Looking for the best family activities in the DC area? Below are a few of my family’s favorite hangs around DC’s Columbia Heights neighborhood–and beyond.
As parents, we want to provide our kids with family-friendly social opportunities and activities that help them grow in each new developmental stage. At the same time, parents are hungry for friends we can relate to and hang out with alongside our kids. While these types of connections and the activities that went along with them were particularly difficult to achieve during the COVID pandemic, we’re now able to reconnect our kids to other young people, socialize as a family, and meet other families out and about.
Lou’s Favorite Family Eats in DC
My family loves to cook together, but we also love to eat socially and skip the dishes! Below are my kid-tested, parent-approved recommendations for DC-area meals for families with kids from toddlers to pre-teens.
- Cactus Cantina
- Going on a picnic (see some of my favorite parks below for perfect picnic locations)
Lou’s Best Family Activities in DC
My family loves to learn and stay active. From kid-friendly museums to kayaking, walking, or biking, there’s never a dull weekend for the Vivas. Some of our best memories have been made at the following locations.
- Visiting the National Children’s Museum
- Playing Pickle Ball & Roller Skating at Kraken Bryant Street
- Kayaking on the Potomac at the Key Bridge boathouse
- Hiking in Rock Creek Park
- Walking tour of the museums and monuments along the National Mall
- Biking with the kids on Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park
- Sunday Family Fundays at Columbia Heights’ Hook Hall
- Smithsonian Educational Enrichment Center
- Visiting Smithsonian’s National Zoo
- Visiting the Georgetown waterfront
- Montgomery Park events
Lou’s Favorite Family Parks and Hangouts in DC
Parks are a great way to connect with nature while socializing with other families–in a place where you not only don’t have to clean up after the fun is over, but you also don’t have to mow, weed, or plant anything to enjoy the beauty. Here are some of our favorite family parks.
- Meridian Hill Park
- Glen Echo Park in Bethesda
- Imagination Stage in Bethesda
- Smithsonian Folklife Festival
- Carter Barron Amphitheatre in Fort Totten Park
- Wheaton Regional Park
- The Lane in Ivy City (indoors, perfect for rainy day fun with little kids)
- Magic Ground in Columbia Heights (indoors, perfect for rainy day fun with little kids)
- Metrobar DC
- Doubles back patio in Park View
- Other DC playgrounds: https://dpr.dc.gov/playgrounds
- DC spray parks: https://dpr.dc.gov/sprayparks
Lou’s Favorite Facebook Parent Groups for Columbia Heights
Parent groups are a must for getting connected to other kids (through their parents). Not only do parent groups provide the best information on absolutely everything to do with kids, they’re a great way to quickly form social connections when you’re new to the neighborhood. Here are a few I’ve relied on over the years.
There are numerous benefits to our kids and ourselves when we combine social activities with the experiences our great city has to offer. Whatever your reason for seeking social connection and family friendly locations to hang, I hope this list has helped you discover a few new things to try this summer.
Have a recommendation you’d like to share with my family? Post your favorite family-friendly restaurant, park, activity, or social opportunity in the comments. If you know a new family in our neighborhood, send them this post to help them get connected.