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First Fridays in the DMV | Community, Art, Food

If you’re thinking about buying a new home but just not sure about where you want to grow your roots, you’ve come to the right place! We know that when choosing a home, one of the key considerations is location. So we thought it would be fitting to share some fun facts about some of our favorite towns in the DMV area.

Looking for a way to immerse yourself in your community’s art, food, and vibrancy every month?

If so, let us tell you about First Fridays in the DMV. 

If you live near a downtown area or major city, you might see a larger presence on the first Friday of every month. That is because many towns have celebrated something affectionately called First Fridays. The goal is to allow businesses to open up their doors and show you what they are all about with a large focus on art, food, or signature drinks, while conveniently strolling from spot to spot. It is the perfect collaboration between galleries and art events, retailers, restaurants, and nonprofits in downtown and city areas. Many towns will block off roads to allow pedestrians to flow freely, and some towns even change their alcohol “laws” so individuals can stroll and sip their favorite beverages without being tied to one location. 

After taking time away for COVID, many towns have vamped up their First Friday experience.

Here are some First Fridays worth noting: 

Leesburg, Virginia

Leesburg is the cutest historic downtown and has been hosting First Fridays for quite awhile. There are a plethora of options: enjoy numerous live music performances throughout the town, art exhibits, wine tastings, lectures, book signings, comedy shows, and so much more! The most popular places to visit on Fridays are Sidebar, Green Tree Tavern Restaurant, Fireworks Pizza, The Wine Kitchen, or the NEW Rebellion Bourbon Bar and Kitchen [which also has a location in Fredericksburg, VA].

The hopping spot for Friday, November 4 will be MacDowell’s Beach (indoor), featuring Leesburg’s own Something’s Brewing- the group is quickly becoming one of Northern Virginia’s premier cover bands. 

Check out their Facebook Page for the latest and greatest happenings!

Manassas, Virginia

In Manassas, you can look forward to themed First Fridays and gallery walks. This Friday, November 4, be a part of “New Beginnings”. It’s a night of the arts throughout historic downtown (9201 Center Street, Manassas, VA 20110) with over 30 artists. Walk over to one of the following for coffee, brews, cocktails, or great food:

Fredericksburg, Virginia

Fredericksburg has only just started First Fridays this year. However, this town knows what they are doing- with each month only providing a more exciting time. Fredericksburg offers a free trolley that will take you from spot to spot all night long. Visit the wide variety of art galleries and see what new work is being featured for the month (some studios provide activities for children to participate in to truly encounter the art)- Check out Canal Quarter Arts (1517 Princess Anne St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401). Maybe start at the new brewery (chain) in town, Water’s End Brewery at Fredericksburg Square, to grab a beer to go, then check out any of the wonderful downtown shops, many of which are open late for First Friday. Stop in at Duly Noted (714 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401), a newer stationary store and see what fall/ winter items you could purchase to get a jump on Christmas shopping. Finish the night at Agave Bar & Grill (101 William St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401) for a margarita and tacos or at the NEW Wild Hare Cider Pub [which also has locations in Leesburg & Warrenton]. As you are strolling or trolley-riding, take in different sounds and street performances. Bring the kids! Most establishments have plenty of room for the whole family. 

Downtown Richmond, VA

Art is all the rage in downtown Richmond. Galleries, shops, restaurants, non-profits, and more open their doors in celebration of art and community on First Fridays. It only makes sense with Richmond serving as Virginia’s art district. Start at Gallery5 (200 W Marshall St., Richmond, VA). Following an immersive art experience, take yourself on a self-guided bar crawl through one of the most up and coming cities in Virginia.

While in town, give the following places a try!

  • Quirk Hotel – Sit at the lobby bar OR if it is warm enough, you can sit outside or on the rooftop. The Quirk Hotel is known for decorating for the holidays and is the perfect picture spot if you’re catching up with friends you have not seen in awhile. If pink is your color, you will LOVE this spot.
  • Max’s on Broad
  • Tarrant’s Downtown Café
  • and Bar Solita – This stylish Mediterranean restaurant has started their own neighborhood blog to help Richmonders navigate the Arts District. Here’s what they have to say about First Fridays.

Washington D.C. 

Along the same sentiment of First Fridays, The Park at 14th (920 14th Street Northwest | Washington, DC 20005) hosts Fridays at The Park. Unwind with the sounds of the latest Hip-Hop, R&B, AfroBeats, Reggae and much more! You will enjoy gourmet food & fun drinks, while the DJs keep you rocking from dinner into the late night. Make it a great evening with friends without worrying about the weather outside, if colder temperatures are not your thing. 

Things to do in D.C. on a Friday night before heading to The Park at 14th:

Baltimore, Maryland

In Baltimore, you can find yourself on free, self-guided art walk through Highlandtown Arts District. Take in vibrant colors and talented works of local artists with a drink in hand. Enjoy food specials at restaurants and bars like Snake Hill Sausage Grill, Sally O’s, and IndoViet. Stop in at newer locations to the area like Guilford Hall Brewery, which has great reviews for serving both beer and good food. The typical hours are 5-8 pm; however, some businesses kick off earlier and will stay open far later.

GETTING THERE: Free street-parking is available throughout the neighborhood. Metered parking is available on Eastern Ave and Conkling Street (and is free after 6pm). City buses #21, #22, Navy, Blue bring you to the district. More information can be found here.

White Plains, Maryland

Looking for a laugh? For more than 13 years, first Fridays have meant comedy at Martini’s (10553 Theodore Green Boulevard, White Plains, MD 20695). Every show has a touring headliner, with special guest Max Dolcelli on November 4. Max Dolcelli has appeared just about everywhere and done just about everything a comedian can do. With the doors opening around 7 pm, you will have time to stop for drinks at Patuxent Brewing Company (70 Industrial Park Dr Unit 2A, Waldorf, MD 20602) first.

While they have taken a break for November – June, you can also experience first Fridays in Old Town Warrenton, VA in 2023.

Ready to Join the Fun?

If you know about First Fridays already, you probably look forward to the first Friday of every month. If you don’t participate yet, we encourage you to give it a shot! Looking for houses that are in walking distance to some of the greatest downtown areas in the DMV? Connect with us on Facebook or Instagram or sign up for our monthly newsletter below!

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One Response to “First Fridays in the DMV | Community, Art, Food”

  • Katie Fiorini
    Written on

    I’m always looking for unique local events to attend! I’m so looking forward to this blog!

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