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Finding Winter Fun, Vienna-Style

Cold-weather activities abound if you know where to look.

Vienna’s own Robbie Schaefer performs this winter at the Barns of Wolf Trap.

Vienna’s own Robbie Schaefer performs this winter at the Barns of Wolf Trap. Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

It’s not just the children who need fun winter activities … grown-ups, families, everyone looks for things to do when it’s dark by 6 p.m. and cold outside. You can’t count on snow around here, but where there’s snowfall, there is sledding.

Here are a few winter activities to tie you over until April flowers bloom.

‘The Beat’ at Caffe Amouri

Saturdays, starting on Jan. 21, Caffe Amouri, 107 Church St., NE. The 1960s coffeehouse concept has come to Vienna, slightly updated. Launched on Jan. 21, "The Beat" transforms Vienna’s local coffeehouse, Caffe Amouri, into a community open-mic night on Saturdays. The Beat offers a pulpit to community members to express themselves through music, poetry, or, even, dance. Bongo drums welcome.

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Ray Bennett, musician and host of the debut of Caffe Amouri’s ‘The Beat,’ played guitar to a warmed-up crowd at the coffeehouse on Jan. 21.

Michael Amouri’s mission is to make Caffe Amouri a truly community-focused resource for on-site roasted coffee and for entertainment and enrichment.

The Beat begins at 7 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m.

Friday night at Caffe Amouri is "vinyl" nite. And if you don’t know what "vinyl" refers to, this is an opportunity to find out.

For more details, call Michael Amouri at 703-615-2847 or email caffeamouri@gmail.com.

Find the Fun Fair, Saturday, Feb. 4

Find the Fun Fair, sponsored by www.playtodaydc.com, is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4, on the grounds of Westwood Country Club in Vienna, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Find the Fun Fair, free to the public, includes moon bounces, games, activities, snacks and fun for children. Over 50 local family-friendly businesses are donating giveaways and raffle prizes.

PlayTodayDC is the regions’ first comprehensive resource for moms and their children. See PlayTodayDC’s Facebook page for more details, www.facebook.com/playtodaydc

Town of Vienna Department of Parks and Recreation, Ongoing through March

Not only does the Department of Parks and Recreation offer classes for adults and children, but it also opens up the gym for drop-in activities, from adult basketball to family skate nights.

Family Skate Night is held Jan. 13 through March 23 (no skating on Jan. 20, 27 and Feb. 24), on Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Community Center gym. Bring your own skates, roller and in-line only, and safety equipment. Parents are required to supervise their children and are welcome to participate. The cost is $1 per person.

Club Phoenix offers a free daily after-school program for youngsters in grades six through eight, with special events and supervised activities, Vienna Community Center.

Parks and Recreation’s adult drop-in program covers the following: Basketball – M/W, 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.; Volleyball – T/TH, 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.; Table Tennis – T/TH, 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Free to residents, ID required. $3 for out-of-town residents. Gym may be closed for special events. Call the Community Center at 703-255-6360 to confirm gym is open to the public. Gym closed Feb. 20, 22 and 23.

Go to http://viennava.gov/index.aspx?nid=67 for schedule of activities, classes and events.

The Back Room Comedy Club

Actually, customers go through the front door of Marco Polo restaurant to get to the "Back Room" comedy lounge produced by club owner Andy Sanderson. The comedy club opened on Dec. 15. It’s an open-mic set-up and comics include G-rated material to "X." Be forewarned.

Tickets are priced at $5, currently. Beers sell for $3. Shows begin at 8 p.m. and run until 10 or 10:30 p.m., depending on the number of comics who signed up. An entrant from "Last Comic Standing" recently tested new material at the club. "Semi-national" [Sanderson’s term] comic Adam Belcher hosts.

The Back Room Comedy Club is located inside Marco Polo restaurant, at 245 Maple Avenue West. For information, call 703-281-3922. The Back Room’s Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/groups/183395958412985/

The Barns of Wolf Trap

World-class performances continue through the winter months in the rustic and intimate indoor venue of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, the Barns of Wolf Trap. From classical music and dance to contemporary entertainment, the Barns’ calendar has something for every taste.

Jazz pianist John Eaton plays Feb. 3, and Vienna’s own Robbie Schaefer on April 12.

For the Barns’ complete schedule of performances, go to http://www.wolftrap.org/~/media/Files/PDF/Barns1112_quicksheet_1024.ashx. The winter/spring season ends with 25th Annual Evening of Comedy, running for three performances, May 4 through May 5.

For information on the Barns of Wolf Trap, go to http://www.wolftrap.org/Barns.aspx.

Maple Wood Grill Piano Bar, Nightly

Music soothes the savage beast. It’s also pretty soothing when you feel like cocktails.

Terry Lee Ryan, pianist and vocalist, performs on Thursdays; Reinhardt Liebig, a pianist with an exhaustive repertoire, plays Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Lou Neeley, jazz vocalist, performs every Tuesday, and Monday is jazz night.

Here’s a winter highlight featuring rich, hearty German-Hungarian food. The Maple Wood Grill, located at 132 Branch Road, SE, is hosting a German-Hungarian buffet on Wednesday, Feb. 1. If you’re hankering for goulash or schnitzel, this is the dinner event to fill you up.

Call 703-281-0070 for reservations or more information. www.maplewoodgrill.com