BE FREE IN DC! From festive concerts and sprawling food-and-art markets to beer tastings and indoor gardens, there’s a slew of free things to do in the nation’s capital. Here are just a handful. 1. EASTERN MARKET On weekends in Capitol Hill, make your way through pop-up shops and artisan food stands for edible, wearable and shareable finds. Or, line up with the locals for blueberry buckwheat pancakes at Market Lunch. Closed on Mondays. 2. WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL During the holidays, the Neo Gothic-style cathedral is dressed in festive decor, and special events include Christmas concerts. Admission: $11 per adult; $7 per youth (5-17), seniors (65+), students and military; and free for children 4 and under. Spiritual and Sunday visits are free. Photo by Daniel Thomas 3. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN THE ARTS See art by Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe at this downtown museum, the world’s only major museum dedicated to works by female artists. There’s free admission for everyone on the first Sunday of each month and at all times for those 18 and under. Photo by Dakota Fine 4. BUSBOYS & POETS For only $5, attend a memorable open mic performance at any of this restaurant’s four DC locations. Adored by scribes, brunch-goers and fans of poet Langston Hughes (who bussed tables in DC in the 1920s before finding fame), the cafe hosts readings and spoken-word performances, and sells intriguing books, artwork and veggie-friendly eats. 5. THE DC CIRCULATOR BUS Ride the DC Circulator’s new National Mall route, which travels from Union Station and the National Gallery of Art to the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, for $1. Get a SmarTrip card and enjoy free Circulator and Metrobus transfers within two hours of your initial charge. The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States 6. SUPREME COURT On weekdays, enter through the left or right side of the main staircase to see artifacts, portraits and busts on display from 9 am to 4:30 pm. To have your day in court, check the argument calendar at supremecourt.gov and attend a session. Photo by Hoachlander Davis Photography 7. DISTRICT ARCHITECTURE CENTER Have an affinity for architectural design? Attend a free talk on urbanism or see the latest exhibition for free at the DAC, located just off Pennsylvania Avenue in Penn Quarter. Photo by Eric Laignel 8. BLUEJACKET BREWERY Take a behind-the-scenes tour at the brewery that beer lovers are raving about. Held on Saturdays at 11 am, 12 pm and 1 pm, the first-come, firstserved tours are a portal into craft beer-making heaven in DC’s Capitol Riverfront. 9. UNION STATION Shop at internationally renowned stores, feast at Shake Shack or just admire the beauty of this Beaux Arts-style train station in Capitol Hill. Close to Christmas, expect a holiday makeover – model train display included. 10. U.S. BOTANIC GARDEN Chanel No. 5, vanilla and fossil fuels: All are derived from plants you can see inside the conservatory. Get a taste of spring and summer regardless of the weather outside by visiting this veritable gallery of living plants and flowers on DC’s National Mall. Want More? Check out washington.org/100freethings for 90 additional ideas!
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