hte beach national building museum dcPhoto by Noah Kalina

Are you a lonely diplomat stuck in Washington D.C. for Labor Day weekend while all of your colleagues – heads of state, judges, etc – have jetted away? Here’s what to do on your own this Labor Day weekend in the city.

Escape the heat

D.C.’s sweltering summer weather continues well into September, and this Labor Day weekend will be no exception. With temperatures reaching 30C this weekend cool down with some paddleboarding on the Potomac River. If you don’t have the best balance you can try kayaking or canoeing at the Key Bridge Boathouse. The cool canopy of Rock Creek Park is another place to escape the late summer heat, whether for a hike or some mountain biking. Nature not your thing? Join the Penthouse Pool Club on U street and enjoy a swim in the pool along with some frozen cocktails. Some ice cream from Georgetown’s Dolcezza on Wisconsin Ave should also do the trick – try their lime cilantro sorbet.

Animal love

While the Big Maze, a 5.5m tall plywood structure that made visitors feel like rats navigating a life-size maze, closed on September 1, the National Building Museum’s BEACH exhibition is equally cool. BEACH is a 3,000 sq m space filled with recycled plastic balls, creating an ocean that visitors can “swim” in. A few miles away, the National Zoo will be introducing to the public two new baby animals on Saturday September 5 including a year-old female bison that came to to the zoo in July. The Natural History Museum is also not a bad place to see the wonders of the organic world – don’t miss Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America.

Eat at Lapis

If you’ve never had Afghan food it’s time to try Lapis. Located in Adams Morgan, this new restaurant is the first of its kind in the city. Afghan cuisine is quite similar to Persian cuisine, so expect many of the same flavours in your dishes. Ideal for a big meal after a few drinks in the neighbourhood, be sure not to skip the beef mantoo – a delicious dumpling topped with a yellow split pea tomato sauce, followed by lamb chops. They also do brunch, serving both Western and Afghan breakfasts.

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