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Frustrating Challenge: Fun night out in NoVA/D.C. this Saturday with my mom for cheap

Frustrating Challenge: Fun night out in NoVA/D.C. this Saturday with my mom for cheap

Feb 9th, 2009, 07:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,388
Frustrating Challenge: Fun night out in NoVA/D.C. this Saturday with my mom for cheap

I am taking my mom out for Valentine's day. I want to have fun without spending more than $100. That could mean a restaurant (though probably V-day isn't a time to try a restaurant) or a fun activity like a musical act, wine/chocolate tasting, class, etc. The whole day is available so we're not limited to the evening.

Is there a D.C. guide that I can check out that lists weekend activities?

Mom likes music (many kinds, especially oldies, pop, and anything upbeat). I'm 28 y/o so you can take a stab at her age range based on that. She's fit and would be happy to walk around as much as necessary.

My Mom lives in No. Va and I don't so I am having difficulty planning since I am not "in the loop" on DC activities.

All ideas would be most welcome.(not the monuments, though, she's a native Washingtonian).
schlegal1 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 09:38 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,039
Go to www.washingtonpost.com and click on "Going Out Guide" on the toolbar. This should help you find a lot of neat things to do in the area.
longhorn55 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 10:34 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 101

Or is it .org?

The City Paper lists things to do, though I'm not sure if they have something online.

There's also prosinthecity.com

Or searching on craigslist for tickets might give you an idea.

Myownheroine is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 12:23 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Terrific. Thanks for the help! I'll have to Bugmenot.com at Washington Post since they request sign in info (what a pain).

Hope I can find something that will appeal to us for Saturday.
schlegal1 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 02:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 950
Three Options I have tested or plan to test on my own mom:

If you guys like to walk and see nature, I would suggest parking across from the Old Angler's Inn the trailhead and walking along the towpath next to the Potomac and the old canal to the area where you can walk on a boardwalk out to an overlook and see Great Falls.

Right now the falls are spectacular and it is a nice walk. Then you could have a cozy lunch at the Old Anglers Inn by the fireplace. (With the warning that you might be surrounded by romantic couples.)


My mom LOVED seeing Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center. It has run forever and is a bit cheesy but so much fun. If you aren't familiar with it, it is a murder mystery play set in a beauty salon and the audience votes to solve it.

We had a late lunch at Dupont Circle, then walked around looking at all the beautiful brownstones, then took metro to the Ken Cen for the early show. We went out for dessert afterwards.


Spend the day in Old Town Alexandria. Tons of choices for lunch, lots of window shopping of all types, great old houses to look at, walk along the waterfront, end the day with burgers and blue grass at Tiffany Tavern on King Street.


BlueSwimmer is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 266
BlueSwimmer gave you good options. The weather may limit you a little - as of now, the forecast is calling for it to be cold and possibly light snow. A few other possibilities:

Artomatic is organizing what is billed as a free "art and music experience" on Valentine's night - info on their website as of now is sketchy, but it might be worth looking into: http://www.artomatic.org/

I've gone to other Artomatic installations which have been interesting.

If you are interested in a chocolate tasting, Artfully Chocolate has locations in DC (Logan Circle) and the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria - they have a small cafe with lots of chocolates, varieties of hot chocolates, etc. http://www.ackccocoabar.com/index.htm

Another activity that my mom enjoys is taking a day trip to Frederick, Maryland - taking the pretty little country back roads, you can stop off at wineries on the way, and Frederick itself is a very cute little town with lots of antique stores, etc. If you'd like more info on routes, wineries, etc., let me know.
hlg22 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,388
Thanks BlueSwimmer and HLG for the terrific suggestions. I have been checking out all the options mentioned. I am leaning toward taking her to tea somewhere and then perhaps doing one of the art/performance things mentioned. I think we'll certainly have a fun day!
schlegal1 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2009, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 72
A swing by Georgetown Cupcake for their amazing Valentine's special cupcakes, red velvet, etc. would be delicious, girlie and fun! Wouldn't suprise me if they had a special event that day--google them??

Have fun!
LulubelleT is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 06:41 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 950
Tea at the Four Seasons in Georgetown is so elegant and fun, and the food is delicious.

Ching Ching Cha in Georgetown is also fun for an asian version of tea. The food is wonderful and exotic- not your average chinese take out at all but light and subtle. The tea selection is amazing and the atmosphere is truly zen. http://www.chingchingcha.com/

If you want a more frou-frou experience, the Pink Bicycle in Occoquon is fun. http://www.pinkbicycletearoom.com/
They have old fashioned hats you can take pictures wearing, and the china is over the top. The food isn't nearly as good and it is more cutesy than elegant, but Occoquon is a nice destination to walk around and browse, too.
BlueSwimmer is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 06:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,337
I would hit up the National Portrait Gallery and Museum of American Art (both recently reopened) if she hasn't been to these yet. I *think* these close at 6 or 7.

There's a new wine store operated by Zola, in the block that the Spy Museum is in.

You could go to Jaleo before the evening rush.

If it were me, I'd go to Ben's Chili Bowl and Georgetown Cupcake, but maybe your mom isn't into yummy, gooey hotdogs.
kgh8m is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 07:15 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,388
Gooey hotdogs not so much, but cupcakes are a terrific suggestion--we'll check it out for sure.

Thanks for all the tea ideas. I think I may splurge for the Four Seasons. Mom's really going through a hard time. This is going to be one rough Valentine's for her and I want to make sure she can take her mind off things for a day.
schlegal1 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 72
I was going to say, go have a glass of champagne or lunch at 4 Seasons Bar. It's totally renovated and new, very cool, great bar food and good sitting areas/couches for girlie talk. I was there Monday before Inauguration after Oprah Show in DC and the people watching was incredible as you can imagine!

Have fun!
LulubelleT is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 950
You can also have champagne at the tea at the Four Seasons. Good luck and I hope your mom enjoys it!
BlueSwimmer is offline  
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