Guest post contributed by Mattie Hanley, December 21, 2020

Walking through a Rosslyn Wanderland with @Hungry_Hungry_Hanley

More than 15,000 people call Rosslyn home, and one of our residents, local food influencer Mattie (aka @hungry_hungry_hanley) took in our Rosslyn Wanderland in December of 2020 (with a few snack breaks along the way!). Visit our official webpage for the most up-to-date info for your journey.


Just last week I got out of the house and explored the new Wanderland holiday installation that had popped up throughout downtown Rosslyn. I decided to visit each stop on my way to grab lunch at Happy Endings Eatery, my favorite Vietnamese fast-casual spot. The weather was on my side that day. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was a comfortable 67 degrees outside, so a stroll through town was perfect with my friend David (aka @dd_mcc). 

Each stop along the Wanderland path has QR codes, so I brought my phone with me to scan them and take selfies with all the festive displays. There’s a penguin character named Cheerio who makes an appearance at each stop!

First up was “The gifts that keep on giving” installation on the sidewalk in front of South Block. I walk this stretch several times a week on my way to pick up groceries at the Safeway on Wilson. The wooden boxes that are there for the construction have been dressed up with wrapping paper and fun designs. I scanned the QR code and found a Rosslyn Holiday Gift Buying Guide for some of the local small businesses.

Next on my walking path was “Cheer Around the World” in front of Taco Rock (pop in and try their tacos – the quesabirria and the Tuna Tatako are my personal favorites). The QR code opened a cool image with “Merry Christmas” in several languages!

I followed the map to the “Winter Wanderland Forest,” a giant wall decorated with beautiful pink and purple Christmas trees. Purple is my favorite color, so I love seeing it all around town. The QR code here showed a live stream of the North Pole – how fun to see what it’s like there, especially during a time where travel is so restricted. Sadly no polar bears, but you might have better luck!

From there I made my way past the glittering Christmas tree in front of Sfoglina (their rooftop view is amazing if you haven’t been!) to the “12 Days of Christmas,” on the stairs of Central Place Plaza, where the QR code played a recording of the song. The stairs were a nice place to stop and do some socially-distanced people watching before moving onto the “Let It Snow!” wall right outside Happy Endings.

Pro-tip: Happy Endings Eatery and Thai Select are offering 20% off with code ROSSLYNCHEER.

Once I had picked up lunch, I realized I had only one station left to go, and I didn’t want to stop so close to being finished. Vietnamese coffee in hand, I walked a block and a half more toward Gateway Park to see "New Year's Rossolutions" at the Lynn Street Esplanade, which I often run by in the warmer months on my way to the Mount Vernon Trail.

It was so cool to see how downtown has been transformed with these installations. I’ve lived in Rosslyn for one year now, so I have seen it change with each season, and this season has been the most magical yet. The QR code at my final stop revealed some helpful suggestions on how to accomplish goals in the New Year, so I took a seat on a bench in Gateway Park and pondered my next year in Rosslyn!

Ready to see Wanderland for yourself? Download the map here to get started, then learn more about our Rosslyn Cheer program from our webpage.
 Featured Rosslyn Events

O2: Outdoor Office
Tuesday, April 13 - Friday, June 11
at Gateway Park

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Tuesday, April 20 - Thursday, May 13

Rosslyn Flower Cart
Thursday, April 22 - Thursday, May 6