Weekend Agenda: What To Do If You Need A Shopping Break

If buyer-burnout is creeping up on you, take a deep breath — you’ve still got three weeks to plunder your local shops and crush online deals from your cubicle. So, treat yourself to a timeout while you can! We’ve got three awesome agendas to make the most of this delightfully un-wintry weekend (50 degrees and sunny, hello!). The key: None of them involve mall-hopping or the swirling vortex of e-commerce sites. And now, we present to you a shop-free itinerary:

Saturday, December 3, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Head to the Old Town Alexandria waterfront for free Ben & Jerry’s hot chocolate and a light show on the water! Fifty fully-decked boats will cruise down the Potomac as part of the Annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, showing off festive decor and twinkling lights. We think it’s the perfect surprise date — how impressed will your man be that you aren’t dragging him to the dressing room at Saks?
Where: Old Town Alexandria Waterfront


Saturday, December 3, 8 p.m. to Midgnight
Don your finest Chinese-designed duds (Jason Wu or Vivienne Tam, anyone?), and celebrate the drama and luxury of Chinese fashion at the Silk Road Society’s Dress to Impress gala. The $115 ticket to the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery event includes open bar, yummy grub, and tours of the super-cool exhibitions. The highlight of the evening is a runway show featuring designer Yeohlee Teng's fall 2011 collection.
Where: Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Avenue SW; 202-633-1000.

Sunday, December 4, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
If you didn't snag a ticket to the city’s blow-out Repeal Day Ball before they sold out (bummer!), you can still catch something equally cool and cocktail-y. Speed Rack, a national female bartending competition, will take over Jack Rose, and with tickets between $20 and $25, it's a lot cheaper than Repeal Day action. Sipping a variety of punch, beer, and mixed drinks while watching 18 top-notch D.C. bartenders compete to become the city's speediest mixologist? Sounds like the perfect Sunday to us.
Where: Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 2007 18th Street NW; 202-588-7388.

Photo: Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association

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