You probably have a fabulous vacation planned sometime in the next couple of months, but more likely than not, you’ll be spending most of the summer right here at home. Luckily, Washington, DC has an abundance of historical sites, beautiful vistas and fun activities. Luckier still, some of them are quite close to home.
We came up with a list of neighborhood attractions and activities in 2012, and here it is again, with a few updates.
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. The Horse Center also offers pony rides for the little ones. 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 one featuring Post’s Cartier gems (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 French festival on July 12th.
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 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 summer concert series usually runs from late June through lJuly or early August. Bands start playing promptly at 7 p.m. and stop at 9:30. See the schedule and restrictions at fortreno.com.
7) Just play. Unfortunately, the popular Forest Hills Playground is off this summer’s to-do list, but it will reopen this fall after a major renovation. However, the playgrounds at Murch and Hearst Schools are good bets. Travel only a little farther you’ll find the Macomb, Friendship (a.k.a. Turtle Park) and Chevy Chase (a.k.a. Livingston) playgrounds, and as an added bonus, both have spray parks.
8) So much to do, so little time…
Are your favorite nearby sights/activities missing from this list? Please let us know in the comments.