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Looking for a way to kick off the last month of 2018 in style?

There are plenty of holiday and nightlife events around Tysons this weekend, including McLean’s annual WinterFest and an auction featuring a Star Wars Episode IV movie poster signed by the original cast.

Tomorrow (Dec. 1)

22nd Annual ReinDog Parade (8-9:30 p.m.) — In exchange for two cans of dog food, the community is invited to bring their dogs and costumes to a dog parade at the Langley Shopping Center (1398 Chain Bridge Road). The parade, hosted by the McLean Animal Hospital, will include gift bags, hot chocolate, and donuts.

Sensation Saturday Grand Opening (6 p.m.-2 a.m.) — The Palladium (1524 Spring Hill Road), Tysons’ newest club, is hosting its first “Sensation Saturday.” The event will be DJed by Jeff Carr and DJ Pootie.

Wilder vs. Fury Live at Tysons’ Biergarten (7 p.m.-1 a.m.) — The Tysons Biergarten will host a cover-free viewing of the boxing match between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. Sound will be on for the event. Registration is required.

Merry & Bright Bash (8 p.m.-11 p.m.) — The Junior League of Northern Virginia, a women’s organization devoted to voluntarism, is hosting a gala in the Sheraton Tysons Hotel (8661 Leesburg Pike). The event will feature an open bar, a DJ, and an exclusive auction and raffle. Items at the raffle include the aforementioned Star Wars Episode IV poster, as well as an NHL hockey puck signed by Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and an autographed Taylor Swift album. The event is black tie optional and tickets are $90, with proceeds going towards the Junior League’s community and leadership development programs.

Sunday (Dec. 2)

Santa Breakfast (8-10 a.m.) — Tysons Corner Center is hosting its 2018 Santa Breakfast. Guests can bring their own camera to get a picture with Santa or have professional photographs taken. Those attending are encouraged to bring unwrapped toys for the mall’s Help Through Holiday Giving program. The breakfast is first-come, first-serve at 8 a.m. and Santa is scheduled to leave promptly at 10 a.m.

After Thanksgiving Healthful Hike (1-2:30 p.m.) — The Friends of Wolf Trap are hosting a group hiking tour through the forests and trails around Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. The event is free, but attendees can bring canned or non-perishable food items for humans, dogs or cats to be donated to local food pantries and animal rescues. The group will meet at the Ranger Station to the left of the Filene Center Box office for an easy-moderately paced three-mile hike.

McLean WinterFest Parade (3:30 p.m.) — McLean’s annual parade starts at the Langley Shopping Center, with pre-parade entertainment beginning at 2:30 p.m. before the parade’s start at 3:30 p.m. Be aware, there may be road closures along Old Chain Bridge Road as a result of the parade from 2-5 p.m.

Also this weekend, Santa will be traveling McLean via fire truck, courtesy the McLean Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD). Tomorrow he will be in the Kings Manor/Dolley Madison Library area and on Sunday he will be at Churchill Road in the McLean Central Park area. The MVFD’s Santa Tracker will allow locals keep track of where they can find Santa.

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The Palladium — could it be called Tyson’s hottest club? — is a new salsa dancing-focused venue that opened this past Saturday (Oct. 27) to add a little variety to Tysons’ budding nightlife scene.

The nightclub boasts 5,000 square feet of dancing space and a second-floor VIP room. The space is also available for private events like weddings, business lunches, dinners or cocktail receptions.

Dining is also available, with menu options including Mexican and Peruvian cuisine.

The Palladium isn’t the first nightclub to occupy 1524 Spring Hill Rd. Iris Lounge occupied the site before it filed for bankruptcy in 2016.

The new club has a series of events lined up for November, including the four below.

Photo via Facebook

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Don’t let grumbles about a lack of local nightlife scare you, there’s still plenty to do around Tysons for Halloween tomorrow.

The Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) will be hosting a night full of Halloween festivities. An in-house trick-or-treat runs from 3-7 p.m. with candy given out to children and adults. A Halloween-themed trivia night will start at 7 p.m., then at 9 p.m., Chuggalug will be performing live music until 2 a.m. Admission to the Halloween festivities is free, with registration available online.

Meanwhile, Greenhouse Bistro and Tea Lounge (2070 Chain Bridge Road) will be hosting a Stranger Things-themed Halloween costume contest. The grand prize is $500, with 2nd place winning $250 and 3rd place winning $100. Drink specials will also be available all night.

For those looking for a healthier alternative, Tysons Sport & Health (8250 Greensboro Dr) will be hosting a Zumba Halloween Party from 7:35-8:45 p.m. The event is open to non-members. Attendees are welcome to wear a costume and invite their friends.

The AMC in Tysons Corner Center will have a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a bizarre cult-classic musical, at 10 p.m. The movie is rated R and tickets are $5 for adults.

In nearby Vienna, the Blackfinn Ameripub at 2750 Gallows Road will be hosting a Hallowine and Whiskey party from 5-9 p.m. The bar will feature a selection of spooky specialty cocktails with half-off all whiskey and bottles of wine. Costumes are optional.

Photo via Greenhouse Bistro and Tea Lounge

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Wanted: Nightlife in Tysons

When Tysons Reporter posted polls on Facebook and on our website last week asking whether Tysons was a fun place to go out at night, the answers were… not great for the area.

Only 6.5 percent of responders at the website said Tysons has an active nightlife, though 56.2 percent said it’s starting to get better. While the “getting better” number is encouraging, the overwhelming lack of satisfaction is a sign that Tysons still has some rough spots to work out as it tries to morph into “America’s Next Great City.”

A notable bright spot, according to several Facebook commenters said, was the Tysons Biergarten.

Commenters described the Biergarten as the kind of casual and affordable late-night activities the area needed more of, so we reached out to Biergarten owner Matt Rofougaran to get his thoughts on the current state of local nightlife and how to make it better.

Rofougaran was a managing partner with Washington, D.C. nightlife hotspots like Ultrabar for years and was eager to move that scene to where he grew up: Tysons. But when the Biergarten started two and a half years ago, Rofougaran said there local nightlife scene was scarce.

“There was none,” said Rofougaran. “You had no real place for nightlife unless you wanted to sit in a bar or restaurant, and that’s not everyone’s scene.”

Rofougaran said the late-night locales in the area catered to specific interests, like the now-closed international hookah bar Babalu and Iris Lounge, which catered to an older, wealthier crowd.

“The difference with Tysons Biergarten was we were aiming for all ages,” said Rofougaran. “You can be 21 or you can be 65. That was our main aim and focus.”

Fast forward to today and Rofougaran says the nightlife scene has hardly improved. Tysons Biergarten and the nearby Greenhouse Bistro are two of the only thriving late-night spots in Tysons, but Rofougaran said their popularity is mainly because they’re one of the few options available, not an indicator of market interest for late-night activities.

“A lot of people leave here,” said Rofougaran. “They’re done with their job at 6:30 or 7 p.m. and they go home. They don’t come back. If they want to go out, they go to Arlington. If we had ten places here open late night, all of them would sink. They would all be empty. There isn’t that crowd of people that want to go out at night in Tysons.”

Andrew Taherzadeh, digital communications manager for Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, reiterated that Greenhouse is a popular hub of activity on Friday or Saturday evenings, but that aside he admitted that local late-night entertainment is sparse.

“Currently nightlife in Tysons is minimal,” said Taherzadeh. “That should change in the upcoming years with new development.”

New late-night options are coming in with developments like The Boro, which will also bring with it more housing — crucial for making Tysons a more vibrant place at night and not just a daytime destination for workers. But Rofougaran says nightlife in Tysons faces an uphill battle against the more entrenched establishments in Arlington and the more lax alcohol laws in Washington, D.C.

“In D.C., you can be open until 3 a.m.,” Rofougaran said. “Here, we do last-call at 1:30 a.m. and our doors are locked and closed by 2 a.m.”

But like Taherzadeh and 56.2 percent of Tysons Reporter’s readership, Rofougaran said it’s going to get better.

“Tysons is heading that way, it’s just not there yet,” said Rofougaran. “In another five years, it’ll be a different story. It just takes time.”

Photo via Facebook

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There’s a lot of new stuff in Tysons, and plenty of people come here to work or shop, but what about nightlife?

We posed a question on Facebook earlier this week: is Tysons is a fun place to go out at night?

The overwhelming response thus far is no. With nearly 70 people voting, only 20 percent agreed that it was fun to go out in Tysons.

Though new developments like The Boro will be bringing new dining and entertainment options, those commenting on our Facebook post said that the current options are limited.

“Could use more bars/restaurants in between fast food and $$$$ places,” said one commenter.

“[Tysons] Biergarten is a perfect example of what I think we need more of here… a super social place without needing to spend too much,” said another. We’ve got plenty of swanky places… we just need more places that offer a casual atmosphere to hang out with neighbors and friends, and get some decent food and beer.”

Didn’t get a chance to weigh in on Facebook? Let us what you think below.

Photo via Tysons Partnership

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