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Best of Arlington 2017

9 Cool Party Venues

Looking to stage a wedding, a business event or a swanky soiree? Writer Matt Blitz (who is planning a wedding himself) went searching for nine local venues with character.

1. Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse. This 1930s Art Deco theater is the oldest in the county and an Arlington landmark. For your next event, jump on the stage that’s welcomed comedians such as Tracy Morgan, Maria Bamford and Patton Oswalt. arlingtondrafthouse.com


The lawn at Cherry Hill Historic House & Farm. Photo by Joe & Katye Brier, The Happy Couple Photography

2. Cherry Hill Historic House & Farm. Best for small standing receptions of 50 people or less, this quaint, pre-Civil War home (circa 1845) in Falls Church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its patio and lawn can be used for outdoor receptions, but a tent is required. cherryhillfallschurch.org


Dinner at Clarendon Ballroom. Photo by Lot 11 Photography

3. Clarendon Ballroom. The well-known Arlington nightclub and rooftop bar also serves as a full-service private event space. A big selling point, aside from the building’s cool architecture, is the food. Executive chef Patrick Crump previously worked at The Inn at Little Washington and is a Culinary Institute of America grad. www.clarendonballroom.com

4. Hendry House. Owned and managed by Arlington County Parks & Recreation, this turn-of-the-century Victorian home is surrounded by 19 verdant acres, a partially preserved Civil War structure (Fort C.F. Smith) and some of Arlington’s oldest trees, courtesy of the amateur botanist who once owned the property. parks.arlingtonva.us/rentals/weddings

5. Kettler Capitals Iceplex. With a 300-person mezzanine, three smaller party rooms, two NHL-size ice rinks and one Stanley Cup-contending team that practices on location, Kettler is a sports fan’s dream for birthday parties and corporate events. Bonus: Caps practices are open to the public, so there’s always the possibility of an Ovechkin sighting. www.kettlercapitalsiceplex.com


A reception at Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre.

6. Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre. The Artisphere arts center may be no more, but this 387-seat theater across the street can still play host to any special gathering or performance. Built in the mid-1960s as a first-run movie theater (which later specialized in kung fu films), it offers great acoustics and fantastic sight lines. Plus a prep kitchen for catered affairs. www.arlingtonarts.org/venues/rentals.aspx

7. The State Theatre. Opened as a movie theater in 1936, this Falls Church City landmark later became one of the first East Coast theaters with central air conditioning. A multimillion-dollar restoration in the late 1990s transformed it into a live music club and event facility. Today, events and weddings can still be advertised on its old-school marquee. www.thestatetheatre.com


Courtesy of Top of the Town

8. Top of the Town. Want a perfect backdrop for photos? With its panoramic view of D.C., this top-floor venue—hidden inside a nondescript Rosslyn high-rise just a block from the Iwo Jima memorial—offers just that. The vantage point will look familiar to fans of the Netflix series House of Cards. Portions of the show’s opening title sequence were shot here. www.topofthetown.com

9. Women in Military Service for America Memorial. This memorial at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery may well be Arlington’s least-known (and most patriotic) venue. Tucked behind the curved stone façade is a museum facility, complete with a theater, a prep kitchen and a gorgeous sky-lit terrace with seating for up to 500 and views of D.C.’s monuments. www.womensmemorial.org