1. Not that you haven’t heard, but Covid is everywhere. Our family had our own bout with it, which resulted in a canceled trip to see family, a winter break quarantine, and a Christmas celebration over the basement stairwell, since two of us were negative, two were positive at the time. (There is more to it, which you can read about here.) The CDC just shortened the recommended isolation time for Covid-infected people without symptoms. It’s now only five days instead of 10, then five days of wearing a mask around others. Also, it is now being reported that rapid antigen tests are not picking up Omicron as reliably as PCR.
2. If you’re looking for family New Year’s Eve celebrations, Noon Yards Eve is returning to Yards Park on Friday. The free, outdoor annual event features a magician, live music, carnival games, glitter tattoos, crafts, 2022 giveaways, a giant blow up slide, and more! Catering to kids of all ages, it will all culminate in a countdown to noon for young ones who might not make it to midnight. UPDATE: This even has been canceled.
Metrobar in NE is also hosting a family-friendly NYE sesh. Starting at 4pm, there will be festive cocktails for adults along with kids activities and games. Countdown the New Year with a 7pm toast (bubbly for adults, sparkling cider for kids) and watch the ball drop at midnight in London on a 20-foot screen. Firepits, patio heaters, a heated tent, deck heat lamp, and hot cocktails will keep everyone cozy outdoors. Free admission, but plan to purchase food and drinks, of course.
And a couple of other annual events that are still on this year, though indoors, are Midnight Noon at Maryland Science Center and Noontime New Year at Port Discovery, both in Baltimore. (The popular First Night Alexandria event has been canceled.)
3. Washingtonian has a round-up of local restaurants offering fun and festive takeout for New Year’s Eve.
4. DC Public Library’s most checked out, streamed, and downloaded books (and more) in 2021.
Bonus: Who else is going to play Powerball this week?