Petworth: An Insider’s Guide to Kid-Friendly Hotspots

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With its proximity to Rock Creek Park, rich history, and revitalized business district, Petworth has something for everyone from preschoolers to the POTUS himself. Here’s a list of our favorite places to eat, play, dance, and explore with kiddos in this growing nabe.

Parks and Playgrounds

petworth-jazzPhoto: Petworth Jazz Poject via Facebook

Enjoy Jazz in the Park with the Petworth Jazz Project
An evening of jazz doesn’t have to be an adults-only affair. The Petworth Jazz Project hosts a series of outdoor concerts that are a great option for a family night out. Held on the last Saturday of the month, each performance starts with a special kids show that’s followed by a showcase of local jazz talent. Not a jazz fan? Then dust off your dancing shoes. This year’s lineup includes cultural and modern dance performances on the second Saturday of the month.

8th and Taylor Streets, NW



Photo: Chez Billy via France

Feast on French Fare at Chez Billy
“Kids menu” and “authentic French cuisine” are two phrases you don’t usually hear in the same sentence. That’s not the case at Chez Billy. Whether families eat inside or on the back patio, tiny diners can enjoy kids’ menu standards with a French twist (think grilled cheese with gruyère), while parents splurge on the restaurant’s specialities, including $1 oysters on the half-shell during happy hour, which is held Tuesday-Saturday from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm. To that, we say “Oui!”

3815 Georgia Ave., NW

Play and Explore

abraham-lincolnPhoto: President Lincolns Cottage via Facebook

Step Back in Time at President Lincoln’s Cottage
When Honest Abe needed a break, he headed to his Gothic Revival cottage located in what is now Petworth. Today, President Lincoln’s Cottage is a haven for history buffs young and old. This national monument offers hands-on, multimedia activities that bring our 16th president’s experiences as a politician, policymaker, and family man to life. When planning your visit, don’t forget your picnic basket–the Cottage’s large lawn offers the perfect spot for an outdoor nosh fest. And if you are going with a Girl Scout, call ahead to learn how she can earn a badge on your visit!

Upshur Street at Rock Creek Church Rd., NW

Sing-Along at Upshur Street Books
Upshur Street Books started as a Kickstarter project and resulted in the first independent bookstore to open in the District since 2003. In just a short time, the store has become a neighborhood gathering place for bookworms of all ages. Parents in Petworth and beyond speak highly of the store’s sing-alongs, which feature local musicians, puppeteers, and even a Santa look-a-like during the holidays. The small space fills up quickly, so be sure to show up early to get a stroller parking spot.

827 Upshur St.,NW

Spend the Day at Raymond Recreation Center
There are no rickety swing sets in sight at Petworth’s Raymond Recreation Center. The Center’s outdoor spaces recently underwent a $2.5 million dollar upgrade, and are now home to state-of-the-art equipment. When you visit, check out the Eclipse Plus Net climber. This structure, which encourages balance, coordination, and upper body strength, is the first of its kind in the country. Other highlights include a fitness zone, a pavilion with picnic tables, and a “We Saw” that sits up to five kids at a time.

3725 10th St., NW

Does your family have any favorite Petworth spots? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

–Sarah Vogel