It’s not everyday the words downtown and easy parking go hand in hand, but when visiting Bethesda Row… they do! This neighborhood of beautiful walks, play spots, and delicious eats is the ideal place making happy memories. Scroll down for a family-friendly guide to a satisfying day at Bethesda Row.

Know before you go
After spending an extra unaccounted 30 minutes getting car-ready, smoothly settling into a parking spot would be a definite win. Luckily, parking at Bethesda Row is easily accessible. The public garage parking is free on Sat., Sun. and major holidays, while street is free on Sun. and holidays only. If you’re out and about on a weekday, valet parking is available at Woodmont Ave. in front of Vino Volo, every day after 5p.m for $10. Some restaurants will even validate garage tickets.



photo: ehpien via flickr

Start the day off with GO!

KidVille Bethesda
Exercise the brain and body at Kidville Bethesda. Their weekly gym, art, dance and music are for kiddos of all ages and energy levels. That’s right, even your newbie will be able to find the perfect activity to express themselves in. Kidville is also awesome for birthday parties and drop-in play at the Playspace. Registration is required for any Kidville class, but pst – you can sign up for a free trial, just to test the waters.

Hours: Playspace varies by day, check website here.
Cost: Playspace is free for members.

4825 Bethesda Ave.
Bethesda, Md 20814


photo courtesy of courtesy of Kidville

Make Meaning
Time to get creative at the ultimate DIY spot for crafters at Make Meaning. Walk in and get started on anything from candles and soap to cake decorating and plaster painting! These hands-on activities teach fine motor skills and give a chance for the more serious artists to show off their take-home pieces. No registration required. 

Hours: 12-6p.m.
Cost: Starting from $14.99

4809 Bethesda Ave.
Bethesda, Md 20814

makemeaning-cc-kimberly coleman-flickr

photo: Kimberly Coleman via flickr

Grab a bite to eat…

Lebanese Taverna
Break for lunch at Lebanese Taverna. Getting the little ones to be more adventurous in food is always stressful, but these heart warming meals of curries, kabobs and salads will easily translate to the pickiest of eaters. Before you know it they will be asking for more tabouli! 

Hours: Sun – Mon., 11:30a.m.-9p.m.; Tues. – Wed., 11:30a.m.-9:30p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 11:30a.m.-10p.m. 

7141 Arlington Rd.
Bethesda, MD 20814

photo: Via Tsuiji via flickr

Five Guys Burgers and Fries
For a sure fire lunch winner for your little guys, stop into the family friendly Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Keep an eye out for the HUGE boxes of shelled peanuts. They’re great for the munchies and sinking your hands into, but terrible results will arise for those with allergies. For a true Five Guys experience, go half and half on the regular fries with Cajun Style for your burger lover. Don’t forget the shakes!

Hours: 11a.m.-10p.m. everyday

4829 Bethesda Ave.
Bethesda, Md 20814

fiveguys-cc-steve snodgrass-flickr

photo: Steve Snodgrass via flickr

Dolcezza Gelato
Get dessert at an uber cool spot: Dolcezza Gelato. Their flavors aren’t your regular mint and chocolate chip or berries and cream. Dolcezza Gelato gets artisan, seasonal and local in a sweet way that won’t make your kid raise their brows. Roasted Strawberry? Gold Rush Apple Sorbetto? Yes, please! And for the old-school, classic lovers, brown butter and salted caramel are freezer staples here too.

7111 Bethesda Lane
Bethesda, Md 20814


photo courtesy of Dolcezza Gelato

Tugooh Toys & Yiro
If the kids were extra good, spring for a little something extra at Tugooh Toys & Yiro. Eco-friendly, educational, great at unleashing imagination… our mini-me’s “Please Mommy” faces might not have to come out for you to consider purchasing. Luckily, their unique toys make even just a walk-in worth it.

4823 Bethesda Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814

photo: Amon via flickr

Stretch your legs out at… 

Caroline Freeland Urban Park
Sometimes we’re just shopped out even before the kids are. Thankfully, Caroline Freeland Urban Park is in walking distance. This wonderful community park is a great place to sit down while the kids to what they do best: run! Outfitted with a playground and picnic gazebo, it’s the ideal place for our runners to burn off the last of their steam while moms and dads rest their tired legs.

7200 Arlington Rd
Bethesda, Md 20814

Water Works at Bethesda Row
Keep the heat off your backs by cooling off at the Bethesda Row fountain. Located on the corner of Bethesda Ave and Woodmont Ave, this great spot also is a teachable moment for kids to learn how water naturally transports from the sky to the ground, and gets to our fountains. You might want to print out this flyer to help translate the art of the fountain into science 101.


Landmark Theatre
Relax the classic American way by springing for a movie. The renovated Landmark Theatre’s complex is close by and is guaranteed to have the coolest showings, from 3D options to showing of live events via satellite from as far away as London. Sit back and enjoy the show!

7235 Woodmont Ave.
Bethesda, Md 20814

What are your favorite spots at Bethesda Row? Share them in the Comments below! 

— Sonya Gavankar