Looking to enjoy “Barbie” while reliving those childhood slumber parties with your best friends? Alamo Drafthouse has you covered.
This Friday and Saturday, movie-goers can get dressed up in their pajamas and bring their pillows to the Crystal City location of the theater for late-night screenings of the blockbuster film. There will be Barbie-themed concessions, merchandise and photo ops.
“With this ‘Barbie’ movie, because we’re trying to appeal to girls and women of all ages, we really want to bring back that kind of fun and nostalgia that we have from when we were kids, having sleepovers with our best friends,” said Megan Hia, the marketing and events manager for the D.C.-area locations of Alamo Drafthouse.
Hia says the “Barbie” slumber parties will be “rowdy showings,” with relaxed talking rules that allow for guests to express their feelings about the film and chat with friends. As a bonus, there should be air conditioning.
Barbie-themed booze will also be flowing. Alamo will have a kölsch called “The Babe” on tap from local brewpub Nighthawk Brewery as well as two specialty drinks: “Dream Summer ’80” and the “Dream Summer ’59.”
For Alamo Drafthouse, the event is one way Alamo is keeping the excitement for “Barbie” alive. The film had a massive $162 million opening weekend at the box office — making it the most successful first weekend of any film this year.
Hia says attendance rates for this movie in Arlington and D.C. are already on-par with well-attended movies pre-pandemic. She observed many moviegoers come in pink outfits and pose for photos outside the theaters.
“There’s so much excitement around it and you can really, really see that,” Hia said. “To have people come in costume and dress up — and dress up in pink for the ‘Barbie’ movie — that’s all about building that experience and celebrating the movies that are coming, and that’s really what the Alamo is all about.”
Tickets for the slumber party screening of “Barbie” at the Crystal City location, at 1660 Crystal Drive, are available on the theater’s website. There are still several tickets available for Friday night at $21 and a few for Saturday at $14.
Tomorrow, the spotlight will fall on local drag entertainers in Crystal City.
“Hosted by the incomparable Shi-Queeta Lee, the Miss Arlington Pride Drag Pageant is going to be one of the most anticipated local events of the summer,” an event page says. “This event will be full of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent from our contestant, and an abundance of drag entertainment as we determine who takes the crown for 2023.”
Contestants can compete in four categories: presentation, talent, evening dress and a Q&A. The event runs from 8-9:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City (2799 Richmond Hwy), located near Reagan National Airport. Doors will open for entry at 7 p.m.
Attendees will need a ticket, which can be bought online. Regular admission costs $20 but a VIP package is available for $160. This ticket reserves a table for up to 10 guests and comes with a free drink and a gift bag.
The proceeds from sales will be donated to an undisclosed nonprofit.
After the drag pageant, Pride festivities will continue all weekend long in Crystal City and Rosslyn. Details are available online.
The Quarterfest Crawl is coming back to Ballston early next month.
The now-annual free event is set for Saturday, June 3 this year with a full lineup of music, food, drinks, street performers and family-friendly activities. This will mark the event’s fourth year, which replaced “Taste of Arlington” in 2019. It’s organized by the Ballston Business Improvement District (Ballston BID).
The Quarterfest will follow the same crawl format that’s been the case the previous two years. Organizers told ARLnow that this was originally a “pandemic solution,” but it’s been deemed so successful that they are sticking with the format “for the foreseeable future.”
The event will again be centered along Wilson Blvd, though a number of businesses off the main drag will also be participating. The line-up includes:
- Noon-7 p.m. –DJ Ricky at Ballston Quarter
- Noon-2 p.m. — Family Activations at Ballston Quarter
- 1-2:30 p.m. — Scott Kurt at the Filling Station
- 1:30-3 p.m. — Melissa Quinn at Bronson Bierhall
- 2-3:30 p.m. — David Thong Band at Ballston Local
- 2:15-3:30 p.m. — Rook Richards at Ballston Quarter
- 3-4:30 p.m. — The Crista Trio at SER
- 5:15-6:45 p.m — Keeton at Ballston Quarter
- 7-11 p.m. — Quarterfest Afterparty at WHINO
Several other bands and performances will be announced closer to the event date. A full list of participating restaurants will also be released as the event creeps closer.
As was the case last year, there are no planned Quarterfest-related road closures. Some 7,500 people attended the event in 2022 and organizers told ARLnow they expect similar attendance again this year.
Quarterfest debuted in 2019 as a replacement for the “Taste of Arlington” festival, which organizers said at the time didn’t adequately spotlight the then-new Ballston Quarter development.
“It sounds odd, off the cuff, close to three years after the grand opening to do a party, but this was the first time in the timeline to do it,” VIDA Fitness Director of Operations Aaron Moore tells ARLnow.
The D.C.-native fitness club was waiting for nice weather and a strong enough membership base to throw a party people would attend at 4040 Wilson Blvd. The event is scheduled for May 6 from 3-6 p.m.
Moore credits its fastest-growing program, nutritional counseling, for growing its roster of members. Launched in 2019, it aims to address the health issues Americans are facing — and represents another claim staked on a booming wellness industry some project will be worth $7 billion in 2025.
“The biggest trending term is ‘wellness,’ and that’s a function of being cooped up during the pandemic and leading a sedentary lifestyle,” Moore said. “The average life expectancy has gone down for the first time in decades.”
While the program predates Covid, interest in nutritional counseling jumped after the lockdowns and as people began thinking about health less in silos like “working out” and “eating right” and started viewing these as components of overall wellness. The in-person and virtual 12-week workshop, with group and individual sessions, also demonstrates how better nutrition improves exercise results, work productivity and sleep habits.
“It’s pretty comprehensive and we’ve seen some amazing health outcomes,” he said, even for an area “where people are more in tune with their bodies and taking care of themselves.”
And the benefit sweetening the deal? It is free through many types of health insurance as preventative care, he says. VIDA offers the program directly to individuals and to businesses that want to purchase the benefit for their employees.
Initially, the fitness center focused on generating buzz about the gym’s Covid-era health and safety protocols. Moore said that helped coax customers who were already the 10-15% of people who habitually go to the gym, despite Covid, along with others who were more safety-conscious and planned to return when the pandemic was “over, over.”
“That’s where the communication plan was helpful and productive to talk about our cleaning protocols, our air changeover rate, our check-in and contact tracing system, all that good stuff,” he said.
VIDA Fitness cultivated “the credibility of doing what we said we were going to do” while, at the same time, people got more comfortable living with Covid, Moore continued. Membership rates turned a corner in 2022 because people liked the variety of amenities, services and distinct workout environments provided there.
“That’s when it really started to take off,” Moore said. “We’re thriving now.”
Buoyed by “a great first quarter” and more members, the Ballston location completed a large-scale renovation that included the addition of more strength and squat racks and three Peloton bikes.
“We are now a fixture in the Ballston neighborhood and the Arlington community,” Moore said. “We’ve got a great relationship with the Ballston Business Improvement District, which is an amazing resource, and the Chamber of Commerce is a great partner to us.”
Saturday’s celebration will include tours, opportunities to mingle with trainers and neighbors and free giveaways, per an event page. Food and drinks will be provided by Rosslyn taqueria Taco Rock, Ballston-based True Food Kitchen, Clarendon restaurant Buena Vida, D.C.-area chain Nando’s and Northern Virginia winery Fabbioli Cellars.
Meanwhile, the gym is already building its seventh location, in Reston, which is set to open in the summer of 2024. A would-be Rosslyn location was scrapped last year, the Washington Business Journal reported.
Summer movie nights are coming back to Penrose Square and Arlington Mill for a 12th year.
Columbia Pike Movie Nights is a free outdoor summer movie series taking place on Friday nights at the Arlington Mill Community Center Outdoor Plaza (909 S. Dinwiddie Street) and Saturday nights at Penrose Square Outdoor Plaza (2503 9th Road S.).
It’s scheduled to begin July 7 and run for 8 weeks through August 26. The movies will begin at sunset, generally between 8 and 8:30 p.m.
Movies set to be shown are a mix of old and new classics intended to be relatively family-friendly, including Back to the Future, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Top Gun: Maverick, and Till.
The full schedule for each location is below:
- July 7 — Spirit Untamed
- July 14 — Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
- July 21 — Dog
- July 28 — Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank
- August 4 — Lady and the Tramp
- August 11 — Raiders of the Lost Ark
- August 18 — Lightyear
- August 25 — The Goonies
- July 8 — Cave Rescue
- July 15 — Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope
- July 22 — Back to the Future
- July 29 — A Man Called Otto
- August 5 — Till
- August 12 — Top Gun: Maverick
- August 19 — The Woman King
- August 26 — Jurassic World Dominion
The movies will be shown in English with Spanish subtitles. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs. Leashed pets are welcome, organizers note, and alcohol is not permitted at either site.
Free parking will be available, though bus and bike travel is encouraged. There will be restroom access inside of Arlington Mill Community Center and at the businesses around Penrose Square.
An all-ages Easter egg hunt is coming to Ballston, giving hunters chances to win free pizza, wings, and beer.
Pizza and beer hall Quincy Hall at the corner of Fairfax Drive and N. Quincy Street is hosting its first-ever weekend Easter egg hunt starting Friday.
More than 40 eggs will be hidden “in the general blocks around Quincy Hall in trees, on sidewalks between buildings, parks, benches, and wherever else an Easter Egg may hide,” reads the press release.
The eggs will contain an assortment of prizes, including Quincy Hall gift cards valued from $10 to $50, a catered pizza party, free pizza slices, and free chicken wings.
“That same excitement that you had as a kid when you found an egg with a candy inside except this time it will be gift cards or food items,” the restaurant’s operations director Tony Radwan told ARLnow via email. “We want people to be walking around and say ‘hey what’s this? Oh cool, we just won a pizza party at Quincy Hall!’ “
The hunt will start Friday morning at 11 a.m. and continue through Sunday, but it’s unlikely all the eggs will be located by then, Radwan said. Many of the prizes will expire in about a month, but the gift cards won’t have any expiration date.
This is the restaurant’s first Easter after opening nearly a year ago. The hope is to make the Easter egg hunt an annual event, said Radwan.
Quincy Hall comes from Tin Shop, the same ownership group set to open Astro Beer Hall in Shirlington later in the spring. The plan is to still open that restaurant in May, Radwan noted.
Tin Shop launched a membership program last summer called “Tin Shop Social Club.” The service provides drinks and food deals plus events at a number of its local eateries for a set monthly price.
Radwan said the program is going well and the company expects to introduce some new events and promotions in the coming months.
The “Markers Market” is coming back to Pentagon City, planned for the first Sunday of every month starting this weekend.
The market featuring local artists, creators, food, and music is returning to Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) this coming Sunday, April 2. It begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m.
“Explore trendy and unique creations, enjoy ambient music from the live DJ, and take in all the plaza has to offer from tasty dining options to retail shops and services,” reads the event listing.
The market is expanding its schedule in 2023 and is now planned for the first Sunday of every month through October. Dates include:
- April 2
- May 7
- June 4
- July 2
- August 6
- September 3
- October 1
“Each market will feature some new vendors and some returning vendors,” notes the event listing.
Among the vendors are small producers like Herndon Woodshed, Clay Creations by Liz, Smell of Love candles, Billy’s Hobby Shop, Fire in Hand Jewelry, A Hot Sauce Co, and Jarhead Leather.
The shopping center that was once called Pentagon Row just closed its popular skating rink for the season last week and is now getting set up for the spring and summer.
Several new restaurants are preparing to open in the coming weeks. Hangry Joe’s Hot Chicken plans to open early next month while Chase the Submarine remains docked at the former Bread and Water “cube.”
The sandwich shop’s revival from local chef Tim Ma was supposed to start serving earlier this year, but it has yet to open its doors.
A Lunar New Year celebration is coming to the Pentagon City mall this weekend.
The festivities, starting at 1 p.m. on the Metro level of the mall, are set to include music, dancing, and treats.
Visit the Far East without leaving your time zone! Fashion Centre at Pentagon City in partnership with the Asian American Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the turn of the Lunar New Year calendar with a special Asian New Year event! On Saturday, February 4 from 1-5PM. pic.twitter.com/THpI8AnEer
— Pentagon City Mall (@FashionCtrPC) January 26, 2023
This is the seventh year the mall and the Tysons-based nonprofit have come together to celebrate the Lunar New Year, one of the most celebrated holidays in the world.
“We hope to bring joyful celebration to the community, uplift the spirit in these challenging times, preserve the cultural traditions and celebrate cultural diversity,” AACC president Cindy Shao said via email.
Shao said that attendees can expect traditional dragon and lion dances as well as cultural performances representing a number of Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, China, and India. There will also be magic and fashion shows as well as pastry samplings.
A number of the mall’s stores will be offering specials during the event as well.
“This year, we are excited to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit and usher in new beginnings, good luck, health and prosperity for 2023,” Shao said.
(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) As many as 40,000 people are expected to attend Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery later this month.
The annual holiday event is set to take place on Saturday, Dec. 17 this year, starting at 8 a.m.
Wreaths Across America provides the public a chance to lay wreaths and other symbolic items at the graves of fallen service members and their families. This tradition was first started in 1992. Some 30,000 to 40,000 people are expected to volunteer this year, per a cemetery spokesperson.
However, for those who’ve attended in the past, the process for attending the event and entering the cemetery will be slightly different.
There’s a new registration system that grants timed entry into the cemetery at either 8 or 9 a.m. through one of four gates — Memorial Avenue, Service Complex gate, Old Post Chapel, and the recently-restored Ord and Weitzel gate.
Registration is required to enter the cemetery this year, ANC officials said. This new step is being instituted to ensure the “safety and security” of visitors and employees.
Vehicular traffic will not be permitted in the cemetery and parking will be off-limits for the general public in the garage on Dec. 17. There will be “limited” general public parking at the Pentagon North and South parking lots.
Large crowds and road closures near the cemetery should be anticipated.
ANC officials are recommending attendees use public transportation or a ride-share service for traveling to and from the cemetery. The drop-off location will be at the parking lot at 880 Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City. From there, visitors can walk to the Service Complex gate along Columbia Pike.
The annual “Escort to Arlington” parade will also be arriving at the cemetery that day. Billed as the “country’s longest veterans’ parade,” a caravan of vehicles transporting Gold Star families and veterans will travel down the East Coast starting this weekend, en route to Arlington.
Family Pass Holder Day is being held on Sunday, Dec. 11 this year, a week prior to the event for the public. This separate event allows family pass-holders to place a wreath at their loved one’s grave ahead of the more-crowded public Wreaths Across America event.
Skate Night is coming back to Thomas Jefferson Community Center, marking its 30th year.
The family-friendly program is returning next weekend, on Saturday, Oct. 29, and going back inside for the first time since the pandemic. It will take place at Thomas Jefferson Community Center and is set to happen most Saturdays through the remainder of the fall, the winter, and into the spring. The last date scheduled is April 22.
All skate nights begin at 6 p.m. and will now run until 9 p.m., a 30-minute extension from previous years. There will also be a moon bounce, a DJ, and concessions. Roller skate rentals will be available as well.
Registration opens three weeks ahead of each date and pre-registration is recommended. Space remains for the Oct. 29 Skate Night, a county spokesperson confirmed to ARLnow.
This is a return to form for the popular program after the pandemic forced some adjustments.
“[Skate Night has] been a Saturday-night institution in Arlington for 30 years and continues to grow in popularity,” Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokesperson Susan Kalish told ARLnow in an email. “Skate Night is just one of many programs that had to be adjusted during the pandemic. We had a trimmed-down option to skate outdoors with friends and music at the Quincy Parking Deck.”
Kalish called the program “intergenerational” since it attracts all community members “from tots to seniors.”
Skate Night is also partially run by the T.E.A.M. program, out of the county’s Office of Teens. “T.E.A.M.” stands for Teen Entrepreneurial Amusement Management and it’s a program that “helps local teens learn how to run a business and develop skills for future employment,” per Kalish.
Skate Night isn’t the only place where locals will soon be able to skate. In less than two weeks, the ice skating rink at Westpost will also open for the season.
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) A Filipino food festival is coming to Pentagon City this weekend.
“Filipino Chef’s Night Out” is set to take place this Friday, Oct. 21 from 6-10 p.m. inside Sparrow Room. That’s the cocktail bar and dim sum restaurant located behind Bun’d Up at Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) on S. Joyce Street.
The festival is a collaboration between local restaurateur Scott Chung and six Filipino chefs in honor of Filipino American History Month. It will feature the six chefs serving a “specially curating tasting box” to each attendee to go along with a night of karaoke and mahjong.
The line-up of local chefs includes James Beard nominees, the executive chef from one of America’s best restaurants, and RAMMY award winners. They’ll be cooking up traditional Filipino dishes with a modern flair like pork belly kare kare, beef tapa, and biko.
The evening event costs $75 per person. Both Sparrow Room and Bun’d Up will be closed to the public starting at 6 p.m for the duration of the night.
Chung, who co-owns Sparrow Room and Bun’d Up, told ARLnow that this is the first time he’s doing something like this, though he was inspired and encouraged by last weekend’s night market at Westpost.
“[Our festival] is the same idea, giving chefs a platform outside of the restaurant to celebrate their culture,” Chung said.
The chefs will be putting together about 150 boxes and Chung expects them to sell out.
Bun’d Up first opened in late 2019 and, about a year later, added Sparrow Room to the back. It’s styled as a “speakeasy” cocktail bar with a focus on the resurgent 19th-century Chinese game of Mahjong. The bar also offers classes to teach the game.
Between the night market and “Filipino Chef’s Night Out,” Chung says the popularity of these events makes it clear there’s an appetite for these types of festivals in Pentagon City.
“It really gives me ideas for what can be done with the space,” he said. “We can have a lot of success here. “