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New Year’s Eve celebrations have already begun around the Capitol Hill area and there’s no shortage of parties to choose from tonight. When the confetti clears, though, it’s shaping up to be a quiet first weekend of 2016 in the area, with few events planned for Saturday and Sunday.

Temperatures are expected to cool down gradually over the weekend, with temperatures in the low 50s today but remaining in the 40s for most of the weekend. We’ll be taking tomorrow off and will be back on Monday. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know to make the most of this New Year’s weekend in the Capitol Hill area.

How to Get Around Tonight

  • Between midnight and 3 a.m., all Metro trains and buses will be free for those with a SmarTrip card courtesy of a sponsorship with Miller Lite. Passengers can use their SmarTrip to enter and exit Metro stations, but will not be charged for the trip. On buses, riders can show their SmarTrip to the driver to board for free.
  • The Washington Regional Alcohol Program will pay for a free ride home (up to $30) from 10 p.m. tonight to 6 a.m. tomorrow. Those needing a ride can call 1-800-200-TAXI
  • The DC Circulator will run extended service until 2 a.m. tonight

Events

Road Closures

Several roads will be closed Friday morning for the Fresh Start 5K walk/ run near Eastern High School:

  • East Capitol Street between 17th and 19th streets will be closed from 7:30-9:30 a.m.
  • East Capitol Street between 19th and 22nd streets will be closed from 8:45-10 a.m.
  • 19th Street SE between Independence Avenue SE to East Capitol Street will be closed from 8:45-9:30 a.m.
  • 22nd Street between C Street NE and Independence Avenue SE will be closed from 8:45-10 a.m.

Metrorail

  • On Friday, Metro trains will run from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. on a Sunday schedule
  • On Saturday from 6 p.m. until closing, Orange, Silver and Blue line trains will run every 24 minutes due to track work between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory stations
  • On Saturday and Sunday, Red Line trains will run between Shady Grove and Glenmont every 24 minutes and between Shady Grove and Silver Spring every 12 minutes from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Parking

  • Parking meters, residential parking and rush-hour lane restrictions will not be enforced on Friday, Jan. 1

Trash Collection

  • Friday trash collection will be pushed back to Saturday
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Champagne toast

There’s no right way to celebrate New Year’s. Whether you prefer to go to bed before the ball drops or dance until the sun comes up, there is a wide variety of ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Capitol Hill area. For those with children or who are just looking to get the celebrations out of the way early, Yards Park in Navy Yard will host a noon New Year’s Eve party.

For those looking for more late-night celebrations, though, the amount of options can be daunting. We’ve sorted the New Year’s Eve parties around the area so you can find the best fit for you:

Dinner and Drinks

DC Harvest
517 H St. NE

The H Street eatery will serve a three course meal for $59 with optional cocktail or wine pairings for an additional charge. Also includes a champagne toast at midnight.

Boundary Road
414 H St. NE

Between 5:30 and 11:30, Boundary Road will offer a three-course meal for $55 with optional wine pairings for $25.

Sally’s Middle Name
1320 H St. NE

Reservations for the New Year’s Eve dinner at Sally’s Middle Name have been going quickly, but there are still some spots left for the late dinner, which includes three courses and a glass of wine for $35.

Ocopa
1324 H St. NE

H Street NE Peruvian restaurant Ocopa is offering a four-course dinner for $45 with pisco pairings for $25.

Sonoma
223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Sonoma restaurant and wine bar will have several New Year’s Eve dinners. A four course dinner before 6:30 p.m. will cost $90 while a five-course dinner after 6:30 p.m. will cost $110. Wine pairings for either dinner will cost $65. 

Mr. Henry’s 
601 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Mr. Henry’s will also serve a three-course New Year’s Eve dinner with two seatings from 6-7 p.m. and  8:30-10 p.m. Reservations can be made online

No-Cover

Biergarten Haus DC
1355 H St. NE

The H Street beer garden will have specials throughout the night and free champagne toast at midnight.

Sol Mexican
1251 H St. NE

Sol Mexican will have a DJ and drink specials all night with a free champagne toast at midnight.

Dubliner Irish Pub
4 F St. NW

The pub near Union Station will have party favors and champagne with no cover charge.

Theme Parties

Kelly’s Irish Times
14 F St. NW

Kelly’s Irish Times will transform into a Prohibition-era speakeasy for a 20s themed party with live music and themed cocktails and food. Tickets available online for $69.

The Lodge at Red Rocks
1348 H St. NE

The Lodge at Red Rocks on H Street will also be hosting a 20s themed party. The party has no cover charge and there will be a champagne toast at midnight.

Beuchert’s Saloon
623 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

The Capitol Hill eatery will have its annual New Year’s pig roast with a tropical theme and an open bar. Tickets are $140 per person.

Open Bar

Rock & Roll Hotel
1353 H St. NE

The H Street concert venue will have a party with an open bar, 10 DJs and a midnight balloon drop for $100.

 

Little Miss Whiskey’s
1104 H St. NE

For $80, those 23 or older can enjoy an open bar all night while dancing to DJ Tekit Izi.

Kitty’s Saloon
1208 H St. NE

Between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m., Kitty’s will offer an open bar with food for $25.

Da Luft
1242 H St. NE

Da Luft will have multiple DJs and an open bar. Admission is free from 8-10 p.m., $20 from 10-midnight and $25 after midnight.

Maketto
1351 H St. NE

The trendy H Street spot has already sold out of online tickets to its party, which will feature an open bar, food and a DJ. Some tickets will still be available at the door for $120.

Photo via Flickr/ toniblay

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National Christmas Tree (Photo via Architect of the Capitol)

This Christmas weekend is shaping up to be one for the record books in the D.C. area. AAA predicts that record numbers of people will travel for the holidays, including about 41% of the District’s population. Those of us still in Washington could see record-breaking warmth that will turn dreams of a white Christmas into a reality of a wet Christmas, with a chance of rain predicted through the weekend.

As expected, a lot of go-to weekend spots in the area are closed for the holidays, setting the stage for a quiet weekend on the Hill. But if the rain lets up, this could be a perfect year to leave the fireplace behind and explore what the Capitol Hill area has to offer to those who stick around for the holidays. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of this Christmas weekend in the area:

Events

Check out our guide on how to eat and drink your way through the holidays in the Capitol Hill area for the best Christmas food and drink specials in the area.

Canal Park Ice Rink
Canal Park (200 M St. SE)

Navy Yard’s ice rink at Canal Park will be open throughout the weekend. Hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 12-9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

Akeelah and the Bee
Arena Stage (1101 6th St. SW)

This is the last weekend to catch the play based on the film about an 11-year-old from Chicago who goes from growing up in the projects to the national spelling bee. There are two performances on Saturday and Sunday. 

The Gospel of LovingKindness
Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St. NE)

This play tells the story of a 17-year-old from Chicago who goes from singing for the president at the White House to being held up for his sneakers back home. 

Government Services

  • Friday trash collection will be pushed back to Saturday
  • Circulator buses will not operate on Friday
  • Parking restrictions will not be enforced on Friday

Metro

  • Trains will run on their normal weekday schedules
  • On Friday (Christmas) Metro trains and buses will run on Sunday schedules
  • There is no scheduled track work over the weekend, so all lines will run on normal weekend schedules

Photo via Architect of the Capitol

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Our last weekend before what might be the warmest Christmas on record for the D.C. area will have something we haven’t seen much of this season: normal temperatures. With temperatures expected to hover around the mid-40s, this weekend may be the only opportunity to show off any holiday-themed sweaters and scarves before the next heat wave forces us to shed the extra layers by Christmas.

Whether you’re scrambling to finish holiday shopping or trying to take advantage of the unusually seasonable weather while you can, there’s plenty to do around the Capitol Hill area this weekend. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of this weekend:

Hypothermia Alert

With the cooler weather comes the risk of hypothermia for homeless individuals across the city. The District government will activate its hypothermia alert at 7 p.m. Friday as temperatures are expected to sink to 31 degrees with wind gusts as high as 21 miles per hour.

The District issues hypothermia alerts when the forecasted temperature, including wind chill, dips below 32 degrees.

To request shelter transport for D.C. residents who are homeless and on the street, contact the shelter hotline at [email protected], 202-399-7093 or 1-800-535-7252.

Events

“Confessions of an Unlikely Runner” Book Signing
Pacers Running Store (300 Tingey St. SE)
Friday 5:30 p.m.

Dana Ayers accidentally became a runner more than 10 years ago when she ran a 5k with the President of the United States. She has since proven it’s possible to be a long-term runner without gaining much speed, losing much weight, or sacrificing a fairly lax approach to exercise. Confessions chronicles her awkward mishaps and adventures in transitioning from childhood bookworm to accidental accomplished athlete.

Seasonal Craft Beer Tasting
Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE)
Friday 6:30-8 p.m.

Join Drinky Events for a tasting of some awesome, hard to find seasonal craft beers! Mike Stein from Lost Lagers is providing the education and Pipetown Traders will provide 5 seasonal craft beers to get you in the holiday spirit. The best ugly holiday sweater will win an awesome prize! Online registration is $38.

Santa’s Secret Bookshop
Southwest Library (900 Wesley Pl. SW)
Saturday, 1-2:30 p.m.

The Friends of the Southwest Library will offer children the ability to select two books or DVDs from our store, wrap these gifts for their loved ones, and receive a treat for thinking of others. Children under 9 must be accompanied by a caregiver.

The Nutcracker Suite with DC Swing
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (545 7th St. SE)
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

DC Swing! presents Duke Ellington’s jazz treatment of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, and other big band holiday favorites. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online.

Live DJ Yoga for UN Refugees + Ugly Sweater Party
405 Yoga (1000 Florida Ave. NE)
Saturday, 7-8 p.m.

405 Yoga will hold a flow class set to the live beats of DJ Equaniseung. A donation of $20 to UN Refugees is requested at the door.

Jazz Hip Hop Nutcracker
Stuart-Hobson Middle School (410 E St. NE)
Saturday 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday 3 p.m.

Barracks Row-based Momentum Dance Theatre is performing its annual Jazz Hip Hop Nutcracker December 19-20, 2015, at Stuart Hobson Middle School. This is a professional dance and theater production that brings together both professional dancers and students from the Hill as young as five years old to provide a fresh, urban take on the Nutcracker story based on Duke Ellington’s version of the Nutcracker Suite.

Metrorail

  • Orange, Silver, Blue, Yellow and Green line trains will operate on regular weekend schedules
  • Red Line trains will single-track between Judiciary Square and NoMa-Gallaudet for repairs. Trains will run every 15 minutes.
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National Symphony Orchestra (Photo via Kennedy-Center.org) As more than 850,000 locals leave the D.C.-area this Labor Day weekend, residents who stay behind can look forward to a free concert at the U.S. Capitol and their last chance to go swimming before all the Capitol Hill-area public pools close for the season.

The National Symphony Orchestra will play its annual free Labor Day concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Sunday at 8 p.m. The concert will feature classic patriotic tunes, some Aaron Copland classics and several other well-known songs.

On the eastern side of the Hill, the Rosedale Pool at 1701 Gales St. NE, the last pool open in the Capitol Hill area, will be open all weekend and close for the season at 6 p.m. Monday.

Here is some other information for the holiday weekend:

  • City Services: D.C. and federal government offices will be closed Monday. Trash and recycling collection will be pushed back one day for the whole week. There will be no street sweeping on Monday, but the schedule for the rest of the week will not change. Parking meters and restrictions only will be enforced in the neighborhoods surrounding Nationals Park and along the H Street NE streetcar route.
  • Roads: All roads will be open throughout the weekend, as construction-related projects are ordered to take place off of streets until Tuesday.
  • Riding Metro: On Monday, Metro trains and buses will operate on Sunday schedules, with scheduled work on the Red, Orange, Silver and Blue lines.

Photo via Kennedy-Center.org

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Fireworks (Photo via Flickr/Tim Kelley)

Fireworks shows, concerts and a parade on Barracks Row are a few of the ways locals can celebrate Independence Day in the Capitol Hill area.

On Friday, fireworks are slated to light up the sky near Nationals Park before they shoot up Saturday near the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and RFK Stadium.

Independence Day also will include a Foo Fighters concert at RFK and a free “Capitol Fourth” show with Barry Manilow, country music band Alabama and KC and the Sunshine Band on the U.S. Capitol grounds.

On Barracks Row, the area’s annual July 4 parade will kick off at 10 a.m. The parade is slated to feature the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, the Eastern High School marching band, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Councilman Charles Allen of Ward 6, who will serve as grand marshal.

If you take photos this weekend, be sure to send them our way. We may feature some reader photos in a post next week. Photos can be shared with [email protected] or sent to us on Twitter.

Here is some other information for the holiday weekend:

  • City Services: D.C. and federal government offices will be closed Friday. Trash collection will follow normal schedules and parking meters and restrictions only will be enforced in the neighborhoods surrounding RFK on Saturday, the National Mall on Friday and Saturday and Nationals Park throughout the holiday weekend.
  • Road Closures: Roads around the National Mall will close in two phases, one of which starts at 6 a.m. Saturday. The other phase starts at 11:15 a.m. The roads will reopen at 11 p.m.
  • Riding Metro: Trains will run a weekend schedule Friday and trains will ramp up to near rush-hour service starting at 2 p.m. Saturday until after the fireworks. Standard service will resume Sunday.
  • Where to Buy Fireworks: Locals looking to purchase legal fireworks might have to look outside of the Capitol Hill area. A stand at 1400 Maryland Ave. NE, Ward 6’s only authorized fireworks stand, didn’t appear to be operational today. For other locations, check this map.
  • Pools: The Randall Pool at 25 I St. SW, the Rosedale Pool at 1701 Gales St. NE and other public pools will be open from noon to 6 p.m. throughout the holiday weekend.

Photo via Flickr/Tim Kelley

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D.C. fireworks on July 4, 2010 (Photo via Flickr/Tim Kelley)

Fireworks will illuminate the skies around Capitol Hill in at least three shows this week.

On Friday night, fireworks are scheduled to shoot up near Nationals Park at the end of the team’s game against the San Francisco Giants. Spectators at the game also will experience “military pageantry and patriotic-themed music” during the display, according to the Nationals.

The next day, on July 4, the Foo Fighters concert is slated to end with fireworks over RFK Stadium about 11:30 p.m.

The District’s main fireworks show on Independence Day is set to happen about 9 p.m., however. The fireworks, which will take to the sky near the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, will be visible from Capitol Hill.

Photo via Flickr/Tim Kelley

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Barracks Row parade (Photo via Picasa/Barracks Row Main Street)

The sounds of drums, trumpets and cheers will fill Barracks Row next weekend as locals celebrate Independence Day on Capitol Hill with a parade.

More than three dozen groups are expected to travel from 8th and I streets SE to the Eastern Market Metro Plaza as part of the annual July 4 celebration.

The parade is slated to feature the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, the Eastern High School marching band, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Councilman Charles Allen of Ward 6, who will serve as grand marshal, said Phil Guire, who is helping organize the festivities.

“It’s a great day to be a D.C. resident,” he said.

Guire said he still can add marchers to the parade. Locals interested in participating can email him, he said.

The festivities start at 10 a.m.

Photo via Picasa/Barracks Row Main Street

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Happy Memorial Day

American Flag Memorial DayHill Now is closed to observe Memorial Day. We hope you enjoy this day, whether you chose to spend the long weekend traveling or stayed home to enjoy the sunny weather.

The D.C. government will be closed. Parking meters and most parking restrictions also will not be enforced today, except along the H Street NE streetcar line. And trash and recycling collection that would normally happen today will be pushed to Tuesday.

Metro trains and buses will run on a Sunday schedule, with off-peak fares all day and free parking in Metro-operated facilities. The Orange and Silver Line trains will operate every 15 minutes, while Blue and Yellow line trains will operate every 18 minutes due to planned repairs.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Commons

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