Doing the same thing over and over again was Bill Murray’s nightmare in “Groundhog Day.” But if you ask us, it’s a dream. There are some activities that bear repeating until they become like old friends. “That’s how friendships form,” says Dr. Andrea Bonior, a clinical psychologist and Express’ Baggage Check columnist. “We judge people more positively the more we’re exposed to them.” That predictability can be good for our brains: Think about all those times you’ve sought out a favorite comfort food or turned on a movie you’ve seen a million times to unwind after a rough day. “The more we have those experiences and build up those positive memories, the more we’re conditioned to find comfort there,” Bonior says. Given that the real Groundhog Day returns on Friday, we figured we’d share some of the best things around here to do again and again and again and again and …
Museums that just get more interesting
Air and Space Museum and Hirshhorn: With repeat visits to a museum, your goal becomes less about the breadth of the exhibits and more about the depth. Add children and the repetition gets even more interesting. In fact, I’ve spent enough time in the “How Things Fly” exhibit of the Air and Space Museum to almost actually be able to explain how things fly. Every trip into town with my young son also requires a stop at the Hirshhorn so he can see Ron Mueck’s “Untitled (Big Man).” After our pilgrimage to the “heee, Mom, he’s naked and you can see his thing” sculpture, we routinely take a walk through the rest of the museum and it’s always surprising to me how much he enjoys it. It’s a way to see the same art through ever-evolving eyes. — Kristen Page-Kirby
National Air and Space Museum, Independence Avenue at Sixth Street SW, free; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW, free.
More favorite museums:
National Museum of Natural History: The daily live tarantula feedings are lots of fun unless you are a normal human being and not a 9-year-old boy. 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, free.
Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery: My favorite for a solo stop, these two open-relatively-late (until 7 p.m.) museums change their offerings regularly, plus the courtyard serves for quiet thinking and people-watching equally well. Eighth and F streets NW, free.
Music worth hearing again
Greensky Bluegrass: For the past two years, I’ve spent the first weekend of February at the 9:30 Club, watching Greensky Bluegrass play three concerts on three consecutive nights. You might think I’m crazy. I think you’d be crazy to go to only one. Jam bands — and other acts that change their sets regularly — are built to be seen multiple times, often in a row. “The shows have different vibes because of the way we write [setlists], so one will have a more psychedelic vibe, and one will have a more aggressive, rock ’n’ roll vibe and one will have a more song vibe,” singer Paul Hoffman, above left, told Express in 2016. “We try to make them all even, but it never really works that way.” I appreciate the experience more this way: I can stand in a different spot each night and get varying perspectives, and if I don’t love one night, there’s always tomorrow. This year, the band has slimmed the run down to a sold-out 9:30 Club show and its debut at The Anthem. If you scored tickets to both, you’ll see — and hear — what I mean. — Rudi Greenberg
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW; Fri., 8 p.m., sold out; The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW; Sat., 7:30 p.m., $40.
More bands to see multiple times:
Tedeschi Trucks Band: After two years of three-night stands at the Warner, married musicians Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks are setting up shop in D.C. for four shows over two weekends with their big, soulful band. Try going to one show each weekend to see what difference a week makes. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW; Feb. 9, 10, 16 & 17, 8 p.m., $67.50-$87.50.
Phish: Sure, you could just go to the veteran jam band’s Saturday show at Merriweather, but then you’d be ignoring the warning of Phans to “never miss a Sunday show.” Don’t believe them? In 2014 at the venue, the day after a fairly standard Saturday show, Phish broke out three rarities and kept weaving bits of “Tweezer” in and out of other songs. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md.; Aug. 11 & 12, 7 p.m., $45-$80 (on sale Feb. 9 at noon via Ticketfly).
Nature trips that will have you beating a path
Rock Creek Park: Naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley, above, hikes the same 2-mile loop in Rock Creek Park nearly every day, but the Boundary Bridge Trail is never really the same. Mushrooms spring up overnight, tulip trees stretch new branches skyward, an unseen fox leaves his musky scent on a log. If you visit often enough, you might also notice slower changes — a river bend’s gradual straightening, a steepening hillside, the slow creep of fissures across a rocky cliff. “The more tuned in you are by really knowing a particular place, the more you’re going to see,” Choukas-Bradley says. “It seems a little counterintuitive, but in nature, going back to the same place can actually be more thrilling than going to see a new place.” Over time, you can build a relationship with the flora and fauna on your favorite paths. For instance, all last winter Choukas-Bradley watched the slow swell of lemon-colored buds on one particular spicebush. “When those buds finally burst, it was such a miracle,” she says. “I appreciated it even more because they were buds I’d been watching for months.” — Sadie Dingfelder
A good starting point for the Boundary Bridge Trail is the parking lot off Beach Drive at the Maryland/D.C. border.
More Trails to traverse again and again:
Swamp Trail at Theodore Roosevelt Island: This 1.5-mile trail includes a boardwalk through a lively swamp full of cattails and flocks of red-winged blackbirds. If you drive or bike, cross the footbridge from the parking lot on the Mount Vernon trail off the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
Green trail (aka A.M. Thomas Trail) at Sugarloaf Mountain: This quarter-mile trail includes a stone staircase that climbs through thickets of mountain laurel to the summit, where you can see all the way to Old Rag Mountain. Park at the Sugarloaf Mountain West View Parking Lot (Sugarloaf Mountain Drive, Dickerson, Md.).
The best restaurants for seconds … and thirds …
Brothers and Sisters: The last time I dined at Brothers and Sisters in The Line hotel, I almost forgot to eat. I was too busy staring at the steady stream of ultra-cool guests milling about the lobby. The people-watching at Erik Bruner-Yang’s all-day restaurant is supreme, and because the place is adjoined to the lobby, the crowd is a revolving mix of out-of-towners, hip locals and four-legged friends (the hotel is pet-friendly). One dish — the knife-cut noodles with sausage and bitter greens ($13, left) — was so delicious I ordered it twice. Devouring it the second time proved to be a different experience, because the surrounding crowd had shifted so rapidly. — Holley Simmons
1770 Euclid St. NW
More repeat reservations:
Izakaya Seki: The menu changes constantly at this sushi spot and depends on what was flown in from Japan that morning, which makes every visit unique. Even if the item you fell in love with last time isn’t available anymore, you’ll find something new to fill the hole in your heart. 1117 V St. NW
Rasa: Choose your own dining adventure at this new fast-casual Indian spot, with enough combinations to make you a frequent repeat visitor. And no matter what you choose, the flavors will be complementary, so don’t hold back. 1247 First St. SE
Where to see movies you’ve already seen
Repeat viewings: Everyone has those movies that you have to watch whenever they’re on TV; I’ve seen the censored version of “Goodfellas” as many times as there are F-bombs in the original. But nobody, myself included, re-watches enough movies on the big screen. My two best moviegoing moments from last year were packed-house viewings of comedies — “Blazing Saddles” and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” at the Kennedy Center and Strathmore, respectively — that I had previously seen only at home. It’s not only old favorites that get new life on a second viewing; last year I saw “Wonder Woman,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming” each twice within a week. Repeat viewings allow you to settle in and concentrate not just on what the movie is telling you, but how it’s doing it. — K.P.K.
Favorite theaters for repeat viewings:
AFI Silver: The “2017: A Second Look” series at AFI is a great chance to re-see 11 critically acclaimed movies, including “Call Me by Your Name,” “Coco” and “The Florida Project.” 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring; Feb. 23-March 13, $10-$13 per film.
Landmark West End Cinema: “Capital Classics” is a Wednesday series of old favorites like “To Have and Have Not” (Feb. 14) and “An American in Paris” (Feb. 21). And some showings are during the day, so you can play hooky (not that I’ve ever done that). 2301 M St. NW; Wednesdays, 1:30, 4:30 & 7:30 p.m., $10-$12.50 per film.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story gave the wrong location for the “Capital Classics” film series. It has been corrected.