[2020 Update: Many of the facilities mentioned in this post are closed right now due to Covid-19, including the Education Center, Boathouse, and pool. And Anacostia Watershed Society programming is not taking place.]
Anacostia Park, which stretches along the river it’s named for in southeast DC, has been on our recreational radar for a long time. Back in the day (a phrase I find myself using way too frequently lately), Levi and I played many an Ultimate Frisbee game there, and I always thought the pretty waterfront locale was a great place to spend a couple of hours chasing discs. For awhile, though, when the kids were younger, we rarely visited the park, which is odd since it’s close to where we live and a boon for fun and recreation.
We’ve kind of rediscovered it over the last couple of years as a few different activities have taken us there. Owen’s soccer league plays on the fields, plus he attended a skating camp based in the Skating Pavilion. I also started biking on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail that runs through the park, both for fun and triathlon training.
Those pursuits are just a few of many to enjoy at Anacostia Park. The trail is great for running, cycling, walking, even skating (Owen’s camp group would roll along the path as part of their daily route). There are three playgrounds where children can romp, including a pirate ship playground, where one of Sasha’s friends just had his birthday party.
There is a public pool (open during the summer) and an Education Center. There are tennis courts and basketball courts. The Anacostia Community Boathouse is located on the west shore of the river, and includes a marina with a public boat launch and canoe rentals during the summer (free Paddle Nights are also offered through the Anacostia Watershed Society). There’s an 18-hole golf course and putting range. There are lots of tables and lovely spots to picnic. (And I should note that Anacostia Park also encompasses Bladensburg Waterfront Park and the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, but what I’m talking about here is the part the stretches from Benning Road to South Capitol Street.)
The area is going to get even better when Anacostia Crossing, the 11th Street Bridge Park coming to southeast DC, is developed over the next several years. Not that there isn’t more than plenty to do and enjoy there now…
Anacostia Park is located along the Anacostia River in southeast DC. It’s open from dawn to dusk, and the Skating Pavilion is open 9am – 5pm daily from mid-June – Labor Day (but still accessible other times of the year), and the Education Center is open weekdays 10am – 2pm. Admission to the park, center, and pavilion, plus skate rentals are free. (As noted above, the Education Center is not open during Covid-19).