It’s been a looonnnggg winter, but finally Daylight Savings Time has come (don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead on March 8!). Soon, temps will creep higher and higher (whew!), and grown-ups and kiddos alike will be ready to take in some sun and warm weather. Check out our top spots for enjoying the extra hour of daylight around the District.
#1 Join the Drum Circle at Meridian Hill Park
If you feel invigorated enough by the change in weather to visit the city, or you’re one of the lucky ones who can stroll over to Meridian Hill Park on foot, take your kiddos to the Sunday drum circle. You’ll see yoga mats, dancers, picnickers, and dogs galore as you toss around a Frisbee or just sit on a bench and enjoy the sun. Bring your own picnic dinner, or find a nice restaurant with outdoor seating in Columbia Heights.
16th St. and Euclid St., NW (Meridian Hill)
#2 Watch the Boats and Birds at Old Town Alexandria Waterfront
Old Town, Alexandria is not just a great place to pick up an antique lamp for that pesky glass end table in your living room; after a long day of shopping, leave your bags in the car and take your kiddos to the public marina to watch the boats and birds come in and out of the dock. Keep them entertained with stories about pirates or, for younger kiddos, migrating birds. If you get chilly during the tales, you can always grab a hot chocolate at the Starbucks just a few blocks away or dinner at one of the amazing restaurants on King Street.
Located behind the Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 North Union St. (Alexandria, Va)
Photo: Mosaic District via Facebook
#3 Pick Your Fun at the Mosaic District
Though it may not be warm enough to let your kids loose in the fountain at The Mosaic District in Fairfax, you can still sit with them in the District’s lawn chairs or set them loose in the park. Situated in the middle of a newly built shopping center, it’s an easy walk to the Angelika Movie Theater, upscale shops, restaurants, and of course, Target. For even more fun, visit during their bi-monthly–1st and 3rd of the month–10 a.m. “Stories from Strawberry Park.”
2910 District Ave. (Fairfax, Va)
Photo: Dion Hinchcliffe via Flickr
#4 Run, Jump, and Play Ranger at Rock Creek Park/National Zoo
In addition to the streams, meadows, and forests that make up the natural playground of Rock Creek Park, the Park boasts a nature center with lots of hands-on, kid-friendly activities. Take your kids to one of their friendly ranger programs, spend an afternoon on horseback, attend a concert, or wander over to the National Zoo, which is technically inside Rock Creek Park, and eat an early dinner (the park closes at 6 pm) at one of the many picnic areas.
Rock Creek Park
3545 Williamsburg Ln., NW
3001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Photo: Kalorama Park via Facebook
#5 Chillax with the Pups at Kalorama Park
This triangular little park has two sections for their playground, keeping the young tots in one half and older kids in the other. There’s also a community garden, which the local community maintains through an annual lottery system. Keep in mind that many locals walk their dogs here, so be sure to look down before you spread that picnic blanket for a sunset family dinner!
Columbia Rd. and 19th St., NW
Photo: mangoat via Flickr
#6 Stretch Out Those Limbs at Ashburn Park
No need for young ones to shove for a chance on the swing in this park! Though Ashburn Park is probably a hike for most DMV residents, there are many positives that come with venturing outside of your neighborhood. Unlike the smaller parks and playgrounds of D.C., Ashburn Park boasts sixteen acres, three playgrounds, many trails, and a pavilion for moms who want to sit in the shade and watch their kids play or families who want to bring picnic dinners.
43546 Partlow Rd. (Ashburn, Va)
#7 Row, Row, Row Your Tidal Basin Paddle Boat
Been meaning to get a photo of your kiddo in front of his or her favorite memorial building, but just can’t bring yourself to join the sea of tourists? Hop on one of the pedal boats that ride through the Tidal Basin for a unique (crowd-free) view of the Washington and Jefferson Memorials.
What do you plan to do with the extra hour of sunlight we’ll get from Daylight Savings Time? Tell us in the comments section below.
—Ayren Jackson-Cannady and Kelly Ann Jacobson