Date Ideas, Fun, Travel, United States

How to Spend Christmas Vacation in DC

Me (the blonde) and some of my  family on Christmas Eve!

I am super lucky to have a the week between Christmas and New Year’s, off.  It was a much-needed break to spend time with family and SLEEP (and pack, and clean, and workout, and run errands, and other “adulting” activities).  But in between that time, I also got to see and do some great things in D.C.!

If you’re not from here, you might not necessarily know that you can find something to do every night of the week!  Between sporting events, theater productions, concerts, parties, bars, restaurants, and other fun things; you can be busy every hour of every day!

In the last week, I’ve been able to take full advantage of some of what D.C. has to offer. They are both great family activities AND date ideas!

Il Fornaio (Reston Location) 


Although my family tends to switch up Christmas Eve dinner locations from time to time, Il Fornaio in Reston is always the favorite.  With a large enough party, you get to enjoy the private room, complete with fireplace.  The food is excellent and of course, I’m a fan of any place that serves gluten-free pasta!

NOTE: If you go there, there is garage parking on St. Francis Street! Facing the restaurant, St. Francis Street is to your left.  Once you pass the restaurant on your right, the first garage on the right is where you can park.  The elevator to Market Street level is in the back. When you exit the lobby, turn right, and the entrance is half a block on the right.

Hay-Adams Hotel Dinner

This year, my dad and his wife are remodeling their kitchen, which made for a great reason to try something different!  They made reservations for dinner at the Hay-Adams Hotel, which far exceeded expectations.  When we arrived, we were shown to a check-in lounge where we enjoyed sodas and champagne while we waited for our table to be ready.  When it was time, we were shown to the elevator to head to the rooftop for our seating.  We were lucky to be shown to our table as the sun was setting, allowing us to step outside, onto the terrace, to take some shots of the Whitehouse and the monument before it was too dark.


Dinner was a buffet of different carving stations, vegetables, seafoods, pastas, breads, and an amazing assortment of desserts!  Champagne, sodas, coffee, water were all included.  But definitely ask for a glass of their port wine at the end – you won’t be disappointed!

As we were leaving, they handed out chocolate gingerbread men and also had hot chocolate and cider service downstairs in the lobby.

I highly recommend finding other dinners you can attend there – it’s well-worth it!

Dinner and a Movie in Courthouse (Arlington)

Watching Sing in 3D with my family

The evening after Christmas, my mom, one of my sisters, and I grabbed pizza at Fireworks and took in a movie at one of the most comfortable AMC theaters I’ve ever been to – Courthouse!

If you’ve never been to Fireworks, it’s worth it to go.  The owner’s wife has Celiac, which prompted him to make sure his menu catered to this allergy (this was long before any fast food pizza place was selling gluten-free dough). They can make any pizza you want with that dough, and it’s amazing!

After we stuffed ourselves of that and their incredible deviled eggs (I highly recommend them), we walked through the Courthouse Plaza to AMC Courthouse.  This used to be a little worse for wear and a few years ago, they remodeled it to include full reclining, large leather chairs!  We saw “Sing” in 3D and it was super fun – I recommend it to those of you with children or have an inner child 🙂

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas – The Musical


If there’s one thing I truly love, it’s going to the theater.  I love to see stories come to life in a magical fashion.  In this case, they took one of my favorite Christmas books/movies and turned it into a full-on magical display.  Performed at the National Theater, the entire performance was narrated by The Grinch’s dog Max.  It had everything you would expect – an over-the-top set design, colorful  costumes and makeup, and spot-on characterizations of each of the characters.  The added bonus to it was the encouraged crowd interaction throughout the performance, the snow that falls on the audience, and the confetti/streamers, during the Christmas Day scene.  NOTE: Make sure to sit in the first 10 rows to truly enjoy it, as the snow and the confetti don’t rain down on the entire audience.

This is playing until December 31st.  Tickets can be found here.

Capitals Game at Verizon Center

Baseball and hockey are two sports I don’t enjoy watching on TV and it’s because it’s missing that one element – the fan interaction.  Each year, I go to several baseball games and hockey matches for the food, the atmosphere, the nostalgia, and the energy.  It’s the only way I’ll watch it.

Caps games are especially fun as even if you don’t like hockey, you’ll soon realize that you actually do!  With a great team, a great mascot (Slapshot), and a great arena, you get hooked fast.

It was fun to take this in with my mom before I head off to Iceland today!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!