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I joined the team at Northern Virginia Magazine just about four months ago, but I’m a Northern Virginian through and through. I grew up in Arlington and, in fact, I’ve been around this block so long, I remember the grand opening of Ballston Common Mall (I was in elementary school so the memories are vague, but still). So it’s been kind of awesome to watch Ballston get its much-deserved makeover. On Saturday, you’ll find me at the grand opening of Punch Bowl Social, which is part of the new Ballston Quarter. The expansive bar looks like so much fun! I plan to get an adult punch bowl cocktail, sit by the cozy fireplace and then surprise everyone with my amazing skee-ball skills. Cheers to Arlington! –KB // Punch Bowl Social: 4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 7-9 p.m., $20 (proceeds go to So Others Might Eat)
Nightcap and cocktails at Catoctin Creek Distilling Company
With plenty of long, cold nights ahead, the idea of a quick little nip before bed sounds just right. Kara Newman, spirits editor at Wine Enthusiast and author of the new book Nightcap: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening (Chronicle) will be at Catoctin Creek Distilling Company’s Purcellville headquarters on Friday for a night of boozy banter. Tickets ($40) include three cocktails and a signed copy of the book. -SG // Nightcap with Kara Newman at Catoctin Creek Distilling Company: 120 W. Main St., Purcellville [tickets]
Elf or It’s a Wonderful Life?
There are so many Christmas movies that really get me into the season whenever I watch them, but figuring out which one of them is the best would be a pretty tough task. Thankfully, I’m not the one who did it. Local author and film lecturer Gary Olsen set out to rank the 10 best Christmas movies of all time, and on Thursday he’ll reveal the list and discuss. Count me in on the debate. I wonder if he considers Die Hard a Christmas movie? -MB // Central Rappahanock Regional Library: 1201 Caroline St., Fredericksburg; Free