Visitors who book a two-night stay at weekendwarriorsdc.com get access to Terra Cotta Warriors exhibition tickets, plus breakfast for two or free parking
WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the blockbuster exhibition, Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China's First Emperor, makes its final U.S. stop at the National Geographic Museum in DC this fall, Destination DC is courting culture-minded travelers with a new "Weekend Warriors" promotion running October through December 2009. Travelers who book two-night "Weekend Warriors" hotel packages on Washington.org enjoy exclusive access to any-day, any-time tickets to see the exhibition, tips for tackling DC's powerful lineup of fall and winter events, plus complimentary breakfast for two or valet parking.
Expected to be one of the fall's hottest cultural draws, Terra Cotta Warriors brought record crowds to its previous host venues. The National Geographic Museum has sold more than 55,000 advance tickets to the exhibition, which opens Nov. 19. Some weekend dates are already sold out. To build on the buzz surrounding the show, DC's cultural venues, hotels and restaurants have developed China-themed events and programs. Visitors can catch a special exhibition on Renaissance views of China at the Folger Shakespeare Library, take a China-focused tour of the Sackler Gallery, sample Xi'an-style menus at Mie N Yu and savor a Chinois-inspired tea at the Willard.
In addition to the China-inspired programs, the promotion offers insider tips to help visitors power up their weekends by taking in other intriguing exhibitions and performances -- including many focused on African and African-American art and culture -- and holiday happenings. Paying tribute to real-life "warriors," members of the military, the promotion invites travelers to join in Veterans Day commemorations and special events honoring the Armed Forces. For more "warrior" action, sports fans can also watch athletes battle it out on the playing field in events like the U.S.'s final FIFA World Cup qualifying match and college football's EagleBank Bowl.
"Exhibitions like Terra Cotta Warriors at National Geographic and Man Ray at The Phillips Collection are going to draw travelers to DC this fall and winter. So will events like the Marine Corps Marathon and the EagleBank Bowl," said Elliott Ferguson, president & CEO, Destination DC. "Our 'Weekend Warriors' promotion shows travelers just how easy it is to make a museum exhibition or special event the starting point for an action-packed weekend, and to get a great deal in the process."
Travelers can build their own custom "Weekend Warriors" packages online at Washington.org, American Express cardmembers can also take advantage of an exclusive two-for-one ticket offer from Madame Tussauds. For more information and to view a comprehensive calendar of fall and winter events, visit weekendwarriorsdc.com.
Headlining Destination DC's "Weekend Warriors" promotion, the National Geographic Museum hosts the final U.S. engagement for Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China's First Emperor (Nov. 19-March 31). This highly-anticipated exhibition features 15 life-sized terra cotta figures unearthed from the tomb of Qin Shihuangdi, who ruled from 221-210 B.C. The terra cotta warriors were discovered in 1974 by a group of farmers digging a well near Xi'an in Shaanxi province. For more information on the exhibition, visit warriorsdc.org.
Cultural institutions, restaurants and hotels are marking the arrival of the terra cotta warriors by spotlighting treasures and traditions from China this fall and winter. Visitors can explore the Folger Shakespeare Library, where the featured fall exhibition Imagining China: The View from Europe, 1550-1700, includes items such as the first book written in Chinese by a European (on view through Jan. 2). Special tours of Chinese artifacts will be offered at the Freer & Sackler Galleries, while Disney's Mulan comes to life in family-friendly performances at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Md. (Nov. 24-Jan. 10).
DC's restaurants are catering to "Weekend Warriors" with special menus and events inspired by the exhibition. At downtown Pan-Asian favorite Ten Penh, guests can sample a weekly Terra Cotta Pot lunch special. Dinner guests can explore a different Chinese spice each week with the "Emperor's Choice" three-course prix fixe dinners, while cocktail lovers will enjoy the Immortal, a themed cocktail crafted with ginger, green tea and other flavors. Ten Penh will also host a cooking class with noted Chinese chef and cookbook author Susanna Foo on Saturday, Nov. 21, featuring a cameo appearance by Chi Chang, National Geographic's terra cotta warrior performance artist. Chi Chang will also be performing at other locations around the city in November in December.
The Willard InterContinental Washington will wow guests with afternoon Tea Chinois, complete with Guzheng music, exquisite edibles incorporating European and Chinese flavors, Chinese teas and eye-popping Chinoiserie-inspired decor (available Nov. 14-Dec. 3).
Georgetown hotspot Mie N Yu is welcoming the warriors with its Terra Cotta Tasting Menu, which will feature four courses of regional Chinese flavors and a gift certificate that can be redeemed for a ticket to the exhibition for $49/person.
Travelers who book hotel packages at weekendwarriorsdc.com enjoy exclusive access to tickets to the exhibition as well as special amenities. The St. Regis Washington, D.C. greets its museum-bound guests with a special Chinese-inspired welcome amenity from Executive Chef Andrew Roche and a copy of the illustrated exhibition catalog (from $385 per night).
Aspects of Africa
As dozens of African countries prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their independence in 2010, African and African-American-themed art and performances take center stage this fall and winter.
"Weekend Warriors" with an interest in the international arts scene can catch Kentridge and Kudryashov: Against the Grain (through Dec. 30, 2009) at the Kreeger Museum, displaying the works of two of the world's most significant printmakers - Russia's Oleg Kudryashov and South African-born artist William Kentridge. At The Phillips Collection, Man Ray: African Art and the Modernist Lens (Oct. 10, 2009 - Jan. 10, 2010) explores the pivotal role photographs played in changing the perception of African objects from artifacts to fine art. And at the National Gallery of Art, contemporary African identity and its relationship to European colonialism will be on display in Yinka Shonibare MBE (Nov. 10, 2009 - Mar. 7, 2010). Shonibare is best known for his work with visual symbols, especially the richly patterned Dutch wax fabric produced in Europe for a West African market that he uses in a wide range of applications.
To open its season, Ford's Theatre turns to African-American culture with "Black Pearl Sings!", starring Tony-award winner Tonya Pinkins (through Oct. 18), while the Folger Shakespeare Library adds a touch of Afro-Caribbean flavor in its production of "Much Ado About Nothing," (Oct. 21-Nov. 29).
"Weekend Warriors" can also taste the African influences on DC's international culinary scene with DC Metro Food Tours' newest offering, a foodie tour of Little Ethiopia, beginning Oct. 24.
Real-Life Warriors: Athletes and Armed Forces
"Weekend Warriors" will also discover that DC's a red-hot destination for fall and winter sports action. In the run up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. national soccer team will battle against Costa Rica on Oct. 14 at RFK Stadium in its final qualifying match. On the heels of the match, soccer fans will find more entertainment on the big screen as four DC venues plays host to "Kicking & Screening," a soccer-inspired international film festival (Oct. 15-18).
Just as the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards light up downtown DC with hockey and basketball games at the Verizon Center, elite runners and amateurs alike take to the streets of DC in the Marine Corps Marathon (Oct. 28). For college football fans, the EagleBank Bowl pits Army (or a Conference USA team) against an ACC conference team. Taking place Dec. 29, the bowl game also sets the stage for exciting New Years' Eve celebrations in the nation's capital.
Fall and winter DC getaways also offer travelers the opportunity to take part in tributes to members of the Armed Forces, whose service is commemorated in inspiring military monuments and memorials. On Veterans Day, the World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Arlington Cemetery honor veterans with wreath-laying ceremonies, while Mount Vernon offers free admission for all past and present military personnel. History buffs can also pay a visit to the newly-remodeled National Museum of American History, where the evolution of the country's military is outlined in a powerful permanent exhibition, The Price of Freedom: America at War.
DC's holiday calendar is packed with fun and festive events to power up a winter escape. "Weekend Warriors" can celebrate the season by taking part in DC holiday traditions like shopping in Georgetown and at the Downtown Holiday Market (Dec. 5-23) and ice-skating at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden or in Pershing Park.
Looking for holiday lights? On the White House Ellipse, the National Christmas Tree will dazzle light-seekers after the Obama family turns on the holiday lights for their first time in early December, while the National Zoo brings back its popular holiday "ZooLights" display (Dec. 4-13 & Dec. 18-Jan. 2). Magnificent landmarks like Union Station, the U.S. Capitol and the U.S. Botanic Garden also put on their holiday best, while neighborhood attractions like Hillwood Museum, Estate & Gardens and Tudor Place pack their calendars with programs like wreath-making classes and open houses. Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens brings the holidays to life with candlelit evening tours, a gingerbread replica of Mount Vernon, chocolate-making demos and more (Nov. 27-Jan. 2).
During the holiday season, "Weekend Warriors" can also find family-friendly entertainment at DC's theatres and performing arts venues. "A Christmas Carol" takes the stage at newly-renovated Ford's Theatre (Nov. 23-Jan. 3) while the Washington National Cathedral provides a stunning backdrop for Handel's "Messiah" (Dec. 4-6). Also on tap this year: the Washington Ballet's DC-inspired "Nutcracker" at the Warner Theatre (Dec. 10-27), "Young Frankenstein" at the Kennedy Center (Dec. 15-Jan. 10), "The Fantasticks" at Arena Stage (Nov. 20-Jan. 3) and "As You Like It" at the Shakespeare Theatre Company (Nov. 17-Dec. 20). And for the first time, the Rockettes kick their way to DC when the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular" descends upon the nation's capital (Dec. 18-20).
For more information on Destination DC's Weekend Warriors promotion, visit Weekendwarriorsdc.com.
About Destination DC: Destination DC, the lead destination marketing organization for the nation's capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of more than 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. Destinationdc.com.
SOURCE Destination DC