Category Archives: Ongoing

The Weekend Round-Up: October 23-25

Fun and fall on a recent disc golf outing with friends

 

 

Happy Weekend!

Leaf Peep on the Trail
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Take in the brilliant color spectrum of autumn and get a little exercise to boot on a family hike. From right here in the city to country locales, you’ve got your pick of places where you can enjoy the fall foliage and some time outdoors. This post about good area hikes with kids started in the early KFDC days, and with many new recommendations added since — including a new write up about Sky Meadows State Park — there are lots of great recommendations to make for happy trampers.

Spooktacular Drive-In Flicks
Where: Akridge Lot at Buzzard Point | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday
Admission: $20/vehicle

Grab your popcorn and join the Capitol Riverfront BID for a drive-in movie at the Akridge Lot (First and V St. SW) in Buzzard Point next to Audi Field.  The movie is a fun, contact-free experience for all ages with space for 75 vehicles set at an appropriate social distance.  Us  is the spooktacular flick being screened this weekend. Proceeds will be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank.

Drive-In “Spooky” Movie Nights
Where: DC Party Box | Rockville, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $15/adult, $10/13 & under

Enjoy Sppoktacular theater at this drive-in, featuring an LED screen, FM broadcasting, and spooky surprises. There are two showings each night, a family-friendly film at 7pm and a classic or scary movie 10pm. This weekend it’s Goosebumps and Pet Sematary on Friday, Casper and The Exorcist on Saturday, and Gremlins and Scream on Sunday. Reserve in advance online, one reservation per car.

Halloween Szn at Park Up Drive-In
Where: RFK Parking Lot | Northeast DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission:

There are several films in Park Up’s drive-in movie lineup this weekend, both family-friendly and for adults. Hocus Pocus, Goosebumps, Vampire in Brooklyn, and Child’s Play are among the options. Visit the website for days and times.

More Wicked Fun
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There are even more ways to get the Halloween party started that also allow for social distancing. See what’s coming up around the area and access virtual activities from some of your favorite places. This annual post has details on where to find the tricks and treats.

Victura Garten
Where: The REACH | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Admission: Free

On weekends, the grounds of The REACH, the Kennedy Center’s immersive extension, transform into Victura Park, an outdoor family-friendly pop-up wine garden & café. For October, however, they’ve partnered up with Solace Outpost for a Bavarian themed month at the Park. Enjoy craft beers and great foods as you hang out in the lovely outdoor area overlooking the Potomac River. Victura Park hours are Friday 3-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm, and Sunday 12-8pm (also, Thursday 3-10pm).

Pumpkins in the Park
Where: Canal Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: $20

Canal Park will be transformed into the neighborhood’s very own “pumpkin patch” as the community is invited to pick their pumpkin in a safe, socially-distanced fashion (no more than 15 people in the pumpkin patch at one time) while supplies last. Take-home decorating kits will also be available along with the option to have your pumpkin painted by local artist Painted Palettes. Purchase tickets in advance.

Drive-Thru Trot or Treat
Where: North Star Stables | Delaplane, VA
When: Sunday
Admission: By donation

It’s all horsing around at the trick-or-treat for a cause! Support North Star’s equine team and therapeutic riding scholarship fund with a drive-thru trick-or-treat! While Covid restrictions preclude them from hosting their normal Halloween celebration, North Star is excited to offer a drive-thru Halloween! Join to see their awesome horses in costume and collect treats (non-candy treats available) along the facility’s fence line! They ask each car to contribute a small, monetary donation.

Fall Festing
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the season at a fall festival. From pumpkin patches and petting zoos to corn mazes and hayrides, many farms around the DMV (or just beyond) are still offering traditional activities to enjoy in safe ways. This post has details on where all the fall fun is happening.

Other Autumn Adventures
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Farm festivals may be the go-to autumn outing, but there are lots of other fantastic ways to enjoy the season around the area. This KFDC post lists a bunch of great places for fall adventures.

Disc Golfin’
Where: Courses around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Hit the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to enjoy a nice fall day outdoors with the family. Not only is it fun and challenging, the courses, many of them set up in scenic places, are lovely this time of year. This post has info about one in College Park, and there are also great courses at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, MD, and Burke Lake Park in Burke, VA.

Go Green Design Challenge Kick Off
Where: KID Museum | Online
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

KID Museum and Pepco are teaming up to bring you a free, family design challenge! Families are invited to use common household materials to come up with a prototype of their own environmentally-friendly invention. Your idea might involve the creative re-design of an existing item, like a more efficient window or appliance, or something entirely new. Join the museum on Saturday morning for the virtual kick-off, where you’ll receive a rundown of challenge guidelines, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the Pepco WaterShed Sustainability Center. Then put your imagination and your design skills to work!

Virtual Artful Conversations
Where: National Gallery of Art | Online
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am
Admission: Free

The National Gallery of Art’s popular program for art enthusiasts ages 7–12 is returning virtually with a special guest. Haywood Turnipseed Jr., a writer and stand-up comedian, will help participants find the humor in art. Sign up for an online session — it’s free, but registration is required.

Crystalline
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through January 3
Admission: $12-17/child, $19-24/adult

To wrap up this unprecedented year, ARTECHOUSE has transformed their gallery into a blue-hued haven intended to evoke calm and peace during a turbulent time. Like all of their exhibitions, just about all of it is interactive, as the images change with viewers’ motions, encouraging play.  Immersing into the depths of the color, even just for a little while, is a beautiful — and fun — escape from the bizarre Covid world outside.

Euro Entertainment
Where: Online
When: Through November 29
Admission: Free

International travel may not be possible right now, but you can still enjoy European adventures. The annual Kids Euro Festival has gone digital this year, offering families all over the world access to an extended virtual festival with a full 6 weeks of online programming — all of it free! Through November 29, tune in for performances, concerts, workshops, movies, storytelling, puppetry, dance, and more.

Inside Out(ings)
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Not all outing have to be outside. Lots of indoor places have reopened their doors, and they are all taking extra precautions to ensure safety during COVID. This post has details on outings that take place inside and this one has suggestions especially for little kids.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks around Fairfax County, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Make a scarecrow with the fam at Sully Historic Site. Solve a Halloween mystery at Riverbend Park. Appreciate colors of the forest at Lake Fairfax Park. Details and registration for these and many more nature activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Monuments: Creative Forces
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Through October 25
Admission: $5-30

This unique outdoor art installation throughout Strathmore’s 16 acres sounds like an ideal exhibition for COVID times, being in fresh air with a lot of space. Monuments: Creative Forces by Australian artist Craig Walsh features moving, dimensional video portraits of artists whose work and artistic endeavors are changing the shape of our community in profound ways. The expansive portraits of these creative heroes were chosen by a diverse panel of community and arts leaders are projected on to towering trees, transforming them into animated sculptural monuments.

Even More Activities
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

If you want even more ideas for things to do over the weekend, this post has plenty of inspo, listing both ongoing activities around the area as well as information on reopenings.

 

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Washingtonian’s recs for 6 nearby wineries with lots of space and great views.
* Tickets are available for Free Community Days at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Reserve them for November 1 and November 15.
* Due to COVID, the annual DC Bike Ride, usually a one-day event that takes place throughout DC streets, will become the DC Virtual Ride from November 1-21. Find out how to participate here.
* Get 25% off Tea Collection during their Friends & Family Event.
* Cancelled: Enchant Christmas, the event that transformed Nationals Park into a holiday wonderland last winter, will not take place this year.
* Watson Adventures has a Wizard School Virtual Scavenger Hunt coming up on November 15.  These fill up fast, so sign up soon!
* An informative article perfect for the weekend.😉
* The panda cam is always a heartwarmer.🐼

 

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Fall, Farm, Halloween, Maryland, Ongoing, Outdoor, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Virginia, Virtual Programs, Weekend

A Breath of Fresh Air at Sky Meadows State Park

 

When COVID hit, I put a pause on posting write-ups about individual places.  Between stay-at-home orders back in the spring and general uncertainty about what we should and shouldn’t be doing even as those orders let up, it seemed best to take a lighter approach to recommending outings.  I might have mentioned them among the Five Things or included them in larger round-ups, but they didn’t get the KFDC fan fare that they would have pre-coronavirus.

Hence, I now have some catching up to do.  Over the last many months (how long has it been now?), we’ve explored some new places and had some great adventures.  So, now that the DC area is well into new phases of reopening, it’s time to start rolling out write-ups about them — starting with Sky Meadows State Park in Northern Virginia.

Our first visit to the park was our first real outing during the coronavirus beyond the sidewalks and streets of Capitol Hill, where we live, back in the spring. Hiking was permitted, and it was one of few parks still open, plus we heard from friends who’d been that there were barely any other visitors. So, we made a trip out to Delaplane, VA, for an escape from our oh-so-familiar neighborhood walk routine and a literal and figurative breath of fresh air.  We enjoyed it so much, we went back again in the summer.

Sky Meadows encompasses over 1800 acres in a rural area of Fauquier County, about 50 miles west of DC. Rolling hills, knots of woods, and sprawling pastures offer a nice mix of recreational opportunities, beautiful scenery, and a bit of history.  Trails wind through clusters of trees and along ridges overlooking swaths of farmland.

There are 22 miles of trails to hike, including the Appalachian Trail — a three-mile stretch of it runs through the park. Some trails are open to biking and horseback riding (BYO horse) as well. Lengths vary, and there are plenty of short routes that would make for nice walks with little kids. There is even a whole Children’s Discovery Area and a Sensory Explorers Trail (which wasn’t open during our visits because of COVID).

Mount Bleak House located next to the main parking lot offers tours and programs for insight into the history of the park.  (The house was still closed on our visits, so we didn’t get to experience them, but programs have now resumed.) There are also picnic areas and shelters, cabins, and campsites that you can reserve.

On both of our visits, we hopped on a few different trails — many of them interconnect — but we explored different parts of the park each time. We meandered through forested areas, looked for fish in a small pond, wound our way up a hill to enjoy the valley views below, and followed paths edging cow grazing pastures.  There were very few other people there, so we were able to keep our masks off most of the time, too!

We followed up our summer visit with a stop at Barrel Oak Winery and Farm Taphouse, just minutes away (look for a post on that soon).  Some sampling of the house specialty along with a bite to eat was a perfect way to make the most of our time out there and wind down the day.

 

Sky Meadows State Park is located at 11012 Edmonds Lane in Delaplane, VA. The main entrance is on State Route 710. It’s open daily, 8am – dusk. The Visitor Center/Gift Shop is open Thursday – Monday, with weekday hours from 11am – 5pm, and weekends 10am – 5pm.

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Filed under All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Social Distancing, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: October 9-12

 

Happy Long Weekend!

 

Fallin’
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Whether you want to experience traditional fall fun activities or enjoy the season in more mellow ways, there are plenty of options for both.  Check out this round-up of festivals that are happening around the area for pumpkin picking, farm animals, hayrides, and the like. And see this post for some great places to enjoy autumn (that are not fall festivals).

Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour
Where: Mount Vernon, VA
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: Starts at $42/member, $46/non-member

Enjoy wine and the season at George Washington’s (former) digs. Taste unlimited samples from Virginia wineries after hours as you enjoy twilight on the grounds of Mount Vernon. Tickets are sold out for Saturday evening, but you can still snag them for Friday and Sunday.

Dinner & Concert (Kind Of)
Where: The Hamilton | Downtown DC
When: Friday & Saturday evenings
Admission: Free, but $100 food/drink minimum/table

The Hamilton can’t host live concerts right now, but they’ve come up with a different way to enjoy live music. On weekends, they are hosting screenings of concert films by awesome acts. You can watch them as you enjoy dinner — their extensive menu will be available. This weekend they are showing Pink Floyd – The Wall on Friday and The Rolling Stones: Shine a Light on Saturday. Dors open 6:30pm, and the concert begins at 7:30pm. Tables seat up to 4 or 6, and there is a $100 deposit to reserve, which will be applied to the bill.

Drive-In “Spooky” Movie Nights
Where: DC Party Box | Rockville, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $15/adult, $10/13 & under

Enjoy Sppoktacular theater at this drive-in, featuring an LED screen, FM broadcasting, and spooky surprises. There are two showings each night, a family-friendly film at 7pm and a classic or scary movie 10pm. This weekend it’s Hotel Transylvania and Halloween on Friday, Beetlejuice and Children of the Corn on Saturday, and Ghost Busters and Paranormal Activity on Sunday. Reserve in advance online, one reservation per car.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks around Fairfax County, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Take teens on a fall foliage kayaking expedition. Practice mindfulness at Green Spring Gardens. Investigate salamanders at Riverbend Park. Details and registration for these and more nature activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

King Bullfrog Virtual Concert for Biden- Harris
Where: Online
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: Donations start at $25/family

Join local kids band King Bullfrog online for a fun way to support Joe & Kamala’s campaign — a virtual roots-and-blues concert for families! Want to join the fun, but are busy on October 10th? Audio and video of the concert will be available to ticket buyers on King Bullfrog’s website.

Plenty of space to explore exhibits safely at the National Portrait Gallery

Inside Info
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

With a chance of wet weather this weekend, you may be seeking indoor activities. There are plenty of options for them, and venues are taking extra precautions to ensure safety during COVID. This post has details on outings that take place inside and this one has suggestions especially for little kids.

Monuments: Creative Forces
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Through October 25
Admission: $5-30

This unique outdoor art installation throughout Strathmore’s 16 acres sounds like an ideal exhibition for COVID times, being in fresh air with a lot of space.  Monuments: Creative Forces by Australian artist Craig Walsh features moving, dimensional video portraits of artists whose work and artistic endeavors are changing the shape of our community in profound ways. The expansive portraits of these creative heroes were chosen by a diverse panel of community and arts leaders  are projected on to towering trees, transforming them into animated sculptural monuments.

Carpe Librum
Where: Canal Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The mobile book store returns to the Capitol Riverfront, selling high-quality, gently-used items. Browse thousands of books, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl records, all on sale for under $6. There’s something for everyone at this sale: children’s books, teen reads, brand-new bestsellers in amazing condition, classic vintage hardbacks, and more! Masks are required, check out will be no-contact, and social distancing will be practiced during browsing. Payment via e-pay methods such as Apple Pay or credit card is accepted; no cash. Carpe Librum is a donation-based used bookstore benefiting the DC nonprofit Turning the Page.

Duets on Ice
Where: Online
When: Saturday, 4pm
Admission: Free

In anticipation of Laurie Anderson: The Weather scheduled to open at the Hirshhorn in Spring 2021, internationally renowned artist Laurie Anderson is recreating her iconic performance Duets on Ice and streaming it live online for the first time from the Hirshhorn’s outdoor Plaza. Debuted in New York in 1974, the performance comprises the artist wearing skates frozen into blocks of ice and playing her violin in a series of electronic duets until the ice melts, and she loses her balance.

Riding the trails at Kingman Island

Ride On
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Bike rides are an excellent activity for right now. You can enjoy the  fall weather while social distancing, and get some exercise, to boot. The DC area has plenty of good routes to ride, with something for every age and rider level. This post has a bunch of pedal-worthy recommendations.

Go Disc Golfin’
Where: Courses around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Hit the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to enjoy a nice fall day outdoors with the family. Not only is it fun and challenging, the courses, many of them set up in scenic places, are lovely this time of year. This post has info about one in College Park, and there are also great courses at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg and Burke Lake Park in Burke.

Do Some Garden-ing
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Fall is a great time to roam the many gardens in the area as the changing leaves start to brighten up the summer green. Enjoy the fall flowers and manicured grounds of the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle (then visit the museums).  Explore, play, and see a variety of plant collections at the National Arboretum. Wander around Green Spring Gardens on a scavenger hunt. Venture out to the gorgeous Meadowlark Botanical Garden. Relish in the peace at the Brookland Monastery. Or roam the expansive grounds of Brookside Gardens.  You can bring along a picnic to many of these places and make it a whole day’s outing.

A peek at the powerful Americans exhibit at the NMAI

Indigenous People’s Day
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free with timed entry ticket

There’s no special event going on, but the NMAI is an ideal place to go for learning about Indigenous People. While the museum is closed on the actual day (Monday), it’s open all weekend and safety protocols are in place for COVID, including timed entry passes to limit capacity. If you can’t go this weekend, let this listing serve as a reminder to book passes for another day.  Reserve free tickets here.

Even More Activities
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

If you want even more ideas for things to do over the long weekend, this post has plenty of inspo, listing both ongoing activities around the area as well as information on reopenings.

 

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Time 4 Mom is a new monthly subscription box especially for busy moms, and there’s a giveaway for a chance to win a complimentary box!
* Kids of all ages can join the Tiny Chefs and Teen Chefs Cooking Club, a new and fun (& yummy) online membership program from Tiny Chefs.
* Plan for Halloween with this round-up of wicked fun (& safe) activities coming up over the next few weeks.
* Hanna Andersson has super cute character inspired clothes for kids, plus pajamas on sale.
* N Street Village is hosting its annual SHERO Family Walk next Saturday, though it will be virtual this year. The event benefits N Street Village, the city’s largest provider of housing and services for women experiencing homelessness.
* This has been “shockingly” useful.
* Something fun and delicious to make this fall weekend.
* Scary Costume Ideas for 2020 😱 😂

 

Note: KFDC may earn a commission when you click on one of the links and make a purchase. Thank you for the support!

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Filed under 2020, All ages, DC, Fall, Farm, Festival, Maryland, Ongoing, Outdoor, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

Serenity Now: 10 Places to Find Peace and Calm in DC

 

Sometimes you’re looking for an out-of-the-house activity that doesn’t actually involve much… activity.   You just want to find a locale that is pretty and quiet, where you can chill out and think (or not) — especially during this strange and uncertain time when there is so much information to digest and new circumstances to comprehend.  Whether with kids, in the company of other adults, or solo, having a place to go to process everything (or not focus on it for awhile), can be good for everyone’s well being.  You might want to wander around beautiful grounds, take a break in nature, meditate in a tranquil place, or just lounge and enjoy the surrounds.  Here are 10 spots that are perfect for that, where you can find some peace and calm.

 

The view from inside a gazebo at the Arboretum

National Arboretum
The 450 acres of gorgeous grounds contain a bunch tucked away spots, where you can hang out and unwind, you just have to explore beyond the popular parts to find them. There are gazebos in the middle of plant collections, benches placed under the prettiest trees, swaths of grass amid blooming flora, and uncrowded trails and paths that wind all around. Skip the old Capitol Columns that tend to draw lots of visitors and head to the Asian Collection, the dogwoods and conifers, the hollies and magnolias, the hill full of azaleas, or Fern Valley (when it’s open again). Whether you roam around or discover a secret place to sit, your surroundings will be beautiful and calm. The National Arboretum is open daily, 8am – 5pm, and admission is free. Read more about it here and here.

 

The Franciscan Monastery’s pretty, peaceful garden

Franciscan Monastery Garden
The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is an “Oasis of Peace” in Brookland. It consists of the Memorial Church of the Holy Sepulchre, beautifully landscaped grounds immediately surrounding,  and a garden adjacent to that. The Rosary Portico, long concrete open air passageways, run along the perimeter of the inner grounds, the inside walls adorned with Christian symbols and ceramic plaques. In the garden, pretty flowers and plants and tall trees grow among replicas of Holy Land shrines. The public is welcome to enjoy it all. There are paths to stroll and lots of benches if you just want to sit and reflect. Garden hours are 9am – 4:45pm daily (though the church is closed right now), and admission is free. Read more about the Franciscan Monastery here.

 

Wander in the woods at Tregaron

Tregaron Conservancy
This secluded locale in Northwest DC that stretches between the Washington International School and a residential area — you can see the backyards of homes as you walk along some of the paths — offers a nice little nature break. Trails wind through the 13 acres under tall leafy trees, with a lily pond, large meadow, and a couple of stone stairways adding a bit of a fairy tale feel. You could very well have it all to yourself — we’ve wandered through without encountering a single other visitor. And if you wanted to extend your walk, the park trails lead right to the Klingle Valley Trail. Access Tregaron at 3100 Macomb Street NW or 3031 Klingle Road NW.

 

A hidden gem of the Botanic Garden

Bartholdi Park
This outdoor area of the U.S. Botanic Garden is often missed by visitors because of its location across Independence Avenue from the Conservatory. But the lack of people is part of what makes it such a lovely spot. The Bartholdi Fountain is the centerpiece of the park, and it’s surrounded by colorful flowers and paths winding among the plants. A couple of tables with umbrellas, plus several benches are there, so you can sit and relax amid it all. It’s so lovely and serene, you’ll forget there’s a busy thoroughfare just beyond its edges.

 

A little oasis within Yards Park

River Street Gardens at Yards Park
If you can snag one of the wooden lounge chairs in this small section in front of the boardwalk on the east side of Yards Park, it’s a great place to chill out. Overlooking the Anacostia, you can sit back and take in river views, surrounded by birch trees and greenery that make it a relaxing enclave within the bigger, bustling Capitol Riverfront. The park is open from sunrise until two hours after sunset, and admission is free.

 

 

Nature and presidential tribute at Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island
Something about its location within the Potomac River makes the park feel like an isolated escape.  You have to cross a bridge from Virginia to access it even though it’s technically in DC.  A couple of trails traverse the island through woods and along the water, some parts of it on a boardwalk over marshy areas.  And in the center of it all is the Memorial Plaza, a tribute to Theodore Roosevelt, with fountains and stone benches.  Whether you walk the grounds or just sit and relax,  you’ll be immersed in a soothing setting.  Roosevelt Island is open 6am – 10pm, and admission is free.   Read more about it and get a good glimpse in this KFDC post.

 

A grand Cathedral backdrop at the Bishop’s Garden

Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral
While many find calm and comfort inside the Cathedral, this gorgeous area on the south side of the church offers that in its own way. The terraced, walled garden is as tranquil as it is beautiful, featuring an array of colorful flowers, a variety of plants, statues, and medieval and modern structures incorporated into the design. Walk through it all along the stone path or pick a seat on a bench or in the gazebo for a calming break.

 

The Parterre, the main part of the Haupt Garden

Enid A. Haupt Garden
The grounds between the Smithsonian Castle and Independence Avenue (and nearby offshoots) are always well-groomed, vibrant with flowers, and an inviting outdoor space. You can stroll around and get a close look at the plants and flowers or find a bench to sit and savor it all. Neat little side areas, like the Moongate Garden adjacent to the Freer|Sackler and the Fountain Garden next to the National Museum of African Art, have water features and artistic designs that are pretty to view and relaxing to hang out by. The Haupt Garden is open daily from dawn to dusk, and admission is free.

 

Peaceful grounds at the cemetery

Congressional Cemetery
It doesn’t get much more peaceful than a cemetery. Sure, the thought of hanging out among the dead and buried might be eerie to some, but others find the stillness comforting.  At this Capitol Hill site, the serene environs are also beautiful, their 30 acres studded with all types of gravestones — large and small, simple and intricate — and you can walk among them on several paved paths that stretch across the grounds.  You’ll also find many quiet places to sit, some even at gravesites, where you can contemplate life (and death) or just find calm in the silence. Note: Right now, the cemetery is only open to K-9 members and day passers, but it’s included here for when the public is welcome again — hopefully, soon.

 

Plenty of space to stroll and de-stress at Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks Garden
The beautiful grounds of the historic Dumbarton House in Georgetown is one of the prettiest places in DC, in my opinion. Tucked away in a relatively non-bustling area of the neighborhood, a visit there feels like a little escape right in the city. A variety of sections feature different kinds of flora, and there are numerous paths — brick, stone, grass, stairs — to access them, often with delightful surprises on the way. Roaming around is a great way to de-stress and clear the mind, and scattered throughout are nice small nooks with seating as well as open spaces. Garden hours are 2-6pm Wed-Sun. Admission is $10/adult, $5/age 2-12 from mid-March – mid-November (free the rest of the year). Note: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens are closed right now due to COVID, but it’s included here for hwen the public is welcome again — hopefully, soon.

 

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Filed under All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Free, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Social Distancing, Weekdays, Weekend