Washington, DC has an abundance of historical sites, beautiful vistas and fun activities, and some of them are quite close to home. Here are a few nearby things to do and places to see, whether you have out-of-town guests to entertain or are looking for a great time in or near the neighborhood.
3) Is terrestrial life more your thing? The Rock Creek Nature Center is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday and features live bees and other animals. On Fridays at 4 p.m., you can help feed the critters if you are four years old or older. Or go nature spotting on nearby hiking trails. These brochures show the way.
4) Go horseback riding. Out-of-town visitors are usually surprised to find a forest in the middle of the city. One of the best ways to see it is on horseback. The Rock Creek Horse Center is adjacent to the nature center at 5100 Glover Road. Rangers lead one-hour trail rides for groups of up to four. Visit rockcreekhorsecenter.com for the schedule and to reserve a spot.
5) Hillwood Museum. Beautifully-kept gardens and eggs the likes that nature has never seen, at 4155 Linnean Avenue. Hillwood is perhaps most famous for Marjorie Merriweather Post’s gardens and Fabergé collection, but it also hosts special exhibits like the current Prêt-à-Papier (through December). Hillwood is open Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and some Sunday afternoons. Groups can sign up for guided tours. Self-guided audio tours are also available, including a version for kids. Upcoming summer events include a Bastille Day celebration on July 14th.
6) Rock out with some up-and-coming DC-area bands. Truly an all-ages show: Toddlers, teens, parents and grandparents gather at Fort Reno Park on Mondays and Thursday evenings through July 26th for picnics and punk rock. The park is just north of Wilson High School; the bandstand, near the intersection of Nebraska Ave. and Chesapeake St. The bands start promptly at 7 p.m. and stop at 9:30. See the schedule and restrictions at fortreno.com.
7) Forest Hills Playground. Tucked away to the east of the Connecticut Avenue high-rises between Brandywine and Chesapeake Streets, many newcomers to the neighborhood aren’t even aware of it. At least, not until they have kids of their own. The parental grapevine takes care of the rest. If you don’t have kids or yours have flown the nest, the Forest Hills Playground is a friendly, fun place to take young visitors. Watch for the ice cream truck that has a knack for arriving just in time to spoil the kids’ lunch or dinner.
8) So much to do, so little time… Go swimming at the Wilson pool (passes for non-resident youths and seniors-$4, adults-$7). Visit the farmers markets at UDC and Sheridan School. Hike Soapstone Valley. Hear authors discuss their works at Politics & Prose. Dine out under an umbrella.
Are your favorite sights/activities missing from this list? Please let us know in the comments.