Coming in at No. 2 in the nation for alcohol consumption says a lot about the culture of Washington, DC. Cocktails are everywhere. From the office to the bar, to the late-night glass of wine at home, we’re drinking more than ever.

“There is a stigma that alcohol is the only way to have fun, but in reality, the aftermath is that your body suffers as does your bank account,” says Shreeya Basynat, a recent transplant to the DC area.

The happy-hour lifestyle is a tempting one, (and dammit it’s fun). But it’s also expensive (drinks and food can easily run you more than $40 in one night).  Not to mention it’s largely unhealthy. If the last time you were in the city was a bit hazy, it may be time for a dry weekend in the District.

If your last night in the city was a bit hazy, it may be time for a dry weekend in the District.

This week, try weaning yourself off the juice with a host of activities that don’t need any liquid courage. You’ll make some new memories, save some money, and lose some weight.

Become a Dry Historian

What’s a dry weekend in the nation’s capital without a trip to a historical site? Get in touch with your touristy side and stop by the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and of course, the Washington Monument. Or visit the  Newseum’s upcoming  Louder Than Words exhibit or the Spy Museum’s immersive spy experiences. And if you haven’t visited the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, the time is now.

 Become an Amateur Chef

Instead of going to a restaurant, whip up a fancy meal with a little help. Cooking classes can be a great opportunity to make a new dish and have some alcohol-free fun with a group of friends or that special someone. Sur La Table, a specialty store selling culinary tools, offers everything from mediterranean cooking classes to winter inspired dishes. There are classes for the food aficionado, beginners and everyone in between.

Get Artsy


Take a journey through the city to see where your artistic eye will lead you.From the well-known, like the National Portrait Gallery, to “hidden” gems, there are a plethora of galleries to visit in the District.

You’ve probably considered going to the theater but haven’t yet made plans to do so. While you may have to spend a little bit on tickets, the experience of classic or innovative shows will definitely be worth your time. Everyone knows about the Kennedy Center and Shakespeare Theatre Company, but there are also lesser-known venues like Signature Theatre that are putting on programs (Freaky Friday anyone?) that you’ll be dying to see.

Be a Good Samaritan 

There is so much need in this city. Do something good and make memories along the way when you find a volunteer opportunity in the District. Visit to find volunteer possibilities that could peak your interest. There are a lot of soup kitchens in the city that welcome the help. Communities In Schools of the Nation’s Capitol does a monthly food market for families that can always use a little more help. The National Park Service is always looking for volunteers to help make the National Mall beautiful. Who knows? Any of these can become a monthly activity. You can even grab a team and sign up for a charity walk like the Walk for MS or HIV/AIDS.