Tag Archives: Northern Virginia

Cultural Festivals in and around Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. offers a rich canvas of the culturally-diverse. No wonder, the nation’s capital is brimming with events that showcase the ethnic rich heritage and global culture.

Passport DC and Embassy Open Houses

One of Washington, D.C.’s spring-time event kicks off on May 4 with “Around the World Embassy Tour,” when more than 40 embassies open their doors to visitors from the area. This is the perfect time to explore cuisines, art, fashion and music from different countries. Admission is free and no registration is required. Complimentary shuttle services are also included. This is followed up by the open house by European Union Embassies’ on May 11.

National Asian Heritage Festival

On May 18, 800 performers perform on 5 stages from over 20 cultures on the Pennsylvania Avenue for the 8th annual Fiesta Asia Street Fair to commemorate the Asian Heritage Month. Special highlights include bhangra mania, fortune cookie writing contest and talent shows. Neighboring residents can visit the Fiesta Asia at Silver Springs, Maryland. Celebrated on May 4 on Ellsworth Drive, visit for a unique cultural experience completed with dancers, martial artists, puppeteers and musicians.

Cinco De Mayo

Hosted by Maru Montero Dance Company, the Cinco De Mayo festival at the National Mall is a free, rain-or-shine festival, which celebrates its 21st anniversary in 2013.

Celebrated between 8th and 12th streets on May 5, the annual festival is an opportunity to explore Mexican culture, food, music and dance. Along with live salsa, Mexican folk dancing, mariachis, and other dance and music performances, games and activities for the family, Mexican market and food from Latin America are also offered.

Washington D.C. Dragon Boat Festival

Celebrating its 12th anniversary, Washington DC Dragon Boat Festival is a two-day festival held on the Potomac River on May 18 and 19. It pays homage to a 2300-year-old Chinese legend and includes the traditional eye dotting ceremonies, lion dances, and other cultural demonstrations.



2012 Girlfriends’ Getaway Packages in Northern Virginia

Girlfriends’ getaways are fun way to spend time with like minded people – shopping, sipping wine, sharing laughs, partying and simply having fun. Located minutes from Washington D.C., Northern Virginia is home to popular malls, elaborate clubs and restaurants, famous spas – enough to keep you and your pals happy for the weekend. Here are some getaway packages designed for such occasions. Whether you aim to hit the malls for some retail therapy, or spend some alone quiet times together close to nature, there are enough to keep you covered.

The Ultimate Girlfriends’ Getaway package at Crowne Plaza Tyson’s Corner

Crowne Plaza Tyson’s Corner hotel is located directly across the street from Tysons Galleria II and the Tysons Corner Center Shopping Mall. The hotel has partnered with one of the DC-area’s top personal stylists, Jessica Marty, from JEM Styling, and designed this unique shopping package called the Ultimate Girlfriends’ Getaway Package. Price: Starts from $110 per night.

Perfect for the shopaholic, the package includes:

Overnight accommodations for two people
Free parking
Free breakfast buffet
Early check-in (12 noon)
Late check-out (3pm)
One beverarage coupon per person at check-in
Free scheduled transportation service to/from both Tysons Corner malls
Shopping coupon book with discounts from several Tysons Corner shops and boutiques
One $25 Visa gift card to jump start your shopping spree
30 Minute consultation with one of DC’s top personal stylist, plus discounted rates for additional personal shopping and styling services

“Girl’s Night Out” package from the Black Horse Inn 

Spend a day away from the hustle and the bustle from the city at the premier Black Horse Inn, a Circa 1850 plantation-style  bed and breakfast located in Warrenton, Va, by opting for their Girl’s Night Out package (price: $390)

The “Girl’s Night Out” package from the Black Horse Inn entitles you to:

Overnight accomodation
Upon arrival a selection of fine wine and hors d’oeuvres
$50 dinner certificate to be used at Iron Bridge Restaurant in Old Town Warrenton, Va.
Pedicure for two at a local spa
After Dinner “Cookie Night Cap” tray upon your evening return
Gourmet breakfast

“Shop and drop” girlfriend’s package from The Hampton Inn and Suites

The Leesburg Outlets is home to exclusive designers and premium retail stores. Book yourself a room at the Hampton Inn and Suites Dulles and indulge in a shopping escapade at one of the most sought-after shopping destination.

The Shop and Drop package includes:

Room for up to four friends
$25 Gift Card to Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets
Coupon vouchers
Complimentary breakfast
Late checkout

Image Courtesy: jenniferlstoddart

Got a package that you’d like to feature? Email explorenova@gmail.com


Northern Virginia things to do in the weekend – January 6 – 8 2012

Northern Virginia ushers the first weekend of January 2012 with a wide selection of events. Whether you’re looking for something for the whole family, or for a cozy date night idea for the two of you, we have several options to beat the winter chill.

Wine & Dining

Each weekend in January, enjoy the gorgeous view of the vineyards and the Blue Ridge Mountains, as you relax with an assortment of mulled wine at Gadino Cellars in Rappahannock County, Va.  Complete the experience with live accordion music, gourmet cheese and sumptuous sausages. Date: January 7 & 8; Price: Cost of mulled wine and tasting fees

The Virginia Wine Experience in downtown Fredericksburg hosts a free sampling of four new selections of beer/wine every Friday night. Sign up for their email list for special discounts. Date: January 6; Price: Free; Time: 5:30-8:30pm

Cork & Fork in Gainesville, Va. invites you to free specialty beer tastings every Friday evening. Enjoy anywhere from 4 to 20 selections, in addition to live music. Food pairings are also provided.  Date: January 6; Price: Free; Time – 6.30 to 8pm

For the next ladies night out, gather a few of your special girls and enjoy special discounts at Market Street Bar & Grill on Friday nights. Ladies will enjoy $3 glasses of Canvas wine, $5 premium rail drinks and $3 draft. Date: January 6; Time: 7:00 pm. – 9:00 pm.

Family-friendly theater and entertainment

Savor a heartwarming afternoon and enjoy two shows at the Encore Stage and Studio featuring Darius the Dragon by Eleanor Harder and Rap-Punzel by Whitney Ryan Garrit – ideal for kids 4 and up. Tickets: Adults $12; Children, Students, and Seniors $10. Group discounts are available.

Performance Dates:

Fri. Jan. 6 at 7:30 pm
Sat. Jan. 7 at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm
Sun. Jan. 8 at 3:00 pm

Also available during the weekend is the classic knockout show Plunkett & Tremolo, recommended for kids 4 and up. Get entertained as you enjoy an amusing session between two mute fools played by Mark Jaster and Sabrina Mandrell. Date: Saturday, January 7; Price: $8

For tickets, click here

Both shows will be performed at:
The Artisphere’s Spectrum Theatre
1611 North Kent Street
Arlington, VA 22209


While the holidays are over and we’re back to the grind, doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the fuzzy feeling. Perfect for the cold winter days is Parfumerie, the story that inspired You’ve Got Mail and the musical, She Loves Me.  A perfect comedy for the whole family! Price: $15.00 – $35.00

Fridays 8 pm
Saturdays 2 pm & 8 pm
Sundays 2 pm & 7 pm


1st Stage Theater
1524 Spring Hill Road
Tysons Corner, VA 22102

Classic Movies

Participate in classic series of yesteryears and enjoy “Citizen Kane” at the Bow Tie Cinemas starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten. Price: $5; Date: January 7 & 8; Time: 11am

Rock ‘n Roll Skate Night

Every Friday night, skate your way to the tunes of a Live DJ at the Reston Town center from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Games & prizes are available until 11 p.m.  Date: January 6, Time: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Price: Adults – $9.00 Children under 12 – $7.00 Senior citizens (55 & up) – $7.00

Live Music

Make plans to come into Market Street Bar to enjoy local musicians perform; Date: January 7, Time: 8:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. No cover charge.

Free workshops

Reston Museum offers a session of interactive fun for your little ones. Bring your little artists to enjoy free art workshops offered by Pat Macintyre every Saturday morning Date: January 7, 2012; Time:10am.

Free yoga classes for the whole family is offered at the Health Advantage Yoga Center; Date: January 7 & 8

Community & Giving Back

Blood Drive sponsored by Reston Runners – Reston Town Center on Saturday, January 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; 703-629-0381