Your D.C. Bucket List: 20 Ways to Experience Washington’s Unique Culture
I, on the other hand, am doing none of those things. The internet has forced me to wonder– am I doing anything worthy of likes? As blazingly shallow as that may sound, the worst part is the constant comparison and digital envy made it easy to feel down on myself.
Over the summer, I decided to stop comparing myself and start celebrating the small joys in my life. I created a DC bucket List and (like a true, validation-hungry millennial) documented the entire experience on Facebook. The twenty items on my bucket list were relatively cheap (ranging from free to under $20) metro-accessible, doable year-round, and can be done alone or in a group.
It didn’t take long for people to notice. “You’re having the best summer ever!” a Facebook friend exclaimed. People I hadn’t seen in years and acquaintances I barely knew began messaging me to ask what’s next on my bucket list and left comments on my latest adventures.
Whether you're in a new city or have put down serious roots, I challenge you to shake up your routine and create your own bucket list. Or just take a few from mine. Here are 20 of the best things to do or add to your own bucket list:
Take a Power Nap
Recharj is a studio for meditation and restorative practices. Power nap classes are offered every weekday and last 25 minutes. Each participant has a private napping cocoon blocked off by drapery and consisting of a blanket, head pillow, and eye pillow. Dimmed lights and soothing music add to the ambiance.
1445 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC | Website
Practice Goat Yoga
The Winery at La Grange features acres of vineyards for winemaking…and goat yoga classes. Beginner level classes are led by local instructors while baby goats wander around (and sometimes on top of) practicing yogis. After the 45-minute class, yogis can play with the baby goats and then head inside the restored mansion for a wine tasting.
4970 Antioch Rd, Haymarket, VA | Website
So Others Might Eat (SOME) is accepting individual volunteers and groups of volunteers to prepare and serve meals at different times of day in its dining hall.
60 O St NW, Washington, DC | Website
Explore Burning Man
You don’t have to go to Nevada to experience this hallowed event. No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, an exhibit at the Renwick Gallery through January 2019, features several artifacts from the desert gathering, including the Truth is Beauty statue, Shrumen Lumen giant mushrooms that respond to human interaction with movement and lights, and a replica of the Temple.
1661 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC | Website
Eat 14K Gold
If you celebrate your birthday at the swanky cocktail lounge barmini by José Andrés, you will be treated to a miniature ice cream sandwich topped with flecks of edible gold.
501 9th St NW, Washington, DC | Website
Immerse Yourself in a Virtual Reality
Augment Arcade (part of Flash nightclub) is a gaming center and bar with four virtual reality stations and the hottest new games. You can play solo, with a partner, or in a group of up to four people.
645 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC | Website
See the Stanley Cup
The Washington Capitals have the Stanley Cup. Don’t miss your opportunity to snap a picture with the revered trophy. And if you want to skate on the same ice as the champion team, head over to MedStar Capitals Iceplex. This indoor rink on the top floor is Ballston Quarter is where the team regularly practices.
627 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA | Website
Ride a Bike Underwater
SplashCycle offers underwater spin classes in an outdoor pool during the Summer. This 45-minute class is definitely the trendiest way to get in shape.
1515 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA | Website
Walk on Stilts
The Creative Alliance offers workshops on stilt-walking. Workshops last three hours, and participants can drop in for any amount of time. This is fun, quirky, and a good workout.
3134 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD | Website
DC Fray and DC Vault have teamed up to offer a two-hour class that teaches you form for pole vaulting and how to clear a low bar.
2200 E Capitol St NE, Washington, DC | Website
Power a Zoetrope
The Loop installation was in City Center this past Summer. The art installation consisted of six glow-in-the-dark zeotropes that play animations and music when users sit inside and row a lever back and forth. This particular traveling exhibit has already moved on to its next city, but DC regularly hosts interactive pop-up art installations, so stay tuned for the next one.
10th and H St NW, Washington, DC | Website
Workout in a Bouncy House
Flight Trampoline Park offers adults-only exercise classes in the mornings before the venue opens to hoards of kids. This is one-hour class definitely adds some fun to your workout routine.
7200 Fullerton Rd, Springfield, VA | Website
Throw an Axe
Kraken Axes is an indoor axe-throwing venue. Each session starts with a safety talk, a demonstration, and a coach who will help you get acclimated to this sport. Alcohol is also available for sale to anyone who feels comfortable drinking while throwing sharp objects.
1901 First St SW, Washington, DC | Website
Ride a Mechanical Bull
Bring out your inner cowboy or girl. Cadillac Ranch is one of the few venues in the DC area with a mechanical bull.
186 Fleet St, Oxon Hill, MD | Website
Enjoy a Recess
Arlington Central Library sponsors an adults-only late-night recess with a photo booth, a bike that makes smoothies, a bubble wrap dance party, Nerf battles, and human Hungry Hungry Hippos.
1015 N Quincy St, Arlington, VA | Website
See a Play (That Used to Be a Movie)
Mean Girls and Dave both made their world premieres in DC this past year. Next up is Beetlejuice at the National Theatre.
1321 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC | Website
Party at a Museum After Hours
It’s like Night at the Museum in real life. Many museums, including the National Geographic Museum, host adults-only after-hours parties with alcohol, live music, bouncy houses, body painting, and much more.
1145 17th St NW, Washington, DC | Website
Eat Fried Pizza on a Rooftop Beach
Little Coco’s has an enclosed rooftop beach bar (in November it will transform into a winter lodge and alpine retreat). Try ordering the off-menu fried pizza.
3907 14th St NW, Washington, DC | Website
Go Bowling at the White House
This one is tricky because you need to know a government employee who can get tickets. The Truman Bowling Alley has two lanes and is located in the basement of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. You can even opt to use gutter bumpers to increase your score.
1650 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC | Website
Skate the Watergate Rooftop
During the summer, the Watergate offers yoga classes on its rooftop. In the Winter, the infamous hotel transforms its rooftop into an ice-skating rink with a bar offering hot toddies.
2650 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC | Website