Outdoor activities in the D.C. area to cure your summertime sadness


Is the calendar moving faster than you can handle? Did you wake up last week and cry out in agony at the realization that it was already August? Are you spending too much time inside? Then you might have the summertime sadness! There’s no way to stop summer from slipping away, but there are still four more August weekends to keep the dream of sunshine and good times alive. If you’re suffering from any of the following (totally real) symptoms, you could consult a doctor, or you could follow our (totally unlicensed) diagnoses.

Feeling anxious?

Symptom: You wake up in the middle of the night and shout “SUUUUUUMMMERRRR!” like you’re Marlon Brando in
“A Streetcar Named Desire.”

Diagnosis: Bummersummeritis

Cure: Head to the beach.

Drive up the East Coast to one of Delmarva’s many beaches. En route, stop at a brewery — like Evolution Craft Brewing Company (201 E. Vine St., Salisbury, Md.) — for a drink, then hit the beach and dip your toes. Once it gets dark, head to a restaurant — we’re fans of Dogfish Head’s Rehoboth Beach brewpub (320 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del.) — and try to forget that you’ve wasted spent the past two months at something called “work.”

Feeling caged in?

Symptom: The only time you get to enjoy the weather is during your trips to and from work.

Diagnosis: Stuckinthecityaphyxiation

Cure: Go outside — for fun!

Nothing will make you forget about work faster than a short trip to the great outdoors. The scenic and peaceful Great Falls Park (9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, Va., or 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, Md.) is easily accessible from both Maryland and Virginia and offers hiking trails for beginners and veterans.

Ride a bike around the Tidal Basin (rent one from Capital Bikeshare if you don’t own one).

Feeling dehydrated?

Symptom: Your skin is dry and your Vitamin D count is low.

Diagnosis: Sunemia Cure: Hit the pool or head to Splash Yards.

The easy cure: Head to your local pool for some fun in the sun. For a list of D.C. pools, visit dpr.dc.gov/page/aquatic-facilities.

Or, you could nip this in the bud Saturday by heading to Splash Yards at Yards Park (355 Water St. SE, Sat., 2-6 p.m., free). The adults-only (21 and up) pool party turns Yards Park into an outdoor water festival complete with two pools, a giant waterslide and a water battle. Frozen drinks and Bluejacket beer will be for sale, and all-’90s cover band White Ford Bronco will soundtrack the day.

Feeling unfulfilled?

Symptom: You’re hungry, but nothing fills your appetite.

Diagnosis: Restless stomach syndrome

Cure: Dine out, al fresco.

Here are three picks for outdoor eating (and drinking):

Vinoteca (1940 11th St. NW): This wine bar has a peaceful patio out front, a sophisticated menu meant for sharing and an extensive wine list. The draw for those in need of outdoor eating is the plaza in the back, with its outdoor bar, picnic-style seating and a bocce ball court.

Republic (6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park, Md.): The restaurant has a patio just big enough to feature live music. Bonus: Locals who remember when Video Americain occupied Republic’s space will appreciate the video store’s restored neon sign, which helps light the intimate outdoor area.

Garden District (1801 14th St. NW): The popular beer garden formerly known as Standard gets a bit less crowded in August, leaving room for you to sip on liter mugs of beer while eating smoked meats. Pro tip: Grab a doughnut — baked in a doughnut robot — for dessert.

Feeling zombified?

Symptom: You haven’t left your home in a month because you got caught up binge-watching “Ghost Whisperer.”

Diagnosis: Screendinitis

Cure: Go see a movie outdoors

Here are our suggestions for your open-air movie viewing pleasure:

Catch a classic — “Casablanca” — by the water in Reston, Va. (Lake Anne Plaza, 1609 Washington Plaza, Reston, Va.; Sunday, sundown, free).

Belt your heart out with the “Frozen” sing-along in Fairfax while enjoying $3 Dolcezza push pops in the park. (Strawberry Park, 2910 District Ave., Fairfax; Aug. 22, 7 p.m., free.)

Consider this a slow binge: Each Sunday from now till Aug. 31, you can watch a different James Bond film (all with Sean Connery as 007) at National Harbor’s plaza. First up is “Goldfinger,” followed by “From Russia With Love,” “Dr. No” and “You Only Live Twice.” (165 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Md.; Sundays, 6 p.m., free.)

More stuff to do outside (and inside):

Snallygaster or All Things Go Fall Classic: Which festival is right for you?

The ‘Sunday in the Park With George’ scene team at Signature Theatre paints a (disposable) masterpiece of its own

Alexandra Horowitz’s ‘On Looking’ explains how to better experience the world

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.

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Kristen Page-Kirby · August 7, 2014