For wonky Washingtonians, it doesn’t get much better than election night, when watching a trickle of votes slowly tally up to red or blue feels as electric as an extra-innings Nats win.
But there are also people with attack ad burnout, who want to cast their vote and then find a nice apolitical distraction until the big news lands. And we’re here to tell you that’s okay. There’s no shame in admitting you’d rather see Sigourney Weaver blast bad guys than watch Wolf Blitzer speculate about percentages. Election Day insanity can feel all-consuming, but there are ways to escape. Read on for eight possibilities.
Watch the fight against lethal aliens
Talk about a difficult decision: AFI’s six-day Alien Retrospective includes a screening of “Alien” at 6:30 p.m. and a showing of “Aliens” at 9 p.m. on Tuesday. And if creatures with razor-sharp teeth exploding out of human flesh remind you too much of a town hall debate, there’s always “Cloud Atlas,” which will keep you pleasantly in the dark for two hours and 52 minutes.
In Sanskrit, yoga translates to ‘yoke’ or ‘unite’, and just about every studio in the metro area is trying to encourage coming together by offering free yoga classes on Tuesday. Lululemon’s blog has the full list of participating locations, including Bikram Yoga in Arlington, which will have you sweating over more than Ohio’s returns; and Tenleytown’s Lil Omm, where you can bring the kids along.
Few meals will shield you from reality for as long as Rogue 24 , which snagged three stars in Tom Sietsema’s Fall Dining Guide. There are multiple fixed menu options to choose from, but on election night, you might as well go big or stay home and eat cold pizza in front of CNN. The 24-course “Journey” menu features “whipped aged Parmesan, fried baby artichokes and itty-bitty flowers in a tilted glass bowl: a pudding like no other,” Sietsema wrote. It will set you back $135 per person, which promises around three hours of pundit-free deliciousness.
Take some deep breaths
The televisions at the 24-hour Spa World generally flash K-Pop videos, but if exit poll coverage somehow makes its way into this mecca for relaxation, simply throw your iPhone in a locker, don your orange jumpsuit and sweat out election-related toxins in a 163-degree room or with an hour-long body scrub. Ah. Doesn’t that feel better? You won’t even have to leave to grab food in this self-contained bubble that has a restaurant serving smoothies, bibimbap, dumplings and spicy noodles.
Go to ‘War’
Emotions will run high at the Kennedy Center on Tuesday night, but the drama will be firmly rooted in the fictional past. The Tony-winning play “War Horse” is a spectacle of emotions and puppetry that will distract theatergoers for a good two-and-a-half hours.
Outdoor drinking might not seem like a go-to activity in November, but cold weather feels pretty cozy at Room 11 , which touts outdoor fire pits and a seasonal menu that features a hot toddy and bourbon cider. Added bonus? “No TV ever,” says co-owner Dan Searing. Of course, the Columbia Heights bar/restaurant isn’t the only place to imbibe without background noise; check out our list of the best bars without television.
Stimulate the economy, one coin at a time
Casinos are renowned for being self-contained planets of coins and cocktails that operate in a kind of non-reality. And you won’t find any windows or televisions at Maryland Live! Casino , where penny slots let visitors whittle away many hours without putting too much on the line.
Climb above the fray
“There will be no election coverage here,” promises the man on the phone at Earth Treks Climbing in Rockville. They don’t even have cable at this rock-climbing gym, which is appropriate for both experienced belayers and those new to the sport. The gym will stay open until 11 p.m. on election night.