Where did 2012 go?

Much like 2011, 2010, 2009, it was quite a ride around the sun. And now as we look at all the endless possibilities of a new year, don’t forget the treasures in your own back yard. In no particular order, we put together some great Tommy Show tested places in Maryland, Virginia and the District that are worth rediscovering.

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Photo Credit - Dustin Whitlow for the 9:30 Club.

Photo Credit – Dustin Whitlow for the 9:30 Club.

1. There’s this little place called 9:30 Club. It’s list of once-in-a-lifetime-music-moments stretches longer than Pennsylvania Avenue.  Last year 9:30 was names Top Club by Billboard magazine, an honor they’ve nabbed before. It’s also the most attended nightclub of its size in the world.  Sorry that other great club in Belgium.  More than just a place to see a show, pop culture history happens at the 9:30 Club. As folklore would have it this is the place where Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were first spotted sucking face in public. Their massive bars also boast a masterfully curated brew selection and food that is light years beyond chicken fingers and pretzel. [815 V Street NW]

photo by Fun Company Events

photo by Fun Company Events

2. Fun Company Events is a playground for all! The philosophy is simple: “Big Fun with No Worries.” Whether Carolyn  Howell and her team are planning corporate functions off site or your herd comes to their exclusive partner Dulles Golf Center & Sports Park your family and friends are in for an incredible adventure.  Rock climbing, concessions, batting cages, mini golf and many unexpected magical visitors are waiting for you and your next party.

courtesy of International Spy Museum

courtesy of International Spy Museum

3. The International Spy Museum’s new-ish Bond Exhibit. Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains  meet the madmen, and wicked women who tried to take down 007 and take over the world. This special exhibit honors 50 years of shaken, not stirred edge of your seat movie gold. Tip: Great Bond souvenirs in the Spy Store! See over 100 film artifacts from the archives of EON Productions, the Bond film producers. If you think you’re spy enough, grab onto Hang Time: Create your own “Bond Moment” as you dangle high above a skyline; compare your performance to James Bond’s. [800 F Street, NW]

Photo credits: Jeff Malet for USNM

Photo credits: Jeff Malet for USNM

4. The U.S. Navy Memorial is a gem of Washington tucked away in DC’s Penn Quarter neighborhood. Downstairs from the memorial’s outdoor plaza lies the Naval Heritage Center.  From monthly book readings to a state of the art theater the USNM covers the spectrum of educational fun and remembrance. During the summertime, guests can enjoy the Concerts on the Avenue series, featuring a variety of musical groups like the US Navy Band. General public and military personnel are invited to stop by and honor our servicemen and women. [701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW]

5. Body by dancer? The Bar Method™ workout creates a uniquely lean, firm, sculpted body by combining the muscle-shaping principles of isometrics, the body-elongating practice of dance conditioning, the science of physical therapy and the intense pace of interval training into a powerful exercise format that quickly and safely reshapes and elongates muscles. Kate Arnold, the owner of The Bar Method DC opened the first Chinatown studio in June 2011 there are now more than a dozen instructors and over 70 classes a week! Bethesda is coming in 2013 [7710 Woodmont Avenue]

by:Tommy's Driod

by:Tommy’s Driod

6. The Washington Harbour is gorgeous!  There $22.5 Million, Million with an M, renovation ushered in new looks for waterfront favorites Nick’s Riverside Grille and Tony + Joe’s and welcomed new dining spot Farmers, Fishers, Bakers with delicious rumors of another DC Celebrity chef planning a new concept for 2013. The addition of an ice rink, larger than New York’s Rockerfeller Center by the way, Washington Harbour is truly a year round destination for fun. Glide across the ice now thru March. Enjoy Cartoon Skates on Saturday afternoon, Rock-N-Skate Saturday evenings and Two for One Tuesday. In April when the iconic fountain come back be ready for boat watching and a water show on land with choreographed, think Vegas, fountain action every 30 minutes.

7. Georgetown Cupcake. DC’s Sweetest sisters continue to dominate pastries in the Nation’s Capital while spreading frosting across the country.  Years after the doors of Georgetown Cupcake opened on Prospect Street NW Sophie and Katherine have maintained their sugary personalities and roots in the DC community.  The lines at their DC [now on M Street] and Bethesda bakeries still wrap the block while tourists and locals calm their sweettooth.  FUN FACT – Did you know that if you order online ahead of time you can cut the line?  Shhhhh, it’ll be our little secret.  If you’re keeping track Georgetown Cupcake aside from being a cable TV smash hit now has bakeries in New York, Boston and Los Angeles. Who knows what cities they whip up a batch in next.

8. Right in the heart of America’s Cultural Mecca the Kennedy Center boasting many incredible performances each year, make it a point to check out Shear Maddness which is on going in the Theater Lab. [reopened in November 2012] The show is set in present-day Georgetown, Shear Madness engages locals and visitors alike as armchair detectives.

Photo by Margot Schulman

Photo by Margot Schulman

Finish off the perfect DC day with a taste at the Roof Terrace Restaurant. It’s perfect for a lovely pre-or-post-performance meal or for those simply looking to enjoy a memorable dining experience amidst the most spectacular views of the city. Take in views of Rosslyn, Georgetown, the Washington Monument and planes departing and arriving at Reagan high above the Potomac.

credit: Wolf Trap

credit: Wolf Trap

9. The Barns at Wolf Trap. Many Washingtonians know just how spectacular an evening under the stars taking in incredible performances and responsibly knocking back some delicious wine on a warm summer night at the Filene Center can be. Whether it’s Fresh Artists like Train or Colbie Caillat or Gavin DeGraw or broadway productions or country or classical there is something for everyone at Wolf Trap.  This year rediscover the Barns at Wolf Trap. Made up of 2 adjacent 18th-century barns, The Barns is a gift from Wolf Trap’s founder, Catherine Filene Shouse, in 1981. After being moved by the incredible acoustics of a wooden barn concert in Maine Catherine had to bring the same experience to the Washington area. Did you know that, The Barns operate year round hosting about 100 performances? [ 1645 Trap Road, Vienna]

10. In April the Newseum will unveil a couple of JFK exhibits marking the 50th anniversary of assassination of our 35th President. The JFK exhibits will feature rarely seen artifacts and intimate images of the Kennedy family taken by their personal photographer. “Three Shots Were Fired” tells the dramatic story of the news media’s reporting of the tragedy and images that are so powerful they still resonate with us today. “JFK” will open at the Newseum April 12, 2013 [555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.]

credit: Estate of Jacques Lowe

credit: Estate of Jacques Lowe

Down the street Bonus. Abe Lincoln’s Telegraph, early Oval Office Audio and more historic treasures away you at the National Archives Public Vaults.  This permanent exhibit is fun for all ages and gives a great interactive grasp of history. Dive deep into some of the most famous documents in American History. The Public Vaults display at any given time about 1,100 records-originals or facsimiles of documents, photographs, maps, drawings, film or audio clips, allowing you to see the raw materials of our American democracy. [700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW]

Photo credit:  Courtesy of Honolulu Theatre for Youth

Photo credit: Courtesy of Honolulu Theatre for Youth

11 Imagination Stage in Bethesda is the largest and most respected multi-disciplinary theater arts organization for young people in the Mid-Atlantic region. They continue to make theater inclusive additionally offer sensory-friendly performances [for children with special needs] which began with the current production of Seussical.  Other sensory friendly show dates include TANIME MOMOTARO Feb 17 JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH May 12 PETER PAN AND WENDY August 4. [4908 Auburn Avenue  Bethesda]

12. Days ago the Corcoran Gallery of Art launched ‘Corcoran Uncorked,’ tasting of delicious libations coupled with exhibitions, receptions, lectures, and tours. Todd Gray’s Muse at the Corcoran will host top cocktail masters from all over the DMV for this series. It’s free for members and the everyone else can experience $15 [500 Seventeenth Street NW]

photo credit:Corcoran Gallery of Art

photo credit:Corcoran Gallery of Art

BONUS – Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s opens in late February. Pump Me Up traces the history of graffiti in Washington while emphasizing its inextricable ties to the burgeoning forms of local music.

photo courtesy of NCM

photo courtesy of NCM

13 Right over the DC line in PG County is an increasingly incredible and growing wonderland for all season. The National Harbor continues to impress with delightful new shops and exhibits opening what seems like each day.  In 2012 Cirque had an extended stay, the Peterson Company broke ground on incredible outlets, 947 Fresh FM hosted FREE movies on the Potomac, countless 5K’s were clocked, and hundreds of thousands took in amazing water views.  From decking the harbor with their gigantic LED Christmas tree to water fun in the summer the National Harbor never disappoints. The National Children’s Museum is now open at National Harbor.  This loved museum used to be in the District but has been closed for several years and now makes it’s new home at the Harbor.  This is a great new find for families and something so affordable. “The National Children’s Museum takes our young visitors from their homes to the world, sharing the importance of global citizenship and personal responsibility in an open-ended, playful environment,” said NCM President & CEO Willard Whitson.

What else should we be rediscovering? Email us Tommy@947FreshFM.com or tweet @TommyMcFLY


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