Looking for a unique way to entertain the kids while you unwind on a gorgeous day? What about a relaxing walk through one of D.C.’s fun and fascinating labyrinths? Unlike a frustrating maze where many pathways lead to a dead end, labyrinths promise a single, reliable path all the way to its center and back again. The ancient practice of labyrinth walking is said to boost contemplation, spirituality and peace (think: totally calm you down). Today, labyrinths can be found in schools, churches, public parks, hospitals and the rooftops of office buildings. Each of D.C.’s labyrinths offers a unique setting for kids to explore, an inviting atmosphere and the opportunity to circle your way to a more peaceful place. Yes, please!
For the high energy bunch: Del Ray Pocket Park
Call it the best of both worlds; a medium size, circular labyrinth sits adjacent to a cute little playground in the heart of Del Ray (just a block from bustling Mt. Vernon Ave.). Kiddos can join you as you squiggle your way through the labyrinth (it only takes about 5 minutes) or they can slide, climb and jump the afternoon away at the miniture playground.
Commonwealth Ave. at Del Ray Ave.
Tot-friendly: Labyrinth at American Psychological Association
Hidden on top of an office building just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol, this popular stone labyrinth offers a peaceful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city. The green roof with labyrinth is open to the public Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm. Just ask the guard at the front desk for access.
10 G St., NE (Union Station)
Before bed chillaxing: Washington National Cathedral
On the last Tuesday of each month (6:30 pm-9 pm) you can walk this canvas labyrinth to the sound of a live harp and Native American flute music as part of the Cathedral Crossroads program, which focuses on a variety contemplative practices.
3101 Wisconsin Ave., NW (Cleveland Park)
Photo-ready: Georgetown Waterfront
A lovely addition to Georgetown’s Waterfront Park, this green and white concrete Labyrinth was designed and built by the TKF Foundation, which seeks to create sacred spaces in bustling cities. Next to the labyrinth you’ll find a wooden bench with a circular back. Beneath the bench is a yellow thought journal where everyone is invited to add a few words (or a drawing for the under-4 set).
Georgetown Waterfront Park
Water St., NW (Georgetown)
Are there any secret labyrinths that we should know about? Tell us in the comments section below.
Photos courtesy of woodleywonderworks via Flickr