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It’s a whole new year meaning you can put the past 365 days behind you and start anew. File all your regrets away, act like they never happened, and make yourself a ton of new promises about how this year is going to be so much better than the last. Well your self-improvement promises are on you, but we can help you out with something else- what to watch out for in D.C. this year.

Whether you just moved to the District or are a seasoned D.C. denizen, you’re in for a special treat. As a major metropolitan area – not to mention the nation’s capital – the city is constantly booming with new, exciting things to do, and the coming year is no exception. So grab your scheduling book – ahem, your online calendar – and check out all that D.C. has to offer in 2016.

Fun for the Foodie: New Restaurants and Bars

If you’re a foodie – or a barfly – you’re in luck. D.C. has always been known for its vast selection of cuisines and creative cocktails, so if you’re looking to try something new this year, watch out for these upcoming bar and restaurant openings.

All Purpose

The owners of two restaurants, The Red Hen and Boundary Stone, have teamed up to open an Italian-American establishment focused primarily on pizza. Head Chef Michael Friedman says he reminisces of the New York-style pizza he ate growing up in New Jersey, and his mission is to create a pie with a “breadier dough.” Rather than the wood-fired ovens commonly used to bake Neapolitan-style pizzas, All Purpose will use deck ovens to produce a richer flavor and a crunchier crust.

Location: 1250 Ninth St. NW

Projected Opening Date: February 2016



Watch out, U Street: There’s a tiki bar coming to town. Archipelago, which will occupy the space previously owned by Caribbean restaurant The Islander, will feature exotic drinks and an interior decorated with bamboo, thatch and tiki idols.

Location: 1201 U St. NW

Projected Opening Date: Winter 2016


Maybe you’ve heard of chef and restaurateur Tim Ma, because his restaurant group is responsible for several popular establishments across Virginia, including Water & Wall. Now the award-winning chef is opening a casual Asian-French bistro called Kyirisan, which will serve cuisine to honor Ma’s Chinese family heritage. Be sure to make your reservation early, though: Seating will be limited to 50 to create a more intimate dining experience.

Location: 1934 Eighth St. NW

Projected Opening Date: February 2016

Festivals for the Rest of Us: Themed Celebrations

There’s much more than eating and drinking to do in D.C. – not that there’s anything wrong with that. Check out these fun events planned for the upcoming year.

Spy Fest

Spy Fest is an annual festival hosted by the International Spy Museum – though you can expect new, exciting espionage events every year. This family friendly celebration features an array of interactive, spy-related activities – you can do everything from learning the tricks of crypto analysts to taking a crack at a polygraph test.

Location: International Spy Museum, 800 F St. NW

Date: Jan. 29, 2016

Cherry Blossom Festival

An annual DC staple, the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates spring with a prominent display of its beautiful cherry trees. The festival runs for several days and features live entertainment, an elaborate parade and plenty of local vendors. So schedule a trip downtown, take a stroll around the lovely Tidal Basin and stop and smell the cherry blossoms.

Location: Tidal Basin Welcome Center, 1501 Main Ave. SW

Dates: March 20 to April 17, 2016


Environmental Film Festival

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to be a little greener – and not with envy? Check out the capital’s Environmental Film Festival, where you can screen a selection of more than 100 environmentally themed films including documentaries, shorts and animations. The films will be showcased at multiple venues throughout the District, including museums and embassies. Most of the screenings are free, because the main goal is to raise environmental awareness.

Location: Multiple venues

Dates: March 15 to March 16, 2016

Speaker Feature: Great Guests

From literary gurus to political pundits, D.C. has an influx of influential speakers from all areas of expertise. If your hobbies include attending speaking events, check out these upcoming guests to the city.

Paul Strohm, Chaucer Expert

Remember “The Canterbury Tales?” At the Smithsonian Institute’s Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Road: Evening Program, join Columbia professor and Chaucer expert Paul Strohm as he revisits the satirical stories and talks about the context of life in 14th-century England.

Location: Smithsonian S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW

Date: Jan. 12, 2016

Mike Lofgren, Congressional Staffer

Mike Lofgren spent 28 years as a hardworking congressional staffer – and he’s now a popular political commentator for shows such as “Hardball,” “Bill Moyers” and “To the Point.” Join this pundit as he speaks about The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government.

Location: Politics & Prose Coffeehouse, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW

Date: Jan. 12, 2016

And Much, Much More

If none of these ideas appeal to you, never fret – there’s plenty more to do in our booming nation’s capital. Like the great outdoors? Try one of the city’s sprawling hiking trails. Are you a sports fan? Consider grabbing a ticket for a basketball game at the city’s famous Verizon Center. Music aficionado? The Verizon Center has concerts, too.

Whatever may suit your fancy, all it takes is a little exploring of the city and you’re sure to find more than one reason to love D.C. in 2016.