Tag Archives: Old Town

Father’s Day Gifts

Father’s Day is fast approaching – what do you get the guy who has everything? Here are a few ideas that are fun and available close to home.

A six pack of craft beer from Market 2 Market (116 Del Ray Ave.) will hit the spot on a hot day. They have over 150 craft beers including IPAs, porters, brown ales, and lagers. We suggest a mix! He will love it!


Or how about a chunk of fancy cheese and some meat for your guy from Cheesetique (2411 Mt. Vernon Ave.)? Our favorite is the Goat’s Milk Gouda with a slice pepperoni on any cracker or bread.



You could also grab a bottle of wine from their wine wall – each wine is categorized for easier selection. And don’t forget to pick up some of their chocolate chips – you know the ones they put on the table after dinner and lunch! Yum!


You could also stop by Let’s Meat on the Avenue (2403 Mt. Vernon Ave.) for a selection of their four most popular seasonings boxed together as the Dizzy Pig. Add these to their filet mignon along with some specialty olive oil from their organic olive oil bar. Your guy will be in heaven at the grill!


Another thought is a group ukulele or acoustic guitar lesson package from Del Ray School of Music (2405 Mt. Vernon Ave.) The summer classes have already started but contact the school for information about joining in.


The Dad in your life works hard and deserves something special this weekend! Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!

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Free Things to Do With the Kids (and Almost Free)

The days are finally warm and sunny!  Here are a few ideas for free things to do with the kids around Alexandria.


Feed the ducks in Old Town


There are plenty of ducks and other birds at the Waterfront looking for a little snack.  We did a little research and instead of bread you should feed them:

  • Corn (canned, frozen or fresh)
  • Duck pellets (sold online and at pet stores)
  • Lettuce, other greens (torn into small pieces)
  • Frozen peas (defrosted)
  • Oats (rolled or instant)
  • Seeds (including birdseed or other varieties)



Go to the Masonic Temple



You can climb the stairs and check out the view with a snack.  Counting the planes is a fun way to pass the time!  For a small fee you can take a tour of the temple and go outside of the top for an even better view.



Walk the Dogs in Monticello Park



Walk the dog, get some fresh air, and probably meet a new friend.  There are so many downed trees to climb and explore!  A gem of a spot in the city.



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We All Scream for Nicecream!


If you are looking for the freshest handcrafted cup of ice cream possible, you must check out Nicecream at 726 King Street. It all comes to be by combining fresh, local grass-fed cream and local ingredients from nearby farms. Then, using their freezing agent, liquid nitrogen, they freeze the ice cream before your eyes.



Local farmers give products that yield the freshest ingredients and best flavors. That much we know but why liquid nitrogen? Liquid nitrogen freezes food within seconds and leaves no trace once evaporated. This freezing process makes smaller ice crystals, leaving a final product that is more dense and much creamier than ice cream that is produced in a traditional method.
They also serve Swing’s Coffee and hand-crafted hot chocolate. Something for everyone!


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Saying Goodbye to Some of Alexandria’s Favorite Businesses

Alexandria loves to shop in local, small businesses.  Last year we lost a few of our old favorites.  And, sadly, this year, we will lose a couple more.


why not


Why Not?

Everyone who as ever had a baby shower or a kid’s birthday party to attend has been to Why Not? on King Street.  The two-level shop was a joy to peruse.  The items were thoughtful and special and fun!  After over 50 years the doors will be closing!  As of January 15, 2016, the sale on all of their merchandise had been dropped down to 40% off, excluding a couple little sections of display and other special items.  This calls for one more visit to an old favorite shop!




Hannelore’s of Olde Town

The end of February will mean the end of Hannelore’s of Olde Town, the bridal boutique that has been offering designer wedding gowns since 1984.  And the sales are ridiculous!  According to their website all designer sample gowns are reduced up to 75%, and all accessories (including jewelry and veils) are all 50% off.  And bridesmaid gowns are $50 each!  Call or email the store to arrange an appointment!





Located in Del Ray, Monroe’s was staple for Alexandria residents looking for a family-friendly, locally-owned Italian restaurant.  Christmas Eve marked the end of the era!  The owners decided to retire from the restaurant business.  A new restaurant will open in its space after a few months of renovations.  We are sad to see it go!


As we say goodbye, we keep an open mind to the new businesses that will begin fresh this year!



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Whim Pop



Looking for a place for a cold, tasty treat (despite the falling temperatures)?  Look no further than Whim Pop (1309 King Street).  Whim Pop has the most amazing variety frozen fruit pops!  All their products are made with real fruit, no color or artificial flavors are added.



Whim Pop started its journey in the Spring of 2012, selling frozen fruit pops at Oakton, VA Smart Markets.  The idea was created by Maria Romano, a woman looking for a way to integrate her Mexican culture with the local community.  She decided to create frozen fruit pops, which are popular in the Mexican culture, while integrating flavors from the world.  The result is a unique selection of products for folks who like to try new things and for immigrants who miss the taste of their home countries.  Year round flavors include

Apple cinnamon




Cucumber & chile

Hibiscus pomegranate


Mango Yogurt

Strawberry basil

Strawberry yogurt swirls




Cocktail flavors include Bloody Mary with seasonal flavors like Blueberry Lemon and Plum Basil for sale.  They also have deliveries and catering available.


And if you don’t find the flavor that you want you can contact them to see if they can create it for you.


For more information on Whim Pop click here.




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First Night Alexandria’s Fun Hunt

Downtown historic Alexandria. Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org

Alexandria’s annual New Year’s Eve First Night takes place Thursday, December 31, 2015 with more than 175 performances at 29 indoor venues,  live music, dancing, and children’s events.  And the fireworks finale returns with an amazing display over the Potomac River at midnight.  But what we are looking forward to is the Seventh Annual Fun Hunt.

The Fun Hunt begins at 2:00PM.  Get a group together for an afternoon of fun.  Although teams can be of any size, you will probably have more fun if you keep your team to six people or less.  As long as one of your team members has purchased a First Night admission badge, your team can pick up a clue sheet and map at the Torpedo Factory (105 N. Union Street).   The Fun Hunt takes place from 2:00PM – 5:30PM.  Although it is not a timed event, it should take you approximately one hour to complete the hunt if you don’t stop for side excursions.




Bring all completed Fun Hunt forms to the Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, between 5:30PM and 5:45PM, .

Starting at 6:00PM, a drawing of completed Fun Hunt forms for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place adults, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place children (12 and under) prizes will take place at the Durant Arts Center during the kickoff at 6:00PM.   Just decide whether you want to enter the adult or children competition (you can not enter both).  Winners must be present to claim their prizes.  They are handing out some serious cash to the winners!

Good luck and happy hunting!

Click here for more information on the night and how to purchase tickets.



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Last Minute Holiday Gifts

It is coming down to the wire!  If you are searching for last minute gifts, we have ideas for you, right here in Alexandria.

  • One idea is a Society Fair gift card.  Society Fair is a food-lovers boutique located in the heart of Old Town at 277 South Washington Street.  They offer baked goods, meats, as well as food-related gifts galore.  The recipient could use their gift card at the wine bar, the demo kitchen or the market!  Maybe they will ask you to join them for some delicious fun!




  • A reversible puffer vest from Top It Off, located in Del Ray on Mount Vernon Avenue.  This 100% Nylon vest is fleece-lined inside.  It is a very reasonable $38.00.  The woman in your life will love it on the not-so-chilly days of Winter.  Available in additional colors.




  •  A piece of jewelry from Kiskadee at 2205 Mount Vernon Avenue.  You will find unique pieces for that special someone in your life.  A ring or necklace will be statement piece that she will treasure forever.



  •  You could also stop by Let’s Meat on the Avenue  at 2403 Mount Vernon Avenue for a selection of their four most popular seasonings boxed together as the Dizzy Pig.  These spices can be used on filet mignon along with some specialty olive oil from their organic olive oil bar.  The guy in your life will love to use these on the grill!




Happy Holidays to you and yours from Alexandria Living!

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Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tour


If you are looking for fine food, seasonal decorations, and music in historic Old Town, this is the event for you.  Four of Old Town’s finest historic sites will welcome guests for a candlelight tour.  At each stop, you will find period-appropriate holiday decorations as well as drink and food items.  And adult, seasonal libations can be purchased along the tour!

This year’s tour includes:

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum at 134 North Royal Street

Carlyle House Historic Park at 121 North Fairfax Street

The Lloyd House at 220 North Washington Street

Lee-Fendall House at 614 Oronoco Street.

Tour any time from 6:00PM – 9:00PM on Saturday night or 3:00PM – 6:00PM on Sunday afternoon.  You should allow about 1.5 – 2 hours if you want to visit all four sites.

You can visit the locations in any order that you choose.  Guides will be stationed at each site.  To make things a little easier, a free shuttle will be provided and running in a continuous loop between all four sites.

Ticket prices are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors (ages 65 and older) and active military members, and $5 for children (ages 6-17).   Tickets for this event can be purchased here.

A great way to kick off the holiday season!

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Black Friday Shopping

If shopping on Black Friday is in your plans, we recommend that you make it memorable and enjoyable by hitting the small shops in Old Town.  We just learned that over 80% of the shops in Old Town and Del Ray are independently-owned.  And we all know that a small shop is the place to find a one-of-a-kind gift for your friends and loved ones.


Downtown historic Alexandria. Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org


The city has made it easier for us all by providing free parking at parking meters and city-owned garages.  And over 50 independently-owned shops will open early with deals on everything from dog sweaters to home décor.  If you can get out of bed early, it may be worth your while.  Here are some of the deals you will find from participating shops:

6:00AM – 8:00AM: 30% discounts

8:00AM – 10:00AM: 20% discounts

10:00AM – closing: 10% discounts




If your legs get tired, you can hop on the King Street Trolley for free, starting at 6:00AM.  And if you are still up for it, the Annual Tree Lighting will take place at Market Square at 6:00PM.  There are too many participating stores to name but a full list can be found at this link:  Black Friday.  Happy Shopping!






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13th Annual Alexandria King Street Art Festival



It is going to be a beautiful weekend – perfect weather for the 13th Annual Alexandria King Street Art Festival.  King Street, between Washington and Union streets, will be transformed into a world-class outdoor art gallery.  Over 200 of the nation’s top award-winning artists from the US and abroad will be featured.  Alexandria’s own artists include:  David Cochran and Matthew Johnston – acrylic paintings, Gregory Knott – photography, and Patricia Palermino – painting.  There will be something for everyone – life-size sculptures, photography, paintings, ceramics, and more!




Over $15 million in art will be on display in the booths, providing visitors with the opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind pieces and meet the artists behind the work, hearing firsthand what inspires them.

Special events include live music and artist-led hands-on activities.  The Art League’s popular Ice Cream Bowl Fundraiser returns, featuring 1,000 hand-made ceramic bowls and local artisanal ice cream, all for only $15 per bowl.    The proceeds benefit The Art League.  Festival goers can also register to win a free original painting from participating artist Patrick Reynolds, valued at $2800.

And on Sunday between 11:30AM and 1:30PM, you can meet local McEnearney realtor, Laurel Conger and get a free AVA car magnet.

Come join the fun!

Event Dates:
Saturday, September 19, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday, September 20, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.



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