Eat, Shop, Drop, Repeat
It may be Thanksgiving day, but this is going to be one busy weekend. There’s the Macy’s parade, turkey dinner, football, leftover, shopping, leftovers and more shopping. With many people having off Friday as well, this is going to be a marathon weekend so we’re coming to you a day early to help you plan for it.
Shop ’til you drop
It may be Thanksgiving, but it is also the unofficial start to Christmas shopping. Forget Black Friday, most stores will be open today trying to get you to open your wallet and drop some cash. Kmart opened at 6 a.m. and will be open until 11 p.m. on Friday. Toys ‘R Us opens at 5 p.m. and Walmart stores open at 6 p.m. Most other stores including Macy’s, JC Penney and Sears open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving eve and remain open overnight until closing Friday. The new Tanger Outlets at National Harbor, Potomac Mills and Arundel Mills all open at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open until 10 p.m. on Friday. Tanger is offering an extra 20 percent discounts until 3 a.m. and an extra 30 percent off from 3 a.m.-6 p.m. with a coupon from the website. Happy shopping!
Black Friday Alexandria
For the fourth year, over 50 independent boutiques in Alexandria will open early for Black Friday Alexandria so you can kick-off the shopping season with one-of-a-kind shopping steals. Alexandria retailers will open early on Black Friday offering once-a-year deals sure to lure shoppers to Old Town, Del Ray and other parts of the city. Participating stores will open at 6 a.m. offering 30 percent discounts from 6-8 a.m., 20 percent from 8-10 a.m. and 10 percent starting at 10 a.m. The City of Alexandria is offering free parking at parking meters and in all city-owned garages and parking lots as a special incentive for shoppers. The Free King Street Trolley will begin operating at 6 a.m. so shoppers can bag even more bargains. Several eateries will be opening up early too to satisfy shoppers hunger pains. For example, Misha’s Coffee will open at 6 a.m., Jackson 20 will host a Black Friday Brunch from 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Society Fair opens at 7 a.m. and will offer 10 percent off all day and Union Street Public House is opening for breakfast at 9 a.m. and offering shoppers 10% off meals.
Nov. 29 beginning at 6 a.m. in the City of Alexandria.
9th annual Downtown Holiday Market
More than 150 exhibitors and artisans (rotating on a weekly basis) will sell high-quality gift items including fine art, crafts, jewelry, pottery, photography, clothing, tasty treats and hot beverages beginning Friday at the ninth annual Downtown Holiday Market produced by the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District. There will also be live entertainment from a wide selection of musicians and bands.
Beginning Nov. 29 through Dec. 23 from noon-8 p.m along F Street NW between 7th and 9th Streets in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. To get there, that the Metrorail to the Gallery Place station (red, yellow and green lines).
City of Alexandria annual tree lighting
The City of Alexandria will light its Christmas tree on historic Market Square. As the official kick-off to the holiday season in Alexandria, the ceremony includes a performance from Alexandria Harmonizers and the Alexandria Choral Society, a special visit from Santa Claus and community caroling. Santa and Mrs. Claus are back in Old Town to take pictures with children every Saturday and Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. on Market Square. Free.
Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. This day is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Founded by American Express in 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.
Nov. 30 at small businesses across the country.
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.
Through Jan. 5 at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor. Hours vary. Tickets for adults 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.
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.