WHAT’S NEW? THE LAT­EST IN BARS, SHOPS AND MORE

Where Washington - - FRONT PAGE -

In Wash­ing­ton, D.C., some things never change. The mon­u­ments and memo­ri­als are time­less grand sights to be­hold, and the city’s his­tory can be found on seem­ingly ev­ery cor­ner. But this year, the na­tion’s cap­i­tal un­der­goes a shift as a new pres­i­dent takes the reins. A dif­fer­ent ad­min­is­tra­tion isn’t the only buzzy hap­pen­ing, how­ever. The new year brings plenty of fresh ex­pe­ri­ences and sights worth check­ing out. These hot spots run the gamut from a stun­ning Smith­so­nian ad­di­tion on the Na­tional Mall to a glitzy mega casino and re­sort at Na­tional Har­bor. In North­east, a long-awaited street­car now shut­tles fun-seek­ers to the re­vi­tal­iz­ing H Street cor­ri­dor, and around town high-end food and drink stars are caus­ing quite a stir. All in all, there’s much to crow about in the Year of the Rooster. —Anne Kim-Dannibale

AFRICAN AMER­I­CAN HIS­TORY AND CUL­TURE MU­SEUM

More than 10 years in the making, the Smith­so­nian’s newest site fea­tures a glass ex­te­rior wrapped in bronze pan­els re­call­ing a Yoruban crown. In­side, vis­i­tors begin their jour­ney un­der­ground, where sto­ries of slav­ery give rise to up­per lev­els filled with records of against-all- odds achieve­ments in the arts, sports and busi­ness. 1400 Con­sti­tu­tion Ave. NW, 844.750.3012, nmaahc.si.edu

CARPE DC FOOD TOURS

In­spired by mem­o­rable meals on their trav­els around the world, Mary Collins and Ste­fan Woehlke started this tasty walk­ing tour through D.C.’s foodie cen­ters like Shaw and U Street. 888.697.2693, carped­c­food­tours.com

ES­CAPE ROOMS

Locked puz­zle rooms, where play­ers have lim­ited time to find clues and es­cape, are all the rage. Would-be sleuths choose from themed cham­bers at many venues. Es­cape Room Live, 800.616.4880 (all lo­ca­tions), es­ca­p­e­r­oom­live.com; The Great Es­cape Room, 1730 Con­necti­cut Ave. NW, 202.930.1843, the­greatesca­p­e­r­oom.com

THE THE­ATER AT MGM NA­TIONAL HAR­BOR

Just south of the Dis­trict, mega re­sort and casino MGM Na­tional Har­bor high­lights a 3,000 square­foot con­cert hall that’s at­tract­ing top acts like pop group Du­ran Du­ran (Jan. 1), co­me­dian Jim Gaf­fi­gan (Jan. 6-7) and rock­ers Kings of Leon (Jan. 12). 7100 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, Md., 844.346.4664, mgm­na­tion­al­har­bor.com

REI FLAG­SHIP STORE

Lo­cated steps from Union Sta­tion, REI sets up shop in­side the his­toric Uline Arena, the site of Pres­i­dent Lyn­don B. John­son’s in­au­gu­ral ball in 1953 and the Bea­tles’ first con­cert in the U. S. in 1964. To­day, fans geek out on out­door gear (also for rent) and join in-store ac­tiv­i­ties— from tack­ling a rock climb­ing wall to sip­ping a cuppa jo from the in-house La Colombe cafe. 201 M St. NE, 202.543.2040, rei.com

H ST. NE STREET­CAR

The first to op­er­ate in D.C. since 1962, the long-awaited street­car now trans­ports pas­sen­gers from Union Sta­tion to the hip bars, restau­rants, clubs and per­form­ing art cen­ters along the emerg­ing H Street cor­ri­dor—all for free. For sched­ule, visit dc­street­car.com

REI’s out­door pa­tio with fire pit

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