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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Under 21? Forget the fake and opt for these late-night activities

Five spots to go out in D.C. after the sun sets
Arwen Clemans
Audience members crowd at DC’s Republiq Hall this past weekend.

After a long, tiring day filled with lectures that went on for far too long and breaks that were far too short, it’s only fair to reward yourself with a night out with your friends. But it can seem there’s nothing to do out in the District that doesn’t involve being over 21.

Deciding what you and your friends should do on an average night can be challenging, especially when the status quo is bar hopping and clubbing. But D.C. is filled with plenty of exciting and affordable events to fill up your schedule, even if your ID lists a birthday from after 2002.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

You can’t go to college in D.C. without visiting the National Mall at night. Everyone knows the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, the over-visited “rites of passage” for first-years. For a more secluded alternative, check out the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.

With fewer tourists, beautiful uplighting and the whoosh of rushing water from the four waterfalls, you can have a relaxed evening talking, playing games or having a little midnight snack at any time of the night. 

FDR Memorial. 4305 9th St. NW.

Binge Bar

If you and your friends want to experience a D.C. night on the town at a bar sans alcohol, there are a host of nonalcoholic bars throughout the district. In the busy H Street nightlife corridor, Binge Bar is a great place to start. By serving sober versions of classic cocktails and a lively and buzzing atmosphere, Binge Bar lets its customers have that bar-like experience without the alcohol. With a vast variety of alcohol-free beverage options, from beer and wine to mocktails and spirits, each drink ranges between $7 and $15, making this an inviting and budget-friendly place to spend your night.

Binge Bar. 506 H St. NE. Open Wednesday to Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 2 to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

The Kennedy Center

Only a few blocks away from GW’s Foggy Bottom campus is the Kennedy Center, which hosts a plethora of musicals, dance recitals and concerts, from “Moulin Rouge” to the National Symphony Orchestra, year-round. Whether you are into heart-warming ballet performances, melodramatic operas or multicultural artisan films, you are guaranteed to find an event that piques your interest. 

Recently, Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell and National Dance Day celebrations decorated the stage, with more events like “The Nutcracker” coming soon. Students can find discounted tickets for about $20, well below typical prices. Most shows go well into the night, allowing you to emerge into a starlit Georgetown waterfront.

The Kennedy Center. 2700 F St. NW. Available Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to midnight.

Get Spooked with a Ghost Tour

While the day’s exams may be scary enough, the District’s expansive history provides plenty of chances for after-hours horrors with a ghost tour. Vendors offer explorations of Georgetown, spinning tales about the Halcyon House, haunted by a recluse who hated electricity, and the Exorcist steps, the famous stairwell featured in the 1973 film.

But once the sun sets, Georgetown isn’t the only spot in D.C. where ghosts might come out. Locales from the upscale Hay-Adams Hotel — which may have been cursed by its owner — to the U.S. Capitol itself are host to guides late at night pointing out spooks to visitors.

Camp Wharf at the Firepit at The District Wharf

What can be better than curling up in front of a fire and roasting marshmallows? Thanks to Camp Wharf at the Firepit located in the District Wharf, you and your friends can make your own s’mores while sitting around the campfire.

The vintage blue and orange Airstream trailer provides everything you need to make the best s’mores — marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers and roasting sticks, starting at $4.50 each. This is a great way to wind down the day under the stars and share a sweet, late-night snack right next to the Potomac River.

The District Wharf. 101 District Square SW. Open Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday from 6 to 11 p.m., Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m.

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