Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens: Holiday Must-Do (and Giveaway!)

Nothing will fill you with more holiday happiness than walking through Garden of Lights with your family!

Pick an evening between now and New Year’s Day to visit Brookside Gardens and experience the dazzling Garden of Lights. It’s magical and marvelous for literally every age, baby to grandparent. My family and I have attended every year since 2004 and it keeps getting better and better. Strolling through this winter wonderland is one of our favorite holiday traditions.

This year we attended opening weekend with our three kids and made plans to meet another family there to see the more than one million colorful lights and creative displays. 2017’s Garden of Lights — its 19th season — was simply spectacular, and this opinion was shared by both sets of parents, the teen, the tween, the third grader and the first graders.

The elementary schoolers’ were delighted by the lights shaped into animals. The lighted land animals we discovered in the gardens, while some twinkling aquatic animals we found hopping, skipping, croaking and peering from the fountains and pools.

The older kids had fun with the interactive and creative light elements, such as the weather system rainbow that “rains” lights, flashes with lightning and crashes with thunder.

I loved the gazebos covered in icicle lights and the twinkling trees that changed color. Watching my girls dancing beneath a tree changing from pink to blue to green on an early winter night made all my worries melt away.

The Children’s Garden is also festooned with lights, making for a fairy garden of sparkles for the little ones to play in.

The Visitors Center features nightly live music!  Check out the musical lineup. The on-site caterer at the Visitors Center has a delicious selection of hot drinks, treats, soups and sandwiches for sale. There was also a bonfire with marshmallow roasting on the night we attended.

We knew from previous years to arrive extra early, 15 minutes before the official opening time of 5:30 p.m. and to enter Glenallen Avenue via Kemp Mill Road and park in the Conservatory parking lot, if possible. These two steps saved us waiting in any car lines at all. Friends of ours waited in a slightly longer line by coming in Glenallen Avenue from Randolph Road and parking near the Visitor Center, but the lines move very quickly. Weekdays have less wait times than weekends.

The cost is $25 per car/van Sunday-Thursday and $30 per car/van Friday-Saturday. Fill all your seats and carpool with friends for a great value on a night out. There is currently a Groupon deal on Garden of Lights for $20 tickets valid any night through December 15, so if you attend on or before 12/15 definitely get your ticket there to save $5-$10. After that promo is over, you can also pick up $25 advance sale tickets at the Brookside Gardens gift shop, which are good for use any night (saving you $5 if you utilize on a Friday or Saturday).

Please note that you must drive into Garden of Lights — no pedestrian traffic is allowed. Pets need to stay at home, although service animals are welcome.

Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens

Nightly through January 1, 2018 (closed December 24 & 25) 

Sunday-Thursday 5:30 – 9 p.m., $25 per car/van 

Friday-Saturday 5:30 – 10 p.m., $30 per car/van

Save using Groupon deal on Garden of Lights for $20 tickets valid any night through December 15

Advance sale tickets at Brookside Gardens gift shop $25 good for use any night (saves you $5 if you use on a Friday or Saturday)

Want to win a free pass for a car load of loved ones to share Garden of Lights with you on a night of your choosing? Enter via the form below!

Garden of Lights Car Pass!

The Best ICE at Gaylord National EVER: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!

My family and I have made a holiday pilgrimage to experience Gaylord National Resort’s ICE! attraction each year since its inception. But I have to say, this year’s display featuring the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is my favorite ICE! to date. If you have always wanted to don those snazzy blue parkas, see the colorful ice sculptures and slide down those massive ice slides, this year is the year!

Of course, ICE! is just one element of Gaylord National Resort complete holiday celebration, Christmas On The Potomac. The full holiday line-up is happening now through New Year’s Day and ICE is just the tip of the ICE-berg.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer…in ICE!

You are going to love ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! Everyone’s favorite 1964 Christmas classic is portrayed in stunning, larger-than-life vignettes kept at a chilling 9-degrees. You’ll receive cozy, lined, full-length blue parkas with hoods to wear atop your own winter coats, gloves and hats as you walk through 13 scenes of more than two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures.

You and your family will see breathtaking scenes featuring your favorite characters – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice the flirting girl reindeer, Yukon Cornelius, Santa, Mrs. Claus….the gang’s all there!

The best part? Sliding down two-story tall ice slides in the Island of Misfit Toys. The attraction concludes with a breathtaking Nativity scene carved from crystal ice and set behind a twinkling light curtain.

ICE! is open daily from November 18, 2017 through January 1, 2018. Tickets cost $32 for adults ages 12 and older and $24 for children ages 4 to 11 on value days; $38 for adults and $31 for children on general admission days; and $39 for adults and $32 for children on peak days. Kids 3 and younger are free. Military and group ticket pricing is available and hours vary. Buy tickets.

Get tickets at the ICE! Cyber Sale and get 30 percent off on select dates! 

After ICE!, enter the Christmas Village (and get Santa pics!) 

Upon entering the Christmas Village, guests will delight in discovering a new ice skating attraction, carousel and train rides, Cookies with Mrs. Claus, photos with Santa and a Gingerbread Decorating Corner presented by Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas. To enjoy several of these attractions at a reduced rate, the resort has created Play and Save packages starting at $29.45. Get Play and Save tickets.

The resort also offers a Build-A-Bear Workshop experience where guests make their very own furry winter friend – a cuddly, cute polar bear plush, designed exclusively for Gaylord Hotels that can be personalized with cozy winter clothing and accessories. For even more fun, families can work together to solve the Build-A-Bear Workshop Scavenger Hunt throughout Gaylord National Resort to gain a “beary” special prize.

Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Character Breakfast 

Visitors also can delight in a new family breakfast featuring Rudolph, the star of ICE! Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Breakfast is a one-of-a-kind interactive character breakfast experience with tableside visits by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Clarice. Children of all ages will enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet, play games and sing-a-long to favorite music from the beloved television special.

We experienced this breakfast and not only were the activities memorable and fun for all, the food was amazing! There is a deluxe waffle station with mounds of chocolate, candy, berries and creams…totally what Buddy the Elf would fix you at the North Pole. There’s also a station with omelets made to order, a big hot buffet with bacons, sausages, eggs, potatoes and more, and dozens of pastries, yogurts and fruit. Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Breakfast is offered on select days and costs $39.99 for adults ages 12 and older and $26.99 for children ages 4 to 11. Kids 3 and younger are free. Get tickets.

Gaylord National Resort’s JOY– A Holiday Spectacular 

If ice sculptures weren’t enough, the resort also has transformed itself into a Christmas wonderland. Featuring more than two million lights, a suspended 55-foot tall Christmas tree and a 20-foot wide Washington, D.C. gingerbread display.

New this year, Gaylord National also is introducing a live entertainment show, JOY – A Holiday Spectacular, set within the resort’s stunning 19-story atrium. Visitors can enjoy the rich harmonies of classic and modern songs that celebrate the joy of the holiday season performed by Gaylord National singers. Tickets start at $11.99 for all ages. Military pricing is available. Get tickets.

The show is immediately followed by a free Tree Lighting Show that includes laser lights, a dancing water fountain, indoor snow flurry and holiday music – all centered on the resort’s suspended Starlight Christmas Tree.

Mistletoe Mixology Class

For visitors 21 and older, Gaylord National’s beverage director has created a Mistletoe Mixology class designed to teach participants the basics of cocktail making. The 90-minute hands-on class includes crafting three unique holiday cocktails paired with hors d’oeuvres provided by the resort chef. The class costs $29.00 and is available select dates during Christmas On The Potomac.

Make It An Overnight to Remember 

To experience the best of Christmas in the Washington, D.C. area, the resort offers two overnight packages including unlimited priority entry to ICE! You’ll bump up to the front of the line! Packages include:

ICE! Is Nice Package
• One night room accommodations
• Unlimited, priority entry tickets to experience ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Package starts at $219 for two people.

Christmas On The Potomac Package
• One night room accommodations
• Unlimited, priority entry tickets to experience ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
• $100 resort credit per night for hotel dining and Relâche Spa services
• One (1) complimentary souvenir ICE! photo
Package starts at $279 for two people.

For more information on Christmas On The Potomac at Gaylord National Resort and to book a package or tickets to ICE! and other holiday attractions, visit, call 301-965-4000 and follow


My family and I received tickets to ICE!, character breakfast and Christmas Village tickets for review. No compensation received. All opinions are my own. 

LUX LED Lighting Black Friday 30% Off + Buy One, Give One with Unite to Light

An amazing Black Friday deal in which your purchase directly helps people in need all over the world!

LUX LED Lighting is not only offering a 30 percent discount on all of its stylish, versatile and high tech lighting products this Black Friday through December 26. They have also partnered with nonprofit Unite To Light to provide light to those in need this holiday season.

For each LUX LED Lighting product you purchase this holiday season, LUX LED Lighting will donate a solar lamp through Unite to Light. These portable, durable, highly-efficient solar-powered lamps are invaluable to communities without electricity or those with infrastructures wiped out due to disaster, such as in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

Whether from disasters, rural locations or inability to pay, Unite to Light and LUX LED Lighting want to bring light to those who would otherwise live in darkness. The impact these donations make is incredible. Unite to Light has found that supplying reading lights to students in need can increase school graduation rates by 30 percent!

Here are my favorite LUX LED Lighting products that will look gorgeous in your home, make for knock-em-out-the-park holiday gifts and most importantly, put a solar light in the hands and the home of someone in need. Find them in the LUX LED online store 11/24/17 through 12/26/17 for 30 percent off with promo code LUXLIGHTS.

LUX Brooklyn USB LED Task Light: two USB charging ports, three touch activated brightness options, integrated device shelf, space efficient.

LUX Brooklyn LED Desk Light: two universal AC sockets, two USB ports, device shelf, touch-activated brightness levels, linen shade, brushed aluminum or black slate finish.

LUX Toronto LED Task Lamp: 360-degree flexibility, soft-touch silicone overmold, three touch-activated brightness levels, two USB charging ports, two finishes — white and black.


I received review products to help spread the word about LUX LED Lighting and Unite To Light’s partnership this holiday season. No monetary compensation received. All opinions are my own. 

Orchestra Black Friday Sale and Best Kids Clothes for Winter

As I wrote about before, my kids and I are over the moon with our new kid clothing online store discovery, Orchestra! The clothes are cool, affordable and high-quality. They come in sizes infant through tween 14. This French company offers styles for kids that are on-trend but do not look exactly like what every other kid is wearing!

And they have an awesome Black Friday sale you must take advantage of: 70 percent off EVERYTHING for club members! 

Joining Club Orchestra is just $10 per year, and gives you 25 percent off everything…but for Black Friday that discount is upped to a whopping 70 percent off! 

All items on the Orchestra site are listed with two prices, regular and Club, and you can see how you will earn back your $10 in no time. Additionally, shipping is free on orders of $50 or more for Club Members. I immediately saw the value in the Club Membership and added that membership to our online cart during our first time shopping online at Orchestra and I have been enjoying the Club pricing ever since.

On Alice: Vegan leather moto jacket $26, sweater dress $20, textured tights $7 for two pair. 

On Eve: Knit sweater with gold flecks $17, slim pants in coated twill $17. 

My daughters Alice and Eve now consider Orchestra their favorite place to shop online for new outfits. On our latest online shopping “trip” they chose some special outfits to wear for dressier occasions for the holidays. They also chose matching cozy parkas to keep them warm for winter!

On Alice: Printed jaquard dress with pom poms $22.50, textured tights $7 for two pair.

On Eve: Belted shirt dress with sequin detail $23. 

On both: Navy hooded padded parkas in Orchestra outerwear $34 each. 

Enjoy shopping at Orchestra’s online store for USA shoppers, and be sure to take advantage of that 70 percent off Black Friday deal! 

We were provided with a shopping credit for review. No additional or monetary compensation received. All opinions are my own. 

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmas Town Opens

Kids don’t want to go Black Friday shopping…but they DO want to visit Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and the fun starts this Friday after Thanksgiving.

You will start the holiday season by experiencing the theme park aglow with over 8 million Christmas lights, making it the largest Christmas light display in North America! Christmas Town is also known for its festive food and drinkholiday shopping and heart-warming shows that make the spirit of Christmas come alive.

Many of the park rides and attractions stay open during this Christmas event so that the entire family can have a blast as the park turns on the Christmas magic. Enjoy KIDsiderate areas for the young kids, thrill rides for big kids and the brave and lots of merry entertainment. The brand-new for 2017 InvadR coaster will be open, as will the Sesame Street Forest of Fun and more!

Essential to the Christmas Town experience is a mug of the park’s signature peppermint fudge hot chocolate, as well as catching world-champion figure skater Elvis Stojko bringing the magic of Christmas to life on ice in ‘Twas that Night .

For special character experiences, check out Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland for chances to meet Rudolph, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and Bumble the Abominable Snowman. You can also experience Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer like never before as it comes to life in an all-new, immersive, multi-sensory movie experience. You can  meet Santa Claus in his workshop, drop off with him your Christmas list and take pictures with the jolly old elf.

Want to really experience Christmas Town right? Reserve a special dining experience with Santa or Rudolph and friends!

Christmas Town opens this Friday November 24 and continues on select days through Jan. 1, 2018.  Hours are 2 – 10 p.m. each day.

Get tickets to Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Christmas Town!

Best Black Friday Deals and Holiday 2017 Trends

This morning on Fox 5 DC I had a great time talking about the best Black Friday deals coming at us soon, as well as the top trends for Holiday 2017!

My picks for your Black Friday holiday shopping:

LUX LED Lighting  

I’m obsessed with these gorgeous, high tech and sleek LED lights for the home! From Black Friday through December 26th, LUX LED Lighting is offering 30 percent off with promo code LUXLIGHTS. Even better, with each purchase LUX LED Lighting will donate one solar light through Unite To Light which brings light to people around the world without access to electricity, or affected by natural disasters like the recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico

Unite To Light provides portable, solar-powered lamps to communities without electricity. Whether from disaster, lack of infrastructure, or inability to pay, the organization aims to bring light to those who would otherwise live in darkness.

The LUX Toronto LED Task Lamp has 360-degree flexibility, soft-touch silicone overmold and three touch-activated brightness levels. It conveniently has two USB charging ports on either side of its minimalist base to charge your devices while providing warn LED light that’s easy on the eyes. It comes in two finishes, white and black and is built to last. 

The LUX Brooklyn LED Desk Lamp’s curves and modernist lines will make your home shine. It has great functionality with two universal AC sockets, two USB ports and a device shelf perfect for your phone. The linen shade is awesome quality and and so elegant with either the brushed aluminum or black slate finishes. I love the touch-activated brightness levels.

The LUX Brooklyn USB LED Task Lamp also has two USB charging ports, three touch activated brightness options, and an integrated device shelf. Its understated modern design make the Brooklyn USB an efficient option when desk space is limited.

Purchase them all in the LUX LED store at and don’t forget to use promo code LUXLIGHTS 11/24/17 – 12/26/17. 

Swann Smart Security Camera

The Swann Smart Security Camera is a top holiday gift for 2017 and is completely wire-free, with a wireless connection to a Wifi router totally rechargeable — no cables, rechargeable internal battery via USB! Unlike competitors, the Smart Security Camera has an internal rechargeable battery so it does not need a hub or home charging base whereas most others can only charge up to 4 cameras on a hub.

It features True DetectTM Heat-Sensing Technology for more reliable motion detection. The device syncs with the Safe by Swann app providing surveillance from anywhere and sends push notifications to your phone to alert you. The footage is stored using internal memory and on the cloud.

It has a Weatherproof IP65 rating for indoor and outdoor use, rain or shine. It records in 1080p Full HD day or night with powerful night vision at a 120-degree angle. 

Black Friday deal: Get the Swann Smart Security Camera for $30 off at $119 (normally $149) for the Black Friday deal. This deal will be live from Thanksgiving Day 11/23/17 through Wednesday 11/29/17.

Little Black Pant with Fitlogic

Find your perfect black pant! First pick your size, then add your shape, because within every woman’s size are different body types, curves and lengths.  Usually the Little Black Pant styles are $99.95 but for Black Friday just $39.99, and you can get a second pair for just $44.95! This is possible only on Black Friday with promo code LBP-WTTG at

Mayka Toy Block Tape

The original Mayka Toy Block Tape instantly transforms virtually any surface into a base for toy building blocks, figures and accessories. This LEGO- and other building block brand-compatible block tape transforms any surface, window or wall into a building surface.

It’s so great for creativity and a super stocking stuffer! It comes three sizes and nine colors. Learn more and shop at

ZURU Fidget Cube

The coolest trend in fidget products for kids (and adults!), the original Fidget Cube designed by Antsy Labs is an unusually addictive, high-quality fidget toy designed to help you focus. Backed by over 154,926 people on Kickstarter, the Fidget Cube is the ultimate toy for fidgetters of all ages. Enjoy this year’s top trending toy and fidget that stress or anxiety away. Specifically designed for restless hands, the six unique sides fulfill all your fidgeting needs. Glide, flip, roll and click you way into focus!

Made with high-quality plastic, the original Fidget Cube by Antsy Labs is strong, durable and safe for kids and adults alike. Beware of fakes and copies. Great gift idea for friends or family who can’t keep their fingers still. Available in 8 colors and with accessories!

Available at Target, Walmart, Toys R Us, CVS, Amazon, and other retailers. Learn more at


The must-get toy for holiday 2017 are Shnooks! They magically grow EIGHT times in size from their unique shnubble-bubble pack! Kids will have a blast popping the bubbles, shaking them up and bringing their new best friends to life! Style their hair, love them and they’ll SHNOOK after you! These cuddly Shnooks come with a comb, friendship hair-clip and more surprise accessories. There are six unique Schnooks available starting December 1st exclusively at Walmart. Get them before they are gone! 

What are YOU going to grab on Black Friday? 

Teen Bedroom Upgrade: New Full Size Mattress from Tomorrow Sleep

Here’s a bad mom confession: Charlie turns 14 next month, but was still sleeping in the IKEA twin bed we purchased him when he was three. The mattress sagged and Charlie’s adult sized legs and feet hung over the end.

Parenting fail!

And the thing that this teenager craves most in the world after days spent at school and sports? Happy sleep.

So when Tomorrow Sleep contacted us about reviewing some of their holistic sleep system products, we were all in. Designed to improve lives through sleep science, Tomorrow Sleep offers an array of sleep system products to help people get a better night’s sleep.

From our research, Tomorrow Sleep provides one of the best hybrid mattresses out there. Their memory foam hybrid mattress is designed to adjust to the sleeper’s body temperature and provide support.

The hybrid construction, available in either medium soft or medium firm, combines cooling high-density memory foam with a breathable, supportive coil system that allows the sleeper’s body temperature to drop the two degrees necessary to enter a state of optimal sleep.

But all of that sleep science information was second to the feedback Charlie provided us, “BEST SLEEP EVER! I am so comfortable!”

Parenting win!

We chose for Charlie the Tomorrow Sleep hybrid mattress in medium firm in the full size for his growing teen body.

Want to get $150 off any $500 purchase of your own Tomorrow Sleep products? Use code SS150 when you shop (Expires 12/31/17.)


Orchestra: High Quality, Low Price Fashion for Kids (And 10 Winner Giveaway!)

Orchestra, the fab French discount store for kids’ clothes, is now in the U.S. and the clothes are GREAT!

We just discovered Orchestra and have fallen hard for Orchestra’s affordable, high-quality clothing for kids. They are so stylish and reasonably priced, and the styles are on-trend but do not look exactly like what every other kid is wearing! The French store has launched their online shopping site for American kids, as well as a brick-and-mortar store at King of Prussia mall in Philadelphia.

The clothing for boys and girls comes in sizes infant through 14. The pricing is especially amazing if you join Club Orchestra for 25 percent off all clothing for just $10 per year! All items on the Orchestra site are listed with two prices, regular and Club, and you can see how you will earn back your $10 in no time. Additionally, shipping is free on orders of $50 or more for Club Members.

Eve and Alice had a wonderful time choosing some casual styles to wear for school as the temperatures drop and the summer shorts are put away. I immediately saw the value in the Club Membership and added that membership to our online cart while shopping and thus snagged Club pricing on everything they chose.

The first favorites Eve and Alice found on Orchestra were girls’ jeans with embroidery and fun patches, paired with long sleeved t-shirts.

On Alice: long sleeve tee with cat print $5.25, slim jeans with sparkly belt and embroidered badges $19.46. On Eve: junior tee with 3/4 sleeves and pompoms $11.96, junior slim fit jeans with badges $18.71.

My girls also selected some comfy and versatile leggings, and each paired them with tunics on top. They both raved about how cozy these outfits were, and I appreciate how the leggings have kept their color and shape with no pilling after several wearings and washes.

On Eve: junior tunic with Aztec motif $14.21, plain ribbed leggings $8.21. On Alice: crepe tunic with oversized checks $17.21, plain ribbed leggings $8.21.

My girls also enjoyed choosing cute cotton socks, tights and underwear from Orchestra. There are adorable patterns and favorite characters, as well as neutrals. I loved how low the prices were on these everyday basics — lower than I have found at my local big box stores or Amazon!

The patterned jeans were a huge hit with the gals, too. They both wear jeans to school nearly every day but are very particular: their denim must have stretch and be soft. The Orchestra patterned jeans fit the bill and look so cool and original compared to what jeans we see for girls in most stores.

On Alice: long-sleeved tee with polka dots and flowers $8.96, printed slim jeans $14.96. On Eve: junior long-sleeved striped tee-shirt with lace pocket $8.96, junior printed slim jean $16.46.

I cannot recommend more highly Orchestra as your awesome new destination for kids’ clothing. The quality is crazy high, while the prices are super low.

Exciting Giveaway: 10 Free One Year Club Memberships to Orchestra!

The first 10 readers who grab them will get a free one year club membership to Orchestra. That means every time they shop on the site, they will instantly receive a 25% discount.  Just add the Club card to your basket, enter code SilverSpringClub and the price for the Club will drop automatically from $10 to $0. 

There are only 10 so act fast! 

We were provided with a shopping credit for review. No additional or monetary compensation received. All opinions are my own. 

Turkeypalooza at the Theater at Arts Barn


Turkeypalooza at the Theater at Arts Barn

Let your imagination run wild as an ordinary house turns into an exciting Thanksgiving adventure on November 24, 2017.

Known for athleticism and comedy, VF Dance Theater presents an interactive story that encourages children to count, read, move, and problem solve. Great for the entire family; recommended for ages 3 and up.

November 24, 2017
11 AM Performance – Purchase Tickets Online
2:30 PM Performance – Purchase Tickets Online

Theater at the Arts Barn
311 Kent Square Road
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878-5727


Best Movies Based in DC (and their Iconic Locations)

I still get excited when my adopted hometown of Washington, DC is featured in a movie. My heart sings when I watch real live on-location shots in DC, as well as films set in DC and faithfully represented (though possibly shot elsewhere).

I especially love catching a glimpse of some of my favorite Washington addresses on film, such as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, East Capitol St NE & First St SE, 2 Lincoln Memorial Circle and more. Addressy, the address verification service for websites, feels the same way and this post is written in partnership with them.

Here are 10 of my favorites, in order.

10. Minority Report at the Reagan Building and International Trade Center: The location for the future’s DC police department’s “Office of Pre-Crime” is this impressive building where we all may have attended a Washington gala or work conference.

9. Enemy of the State at Dupont Circle: Car and bike chases and espionage all center around the Circle, the Dupont/Q Street underpass and surrounding businesses. If you know this neighborhood well you can piece together how some portions of the on-location chase scene sequences are impossible and switch between the Adams Morgan and Dupont neighborhoods.

8. The Exorcist at the Georgetown stairs: These truly are scary steps, whether you are taking them at night as a Georgetown campus shortcut as a summer student (that was me, happily terrified) or running them today while trying to get a good cardiovascular workout (this is not me with much frequency).

7. The American President at The White House (well, a set, really): Although White House sets abound in Hollywood, this Rob Reiner film is known for its particular attention to detail, recreating the interiors of the White House as it looked in 1995. In fact, the sets were again used on The West Wing.

6. Forrest Gump in the Reflecting Pool: Although Forrest has several DC moments, with several “Presidents” via CGI, who can forget Jenny and Forrest’s Reflecting Pool reunion?

5. In the Line of Fire at the Lincoln Memorial: Sitting on the steps of the Lincoln is one of the best places to have a conversation and people watch, even if you are with Eastwood’s pompous, sexist Secret Service agent.

4. St. Elmo’s Fire at The Tombs: Another studio set, but the interiors of the movie’s St. Elmo’s bar are based on — and the inspiration for the film is —
The Tombs. This still-rocking Georgetown bar is located right next to the Exorcist steps, in case you’d like to hit two locations at once.

3. All the President’s Men at The Watergate complex and George Washington University: The film was shot on-site at both the famed office building and the dorms of the university, which stood in for the Howard Johnson Watergate lookout spot. However, The Washington Post newsroom featured on film was a set.

2. Broadcast News at the Jefferson Memorial: The hard news purist producer and the pretty boy anchor famously share a moment outside the Jefferson Memorial, but I adore the entire film for its numerous 1980’s DC settings.

1. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington at Union Station and the United States Capitol: No other film expresses a small town kid’s love for DC as keenly as this Capra classic, and I love the scene when Smith spots the Capitol dome from within Union Station with awe. I felt that way seeing it each day when I got off the Red Line at Union Station to walk to my first job in DC, and I still feel it now.