The Smithsonian's Young Benefactors run some great programs for culturally aware young professionals, including museum tours, lectures and volunteer events. But the group also throws some killer parties, including an annual ball and fantastic holiday affair (this year's is coming up on Dec. 6). Get a taste tonight at happy hour at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel's Empress Lounge, which features live Brazilian jazz and discounts on wine, as well as a special cocktail created for the event. (The usual bar and cocktail menu also will be available.) The party runs from 6 to 9, and admission is a suggested $5 donation to Culture4Kids, a group that sends local children to Smithsonian Summer Camp and Discovery Theater.
-- Fritz Hahn (Nov. 18, 2008)