DC’s Very Own Gatsby Party


If the Smithsonian was attempting to reach a coveted demographic, indeed it did.

Friday night was #Smithsonianat8, billed as the “Smithsonian’s premier 21+ after-hours event featuring a unique mix of culture, art, history and science.” This event, the Night Garden Jazz Party, appealed to a Gatsy-loving, Prohibition-era, and very classy crowd.

This week’s event? What a steal! For $15,  you could enjoy the live band (Hot Club of DC) and 20s-style cocktails (with fun names like “Bonnie and Clyde” and “Scofflaw”). If arts-and-crafts was your thing, what a great opportunity: my friend and I made glow-in-the-dark-painted mason jars, and painted paper moths, while a “moth-er” (yes, a real profession) from the Smithsonian staff showed us a moth from Southeast Asia. In another section of the garden we created boutineers, and a Smithsonian botanist gave us a tour of the “night gardens,” sharing the blooms that flourish in the twilight, including verbena and gardenia, both of which smelled lovely.

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A fun alternative to a sweaty, crowded bar? Yes. Classy? All the way.

What perfect combination for DC academic nerds and classy socialites. Bring it on, Smithsonian. Young professionals of DC will surely eat this up.

The next event, “Smithsonian Remix: New Spins on Archival Sounds” is Friday, November 18. 

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About Meg Biallas

Thoughts From A DC Intern Turned DCist. A twenty-something goes beyond traditional tourism to achieve Washingtonian authenticity.
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