Got Plans?: Rainy-Day Activities for Toddles, Pumpkin Beer, Jazz Clubs, Hush Puppies, Flying Solo

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The Going Out Gurus
of The Washington Post's Going Out Guide
Thursday, October 15, 2009; 1:00 PM

The Going Out Guide staff discussed happy hours for "four old gals," rainy-day activities for toddlers, pumpkin ale, jazz clubs, hush puppies, old-school jukeboxes and flying solo at bars on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. ET.

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washingtonpost.com: We know what you're thinking: The weather has taken a turn for the worse and you're looking for indoor fun. Well we're here and caffeinated and ready to help, so let's get to it.

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Washington, D.C.: Here comes the rain again . . . This might be a little outside the scope of this chat, but can you recommend good places to take a toddler to burn off steam while it's cold and rainy? I'm trying to plan ahead for the long, cold, winter months!

Jen: Places like MyGym, Gymboree, etc. are good for that sort of thing and often have open play times where the tykes can run wild for an hour or so. (That's assuming the places aren't booked up with the approximately 85 birthday parties that also tend to seek out these spaces in the colder months.)

I know this is a little, um, consumer-centric, but malls can be good for that, too. White Flint and Tysons Corner, for example, run little trains that kids can ride on, and I'm sure other malls do, too. Some also have indoor playgrounds, which, admittedly, usually are pretty crowded with screaming kids. But playing there for a while will tire them out. So there's that.

Chatters, feel free to throw out other ideas.

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Washington, D.C.: I was wondering if there is anywhere in the D.C. area that does the "live" Rocky Horror Picture Show? I hail from a land of every Saturday midnight productions and am feeling nostalgic this Halloween season for some good Time Warping.

Jen: Indeed, Landmark E Street is hosting midnight showings of "Rocky Horror" -- with a live cast -- during Halloween weekend, Oct. 30 and 31.

I know that's not exactly *every* Saturday, but hopefully that will satisfy your Halloween needs.

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Arlington, Va.: I like jazz. But I never cared for Blues Alley, for they rush customers in/out because of the 2 show format. Where do you suggest for hearing jazz in the area -- both well known or even better, local artists ?

Fritz: HR-57 and Utopia are reliable for locals, and Utopia has the advantage of being free, though it can get pretty crowded. I really like Twins, too, which mixes out-of-towners and locals.

Oh, and the Young Lions at Cafe Nema. That's the real pick right there.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi Gurus,

I have a friend visiting from the Midwest this weekend, and given dreary weather forecast, we will probably be spending a lot of time inside in museums. Are there any not-to-miss exhibits going on? Other ideas for fun ways to pass the weekend? We're thinking Spy Museum, National Gallery, and Mount Vernon, among other things.

Thanks so much!!

Stephanie: I paid a visit to the Anne Truitt exhibition at the hirshhorn last weekend, and totally loved it. If you go, check out Blake Gopnik's review before you head over there. I thought his comparison of Truitt's pillar-like art to different types of people was spot-on. I always take out-of-towners to the National Gallery and now would be a good time because they have a bunch of new exhibitions. Also, William T. Wiley's wacky art recently went on display at the American Art Museum, so I might add that to the list as well.

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Alexandria, Va.: Celebrating a birthday Saturday night with Stoney's and jazz to follow. Is it usually too difficult to get into HR-57 on a Saturday night? Also, is there a dress code? Thanks!

Fritz: I've never had trouble getting into HR-57, but I think it really depends on the act. (Oh, another recommendation for the earlier jazz fan: The Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra, whenever they play at HR-57.)

This Saturday is Ajay Parham, who I will admit to knowing nothing about, but I don't think it should be too much of a problem to get in with a group.

Oh, and no dress code.

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Thunder! (ooh ahh ooh aaaaah ahh ooh): So excited for AC/DC at Verizon Center tomorrow night! Are there any opening acts? And, how serious is the "no cameras/audio/video" declaration on the tickets? (are my iPod nano w/ video capabilities and camera phone ok?)

David: The opening act is Irish rock band the Answer, same as when AC/DC was at Verizon Center a year or so ago. As for the cameras/audio/video thing, this is my take on it. People will get their small cameras in there. You won't be able to take in professional equipment. From what I've noticed at concerts at Verizon, people snapping some pictures is generally allowed, but if you are conspicuously shooting video on your camera or phone, they will shine a flashlight on you or get someone from security to tell you to cut it out.

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Washington, D.C.: Fritz- can you remind me of the bar that that is serving $3.50 Oktoberfest beers daily throughout October? Thanks!

Fritz: Well, I wrote a blog post about the Brickskeller serving special $3.50 beers all month in honor of its anniversary, but they're not Oktoberfest beers, or weren't when I've been.

And RFD had a week of $3.50 Oktoberfest beers, but that's over....

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Indoor Toddler Suggestion: The Building Museum has the Building Zone for kids 2-6. They can build towers, drive kid size bulldovers and trucks, dress up in hardhats, etc.

Here's a link to a description of the activities:

http://www.nbm.org/exhibitions-collections/exhibitions/building-zone.html

Plus the atrium area often has kids running around.

Jen: Oh, forgot about the Building Museum. Thanks for reminding me, and our readers!

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Washington, D.C.: I'm craving hush puppies. Where can I go to get my fix? Thanks!

Stephanie: One word: Eatonville. The restaurant gets pretty creative with the southern favorite, adding shrimp and leeks to the mix. Chatters, any other faves?

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Northen Virginia: Any idea if the leaves on the cherry trees around the Tidal Basin have begun to change? I'm looking to capture the colors of fall and I plan on doing a walking tour of D.C. on Sunday if the weather clears up.

Anne: Cool idea! The trees at the Tidal Basin are still green at the moment, but they should be starting to turn to a bright red color very soon. One of my favorite in-D.C. ways to go leaf-peeping is a pretty hidden road the middle of Rock Creek Park, Ross Drive. What are some of your other ideas for looking for fall colors in the city?

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Washington: So glad to hear about the Fox and Hounds jukebox coming back! What other bars have good old-fashioned jukeboxes with CDs or better yet records?

Fritz: Yes, as we first mentioned in this space a few weeks ago, the Fox and Hounds has ditched its internet jukebox and gone retro with its old CD model. Go play it -- especially the staff-and-customer-compiled mix CDs -- but, as a staffer warned in that very chat, "please, if Tenacious D makes it back on, don't play it straight through on repeat several times in a row." Or else.

Other old-school jukebox favorites of mine include:

Ben's Chili Bowl, packed with Motown, R&B and neo-soul.

Breadsoda, which is everything punks, classic hip-hop head and Beastie Boys fans need.

Quarry House Tavern, which has Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen.

Bedrock Billiards, strong on two-tone ska and '80s alternative.

Pharmacy Bar, for its eclectic mix of locals, post-punk and Latvian rock.

Wonderland, just because.

Oh, and I did a big love letter to jukeboxes in the Sunday Source a few years ago, spurred by the loss of the old-school jukes at JV's, the Tune Inn and a few other spots. I'll look for the link.

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Long, cold winter months: Dress them appropriately and go to a park. One nioe place to walk is Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens' trails (not around the ponds, but the walking trails). National Aboretum is nice, too. Walking in tne woods in the winter is a lovely thing (you see huge numbes of birds when the leaves are gone) and children would be benefitting by learning how to be amused without flashing lights and toys. They might also learn how to just be silent and listen to nature for a while.

Jen: Well said. When it's pouring, obviously that's another story but certainly the kids can be outdoors when it's a little chilly, absolutely.

Your comment also reminded me of Meadowlark Gardens in NoVa and Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, which are lovely as well. Brookside also has an indoor section, so you can always take cover there if it starts to rain or -- and this will happen at some point, though I am pretending it won't -- snow.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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Gaithersburg, Md.: Hi Gurus,

We will be watching a show at the Folger Theatre next Wednesday. Do you have recommendation for restaurants in that area? Also, do you know where people usually park in that area? Thanks!!

Stephanie: I've never had an issue finding street parking near the Folger on weeknights, so I wouldn't worry too much on that front. As for restaurants, check out the cozy Sonoma or the new neighborhood pizza place, 7th Hill. I went to 7th last weekend, and it was delish. If you go, try the Eastern Market. Mmmm.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi GOGS! I think you've posted about this before but can you recommend places that will do beer pairings with dinner? Thank you!

Rhome: I'm not the foodie of the crew but I am a beer fiend so I'll take first cut. Vegetate, Rustico and Pizzeria Paradiso will match your grub to your suds. Food Matters in Alexandria also does them but I only know from hearing about it.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi -- Yesterday, Tom told a tourist to log back in today to see his new Dining Guide. Do you know where it is?

Stephanie: I do, but it's not live just yet. Julia is hard at work on the final details, and she'll be posting a note on the blog when it's done.

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Washington, D.C.: I never get to do a proper happy hour because I usually work until at least 7 when offers are over. But tomorrow I am taking the day off and plan on meeting my boyfriend after he gets off work at 5pm (he works in Farragut West Area). I will be metroing in from Arlington and am looking for a good happy hour option, preferably wih food. Dont want the younger scene ala Front Page. Was thinking PS7 -- does that place get incredibly crowded? Any other great ideas?? Thanks for starting my long weekend off right!

Fritz: PS7's is a very good idea -- it does get crowded, but if you're there at 5, you won't have a problem getting a seat at the bar and letting Gina work her magic for you.

Ceiba's happy hour is pretty good, too, with $5 cocktails. And Lounge 701. Oh, and Bourbon's happy hour. Always a good one -- and it goes until 8.

(BTW, if you work in Arlington, you should know about Yaku's awesome happy hour. It runs until 7:30, which I really appreciate when I'm stuck here working until 7 or so.)

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Low on funds: Can't afford to see Steve Martin playing banjo or the Rangers appearing on big stage but wonder if there are other affordable venues in this city to get in touch with my bluegrass/folk music side on a regular basis?

Fritz: Tiffany Tavern! Wonderful little bar in Alexandria with bluegrass on weekends. (It's an open mike Mon-Thu, which is more miss than hit, in my experience.)

And Wednesday nights at Madams Organ for Big Hillbilly Bluegrass.

Also, keep an eye on the schedule at JV's in Falls Church, where there's often bluegrass mixed in among the rockabilly, country and roots rock acts.

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Screamies + Rain: Arlington Rain Park - Powhatan Springs

Building Museum

Doughnut machine at Krispie Kreme

Landmark Mall = Play Area + large food court

County/YMCA Pool

Jen: More ideas for the screaming kids stuck indoors ... thanks.

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After hours?: Any gallery after hours parties coming up? I'm newly single and would love to go to one of them... thanks!

Stephanie: Hirshhorn After Hours is a week from tomorrow and it looks like there are still tickets available. Though if you want to go, I'd get on the ticket train fast.

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Fresh brews: Hello there GOG's. I had a beer recently from a "chain" brewery. Now I have a taste for fresh brews. Any ideas on where I can get some in D.C. or the close in suburbs? Any venue with pumpkin or other fall beers? Thanks!!!

Fritz: First question: My favorite brewpubs in D.C. and the close-in burbs are District Chophouse, Rock Bottom Bethesda, the Cap City in Shirlington, Franklin's and Rock Bottom Ballston, pretty much in that order. I always order whatever the seasonal/specialty is first, just to get a taste for the brewer's skill.

Pumpkin beers: I like the Punkin beer from Dogfish Head, which you can get at the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Falls Church or Fairfax. Really spicy and wonderful, not at all like the sweet, overly orange Post Road and its ilk.

I was in Boston last weekend and tried the Shipyard pumpkin beer, which was very tasty, but I haven't seen it on draft in D.C.

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Fall colors: some faves: the National Arboretum and also it's cool to go to the zoo and see the fall colors (and get to see cool animals.)

Anne: Oh, good ones!

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Office Dispute: : Why is it okay for a guy to go to a bar by himself, but if a girl does it, she looks sad and desperate?

Fritz: As a guy who goes to bars by himself all the time, I don't agree at all. Some good female friends of mine go to bars by themselves regularly and I'd hardly consider them desperate.

Also, when Julia was working on a story recently, she went a bunch of upscale bars by herself, and no one thought she was desperate at all -- especially not the guys who hit on her constantly, despite the fact she has a wedding ring.

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Washington, D.C.: Fritz, What's your Point of View on POV? Would it be a good place for a hip baby shower at say 5 on a Tuesday? No balloons, no baby's frozen into ice cubes... looking for a place with cocktails/mocktails, hip, and different... thoughts?

Fritz: I liked POV this summer, even though the lines were way unruly, but I'm curious to see what it's going to be like when the weather means it's harder to enjoy the lovely terrace.

5 p.m. on a Tuesday should be off-rush enough that you can get a group in, provided it's not larger than, say, 10...

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Hush puppies: Clare and Don's in Falls Church has great hush puppies, too!

Stephanie: Another option for southern fried deliciousness.

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Arlington, Va.: Is Cafe Nema still open? One Web site I visited mentioned it being closed as of 10/14.

Fritz: Well, this Web site says that's an unfounded rumor -- and I just spoke to the manager to confirm that they're open and not planning to close anytime soon.

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Dogfish Head punkin ale: It's not on tap just at their restaurants -- though these are my favorite breweries in D.C.. I've seen the Punkin Ale on tap at Pizzeria Paradiso and Lucky Bar, so I imagine it's other places as well. It is good! And punkiny.

Fritz: Cool, thanks. I thought it had moved off tap at Paradiso -- they blow through beers so quickly these days.

Good to know.

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After dinner drinks in Arlington: My husband and I are having a rare date night out Saturday night. we have reservations for dinner at Eventide. I'm looking for a good place to go after dinner for a glass of wine or drink. I haven't been out in so long I'm not up to date on what is new in Arlington. Would like somewhere that is not full of 20-somethings but a little more "grown up". Thanks.

Julia: Eventide's probably your best bet, in my opinion. Perhaps the stylish lounge at Yaku?

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Arlington, Va.: I agree that it is not at all desperate for a woman to go to a bar by herself. Sometimes when I work late during the week, I'll stop and have a glass of wine on my way home. Quite frankly, I talk to more people at the bar this way than when I am dressed up and out with my friends. Oh, and I love that Shipyard Pumpkin. I wish someone here had it on tap.

Fritz: Man, I gotta say, I'm more likely to talk to a girl at a bar if she's by herself than out with like four of her friends. Easier to get a conversation started that way.

And I've been looking all over for a place that will have Shipyard Pumpkin on draft and striking out. Thankfully there are six-packs at my neighborhood likkasto.

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Wedding ring NOT a Deterrent: Why is this so prevalent here? I recently moved here from N.C. and get hit on constantly even though I have a big ole rock on my left hand. Do guys not care? Are they unaware of which hand the wedding ring goes on? What gives?

Julia: While I was working on one of those stories Fritz mentioned, I had a guy say to me, no joke, "Well, I can see that sparkly thing on your hand so I know you're married. But are you happily married?" Dude, I've been married for 18 months. If it ain't happy, something's wrong. This was at Sea Catch, which has a sweet oyster happy hour, for those looking for one.

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Washington, D.C.: My wife and I love to explore live music in D.C. Less than two month ago, we were blessed with a daughter. With events like Fort Reno out of season and the crowds at St. Ex being what they are when cool DJs take the booth, where do you suggest taking taking the fam? (Recently we stumbled upon a fun dixieland band at Haydee's in Mt. Pleasant, but had to leave because we were concerned for the one-month old eardrums, for example.)

Rhome: Have you been to Baby Loves Disco? Next one in DC is on November 14.

But yeah, outdoor festivals were really the move for families before the weather turned. There's always Millennium Stage.

And since I'm always around bands and loud dance floors, I always carry earplugs. Don't see why you can't put them on babies too, to a reasonable threshold of course.

Anne: For the eardrums, my friend who took her infant to 9:30 on occasion was really into products like these. Seriously. Anyway, more alternate venues: Fritz says there are always kids when Last Train Home does matinees at Iota (note: Iota is not an all-ages venue except for very few specific shows). St. Stephen's Church in Columbia Heights sometimes has shows that start in the afternoon. Jammin' Java is pretty much always kid-friendly because of the restaurant part at the front (and tons of kid shows, but I know that wasn't what you were asking for). But speaking of kids shows, I kind of have to say that They Might Be Giants is playing a matinee at 9:30 on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Congrats on your little girl!

David: And there are always one-off events to look out for, such as Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players at National Geographic Live next Saturday (noon and 3pm). It's definitely kids music, but that "hip" kind, which is a burgeoning genre with TMBG and Dan Zanes, etc.

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Washington, D.C.: So, my boyfriend and I were off to a rocky start. Dating for a month an a half, three weeks of which he was abroad. I am trying to decide if he is a keeper or not, so I want to plan the perfect night. Going to an arcade and being silly, going to a good pool hall, then moving to a bar with good drinks, sexy sophisticated atmosphere, jazz music, life jazz if possible or piano bar would be great. Healthy and fine dinner.

Could you please recommend anything that would let us both relax completely and let it all out.

Fritz: Skee-Ball and mini-golf at the H St. Country Club. Glass of wine or a cocktail at Sova down the block -- grab a couch, relax, catch up. Dinner upstairs at Sticky Rice, or, if you're lucky, Granville Moore's. If all goes well, late-night DJ at Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar.

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Re: Pumpkin beers: This isn't a plug, but Flying Dog brewery's pumpkin just won the overall award in that category. A trip out to their brewery in Frederick is a great way to spend a Saturday! I went there for my birthday and had a great time for $5!

Fritz: My only concern with that is driving back after visiting the brewery!

But congrats to the Flying Dog folks for being named mid-sized brewery of the year at the Great American Beer Festival. Deserved.

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If you don't mind paying for parking: Go to an airport. Long corridors for toddlers to run.

Anne: True that. Read all about it.

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Washington, D.C.: I'm going on a second date with a girl I really liked. First date was at a restaurant in Bethesda. Any ideas for the second?

Fritz: You gotta give us more than that to work with ... location? More than just a restaurant? budget?

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Upscale bars: Which upscale bars did Julia hit up solo? I'm a female and go to bars by myself occasionally, but usually only ones I'm familiar with. Wouldn't mind broadening my horizons...with or without the dudes hitting on me (no wedding ring here).

Julia: Hey there, so actually, I think I'm going to blog about this at some point, but I think some of the single ladies who write in here looking to meet new people should try flying solo more often. Honestly, I've met more people over the last few weeks while sitting alone at bars working on stories about cheese plates, oyster happy hours and Mad Men bars. My top picks for friendly folks? Proof, Eat Bar, Grapeseed in Bethesda, 1905 (younger crowd) and Columbia Firehouse in Alexandria. And even Sea Catch. That guy was kind of sketchy, but in a sweet way. We ended up having a great time talking about oysters and his single 40-something son. Ix-nay on the Round Robin bar. I do not need to hear about your divorce settlement. Not sexy. Bourbon Steak will get you attention, but, um, perhaps not the kind you want.

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Washington, D.C.: Reply to "good beer places" question... there are food and beer pairings at he ultra fantastic Granville Moore's Belgian Gastropub (known for their winning moules, muscles, on the Bobby Flay throwdown) on 11th around 12th/13th in what I think is Southeast DC; and a great selection, served in the glasses they are meant to be served in, at Black Squirrel on 18th St. NW in Adams Morgan. Tons of funky bars and music venues on that street, too - but go to Granville's on off hours or the wait is 2.5 hours.

Rhome: Facepalm for rushing through the question and forgetting good old Granville Moore's on the H St. NE strip. Does Black Squirrel match plates to brews though? I only ever stop in for a quick pint.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi gurus! My girlfriend of about a year and I decided it's time for our parents to meet. We're trying to figure out a good place for a relaxed weekend meal. Criteria: 'American' food; not too expensive (around $20 per person); not too loud. I'm thinking that a lunch might be better because of the cost factor. Do you have any suggestions for something that would fit the bill, or an alternate activity that would be good for this type of thing? Thank you!

Stephanie: Ooh, big step! I can't think of a better activity than lunch for the old parent meet-up. I'm betting the brunch/lunch at Liberty Tavern or Eventide might be just what you're looking for.

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McPherson Square Area, D.C.: Four women, 40 - 55, seek relaxed, comfortable place to meet after work for a drink or two and a nosh. Would like to be able to hear one another or what's the use of trying to catch up? We all work within a few blocks of McPherson Square, and have done Tuscana West to death and just want to change it up a bit.

Fritz: Le Bar, the stylish little hotel lounge inside the Sofitel, should work for you -- my last visit, which was around 7 p.m. on a weeknight, found the place active but not too busy, and my martini was well-made.

Also, Off the Record, in the Hay-Adams, is a Washington institution, and great for groups.

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Wedding ring deterrent: So if I put my wedding ring back on I'll get hit on? Because I never wear mine (allergic to metals) and nobody talks to me in bars -- and I'm not scary looking or anything. I don't want to hook up, just chat.

Julia: Ha! Maybe.

Seriously though -- I've been doing this a lot lately because I can never rustle up enough friends to go tasting/reporting with me on the weird deadlines that I have. Sometimes people talk to me. Sometimes they don't. When I don't feel like talking, I bring a book. When I do, I just start talking to other singletons about the bar, the area, sports whatever. I sometimes start by talking to bartenders, and once I do, other bar patrons usually jump in. It's been fun. Forgot to tell Fritz this, but I even randomly stumbled upon this guy who knew him a few days ago -- small town.

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Arlington, Va.: Any ideas for indoor activities on Saturday or Sunday that don't involve museums for two ladies??

Stephanie: The ballet sounds like a very lady-like activity, right? And lucky for you, the Washington Ballet is staging Don Quixote at the Kennedy Center this weekend.

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Big Sister, Virginia: Really hoping you guys can help me out this week since I couldn't get through last week!

My little brother -- college student -- is coming to visit this weekend with his girlfriend. Eek! They're both under 21.

Where can I take them in the evenings to hang out without dropping big bucks for theater tickets or doing something they could do at home, like go to the movies?

Even catching a soda at a trivia night or watching a sporting event in Chinatown doesn't seem like it would work because so many D.C. establishments check ID at the door rather than upon ordering booze.

Thanks!

Fritz: The easy answer for this is to take them to a scene-y place that is also a restaurant -- like, say, Current, which doesn't start carding at the door until the velvet ropes come out, or Public Bar, where I've never been asked for ID at the door at happy hour. (After 9 p.m. is a different story.) The Reef in Adams Morgan is the same way: They don't let you come in after 9 if you're under 21, but before that, it's all good.

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Washington, D.C.: Hello there,

I'm looking for a reasonably-priced restaurant that would be fun for a couple 30-something women's night out. Also, preferably in Adams Morgan or Columbia Heights. Any suggestions?

Julia: I like eating at Bourbon when I'm in those neighborhoods, but even with Owen's delish drinks, I'm not sure that's the atmosphere you're going for. Perhaps check out the newish Social at 14th and Meridian. Tom Sietsema thought the food was pretty good and Fritz loves the cocktails!

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McPherson Square Area, D.C.: Thanks forthe suggestions, Fritz -- the FOGs (Four Old Gals) will expand our horizons this week and next!

Fritz: Cool. Let me know how it goes. (Oh, and I would have added the lounge at Ceiba, which is my go-to McP happy hour, but I've already mentioned that this chat.)

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Go Phillies!: What are the best bars to go and watch the defending World Champions Philadelphia Phillies take on the Dodgers (and hopefully the Angels or Yankees)? I want to be surrounded by awesome, obnoxious, trueblood Philly fans.

Fritz: I have no idea where the Phanatics will be. Phillies fans?

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Washington, D.C.: Great happy hour last week gurus! Going to H Street Friday night -- any suggestions? In the past I've liked the Argonnaut and Rock 'n Roll Hotel. Looking to meet some new people so places conducive to that would be especially good!

Stephanie: Palace of Wonders is always a good time. And one of the last times I was at Sticky Rice, the bartender was pouring a mystery liquor into people's mouths. Seems like a good conversation-starter at least (although I should warn that said beverage may cause headaches).

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Birthday, D.C.: Hi Gurus!

Thank you so much for answering my question! My birthday is next Wednesday, October 21st. I have reservations at Matchbox in Chinatown for 7:30, but I need a place to get drinks beforehand. Everyone will be coming from the Capitol Hill and Metro Center areas.

Can you recommend some places for great cocktails in the Chinatown or Metro Center area?

You guys rock!

Fritz: Adam Bernbach's new cocktail list at Proof has become one of my favorites in the city. I've liked everything I've tried except for one drink with chocolate bitters (which, coincidentally, my date also didn't like). Those who don't want cocktails will, of course, be blown away by the wine list.

Rasika's cocktails are great, though the bar can get a little crowded with people waiting for tables.

And PS7's, as we mentioned earlier in the chat, is also a go-to.

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Washington, D.C.: Reply on Black Squirrel -- not sure if Black Squirrel on 18th in Adams Morgan does beer/food pairings or not, but they've based their business on gathering and serving interesting beers from around the world, the owners are hip and above the median age for Adams Morgan bars (welcomed change - probably 40 or 45), very laid back. Good music, too, Elvis Costello, The Kinks, etc.

Fritz: I slept on Black Squirrel for too long after my initial "it's okay" visits, but friends who live in the neighborhood have convinced me that the place is a gem. And its draft list challenges the Reef for the most interesting in Adams Morgan. Very laidback crowd, too, even on a Saturday night.

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Washington, D.C.: Dear Gurus,

In your Nightlife Agenda post you said that Francois K will be at Muse on Friday night, but this info is not listed either on his or Muse's websites. Can you please confirm that he will be spinning at Muse this coming Friday? And if so, what is the cover charge after midnight, and are there any guestlists that I could get on? Thanks so much!!!

Fritz: According to the promoters who run Muse's Friday night events, the show is a go. (And man, the Wave site still lists Francois K as being a resident at Five, which ended ... three years ago? Talk about out of date.)

So here's the deal: Admission is $10 if you buy tickets in advance. (Link in the Nightlife Agenda.) Cover is $15 before 11, $20 after. Hit mnmlife.com/guestlist for the promoter's list.

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washingtonpost.com: Where does the time go? Well thanks for coming out on this dreary Thursday. Chat with you guys next week, and in the meantime, best of luck picking up guys in bars, hosting parental meet-and-greets and tracking down pumpkin ale.

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The Going Out Gurus write about restaurants, bars, movies, the arts, special events and visitor attractions, and they're out every night to keep you on top of the D.C. entertainment scene. Check in with them throughout the week on the GOG Blog or join their live Q&A every Thursday at 1 p.m.

Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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