Living in Washington, DC

Resident Housing

There are many amazing neighborhoods in which to live throughout the greater Washington, DC, metro area. Most residents live in Northwest DC, especially in the neighborhoods of Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, Columbia Heights, Shaw, Dupont Circle, Mount Pleasant, and Adams Morgan.  Many others live in Silver Spring, Md., Arlington, Va., and other suburbs in Maryland and Virginia.  As the District undergoes its exciting urban renaissance, more and more neighborhoods are becoming fun and safe places to live, and residents are always spreading Children’s National love to newcomers of the city and its neighboring states. Here are a few suggestions based on where current residents live.

Fun Things in DC

The list of fun events in DC is endless!  This list was compiled by residents over the years. It is by no means complete, but it will get you started.

Resources

  • The Washington Post
    • The Friday Weekend section is a great resource for movies, clubs, concerts, and summary of all the current museum exhibits 
    • The Post Express is available free at all Metro stations and other locations in the mornings and is a great quick news source, also with a Weekend Pass section on Thursdays
  • Washington City Paper
  • On Tap Online (a little more alternative)
  • Daily email: CityPaper, Capitol Deal
  • www.washingtonian.com
  • dc.eater.com

Professional Sports Teams

Museums

Smithsonian: FREE

National Gallery Of Art: FREE

  • National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden – summertime café and free outdoor Jazz on Fridays
  • Ice Skating at the Sculpture Garden – skating rink open from November through mid-March

Phillips Collection: usually $10-$12 (depending on the exhibits)

  • Small museum in Dupont Circle with 20th century American Art
  • Phillips After 5 is the first Thursday of each month from 5 - 8:30 pm, with live jazz, gallery talks and a cash bar (price included in museum admission)
  • Sunday Concerts held October through May at 4 pm (price included in museum admission, seating not reserved)

Corcoran Gallery of Art: $10

  • Extended hours Thursday nights; closed Monday and Tuesday

National Geographic Museum: FREE

  • Series of National Geographic Live! Speakers at their headquarters building (tickets may be required, fees vary)

Dumbarton Oaks: $8

  • Located in Georgetown, consists of Pre-Columbian and Byzantine Art (FREE entrance to museum) – entrance at 1703 32nd St. NW, between S and R streets
  • Gardens ($8 entrance fee) – entrance at R and 31st St. NW
International Spy Museum: $18
  • Located at 800 F St. NW
  • The first and only public museum in the United States solely dedicated to espionage, the largest collection of international spy-related artifacts ever placed on public display

Newseum: $20

  • Located at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
  • Interactive museum of news and journalism

Tours

  • DC Ducks, amphibious vehicles (www.dcDucks.com)
  • Bike the Sites, 202-842-2453, a 2.5 hour monument tour with bikes, helmets, water, and guide included for $30-55
  • Segway Tours, a three-hour monument tour

Golf

  • Haines Point, south through East Potomac Park, large sculpture in park, golf course, very basic miniature golf course (www.GolfDC.com)
  • Rock Creek Golf Course (www.GolfDC.com)
  • Rocky George Golf Fairway, 8445 Old Columbia Rd., Laurel, Md., very wacky course, 10 am - 11 pm daily
  • Upton Hill Regional Park (Miniature Golf, Batting Cages) Arlington, Va., M-F 10 am - 9 pm, small entrance fee
  • Cameron Run Regional Park, Mini Golf, Batting Cage and Wave Pool, 4001 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, Va.; golf until 9 pm, pool until 7 pm

Bowling

  • Strike Bethesda: (301-652-0955) upscale with DJ and alcohol, popular Monday night $15 “Night Strike” events for all-you-can-bowl, for hours and prices.  
  • Lucky Strike, Gallery Place/Chinatown
  • Duckpin Bowling: Silver Spring 
  • AMF Seminary Lanes: (703-823-6200) Alexandria
  • Bowl America: (703-751-1900 ) Alexandria

Hiking

  • www.LocalHikes.com
  • www.SlackPacker.com
  • Billy Goat Trail in Great Falls National Park, off the GW Parkway on the Virginia side or off Clara Barton Parkway on Maryland side, $5 by car, $3 by bike
  • Theodore Roosevelt Island in between Georgetown and Rosslyn off GW Pkwy on Virginia side, free
  • Shenandoah National Park: Camping, Hiking one hour west of the District. $10 for one week pass, $20 for year-long pass

Biking/Running

The area has many dedicated trails for running, biking, and rollerblading, and there are bike lanes on almost all major city streets. Visit www.bikewashington.org or try these popular routes:

  • C&O Canal: Start in Georgetown
  • Mount Vernon Trail: Approximately 17-mile trail from Theodore Roosevelt Island to Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Va.
  • Capital Crescent Trail: Georgetown to Bethesda
  • WO&D: Approximately 40-mile trails extending west from Arlington
  • Rock Creek Trail: North-South trail from Foggy Bottom to Maryland
    • Good for trail running, cycling
    • Rock Creek Parkway closed to traffic for about 10 miles on weekends

Boating

  • Thompson’s Boat Center in Georgetown, on the water at Virginia Avenue and Rock Creek Park
  • West Potomac Paddle Boats- Tidal Basin at 15th Avenue and Maine, small hourly fee, 10 am - 6 pm daily
  • Canoe the Potomac, under the Key Bridge, Georgetown. Canoe and kayak rentals. Bring cash because they do not take credit cards.

Roller Skating

  • Franconia Roller Rink, Alexandria, 703-971-3334, open until 10 pm Monday through Thursday and Saturday, and 11 pm on Friday, can bring your own roller blades

Drive-In Movies

  • Bengie’s Drive-In, 3417 Eastern Blvd., Baltimore, 410-391-1956, biggest screen on the East Coast, two-three first-run movies starting at dusk, $8/person, $7/car if you bring your own food, $4/person for just the late show
  • Bowie Baysox Drive-In Theatre with double feature movies. Open for the entire season of non-home (baseball) game nights: weekends only from April through mid-June and September through Halloween, and all days of the week from mid-June to September. Admission per carload is limited to the number of seat belts in the vehicle. Prince George's Stadium, 4101 NE Crain Hwy (Route 301) Bowie, Md., 20716. 
  • Union Market

Other

  • The Waterfront, Maine Avenue SW, fresh fish, crabs, shrimp, etc, until 9:30 pm daily
  • National Arboretum, New York Avenue, 202-245-2726
  • Comedy Sportz, Ballston, 703-486-4242, www.cszdc.com, shows every Weekend at the Ballston Common Mall, at the corner of Glebe Road and Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va.
  • Gravelly Point Park, watch airplanes take off and land, open until dusk, off the GW Parkway just north of Reagan National Airport
  • Montrose Park at 30th and R St. NW, next to Dumbarton Oaks, perfect for picnics
  • www.embassyseries.org for tickets to chamber concerts and food buffets held in various embassies
  • Baltimore, Brewer’s Art, 1106 N. Charles St., 410-547-6925, www.belgianbeer.com
  • ½ price theater tickets, www.ticketplace.org, Tuesday through Saturday 11 am - 6 pm, 2/tickets
  • Halloween week– High Heel Race, 7:30pm, held in Dupont Circle at 17th Street b/t P and R streets
  • Supreme Court: Oral Arguments, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from first Monday in October through April, then Court’s Opinions on Mondays from mid-May to end of June, 202-479-3211. All start at 10 am, but lines start early, call the day before to find out estimated attendance. For arguments, you can choose the three-minute viewing or the whole thing, opinions only last 15-30 minutes
  • The National Mall is great for playing softball, kickball, flag football, soccer – lots of open spaces
  • Eastern Market, 7th Street and North Carolina Avenue SE, weekend farmer’s market, arts and crafts, flea market
  • National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW, beautiful grounds, great speakers
  • DC public pools - http://dpr.dc.gov/dpr - pools are free for DC residents
  • Embassies – embassies.org – often open to public, many host fun events
  • Fun random events on the Mall (Fourth of July, Inaugurations, Lighting of the National Christmas Tree, National Symphony Orchestra, many others)
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival!  A favorite. Usually in March, depending on weather.  With two weeks of events and of course, many sights to be seen around the Mall.