Oct. 2, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Put Some Sparkle in Date Night

As Congress prepares to take its holiday break and parts of the city dim, some of D.C.’s treasures light up for the season.

Use the opportunity to take that special someone on a moonlit (or tree-lit) date and enjoy all that Washington, D.C., has to offer this time of year.

Another Kind of Power Hour. There are at least two “power hours” in the city that involve great values and romantic settings.

The Corcoran’s Power Hour honors the “Richard Avedon: Portraits of Power” exhibit, combining admission, two glasses of wine, and a cheese and appetizer platter for $25. And when admission to the museum is normally $14, that’s an amazing deal.

The exhibit contrasts images of government and media personas with counter- cultural activists and ordinary citizens. It’s just about as quintessential Washington as you can get.

Beyond the familiar Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan portraits, the exhibit features more than 200 photographs, including quite witty portrayals of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Power hours take place 5:30-7:30 p.m. select Thursdays through January. For tickets, call 202-639-1786 or register online at corcoran.org.

Then take a short walk over to Morton’s, strolling past the White House Christmas Tree in all its magnificent glory.

The steakhouse features a late-night Power Hour 9:30-11 p.m. The menu is a new take on traditional bar food, including a quartet of petite filet mignon sandwiches, a trio of mini-cheeseburgers (a total of more than half a pound of prime-aged beef) and chicken goujonettes (in other words, chicken strips) for $5. To top it off, shrimp cocktail and oysters on the half shell are $1 to $2 each. The midtown location is our preferred choice (1050 Connecticut Ave. NW), as you can sit outside on the restaurant’s all-weather patio nestled above the street and under the moonlight.

Animal House. The National Zoo is at its brightest after dark in its second-annual ZooLights LED extravaganza.

You may ask, “How romantic can an animated ant hill and giant anteater be?” Well, taken altogether, quite a bit. More than 50 light sculptures, made out of thousands of light-emitting diodes, sparkle in the night.

Snuggle with your honey on brisk D.C. nights as you stroll past 25-foot lighted species, including naked mole-rats and blue crab (some of the new features this year).

Plus you can sip hot cider and cocoa while watching the “dancing trees” light up in time to your favorite holiday tunes at Panda Plaza and Lion/Tiger Hill, or take your picture in front of a 10-foot-tall snow globe.

To avoid the throngs of people, go mid-week and skip the main-stage performances.

ZooLights takes place 6-8:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday and every night Dec. 18-30 except Dec. 24-25. Tickets are $12; zoo members can purchase tickets for $6 or a family four-pack (read: double date) for $20.

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