ICE! Opens at Gaylord National Resort
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas with the opening of ICE! at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor and ZooLights at the National Zoo. But if you prefer to finish Thanksgiving before getting into the Christmas mood, there are films, horse races, concerts and shopping events to fill your weekend too.
ICE! featuring ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
See Ma in her kerchief, Pa in his cap and Saint Nick with his eight reindeer as part of Gaylord National Resort’s Christmas on the Potomac. You’ll marvel at colorful, life-size ice sculptures depicting the classic holiday poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, all brought to life in amazing detail and artistry. Be amazed by hand-carved ice sculptures standing more than 20-feet high, and take a ride down a two-story-tall ice slide. It’s all part of the fun as you stroll through ICE!. New in 2013: enjoy a special bonus scene featuring Christmas in New York City — an all-new, larger-than-life interactive ICE! display featuring the iconic sights and sounds of The Big Apple during the holiday season. The award-winning attraction is carved by a team of 40 master ice artisans from Harbin, China. These talented craftspeople spend more than a month in National Harbor creating our one-of-a-kind display.
Nov. 14-Jan. 5 at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor. Hours vary. Adult tickets are $34 for peak days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas week), $27 off-peak; children ages 3-11 are $27 peak, $19 off-peak; military adults are $30 peak, $22 off-peak; military children ages 3-11 are $25 peak, $15 off-peak. Marriott Rewards members receive 20 percent off non-peak days. Tickets may be purchased here.
ZooLights is brighter than ever! More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the National Zoo into a winter wonderland. Lit animal silhouettes, musical light displays and a new garden scene light sculpture make for truly magical sights! Thaw your paws in exhibit buildings and see nocturnal critters! The Small Mammal House, Great Ape House, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank and Kids’ Farm will be open every night and will be offering special demonstrations and talks.
Nightly (except Dec. 24 and 25) from 5-9 p.m. at the National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free admission. There are fees for Zoo Tubing on Lion/Tiger Hill, carousel rides, train rides and parking.
Steven Spielberg Film Festival
The National Archives presents the Steven Spielberg Film Festival. On the ticket are Saving Private Ryan on Friday at 7 p.m.; E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial on Saturday at noon; Amistead on Saturday at 7 p.m.; and Lincoln on Monday at 7 p.m. Three-time Academy Award winner Spielberg is being honored by the National Archives Foundation in recognition of his film legacy, which has brought history to life on the big screen. The Records of Achievement Award is a tribute to an individual whose work has fostered a broader national awareness of the history and identity of the United States through the use of original records, including those preserved by the National Archives.
Friday, Saturday and Monday at 7 p.m. and noon at the National Archive’s William G. McGowan Auditorium, 7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free tickets will be distributed at the Special Events Entrance beginning 60 minutes before showtime.
Museum Shop Around
Strathmore’s annual artsy holiday bazaar Museum Shop Around convenes 20 of Washington’s finest museums to open pop-up shops overflowing with eclectic and unexpected gifts in the historic Mansion at Strathmore. This veritable holiday treasure trove of heartfelt holiday gifts, toys, unique jewelry, one-of-a-kind art, décor and more includes wares from American University’s Katzen Museum Store, Foundation for the National Archives, Kennedy Center Gift Shop, The National Building Museum, National Geographic Store, National Museum of Women in the Arts, The Phillips Collection, Textile Museum, The U.S. Senate Gift Shop, Shakespeare Theatre Co. Shop and many more.
Friday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Strathmore Mansion, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Admission is $9 in advance or at the door and valid for all days. Proceeds benefit arts and education programming at Strathmore. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here. Free parking is available in the Mansion lot on a space-available basis.
Brew & Bourbon Classic
Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of beer tasting, bourbon sipping and, of course, pulse-pounding Thoroughbred racing at the second annual Brew & Bourbon Classic at Laurel Park. Over 60 different beers and bourbons will be poured trackside as the races unfold. Featuring a select group of distillers and brewers who take great pride in crafting their unique and flavorful spirits and local food trucks from Washington D.C. and Baltimore. Live music from The Golden Road, Liquid A and the Texas Chainsaw Horns.
Saturday from noon-5 p.m. at Laurel Park racetrack, Route 198 and Racetrack Road, Laurel, Md. Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the gate. Admission includes all you care to taste beer and bourbon in a souvenir glass, access to a special VIP race viewing area, admission to the track, live music and all of the exhibits. Free parking is also included with your ticket. Tickets may be purchased here.
SpeakeasyShorts sponsored by DC Shorts and Speakeasy DC is a new type of film competition – a collaboration between filmmakers and storytellers. In 2012, eight filmmaking teams had only 5 days to write, shoot, edit and screen a film based on stories from eight local storytellers. The kicker: none of the teams had heard the stories before they were presented. For the 2013 event, the competition expanded to 10 film teams and story tellers. On Friday, filmmaking teams learn which story they have been paired with and have five days to create a short film (less than 8 minutes) based on a true tale. The films premiere Nov. 23, the audience votes for their favorites, and one team walks away with a $1,000 cash prize!
Saturday at the United States Navy Memorial’s Burke Theater, 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 for either the storytelling performance or the film premiers or $32.50 for the storytelling performance and one of the film premiers. Tickets are available here.
Flying Monsters 3D
For thousands of years, humans believed that flying monsters existed. They became mythologized, with stories about them shared around the world. Could they have really existed? Soar back millions of years with the National Geographic weekends through Dec. 31 in Flying Monsters 3D, a recreation to learn how and why the mysterious flying reptile, the Pterosaurs, first took flight. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 16-Dec. 31 at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the National Georgraphic, 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $7. Adult tickets for the movie and museum admission are $16, children are $12. For a full listing of ticket times click here.
D.C. Fashion Truck Tour
If you have a love of shopping and finding that diamond in the rough, you need to be at the D.C. Fashion Truck Tour’s second stop! Four fancy fashion trucks will be creating the ultimate shop-lot experience. With fashion trucks appearing from Los Angeles to New York, shop-lots are becoming the new trend in bringing a variety of eclectic fashions to customers in a mobile boutique. Shoppers can visit the Curbside Fashion Truck, Curvy Chix Chariot, The G Truck and Street Boutique.
Sunday from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. in the parking lot at 500 New York Ave. NW (5th and K Streets). Free.
When the Night Is Sweet with Starlight
In celebration of the Britten centenary, the University of Maryland Women’s Chorus performs Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols paired with Canadian choral composer Stephen Hatfield’s Christmas cantata When the Night is Sweet with Starlight. The women are joined on the program by the university’s Men’s Chorus, featuring Poulenc’s reverent Quatre petites prières de Saint François d’Assise.
Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Dekelboum Concert Hall, Stadium Drive, College Park. Free.
Thanksgiving Food Drive
Jackson 20 restaurant and tavern at the Hotel Monaco is putting the “giving” in Thanksgiving through Nov. 21. The restaurant is collecting canned goods and non-perishables for the Carpenter’s Shelter food drive.
Items especially needed include coffee, cereal, 100 percent pure juice boxes, fruit cups, granola bars, canned meat (tuna, salmon), canned pastas, grits, pancake mix, cake mix, sugar, flour, corn bread mix, baked beans, peanut butter and jelly. Donations can be dropped off at 400 King St., Alexandria.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.