Welcome to the best time to be in Washington, D.C. The end of the year means the city is yours for the taking. It’s the time of year with the fewest tourists and the most options. All of the museums are open, all of the bars and restaurants you wanted to check out are open and all of the pop-up are still popped-up.
Here are 18 of the best ways to spend the the final days of 2018.
The BYT team recently spend a day at the massive St. James. It feels like the size of four IKEAs put together. It’s probably larger. It utilizes the space quite well, with two regulation size ice rinks, three regulation size soccer pitches, multiple regulation size basketball courts, a rock climbing wall, batting cages, an Olympic size swimming pool, water park, mini-American Ninja Warrior style obstacle course, modern gym, spa, restaurant and more. There is something here for you. Whether you want to jump in a foam pit at the end of a gymnatics course or hit dingers, there’s a way to sweat and have fun. Or get a pedicure.
Arlington’s newest bar / bowling alley / karaoke joint / diner / arcade / a million other things is here and it’s a lot. Spread over three stories and 25,000 square feet, you have a lot of run to drink, eat and play to your hearts content. Just don’t get lost. You’ll never be able to find your way out.
D.C.’s first SPIN outpost opened earlier this week. The downtown location is easy to access and good for couples and groups. Whether you want to hit a small bar around with pros or novices, this is the place to hit that small ball.
4. Eat Better Food
The most important food piece, the one you should bookmark and revisit whenever you’re thinking, “Where should I eat? Where should I take my date? Where should I take my parents? How should I spend this money on something that will satisfy me?” is here.
5. Eat Sweets
You may be giving up sweats or trying to lose weight or realize that all good things are better in moderation. Time to look at the Best Desserts in DC 2018 feature while it’s still 2018.
6. Eat Less Meat
You may be giving up meat in the new year. Get a kick start on your new animal friendlier lifestyle and peruse Best Vegetarian Dishes of 2018.
7. Eat at Iron Gate
We recently visited Iron Gate for their five year anniversary party. It was a good reminder that Iron Gate is a fantastic restaurant in the middle of the residential street on the outskirts of different neighborhoods. It’s no longer new or buzzy. It’s easy to forget about it. This is your reminder to not forget about it. If you’re reading this before December 23, go for their Seven Fishes special menu. If it’s after the 23rd, go with anyone you like. It’s a perfect date spot.
8. Beer is a food.
Read our 2018: The Beer in Review. It’s very long. You can drink multiple beers while reading it.
9. Plan Your New Year’s Eve
It’s not too early to plan your New Year’s Eve. In fact, it may be too late to make a reservation at one of our recommended spots.
If you’re going to go to a pop up bar, go to the best pop up bar.
If you’re going to go to a pop up bar, go to the best pop up bar that does not care about impressing other pop up bars.
12. BAR GARBBARge
DC9 has transformed their first floor bar into a trash bar because it’ll raise awareness to be less wasteful? Or maybe it’s just a good idea for a bar. Either way, it’s open now! It closes soon! Get that selfie with trash!
Not a pop up bar but one that will make you feel like you’re in a pop up bar, Destination Wedding is ideal for the couple that wants to re-live the happiest day of their life or the couple about to break up and wants to have one last party.
The best part of D.C. is all the free shit. Every night there is a free event (or multiple free events) to choose from. Don’t let all of those wonderful free things go to waste and hit up one of the underrated free things in the city, the National Gallery of Art’s film program. Stacked with art house, experimental and indie classics, you probably won’t know most of the movies on their calendar. That’s okay. Film curator Peggy Parsons knows exactly what she’s doing.
There’s plants. There’s model trains. They’ll look cute on your Instagram. When was the last time you went to the Botanic Gardens anyway?
Yes, we know the entire reason for this piece is to take advantage of a mostly empty city. But sometimes you want to stay home regardless how congested it is outside your living room.
16. Read a book
Use our Best Books of 2018 feature to point you in the right direction.
17. Read a cookbook
Thinking about starting to cook? Good! You should! It’ll make your life better! Maybe begin with a cookbook that inspired a chef you like to become a chef.
18. Watch one of those horrible Hallmark movies
Tis the season to fall in love with a horribly great ‘film’ about a princess that didn’t know she was a princess and now she’s married to a small town baker or something. Best Christmas Movies to Stream Right Now will guide you on your unrealistic, completely unhealthy holiday movie downward spiral!