorn and other snacks. What are some other Washington hotels doing for their guests? Please comment below.
Hurricane Sandy has forced the Smithsonian to close its museums today. I'll post an update on when they'll re-open. Stay safe DC visitors!
The DC Improv is a comedy club that offers laughs in a pretty serious city. It has attracted some of the biggest names in comedy, including Kevin Nealon, Tommy Davidson, Dave Chappelle, and Jim Breuer. The shows are cheap and offer a fun night of laughs, with some drinks and food. Check out this guide on the DC Improv experience.
Election day is just around the corner and before you know it, we'll be watching the Inauguration. The public can get tickets to the ceremony for prime seats or watch from the National Mall. Check out this guide for how to get tickets, tips for watching the ceremonies from afar, and what actually happens at the inauguration.
Washington in November has a wide mix of special events, including lectures on how elections have changes, day-long tours of how President Lincoln lived and worked in Washington, and what you can do on Thanksgiving day to help the local community. Check out November's calendar.
Washington has some great biking and boating opportunities. You can rent boats and bikes at several places throughout the city and get a chance to see the nation's capital from the Potomac or by way of a woodsy trail. See this guide on where to find bike and boat rentals.