Cheap thrills: a sequestration social guide


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2013_03_millennium Free concerts at the Kennedy Center are among the many thrifty ways to stay social during Sequestration. (Photo: mj*laflaca on Flickr)


Sequestration furlough threats are looming large for federal workers (not to mention that two-year pay freeze!) making now as good a time as any to scale back one’s social budget. Luckily, in this town, culture does not have to be costly.

If you fancy a date night, a happy hour or even a mini make-over, here’s a week’s worth of thrills on the cheap.


Beginning later this month and running through May, the National Theatre will showcase the best works of Montgomery Clift every Monday night. National Theatre will feature the Oscar nominee’s most famous films and admission is free. Check the schedule for listings, and get your tickets in advance.


Financial woes calls for stiff drinks and comfort food. Every Tuesday, Southern Hospitality in Adams Morgan extends its social graces with a never-ending happy hour. Specials include $4 appetizers and $5 drinks.


Time is money. Where can you enjoy a sit-down lunch for less than $10, in less than one hour? Pound the Hill. Top your escarole and spinach salad with pesto chicken salad and dine outside in the open courtyard.


This Thursday it’s singer-songwriters. Next Thursday it’s jazz. But every Thursday – and every night! – on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center the performance is free. Showtime is at 6 p.m., and you don’t even need a ticket!


Nothing to do on Furlough Friday? Drive out to Virginia’s wine country. Vintage Ridge Vineyard is offering 50-percent off all tastings, wine and food to federal workers and active military throughout sequestration. Prepare to be carded, though; you’ll need  your work ID for the discount.


Knowledge is priceless, so sample wine for free before you invest in a bottle that you know you’ll love. Cheesetique, the quirky cheese and wine bar, hosts free wine tastings at its Shirlington and Del Ray stores every Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Go back on a weeknight for special happy hours and live music.


The lipstick index tells us that an increase in make-up sales is indicative of a bad economy. This theory could be skewed with a free make-over at a department store cosmetics counter. Stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom will let customers test everything from blush to mascara and, if you schedule an appointment, a trained make-up artist will create a new look for you. Spend a Sunday fun day getting a spruced up new look, then start your next work week fresh-faced.

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Commentary, Government IT News, Guest Columns, Lifestyle, Management & Budget, Sequestration
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