We may be partial, but at The Wink, we think that Washington DC offers some of the best things to do during the holiday season. So if you’re looking for Christmas lights, you’re in luck. Here are our top five favorite holiday light displays and events in DC.
The National Christmas
Obviously, this one tops our list. With the famed tree lighting ceremony held on November 30th, the Christmas season kicks into gear in Washington DC. The ceremony itself includes A-list performers, but never fear. Even if you miss the initial lighting, you can watch it happen again every evening at 4:30 p.m. – with accompanying musical performances throughout the holiday season. The tree stays lit until 10:00 p.m. each night, but you can visit President’s Park on the White House Ellipse starting at 10:00 a.m. to enjoy the decorations. Don’t forget to take time to take in the surrounding trees, each decorated with handmade ornaments representing all 50 US states and 6 territories.
Even for those who don’t love animals, this free light exhibit powered by Pepco is worth experiencing at least once. The National Zoo offers over 500,000 LEDs, animated light installations, laser light shows, live musical performances, holiday shopping, a Gingerbread Village and much more from November 23rd – January 1st. Of course, if you do love animals the way we do, there’s the added bonus of viewing the zoo’s exceptional collection while they are in nighttime mode – an entirely new set of behaviors for many nocturnal types. The exhibit is closed Dec. 24, 25 & 31 for the holidays
For something a bit different, discover an incredible, curated exhibition of outdoor light-art. The season shines in a truly unique way, set against the impressive and historic backdrop of the oldest neighborhood in Washington DC. The 5th year of this popular holiday event runs from December 1st through January 6th, with the art works sparkling with brilliant lights from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. each night.
Season's Greenings: All Aboard!
The holiday means different things to different folks, and at the US Botanic Garden, this year it means trains! Their popular holiday show, Season's Greetings, showcases recreations of classic train stations from all over the country – made from plant materials. Stations include St. Louis' Union Station, New York City's Grand Central Terminal, Washington, D.C.'s Union Station and more. Lots of blooms are also displayed at the Conservatory, including a special exhibit of both heirloom and new poinsettia varieties. The show runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., free of charge, from November 22nd – January 1st. On select Tuesday and Thursday evenings,the Conservatory is open until 8:00 p.m. with live seasonal music.
Christmas Wreaths at Union Station
Speaking of trains, DC’s Union Station is the perfect place to get in some holiday shopping. You’ll be greeted by three colossal Christmas wreaths, along with thousands of twinkling lights, holiday decorations, and music throughout. Festive food, drink, gifts, and their own holiday model train display are highlights here, along with the spectacular Norwegian Christmas Tree – gifted from the people of Norway.
When it comes to lodging in DC during the holiday season, naturally we suggest The Wink.We think it’s the best place to stay in the capitol city, not just for enjoying holiday lights, but for all your business and pleasure travel. Happy Holidays!
If you’re planning to visit Washington DC this fall, you’re in luck! October and the following fall months offer visitors plenty of things to do, including a host of unique festivals, area attractions, and popular events in DC. The Wink hotel. is situated conveniently close to the best of everything the capital city has to offer, making it the perfect base for your next visit. Here are five of our fall faves to consider.
1. Sauf Haus Bier Hall & Garden Nothing says fall quite like a classic beerfest! Luckily, right here in Dupont Circle you can find a lively two-level Beer Garden featuring a rooftop hall serving up authentic German beer and food. Best of all, they’re open all year round, so you can enjoy the atmosphere of Oktoberfest any time you’re in town. And you get some modern extras, like live acoustic music on Thursdays and plenty of TVs for watching your favorite fall sports. Prost!
2. Wunder Garten If you prefer an outdoor setting to enjoy the fall weather while toasting, this climate-controlled patio features not only classic German and Austrian beer, but local brews as well as wine, cider, and snacks. There’s even a firepit serving up delicious S’mores. And if you want something more filling, CaliBurger DC delivers their tasty offerings to you right at Wunder Garten. We call that wunderfull!
3. All Things Go Fall Classic For a fabulous fall festival, visit one of the District’s coolest neighborhoods, Union Market, for this music event that also features plenty of delicious local food to savor. Musical performances this year include Maggie Rogers, Carly Rae Jepsen, Billie Elish, BØRNS, and Betty Who.
4. H Street Festival One of the best parts of DC is its many distinctive neighborhoods. What started as a block party has grown into one of the most popular and diverse fall events in DC. The festival offers distinct stages featuring music, dance, fashion, arts, poetry, and more, all celebrating the many cultures and heritages that combine to create our nation’s capital. Choose to simply be a spectator, or get involved at the many interactive art and exhibitor stations set up along the 11 blocks that this event encompasses. There is truly something for everyone here!
5. Snallygaster Another fall festival option is Snallygaster, showcasing more than 300 craft ciders and beers from more than 120 breweries at booths spread out along famed Pennsylvania Avenue. This highly-anticipated event also features a fantastic selection of DC’s popular food trucks accompanied by a great lineup of live music. You’ll have a monstrously good time!
If you’re planning a fall visit to Washington DC, our conveniently located hotel provides you with the perfect base to enjoy all that the area has to offer. For more information on these or other fall events
If you’re considering attending one of Washington DC’s impressive universities, then you’ve come to the right place. At The Wink, not only is our hotel situated conveniently near to all of these impressive establishments, but we can offer you an insider’s guide to not only the universities themselves, but all of the fun and exciting things to do and see while you’re in town!
A bit more about the area’s top three educational institutions.
1. George Washington University
At the impressive capitol campus located in the heart of the famed Foggy Bottom neighborhood, George Washington University places you mere blocks from many of DC’s most popular attractions, including the White House, the National Mall, and the many incredible free Smithsonian museums. Instead of dining halls, students here get a meal card that they can use to eat at dozens of local restaurants or buy groceries, making their meals incredibly unique and enjoyable. This means you get to explore the local food scene while attending college – and you can get a taste during your visit at one of their over 105 area dining partners.Choose one to try for yourself, with options including sushi, freshly-made brick oven pizza, and the ever-popular Foggy Bottom Pub. And don’t forget that GW also offers the 26-acre Mount Vernon Campus, which you can explore via bus ride from the visitor center. Learn more about Life at GW.
2. Georgetown University
You’re likely to be impressed immediately by the “Georgetown Bubble” – the impressive, historic neighborhood surrounding the university which offers everything a student needs, all within walking distance. Before or after your campus tour, consider stopping for lunch at The Tombs, on the edge of campus to enjoy not only amazing food, but a glimpse of the archetypal Georgetown experience, particularly when students gather at night to unwind while watching a Hoya game. For dessert, consider stopping by the mouthwatering Georgetown Cupcakes – where the line is definitely worth the wait! While you might be blown away by the locale and worried about the cost, keep in mind the university’s impressive commitment to meet the entire financial need of each undergraduate they admit.Learn more about what it means to be a Hoya.
3. Howard University
Did you know that Howard University produces more African-American Ph.D.’s than any other university in the world? And its proud history of breaking barriers stretches all the way back to its founding in 1867 – including incorporating five white female students into its classes during its first year.You may want to start with a virtual tour to get a feel for Howard Life and what the student experience is like,but nothing beats being able to actually visit in person. Many alumni consider the best part of living on Howard’s campus to be the social life,which you can get a glimpse of during a campus tour – or simply ask current students about it while you are there. And as long as you’re in town, nearby attractions off-campus include the Smithsonian Butterfly Habitat Garden, the renowned 9:30 Club intimate concert venue, and the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum.
Contact us at The Wink to learn more about our convenient hotel located near Howard University (2.1 miles away), Georgetown University, (1.6 miles away) and George Washington University (.6 miles away) – and start planning your college visit to DC today!
One of the many incredible joys of Washington DC is the many diverse neighborhoods here to explore and enjoy. The Wink is located in the midst of one of the most popular areas of DC – Dupont Circle. Here are our top five suggestions for fabulous things to do during your stay in and around Dupont Circle.
1. Brewmaster Tour at the Heurich House Museum: Learn what it takes to be a brewmaster at this fascinating museum housed in Christian Heurich’s mansion, also known as the Brewmaster’s Castle, dating back to 1892. Known as DC’s most successful brewery, the Chr. Heurich Brewing Co. operated from 1872 until 1956. This event includes an hour-long mansion and museum tour along with a local craft beer tasting. Each guest enjoys one beer flight featuring 4 oz pours of three local beers, gets to explore the Brewmaster’s Castle, and then can mix and mingle in the Conservatory where there are full beers on sale.
2. Events at The Phillips Collection of Modern Art: America’s first museum of modern art, The Phillips Collection proudly provides new perspectives on a broad selection of modern artists, with a permanent collection of over 4,000 impressive artworks ranging from French impressionists like Renoir to American innovators like Rothko. You’ll always find works from the permanent collection on display along with rotating exhibitions and special programming including Sunday Phillips Music concerts at 4:00 p.m. and Phillips After 5 held on the first Thursday of the month, offering an exciting combination of entertainment and art with live music, specialty cuisine including classic food trucks, and a full cash bar.
3. Walking Tour of Embassy Row: Start at The Embassy of Australia to follow a two-mile walk along Massachusetts Avenue starting at Scott Circle and extending to the north side of the United States Naval Observatory. Embassy Row offers a unique view of dozens of embassies, diplomatic missions, and impressive sights including the Nelson Mandela statue outside of the Embassy of South Africa and the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial in front of the Embassy of India.
4. Tours and Treasures at The Mansion on O & O Street Museum: Engage in a fabulous treasure hunt at this unique, historic venue featuring period details including original Tiffany stained glass windows and architectural features along with themed rooms and suites filled with antiques, unique art, and authentic furnishings. Take a food and beverage tour or try a thrilling treasure hunt within at least 60 of the more than 100 rooms, passing through at least 32 of the 70 secret doors. It’s fun for all ages!
5. Laughs at DC Improv: Washing DC’s most popular live comedy club for decades, the DC Improv offers side-splitting local and national comic acts nearby at incredibly reasonable prices. With both a 285-seat main showroom and a 60-seat lounge, you’ll find stand-up, comedy roasts, improv acts, and much more almost every night of the week. They also have a fun souvenir store, group events – and even a comedy school. Buy your tickets early, as many of their hilarious acts sell out!
For an exceptional experience every time you visit Washington DC, stay with us at The Wink. We want you to get the most out of every moment you’re here, and we place you within easy reach of all these unique things to do in Dupont Circle – and many more throughout our Nation’s Capital.
We love to help Washington visitors to find the very best activities and most unique things to do in DC. Of course, everyone has different interests and preferences, so we suggest you browse through this list of our top suggestions and choose one or more of these sunny summer events to enjoy during your stay with us in Washington DC.
Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle
Instead of simply having a cookout, come to the greatest competition in the capital: The Giant National Barbeque Battle. Benefiting USO-Metro and the Capital Area Food Bank, this delicious two-day event also features 30 bands performing live on three stages – along with lots of free food samples as well as fabulous plates of freshly made food from area restaurants. The competition itself has marked the start of summer for tens of thousands of folks who’ve flocked to DC to experience the perfect BBQ for themselves. And don’t worry – there are plenty of wines and micro-brews to sample as well, along with classic Anheuser-Bush beverages and non-alcoholic options.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Since 1967, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival has honored today’s living cultural traditions and celebrates all those who practice and sustain them. Produced each year by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the Festival brings together participants from all 50 US states and over 100 countries for a two-week, free celebration that overlaps the 4th of July. Chock full of educational presentations, master artisan demonstrations, traditional foods, cultural song and dance, craft workshops, and games, you’ll find plenty of things to enjoy. The large market features pottery, textiles, clothing, toys, sculptures, books and more – all ready to take home as lasting souvenirs of this incredible cultural exchange.
Washington DC’s own signature professional tennis tournament is coming back for its 50th year at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. The Citi Open is one of just 13 prestigious ATP World Tour 500 tournaments, and it features top-tier tennis talent from all over the world competing for the prestigious trophy. This year, a special charitable option has been introduced, with 25% off of specially discounted tickets going to support the American Experience Foundation, which works to improve the lives of low-income students through inspirational travel and educational opportunities.
Capital Fringe Festival
Held along the scenic Washington DC waterfront in SW, the edgy Capital Fringe Festival offers exceptional, out-there performances from local creatives, featuring plays, improvisational performances, punk rock shows, and colorful artwork. Focused on expanding audience interest in independent theater, music, art, dance, and other unclassified forms of live performance and visual art, the Capital Fringe Festival is truly one of the most unique modern cultural experiences in the city.
Comcast Xfinity Outdoor Film Festival
Benefiting children’s charities for NIH, this year the 22nd outdoor film festival returns to Strathmore for four nights under the stars. With a lineup that is sure to please all ages, the free event opens with concessions at 7:30 p.m. and the film begins at dusk – around 8:30 p.m. each night. The inspiring and entertaining films this year include Coco, Black Panther, The Lion King, and Wonder Woman. Moviegoers should bring blankets or low beach chairs and plan to take advantage of the concessions for delicious food, wine, and beer in order to donate to the worthy causes while enjoying the summer nights in DC.
Whatever exciting Washington DC events bring you to the area, we invite you to relax and settle in to our restful, relaxing accommodations close to all the action at The Wink. We’re sure you’re going to have a fabulous stay!