Experience it all in Arlington
Arlington is the place for young professionals and families alike; it is also the nightlife and innovation hub for the region.
Happening this week, Feb. 24-March 1
Baby Lapsit Storytime in Arlington
Monday, 2 p.m.
Parents and kiddos younger than 1 years old are welcome to join this weekly meetup that introduces babies to the joys of language and literature. All participants will sing nursery rhymes, hear classic stories and socialize. // Columbia Pike Branch Library: 816 S. Walter Reed Drive, Arlington; free
Author Greer Macallister discusses Woman 99
Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Midwest-born author Greer Macallister is making her way to Arlington to discuss her newly released historical thriller, Woman 99. The tale honors fierce women of the past, right in time for the start of International Women’s Day. // One More Page Books: 2200 N. Westmoreland St., Arlington; free
Improv Jamwich: A Free Comedy Show @ Summers
Wednesday, 7:30-10 p.m.
If you’re an aspiring comedian, you may want to consider visiting Summers Restaurant this week for a night of laughs. Those who want to try their hand at improv are welcome to join in or, if you’d rather, feel free to simply watch from the crowd while indulging in the site’s happy hour deals. // Summers Restaurant: 1520 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington; free
Rock the Rink
Thursday, 7 p.m.
Come out and #RockTheRink in honor of the Washington Capitals this Thursday. Kids, teens and adults alike are welcome to enjoy Capitals-themed food specials, unique giveaways and an appearance by Slapshot. Plus, if you arrive in Caps gear, you’ll receive complimentary skate rentals during the event. // Pentagon Row: 1101 S. Joyce St., Arlington; $14-$15
FOOD & DRINKS
Inaugural Wine Pairings Dinner at The Commentary
Friday, 7-9 p.m.
For the very first time, American restaurant The Commentary will be hosting a wine pairing dinner featuring a five-course meal with corresponding vintages. The best part? The menu for the evening is a surprise, adding to the fun. // The Commentary: 801 N. Glebe Road, Arlington; $91.81
FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS
28th Annual Feel the Heritage Festival
Saturday, 1-6 p.m.
Celebrate Arlington County’s rich African American history at this unique festival featuring live music and dance, dozens of vendors, family-friendly events and more. Plus, there will be a Hall of History on-site, featuring photos and artifacts of Arlington’s historically African American neighborhoods and organizations. // Charles Drew Community Center: 3500 23rd St. S., Arlington; free
Bowties & Tails
Saturday, 7 p.m.
Labrador retriever rescue organization Lu’s Labs is celebrating five years of labs, love and giving at the Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill this Saturday. Throughout the night, you’ll hear from representatives of the nonprofit, enjoy drinks and hor d’oeuvres and so much more. // Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill: 2424 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; $75
PARKS & REC
Sunday, 4-5:30 p.m.
Are you training for a triathlon? If so, or if you are just curious about the basics of biking, gather for a panel discussion led by an expert from District Cycle Works on how to find the right bicycle for you, how to ride safely in the DMV, bike maintenance tips and more. Plus, following the meeting, all are welcome to enjoy a brew at a local bar. // Central Library: N. Quincy St., Arlington; free, registration required
This laidback farm-to-table restaurant doesn’t just stick to the pig; there’s elegant fish dishes, decadent snails on toast and always a daily pie-for-two.
There might not be a better burger in Arlington (maybe Northern Virginia?) than those from Hell Burger. From the Ray’s the Steak family , this is meat with a steak pedigree, and toppings to match. (Also check out The Tasty Dug-Out with the Georgian specialty khachapuri.)
Peter Chang has been cooking in this region long enough to create a stable of dishes that fans claim favorites, like the bamboo fish, tofu skin, dry-fried eggplant and scallion pancakes.
This legendary, no frills cafeteria-style dining room offers 17 variations of pho. That’s it.
Pupatella is much more than an order-at-the-counter pizza joint. First, there’s that gleaming red oven. The Neapolitan pies come in both classic combinations but also plenty of fun toppers like burrata and chorizo.
Rocklands founder John Snedden originally fell for beef ribs while eating his way across the Lone Star State. When it came time to stoke his own barbecue venture, Snedden carved out room for the lusty treat.
Finding a stand on the side of the road isn’t the only spot to find real barbecue. This upscale, but still plenty casual, barbecue restaurant offers all the classic smoked meats plus trendy sides and a locally focused beer list.
The Arlington food truck’s pork sandwich—Bumpkin Pork Sammie—mixes Southern and Asian flavors, marrying smoked pork, crispy fried onions and sweet barbecue sauce with chili-garlic slaw on wasabi sesame seed-speckled brioche.
This lovely building features both gallery space and classrooms where instructors lead a variety of art workshops for young children, teenagers and adult students.
Spanning 70 acres, this park offers activities ranging from biking, jogging, hiking, basketball, Frisbee golf, baseball, tennis, volleyball, paved and nature trails and a playground. Get lost in this park, and get busy.
Adjacent to Washington-Lee High School, the David M. Brown Planetarium has been serving the community for more than 40 years. Throughout the season there are public multimedia programs, and the Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium also boasts a monthly schedule of full-dome programs.
For older children and teens interested in learning more about drug law enforcement, the DEA Museum provides an inside look at the history and scope of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and charges no admission.
Explore a family activity that’s a bit out of the ordinary, gobs of fun and a nice challenge: rock climbing. Earth Treks has opportunities for children and adults, including both indoor and outdoor options and yoga courses.
Who would have thought the place the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners practice is within a mall—actually, it’s atop the Ballston Common Mall’s parking garage. This is where you’ll find Kettler Capitals Iceplex, where the Washington Capitals hockey team practices, and you can watch for free.
Arlington mom Maria Vogelei was frustrated with the out-of-touch, dingy indoor play space options for her young daughters. After over a decade of working in marketing and branding, Vogelei decided to put her dreams to work and open Nook, a modern, clean indoor play space geared toward children ages 0 to 5.
This park has everything a kid could want: mini-golf, a water park and batting cages. There are also three walking trails, and picnic tables for meals and snacks.
Take in a discount movie, a film festival or a live comedy show with a drink in hand at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, once home to the “Old Arlington” theatre.
Freddie’s is the place to go for memorable nightlife in Arlington. Whether you’re there for karaoke, drag bingo or a Freddie’s Follies show, you’re bound to have a blast and walk away with some great stories.
This mainstay for great craft beer and thought-provoking bar food selections, like totchos and pig rangoon, is also a popular live music destination. Catch the next big thing on a Sunday or Monday night at the Hut.
With basketball courts, volleyball courts, a full amphitheater, numerous nature trails and charcoal grills, the park offers the potential for active or relaxing time outdoors. The community center features a game room, indoor playground, and plenty of meeting space for use.
Iota is a fantastic place to drop in on a weeknight and hear some live, local music. The setting is intimate, the acoustics clean and the beer selection always rotating.
The Tony Award-winning company does not let the accolades go to its head. Though they’ve made waves with the contemporary musicals and plays they’ve performed, they also focus on the local artist community through the SigWorks program, in which an unpublished piece is workshopped before a live audience, and through children’s programs.
Synetic Theater looks to classic tales for inspiration to entertain audiences. Founded in 2001, the theater focuses on movement, music, technology and visual arts to tell stories.
What lies beneath the streets of a city is not something many want to explore, but traverse the corridors under Crystal City and you’ll walk away with an appreciation for the local arts scene. Gallery Underground holds monthly exhibits that feature regional artists and highlight a range of mediums, such as sculpture, painting and fiber arts.
Arlington House has been significant for many reasons over the years: It was Robert E. Lee’s family home, a plantation estate, military headquarters, a community for emancipated slaves and is now part of Arlington National Cemetery. While at the memorial, visit many exhibits explaining the history of the home and see some of the absolute best views of D.C.
Built in 1932, the Memorial Bridge honors military service and heroism and lays out a dramatic and direct path from the Arlington House to the Lincoln Memorial. Walk, bike or drive along the bridge on your way to Washington’s many monuments.
Pay respect to more than 3,000 military veterans from the nation’s wars beginning with the American Revolution to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tour the Memorial Amphitheater to observe one of the three major annual memorial services for veterans on Easter, Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Not far from Reagan National Airport, Gravelly Point is an ideal locale for airplane-watching. Travel to it by bike or foot from the Mount Vernon Trail.
Take a blanket and lawn chair to watch a sunset parade at this iconic memorial. This is a free event where you can watch the nation’s capital Marine Barracks perform, and there has been marching and music at this site since 1956.
Near Arlington Cemetery sits the Netherlands Carillon, a gift from the Dutch to thank the U.S. for their assistance in the World War II era. The 127-foot hight steel carillon houses 50 bells that “perform” automated concerts each day and are used in live performances during summer concerts.
What You Can Do:
- Water fountains
- Picnic areas
This island became a memorial to commemorate America’s 26th president in the 1930s. Go hiking, kayaking, canoeing, watch wildlife or have a park ranger lead a program. You can reach the island by taking the George Washington Memorial Parkway or the Rosslyn Metro stop.
This 45-mile-long paved trail runs along what was once the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad. Enjoyed by families, dog walkers and cyclists alike, the trail starts in Arlington’s Shirlington neighborhood and shoots all the way to Purcellville.
What You Can Do:
- 32-mile gravel horseback riding trail
- Paved trail
- Picnic tables
Where in Northern Virginia can you browse for art, furniture, decor and accessories all in one spot? Since opening in 2010, Covet offers shoppers a distinctly original experience in the region. With its champagne and macaroon jewelry trunk shows and DIY craft nights, Covet is more than just an art and accessories destination.
When it comes to finding the perfect fit—petite, tall, plus-sized—we have all bets on one of Arlington’s best full-service women’s shops: Crystal Boutique. Expert personal buyers are armed with a large spectrum of sizes, in-house alterations, a luscious array of colors, plus the perfect handbag or shiny bauble to complete any look.
Don’t let the word bakery fool you. Arlington’s Dogma Bakery, with its two neighborhood locations, is anything but just a bakery—it’s also a doggie boutique offering any product or amenity your pet could need. Plush squeak toys, patterned collars, seasonal costumes and cushioned beds are among their featured products.
This is a one-stop shop for all the consigned and vintage pieces you need for your closet and home. With everything from a gold-plated cabinet to a Louis Vuitton purse, this is the perfect place to find hidden treasures.
Large displays of colorful scarves, metal bangles, earrings and handbags fill up every nook and cranny, with a separate room of shoes and racks of tops and dresses organized by hue, plus a great selection of denim, belts and other accessories. What sets it apart from other boutiques? Affordability.
This adorable shop in Shirlington is all things French. Find decorative items to add flair to your home and whimsical gifts for both adults and little ones.
From the calming fragrance of soy wax candles wafting through the air to the varying shades of blue on the walls, the gift store evokes a dreamy feel and brings a convivial atmosphere to Arlington.
Town Centers and Malls
Ballston Common is undergoing renovations as it transforms into the new Ballston Quarter, a mixed-use development featuring 411,000 square feet of retail and opening in 2018. Macy’s, Regal Cinemas and a few other shops remain open during the construction.
Stores and restaurants at Crystal City Shops take care of most shopping and dining needs in a location proximal to D.C., Reagan National Airport and Old Town Alexandria. There, find in-demand restaurants such as Jaleo, specialty shops, services and fashion boutiques.
If you’re in search of a traditional mall that has it all, stop by Pentagon City. There you’ll find both luxe stores like Kate Spade, Sephora, Coach and Henri Bendel as well as mall staples such as Claire’s, Journeys and Sunglass Hat. Macy’s and Nordstrom are the mall anchors.
Access an array of stores and restaurants in this outdoor space in the heart of Clarendon, a bustling area known for its shopping and nightlife. Clothing highlights include South Moon Under and Ann Taylor while bibliophiles will be pleased to find a Barnes and Noble.
This outdoor shopping center features several restaurants, shopping and spas. Highlights include World Market, Sur La Table, TJ Maxx, the Red Door Spa and Jouvence Aveda.
- Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade (February)
- Taste of Arlington (May)
- Air Force Association Cycling Classic (June)
- Columbia Pike Blues Festival (June)
- Fourth of July Celebration at Long Bridge Park (July)
- Arlington County Fair (August)
- Rosslyn Jazz Fest (September)
- Vintage Crystal: Sip & Salsa Wine Fest (September)
- Clarendon Day (September)
- Marine Corps Marathon (October)
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