If you’re looking for a fun spin on a scavenger hunt with the kids—or if your family is getting tired of sitting in Einstein’s lap as a photo op—consider taking a tour of some of D.C.’s most Instagrammable street murals. We guarantee you’ll snap a contender for this year’s holiday card.
Photo: One Photograph a Day
“Education is a Powerful Weapon”
Where: 312 Florida Ave., NW (Columbia Heights)
Why it’s a framer: Created by artist Aniekan Udofia, this image of a young woman standing proud and wielding a sharpened pencil is a great back-to-school reminder of the importance of education. Have a teachable moment with your kids and keep this snapshot on the fridge for those days when homework seems to take foreverrrrr.
Photo: Mommy Nearest
“Train and Car”
Where: 4810 Bethesda Ave. (Bethesda, Md)
Why it’s a framer: Jerry, Pat, Bryan, and Cory Deere of Clinton, Md’s Deere Signs painted this alleyway image of—you guessed it—a train and a car. Located near several family-friendly restaurants, consider following your little speedster’s photo session with lunch or a Georgetown Cupcake Madagascar vanilla sweet treat!
“Seasons in the City”
Where: 907 Barry Pl., NW (Pleasant Plains)
Why it’s a framer: Decoy (also known as Alicia Cosnahan) got her start making and hanging posters in DC and bases a lot of her work on kids and their life in the city. Have your little literary ones pretend to peer over the shoulder of the mural’s young girl as her mother reads her a book.
Photo: Stone Soup Films
Where: 700 Delaware Ave., SW (Navy Yard)
Why it’s a framer: Atlanta-based artist HENSE painted this full-building mural at the site of the old Friendship Baptist Church, now a non-profit organization and event space geared toward cultural community service for the Arts. The huge, colorful, graphic design is a great backdrop for panoramic photos and will surely spark some insightful conversations about colors and shapes!
“Heart Wall” (and others)
Where: 1309 5th Street NE
Why it’s a framer: LA-based graffiti artist Mr. Brainwash created this (slowly disappearing) series of murals at Union Market in honor of International Women’s Day and the first anniversary of Let Girls Learn, a United States government-sponsored initiative aimed at helping adolescent girls around the globe attain a quality education. The murals include a wall full of colorful, overlapping hearts; Charlie Chaplin reminding us to “Never Give Up”; Mr. Brainwash’s iconic “heart splash” image emblazoned with the message, “Life is Beautiful”; and Albert Einstein proclaiming that “Love Is The Answer.”
Photo: Alyson Hurt via Flickr
“The Great Wave of Georgetown”
Where: 3510 O Street NW (Georgetown)
Why it’s a framer: Painted on the side of a row house in Georgetown by J. McConnell and inspired by The Great Wave of Kanagawa by Hokusai, this beautiful and iconic image will surely spark your water baby’s imagination. Have fun with swimming, sailing, and surfing-related poses and round out the theme by treating your kids to a casual sushi lunch afterwards.
Photo: One Photograph a Day
Where: 550 Penn St., NE, D.C. (Union Market)
Why it’s a framer: The simple, bold graphic of a bright blue eye is certain to be a conversation-starter with your inquisitive little one. Located on the side of the Angelika Pop-Up movie theater at Union Market, make it a movie date while you’re at it!
Where: 1851 S. Bell St. (Arlington, Va)
Why it’s a framer: This series of individual works by No Kings Collective founders Brandon Hill and Peter Chang (with contributions from other area graffiti artists) celebrates the Crystal City neighborhood’s energy, activity, and creativity. Inspired by Miami’s Wynwood Walls, the 215 foot mural has everything from geometric shapes and patterns and giant fruit to a cyclist and a delivery truck. Dress your tyke in coordinating solids for some great shots against the black-and-white zigzag pattern!
Do you know of any other cool murals we should check out? Tell us about it in the comments.