Archive for the ‘Family Fun Around Town’ Category

Cherry Blossoms on Parade

March 21, 2012
Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC

Cherry Blossoms

2012 marks the 100 anniversary of Washington’s most famous symbol of spring – the cherry trees that line the tidal basin and several other spots around the city. In 1912, the first cherry trees arrived as a gift from the Mayor of Tokyo, Japan.

To celebrate the centennial, Washington is celebrating with a 5 week festival. Highlights of this year’s Cherry Blossom festival include:

The National Park Service offers Cherry Blossom related events including lantern tours and ranger-led bike tours. Bike n Roll and Capital Bikeshare offer great options for bikes if you’re not traveling with your own bike – just be prepared for the crowds on the Mall.

Beyond the Mall, you can explore more about the Japanese culture and the cherry trees as a symbol of friendship:

  • Samurai Cinema at National Geographic as they screen three classics of Japanese cinema as part of the Samurai: The Warrior Transformed Exhibit.
  • The Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center offers free daily performances at 6 pm (free shuttle buses from Foggy Bottom metro) including kyogen – a traditional Japanese comic theater.
  • The Library of Congress offers curator tours, lectures and a Japanese culture day related to the “Sakura: Cherry Blossoms as Living Symbols of Friendship” exhibit in the Jefferson Building.

Plan your trip today (check out the No Worries Weekend Getaway and the Family Fun Package), and be sure to stop by 14K Restaurant & Lounge and enjoy a relaxing drink on the patio while you’re here.

Washington’s Winter Wonderland

January 4, 2012

Even though the temperature might drop, things heat up in Washington during January and February. It’s a great time to visit and see the sights without the crowds of summer.

Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend

Each year, a birthday celebration is held for Dr. King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King gave his “I have a dream speech.”

This is also the first year visitors will have the opportunity to visit the new Martin Luther King memorial on the National Mall for Dr. King’s birthday.

Snow Days

While we can’t control the weather, we can help you control where you get stranded. If you have to “shelter in place” wouldn’t you rather be with us enjoying the lounge at 14K Restaurant and a nice warm bed upstairs? Watch our Facebook page for snowed-in specials.

Valentine’s Weekend

We’ve mentioned Tudor Place before – it’s a beautiful home in Georgetown built by Martha Washington’s granddaughter and kept in the family for 6 generations. It’s worth a visit at any time of year for the gardens or the seasonal decorations. And on Valentine’s Day, Tudor Place offers several events to tempt you including a Valentine’s Tea in the afternoon or an evening event that includes wine and chocolate covered strawberries in the conservatory.  There’s even a Valentine’s card workshop for kids. (Tudor Place is a popular venue, so we recommend making reservations soon.)

And of course, watch the 14K Restaurant site for Chef Keller’s special Valentine’s menu.

Upcoming Events

Mark your calendar (and make your reservations) for these popular Washington events:

Cherry Blossom Festival – This year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Join the celebrations from March 20 – April 27 including daily free performances at the Sylvan Theater, the Blossom Kite Festival, Family Days at the National Building Museum, the Cherry Blossom Parade, a Japanese Street Festival, and more.

4th of July – it’s always a great time, and we’re within walking distance of The National Mall.

Inauguration – I know, I know. But it’s never too early to think about booking your rooms for Inauguration. By the time the election is over, all the prime spots are gone.

Christmas in Washington

November 17, 2011
Nutcrackers outside Old Ebbitt Grill

Nutcrackers outside Old Ebbitt Grill

Plan your trip now to experience the all the fun holiday events that Washington DC has to offer. There’s plenty to keep you busy all month long starting with the National Tree lighting all the way through New Year’s Day.

The Capitol Christmas tree arrives in town on Monday November 28th and will be lit by the Speaker of the House during a ceremony on the West Front Lawn of the Capitol on December 6th at 5 pm.

The President lights the National Christmas Tree on December 1st. Tickets are required for that event but the  Pageant of Peace continues all month long on the Ellipse with daily musical performances, Santa’s Workshop and a train.

The weekend of December 3rd brings the Alexandria Holiday Tour of Homes and the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade. Tour some of the historic homes of Alexandria and watch the parade. There’s also a medieval marketplace and holiday pudding competition.

That evening brings the Parade of Lights both in Alexandria and at the 7th Street Harbor in Washington DC. See the boats decorated for the season and on parade.

Every day the Kennedy Center offers free performances on the Millennium Stage at 6 pm (take the free shuttle bus from Foggy Bottom metro). During December a variety of holiday-themed programs are offered – our favorite is always Merry Tuba Christmas on December 7th.

Another annual tradition is Jazz Piano Christmas when the Kennedy Center and National Public Radio bring top jazz pianists to perform their favorite holiday songs.

Washington has wonderful homes that are open to public and decorated for Christmas. A few of our favorites:

It wouldn’t be the holidays without the Nutcracker for many of us. You can take your pick:

  • The Kennedy Center offers the American Ballet Theater December 8 -11th.
  • The Washington Ballet performs the Nutcracker all month long with a local twist – George Washington is the Nutcracker and King George is the Rat King.
  • If you prefer a completely traditional version, West End Cinema will be broadcasting The Nutcracker live from the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow on December 18th and 19th.

If you prefer singing holiday songs to ballet, head over to the National Gallery of Art for Caroling in the Rotunda on weekend afternoons in December. A curator will also offer Gallery Talks with a curator on The Christmas Story in Art (check the schedule for specific dates and times.)

If ice skating and hot chocolate put you in the holiday spirit, then head outside to the Sculpture Garden and Pavilion Café to strap on your skates. The skating season begins in late November and runs all winter.

And of course, for New Year’s plan to join us at 14K Restaurant and Lounge for our New Year’s Eve Casino Gala Night. We’ll have a full open bar, DJ, dancing, table games, seafood and raw bar, and champagne toast at midnight – for all the fun you want to have. Stay with us for the night and enjoy late checkout and full American breakfast buffet on New Year’s Day.

Make your reservations now and enjoy all the holiday fun Washington has to offer.

Thanksgiving in Washington

November 8, 2011

It’s time to start making holiday plans again. If you have family in Washington DC or if you’re stopping by in town for a few days while you’re traveling, we have plenty going on here to get you in the holiday spirit.

Thanksgiving

Spending Thanksgiving in Washington DC? Save yourself time (and a lot of dishes) by having dinner with us. Our traditional Thanksgiving buffet dinner has all your holiday favorites, including turkey and all the trimmings, plus a steamship round, Virginia ham, raw bar and a wonderful chocolate display to go with those holiday pies.

After dinner, you can walk down to the White House or over to the National Mall and visit some of the Smithsonian museums, or just enjoy the monuments.

Specials for Holiday Travelers

We want your holiday travels to be relaxing and fun:

Pet Friendly – Can’t bear to leave your furry friend behind over the holidays? The Hamilton Crowne Plaza is a pet friendly hotel with a park right across the street, so you and your buddy can go for walks.

Parking – Driving to visit friends? The Hamilton has packages that include parking on weekends.

AAA Members – We offer special rates for AAA Members as well, so be sure to check those discounts (and bring your card).

Women Travelers – Traveling solo or spending some time with your friends? Enjoy the special amenities of our dedicated women’s floor.

Holiday Shopping

While you’re enjoying your holiday weekend, start your holiday shopping with a walk over to the White House Historical Association, and purchase a unique memento from your Washington visit. Our favorite is the White House Christmas Ornament commemorating the presidency of Teddy Roosevelt.

The Smithsonian museum shops also offer unique gifts. Budding astronomers, aviation and space enthusiasts will find the Air & Space Museum gift shop tempting, while artists will be drawn to the Hirshhorn Museum or the American Art Museum. Those who enjoy crafts will enjoy the Renwick Gallery Store.  You might even find a treat for yourself.

Fall Fun and Festivals in Washington DC

October 4, 2011

Fall is one of our favorite times in Washington DC. The heat and the crowds are gone, so you can enjoy the best of the city. Here are a few of our favorite things to do in October.  

Fall Foliage

Enjoy the fall foliage along the C&O Canal National Historic Park starting in Georgetown and stretching for 13 miles to Great Falls Park in Northern Virginia.

Explore Rock Creek Park – a park in the middle of the city offering walking, jogging and bike trails – even a stable.

Visit the US National Arboretum  and enjoy the Orchid show and sale or just take a walk around the grounds and enjoy the fall foliage and the seasonal blooming plants including hibiscus, autumn crocuses, water lilies, camellias, chrysanthemums, boxwood and more.

Take a walk at the National Zoo in the crisp fall weather (and maybe even smaller crowds).

Halloween

Enjoy the Halloween Film Festival at American Film Institute in Silver Spring. This year includes a special tribute to Vincent Price, plus the annual showing of the silent Nosferatu accompanied by live music. Halloween night brings a live interactive show of “The Tingler.”

Visit the National Zoo the evening of October 21, 22 or 23 with Boo at the Zoo and get treats and see the animals at night.

Take a walking tour and visit Washington’s most haunted houses including the Octagon House.

Oktoberfest

Looking to celebrate Oktoberfest? The Post’s Going Out Guru’s recommend the best in DC including Beirgarten Haus.

For German culture, including film, games and yes, Oktoberfest, visit the Goethe Institute.

Check out our specials and make your reservations now.

Plan a trip to DC for National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15, 2011

This month marks the celebration of the National Hispanic Heritage Month, and this year’s theme is “Many Backgrounds, Many Stories…One American Spirit.” This is a great chance for Washington to focus on the contributions of the Latin, Central American, South American, and Caribbean communities – and many of the events are free, so you can spend your money enjoying the cuisine, or on souvenirs of your trip.

The Latin American spirit has a colorful vibe unlike any other. With an eclectic mix of cultures, foods, music and traditions, its difficult not to become absorbed into this vibrant community. Growing up in Cochabamba, Bolivia. I remember the colorful scenes of the Carnaval – the women dancing down the street in colorful dresses, the men lighting the fireworks, and the excitement of the children playing on the street. Although these tender memories stayed with me during my time in Washington DC, I am excited to celebrate this month with friends and family and experience the exciting events being hosted this month in the city.

Exhibits

The National Gallery of Art will be presenting a diverse display featuring concerts and films to honor the diverse culture, and offering guided tours in Spanish. On Sunday September 26th, Carlos Cesar Rodriguez, a renowned pianist and composer, will be playing in concert on the West Building in the West Garden Court in honor of this special month, alongside many other Latin American composers and musicians. A film series honoring the bicentennial independence of Mexico from Spain will feature various Mexican films to include Alamar, Lake Tahoe, and Presumed Guilty and will play in the East Building Auditorium of the Gallery.

The National Museum of American History will be featuring special displays, particularly focusing on the Mexican Revolution and the migration of Mexicans to the United States. Later this year the museum will be celebrating Diosa Costello, a prominent Latin performer, artist, producer, club owner, as well as the first Latina on Broadway. Costello donated 11 of her costumes to the Smithsonian for this exhibit.

Film

The annual AFI Latin American Film Festival will be held September 22nd through October 12th at the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center. The festival will focus on featuring various new films that will be premiering from 18 different Latin American regions.

Zoo

On September 18th the National Zoo will be hosting a Fiesta Musical with animal demonstrations, Hispanic and Latin music, Latin dancers, and traditional foods and crafts.

Community

Washington DC is also a great place to visit the monuments of various iconic Hispanic figures that have played an important role and contributed to many of the unique events in the history of the Americas. These important individuals include Jose Artigas, Simon Bolivar, Admiral David G. Farragut, Bernardo de Galvez, Benito Pablo Juarez, and General Jose de San Martin.

Also, the United Spanish War Veterans Memorial is located on Memorial Avenueon the west side of the Arlington Memorial Bridge outside Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Dining

In our own 14K Restaurant & Lounge, we will be honoring this special month with complimentary Seafood Tacos with the purchase of two dinner entrees. Chef’s special preparation of these delicious Seafood Tacos reminds me of Mazatlan in Mexico’s Golden Coast featuring fresh seafood served with tomato, shallots, jalapeños, fresh lime, and cilantro mayonnaise – a twist to the traditional Mexican ceviche with North American influence.

Discover some of the great restaurants in Washington serving Latin American and Caribbean food, just a short walk from the hotel.

Learn more about the events scheduled for the National Hispanic Heritage Month.

See our specials and book your room at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza now – be sure to book your table at 14K Restaurant as well.

MLK Foundation Announces Changes to the Dedication Weekend Plans

August 26, 2011

We’ve had an exciting week in Washington DC – experiencing our first earthquake in over 100 years and awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Irene.

With all this in mind, the MLK Foundation along with the National Park Service, FEMA, and the DC mayor’s office have arrived at the very difficult conclusion that the weather conditions for the MLK Dedication weekend could pose a severe threat to the safety of the general public. Mr. Harry Johnson, Sr. President and CEO of the Foundation announced that “it is with a heavy heart and enormous disappointment that we announce that, in the interest of public safety, we are forced to change our plans.”

All scheduled events for Friday will continue as planned including the Partners In the Dream MLK Store and the Women Who Dare to Dream Luncheon, both being held at the Washington Convention Center. The last official event of the Dedication Week will be the National Prayer Service that will be held on Saturday at the Basilica on the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Please note that the Prayer Service was moved to the National Shrine from the National Cathedral.

The National Park Service will open the Memorial to the public on Saturday from 7:00 am until 12:00 noon, weather permitting.

The official dedication that was to be held on Sunday will be postponed to a later date in the fall.  An official announcement will be made by the MLK Foundation once a date has been confirmed. For more information, please visit www.dedicatethedream.org.

Family Summer Fun in Washington DC

July 1, 2011

If you’re looking for a great family summer escape, come to Washington DC! There’s plenty to see and do and we’re running a great Family Fun Package to keep it affordable to bring the whole family and stay right downtown.

The Hamilton Crowne Plaza is right across the park from the McPherson Square metro station on the Orange and Blue lines, so you won’t even have to worry about driving during your stay – you can walk or take Metro to all the most popular sites around town.

While you’re in town, you can:

  • Visit the Giant Pandas and the lion cubs at the National Zoo
  • Visit the Washington Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, plus the World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall
  • Visit the Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall including the Air & Space Museum
  • Visit the Butterfly exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History
  • Tour the US Capitol
  • Take a walk past the White House
  • Head over to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

See a great list of 100 free (or nearly free) things to do in DC. Reserve your vacation today.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

June 10, 2011

Each year the Smithsonian chooses 3 nations, regions, states or themes to highlight and celebrate during the Folklife Festival.  The 2011 Festival, scheduled for June 30 – July 4 and July 7 – 11 on the National Mall in Washington DC will feature programs on

Colombia – The biological and environmental diversity of Colombia led to the development of distinct cultures. Six ecosystems and cultures will be highlighted during the festival, including Amazon Rainforest, Andes Mountains, Andean Savannah, Southeastern Plains, the coffee region of Caldas, and the urban centers of Bogota, Medellin and Cali.

The Peace Corps – The Peace Corps turns 50 in 2011, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrates 50 years of service and accomplishment by the volunteers. Started by President Kennedy, the Peace Corps was founded to “promote world peace and friendship.”  Learn more about the life of volunteers and the places they serve.

Rhythm & Blues Rhythm and Blues incorporates elements of blues, soul, funk and more – and is recognized around the world as an identifiably American style of music. Watch performances of music and hear the stories of performers, songwriters and producers.

Learn more about preparations for the Folklife Festival by following the Festival blog. For example, there will be filtered water stations available this year with special collectible water bottles available – or you can bring your own.

See the full schedule of events during the Folklife Festival. Be sure to check out our Specials and make your reservations for your stay.

Jazz in the City

May 11, 2011

Celebrating the legacy that Duke created, the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival has been renamed and is now the DC Jazz Festival. Scheduled for June 1 – 13, 2011, the DC Jazz Festival offers performances around the city, including outdoors at the Sylvan Theater on the National Mall, student concerts and master classes, plus Jazz and Family fun days at the Phillips Collection art gallery.

Each year,= as part of the festival, jazz greats are honored for their contributions. This year the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to saxophonist Jimmy Heath and pianist Eddie Palmieri. The Heath Brothers will perform at Bohemian Caverns during the Jazz in the Hood festival, and Mr. Palimieri will participate in the concert on the National Mall on June 12.

Special events for this year’s festival include:

Many fans know that Duke Ellington’s childhood home was located on 13th Street between T and S Streets. Just down the street you’ll find Bohemian Caverns at 11th & U – founded in 1926 and still one of the venues for the jazz festival.

All the venues for the jazz festival are an easy walk or metro ride from the Hamilton Crowne Plaza at 14th & K Streets. If you need assistance booking tickets or would like to arrange a car service, please contact our concierge. See our specials and make your reservations.


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