By Katie Bowles
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Many people have today off from work and school (looking at you, government workers and FCPS students). It may be tempting to do nothing all day, but wouldn’t you rather make the most of your three-day weekend? Here are six ways to spend the rest of your day off.
1. Take an afternoon hike. Raven Rocks, a 5.5-mile trek on the Appalachian Trail, is only 45 miles away from Fairfax (just outside of Purcellville) and offers some of the best views in the area. Tip: It is a bit milder today, but still be sure to wear layers. The Raven Rocks summit is generally around 10 degrees cooler than at the bottom of the mountain.
2. Cook a gourmet meal. Tired of always eating takeout or cooking your family the same meals week after week? A day off is the perfect time to try something new in the kitchen. Check out the iCookbook app for nutritionist- and chef-recommended recipes.
3. Get an extra workout in. Fairfax County schools and libraries may be closed, but the RECenters are open. Take advantage of your day off and work out during off-hours when the gyms are less crowded.
4. Catch a matinee. Oscar nominations were just announced, and I plan on seeing every film in the Best Picture category before the March 2 show. Join me in my quest at one of NoVa’s many movie theaters, most of which offer ticket discounts for early shows.
5. Watch the sun set over the Blue Ridge Mountains. In honor of MLK, Jr. Day, Shenandoah National Park is waiving all entrance fees today. Cruise the Skyline Drive and stop at one of the 75 scenic overlooks for beautiful views of the Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont region.
6. Recognize the holiday. Here’s a list of NoVa MLK, Jr. Day events and celebrations.