Places to go, things to do!
DC is filled with places for families to explore. We all know that our homes can feel a bit claustrophobic at times, so I decided to put together a list of several activities and places to visit that come highly recommended from families that I have worked with.
DC has some amazing playgrounds. I’m just listing a few of my favorites here. Search for the DC playground nearest you by clicking here.
Rosedale: 1701 Gales Street NE
Rosedale is an inclusive playground with ramps that are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and equipment that offers more support than that found at other playgrounds with more standard equipment. An added bonus is that the play structures replicate the National Mall.
Kennedy: 1401 7th Street NW
This playground was voted the #1 playground in 2014 and there are many reasons why. It’s large, has a wide variety of equipment and has a water feature.
Stead: 1625 P Street NW
Stead playground has three different play areas. One for the little ones, one for kids that are ready to climb more on their own, and a larger open area great for picnics. Several daycares in the area use this playground as their outdoor play space, so this is a great spot to head to if you want to build in social interaction to your playground time.
Anacostia Park: Fairlawn Ave SE and Nicholson Street SE
For starters this park is huge! There is a pirate ship themed playground, an expansive bike and walking trail, a skate rink and tons of large grassy areas to run around in.
DC Public Library
The library is great for more than just rainy days. You can check out books to read to your little one, but there is so much more! The librarians run a wide variety of programs including story time, music time, crafts and imaginative play. Search for kids programs using their calendar and see what is available at the library nearest you.
I am a huge fan of music classes. They typically address all areas of development through fun songs.
A major hit with family after family. The teachers are talented musicians that know how to capture the interest of little ones. Search for a class near you. There is bound to be one.
A great community space that offers music classes and other activities for kids. What sets them apart is that they allow you to participate on a drop in basis so there is no signing up for a specific class or a set number of weeks. The classes are mixed ages and often the first “open mic” experience for little ones. This was honestly one of the most fun Saturday mornings I’d ever had.
The pool is a great place to play and practice skills. Being in the water offers kids a chance to feel their bodies in a way that is different than when they are sitting on floor. Search here for the nearest pool and spray park locations near you.
Woodrow Wilson Aquatic Center: 4551 Fort Drive NW
This has long been described to me as “the best pool ever” by family after family. It has a zero-entry kids play area and like all DC pools offers swim classes. Swim classes are next in line to music classes for things I recommend as family activities.
Deanwood Aquatic Center: 1350 49th Street NE
Deanwood is currently DC’s newest pool. It boasts a large slide in addition to lap lanes.
Lincoln Capper Children’s Pool: 555 L Street SE
This is a tiny outdoor pool perfect for little ones ready to explore, but might need less excitement than normally comes with a bigger pool.
Odds and Ends
DC Strong Start Play Groups
The DC Strong Start Program (early intervention) runs playgroups throughout the city. These groups are lead by specialists in child development and are open to the community. To find a playgroup near you contact Jennifer Gee at Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org
Playseum: 545 8th Street SE
The Playseum is a great place to explore. I was amazed at how large the space was the first time I went in. There are plenty of areas set up to encourage to exploration from a pretend grocery store, restaurant, music stage, train track and an arts and crafts area.
If you want to add to this list, contact me at amy@OTinDC.com