Posts Tagged ‘washington dc’

Holiday Family Favorites in Washington, DC

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

One of the great things about growing up in Washington, DC, is the wealth of activities to enjoy — and the holiday season is no exception. Here are just a couple of our upcoming favorite activities, and corresponding dining suggestions too.

Trains at the Botanic Garden

Little boys seem genetically predisposed to love trains, but my son literally has it in his blood: his great-grandfather started a short line railroad in Maryland. There are many, many different train displays (and rides with Santa) around town this time of year, but our favorite is the one at the U.S. Botanic Garden. The holiday greenery on display is impressive itself, and there are replicas of DC landmarks made entirely of plant-based materials. You can also walk out front and catch a view of the Capitol Christmas tree. (And if you head further down the mall, there’s a model train that runs beneath the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse.)

Where to Eat: The Botanic Garden is just across the street from the Museum of the American Indian, where the cafe offers native foods from across the Western Hemisphere. Or, head up Pennsylvania Ave. for burgers and shakes from Good Stuff Eatery (yes, Chef Spike’s place for you Top Chef fans).

Water-Skiing Santa at National Harbor

Yes, really. Santa, his reindeer, elves, Frosty the Snowman, the Grinch and even some pandas perform on the Potomac each year on Christmas Eve (1 pm). The show moved over to National Harbor a couple years ago, which lacks the cool backdrop of the monuments but has significantly more parking than the prior location. You could even take the Water Taxi over from Old Town Alexandria.

Where to Eat: We haven’t explored many of the dining options at National Harbor, which mainly caters to convention/tourist crowds. But you can’t go wrong warming up with chowder at McCormick & Schmick’s. There’s also an Elevation Burger there, which we love for their grassfed beef and real cheese.


Merriment in Georgetown

Picturesque Georgetown is especially charming this time of year. And this Sunday, Dec. 5, 2-5pm, is “Merriment in Georgetown” — There will be a performance by Milkshake, American Girl book signing, hot cocoa tastings, photo opps with Santa and more. Kids can even decorate cupcakes with Georgetown Cupcake.

Where to Eat: Georgetown is known for its college bars, but there are a few family-friendly options too. Clyde’s is always a safe bet; a small local chain that was sourcing local foods even before doing so was trendy. They have a solid kids menu, and free toy vehicles. Not too far away at Dupont Circle is Firefly, where Chef (and dad) Danny Bortnick takes pride in his kids menu options, which are divided into big kid and “lil’ kid” offerings. (And, they’re serving a latke tasting trio now through December 9.)

And lastly, don’t miss Zoo Lights at the National Zoo — now through January 1. It’s free!

5 for Friday: Spring Celebrations Edition

Friday, March 19th, 2010

I’m not sure I’ve ever been happier to reach Friday. And, tomorrow is the first day of Spring! In the spirit of the season, here are 5 upcoming family-friendly food events in the DC/No.VA area:

1. Sou’Wester in the Mandarin Oriental is hosting an Easter Brunch, featuring ingredients from local farms and pastry chef Amanda Cook’s homemade marshmallow “peeps” (pictured). There will also be an appearance by the Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunt on the hotel lawn. April 4, $55 for adults, including one cocktail, and $30 for children under 12 (DC).

2Jackson 20 in the renovated Hotel Monaco in Old Town Alexandria will be serving a Grand Buffet Brunch on Easter Sunday, April 4, $50 for adults, $25 for children under 12, and kids under 5 eat free (VA).

3. Dino serves a 4-course Passover menu, seder plate available by request, March 29-April 4, $55 for adults and $25 for kids (DC).

4. Pick up Josh Short’s cherry blossom cupcakes from Buzz in Alexandria — last year they had homemade “peeps” as well, it’s worth a call to see if they’re taking orders for Easter. (VA)

5. If you missed out on tickets to the White House Egg Roll, the Falls Church community Easter Egg Hunt takes place Saturday, April 3, 10:00am in Cherry Hill Park. (VA)

And a bonus #6, a recipe for homemade peeps, courtesy of Restaurant 3 in Clarendon (VA), via Metrocurean.

Local Flavor – Festival Weekend + Fall Cupcakes

Friday, November 7th, 2008

There are big foodie events in Washington, DC, this weekend, with both the Green Festival and the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertainment Show taking place at the Washington Convention Center. Both have kids’ zones, and the Green Festival will offer eco-foodies natural, vegetarian dining and an organic beer garden. The Green Parent, Jenn Savedge, will be speaking Saturday at 2pm and Diane MacEachern, author of Big Green Purse, on Sunday at 5pm. At the Metropolitan show, Lauren DeSantis of Capital Cooking will be demonstrating Thanksgiving appetizers and her new apron line, so look for her at booth #404.

Alexandria Market Report: Del Ray Farmers Market officially ends the first weekend in December, but Smith Meadows, Toigo and Tom the Cheese Guy will be coming through the winter, as long as customers keep showing up. The Old Town Market is year round, and as Tiffany has reported, Bigg Riggs Farm will be bringing their frozen summer produce so you can enjoy it throughout the winter!

Alexandria Dining News: Also in Alexandria, dine for a good cause next Wednesday, November 12, at Indigo Landing, anytime between 5pm and 10pm, to support the Alexandria Community Trust. And I’d like to point out that while Georgetown Cupcakes may have won the hotly-contested Washington Post “Cupcake Wars” taste-off, Alexandria’s Buzz Bakery won the popular vote handily. Buzz currently features seasonal pumpkin, donnybrook chocolate stout, and the moistest caramel apple cake I’ve ever had (pictured), though the caramel frosting is ridiculously sweet.

Support your year-round markets and eat well this weekend!