August Fun Ideas for the Weekend


Summer Restaurant Week 

Yep it’s one of those twice-yearly opportunities to get a good deal on a fixed-price 3 course meal… technically it’s DC restaurant week, but I’ve noticed a few a places out here in the burbs are participating, too.  Notable suburban participators include Eddie V’s Seafood at Tyson’s and Cheesetique at Mosaic, but there’s lots more if you don’t mind going into the city. Be sure to book a table because foodies and bargain hunters snatch up the weekend reservations.


Bakeshop Clarendon

Reading up on the Bakeshop on Fillmore Street in Clarendon and I came across a photo of an ice cream sandwich that looks so amazing I have to let you know about it. Think giant soft cookies with creamy ice cream fillings like java chip, strawberry shortcake, and chocolate chip. Yelpers also love the coffee drinks, freshly baked cookies and cupcakes, ice cream, macaroons, banana pudding, and slices of cake.  Little ones in town? If you buy something at Kinderhaus Toys, you can show your receipt for a free cupcake at Bakeshop.



Was that a tiny chill in the air this morning?  It’s possible that summer has begun its sad retreat… and that’s why I’m sending you back down to Annandale for another strange way to eat ice cream while it’s still hot outside.  It’s Munch ice cream in the block, and you can get a scoop of pitch-black ice cream that tastes like coconut, or go for something fun like the fruity pebbles flavor, or maybe a little more adventurous with the matcha Oreo flavor.   Where do they come up with this stuff?  I don’t know but everyone seems to love it!


Cafe Sazon

Picture this for a chill Sunday afternoon:  You’re relaxing with friends in an urban strip mall. You’re enjoying authentic Bolivian empanadas and horchata.  A DJ is spinning real vinyl…and the BeeGees are wondering How Deep is Your Love.  Where is this magical place?  It’s on Columbia Pike in Arlington, and it’s yours for the taking.  Coffee, fresh juice, breakfast all day… I really don’t see how you can go wrong here.


Textile Museum

Are you crazy about all things Hamilton this summer?  The Textile Museum is featuring an in-depth exhibit that presents Hamilton’s accomplishments and life events through news stories published at the time.  His plans for a National Bank and his endorsement of Thomas Jefferson for president are printed in their entirety.  If Hamilton’s ideas aren’t cool enough on their own, reading a 1791 Newspaper is really something else.  Through September 9th.  Tip: If you start to feel a little over-cultured or intellectual, hop over to Tonic restaurant for their famous tater tots and get yourself back to normal.


Oldtime String Band at Lake Accotink Park

What says “summer” more than a (free!) bluegrass concert next to a lake?  Grab a blanket, pack a picnic,  and head out to Lake Accotink Park this Friday to enjoy the toe-tapping tunes of the Empty Bottle String Band.  This wholesome family event is  part of Fairfax County’s summer entertainment series.  Grab your spot early;  the show begins at 7:30 pm.


National Building Museum

Once again the Smithsonian is going all “extra” to attract visitors, and doing an awesome job at it. The beach-style ball pit that was featured on Instagram feeds across the District last summer has reappeared at the National Building Museum’s new exhibit, Fun House.  Grab some hand (body?) sanitizer and jump right in!  While you’re there,  browse the cool and imaginative structures curated by Snarkitecture, meant to re-invent the idea of a traditional home. Stop by this Sunday morning and you can even join an all-levels yoga class in the building’s historic Great Hall.  Thanks, Smithsonian.


Salsa Night 

That DC Wharf area is pretty cool isn’t it?  If you’re thinking of heading down there Saturday night,  you may want to time your visit to coincide with the free Salsa lessons they are offering  at the Transit Pier.   Not into public humiliation?  Just hang around the edges and enjoy the happy music of Sin Miedo, a rocking seven-piece salsa band with big brass and enough crazy percussion to put you in a good mood for sure.  Plus, you are pretty much guaranteed to see cute kids dancing. 


Half Price Wine at Alta Strada

One of my favorite things about summer….. drinking on weeknights!  A lot of restaurants around here offer 1/2 price deals on wine on certain weekdays, and I happily discovered last Tuesday that Alta Strada at Mosaic is one of them.   Alta Strada has been pretty heavy in the rotation lately;  I’ve never ordered anything there that I didn’t like, and it’s usually easy to get a table. Do you have a favorite place that offer wine specials during the week?  Let me know and I’ll share the news!


IMAX at Udvar Hazy

Here’s a DC summer tradition for you:  escaping the swampy weather to see an IMAX movie.  Don’t feel like schlepping down to the National Mall?  For about the same time commitment, you can drive out to the Udvar Hazy IMAX theater and see Tom Cruise UP CLOSE  in Mission Impossible Fallout.   Or, settle in for 40 minutes of your choice: the D-Day operation at Normandy; or 3-D footage of Panda Bears,  Aircraft Carriers, or Outer Space, depending on your mood.   If your movie ends after 5:30, parking is free. 


Stone’s Cove Kitchen

If you are smartly following my advice to head out to Udvar Hazy for a gigantic movie screen, a good choice for lunch or dinner might be the open-kitchen concept at Stone’s Cove Kitchen in Herndon.  It’s only 10 minutes from the museum and diners rave about both the concept and the menu too.  Lo and behold!  A little research reveals half price bottles of wine on Wednesdays!  Make an evening of it.



You know about the Bullpen, right?  The big industrial courtyard thing across from the Nats Stadium?  We never seem to get to the game early enough to hang around in there, but it’s got a great vibe.  This Saturday from 4 to 11, the Bullpen is hosting two dozen of DC’s most popular food trucks and offering live music, games, picnic tables, and shade.   I’m guessing they will probably have those little lightbulbs on a string that seem to put all people into a happy frame of mind, too.   This would be a really easy and fun outing; family-friendly, free admission and no reservations required.

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