1. The REACH Winter Lanterns are returning to the Kennedy Center in celebration of the Lunar New Year! Starting this Thursday, January 27, through February 6, the outdoor grounds of the REACH will be illuminated by 100 lanterns made up of 10,000 colored LED lights, all crafted by Chinese artisans. You may remember this event from pre-Covid 2020 — pandas, butterflies, flowers, frogs, flamingos, sea creatures, and more luminescent designs will be on view, and it’s delightful and dazzling to stroll among them. There will also be special activities and Millennium Stage performance on select dates to ring in the Year of the Tiger. Admission to all of it is free. See more info here. And view scenes from the 2020 exhibition here.
2. In case you missed it over the weekend, there’s a new guest post from KFDC contributor Emily Moise about Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails!, a new exhibit at the National Children’s Museum!
3. The National Portrait Gallery is hosting its triennial Teen Portrait Competition, which is open to students ages 13-17. Teens are invited to submit original portraits in the medium of photography to the national competition. Gand-prize winners will have their art displayed in the Portrait Gallery this summer nearby the special exhibition “The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today,” which showcases portraits made by artists ages 18 and older. There is no fee to enter, and submissions are limited to one per person. Works must be submitted via email to NPG-TeenPortraitCompetition@si.edu by March 29. Winners will be selected by the National Portrait Gallery’s Teen Museum Council, a group of 20 high school students from DC, Maryland and Virginia, who create interactive programs and events inspired by the Portrait Gallery’s collection to increase teen engagement with the museum. The winners, along with those awarded honorable mentions, will also have their work featured on the museum’s website.
4. From Eater DC: 18 D.C. Restaurants With Heated Patios to Keep Diners Warm All Winter.
5. SNL’s super funny cold open (around 6:40 is especially good).