Cleveland Park; where my roots really began in DC. Sure, I moved here and lived immediately in Arlington (what out-of-towner doesn’t do that?) and then rented an apartment on U Street for a year. But, it wasn’t until I was engaged that I moved in with my husband-to-be to a cute townhouse 5o steps away from the hustle and bustle of Connecticut Ave. on Ordway St. We lived there as we got married and then found out we were pregnant 7 months into wedded bliss and moved a block away (through the back alley) to Porter St. Now, about 200 steps away from Connecticut Ave. This is where our first child was born and it couldn’t have been a more perfect area of DC to have a newborn. I walked to Cacao or Palena to get a morning coffee and chocolate croissant with my newborn in the Ergo and then we’d stroll to the zoo. Sometimes we’d repeat this process in the afternoon but instead of Cacao we’d visit Vace for a sandwich or slice of pizza. Then, we decided to be adults and instead of renting a house we bought our own and now live in Chevy Chase, DC. It’s no Cleveland Park but it’s where we call home now as we await the arrival of our second baby, in 2 weeks.
This leads me to my first Top Ten post in which I will highlight (and sometimes just list or link) to 10 child-friendly restaurants, venues, playgrounds, etc in DC neighborhoods, starting with one of my favorite DC hoods– Cleveland Park.
2. Newark Playground (39th St NW and Newark St NW)- The concept for Newark builds on an accessible path through the site and under shady trees. Parents and caregivers will appreciate a new stroller parking area and new seating throughout the site. Both younger and older children will find exciting new equipment, including climbing equipment and small boulders to sit or play on. A new rubberized play surface brings additional color and accessibility to the site. It sits next to a dog park, an impressive, large community garden, and several tennis courts.
3. The Firehouse– because what child doesn’t like looking at the trucks? And if lucky enough a firefighter may come out and talk with you or give you a tour.
5. Macomb St Playground (3409 Macomb Street, NW)- The concept for Macomb linked the two separated play spaces, relocated the shaded gazebo to create a more pronounced entry to the space, and includes a new water feature. New stairs and an incline with ropes for climbing connect the upper and lower play area, and new equipment is included throughout the site. A new bright, rubberized surface has a fun herringbone pattern.
6. Firehook Bakery has a nice terrace out back with a fountain. Children can roam around as you enjoy a cup of joe and a croissant.
7. Uptown Theater is a historic, single-screen movie theater which opened in 1936. (Would love to see them host Family Matinees or events more often.)
8. Melvin Hazen Tributary Trail
9. NCRC Playground (3209 Highland Pl NW, Washington, DC 20008)- The playground is designed to provide multiple types of play opportunities for children ranging from 2-½ through 12 years of age. The playground includes three sandbox areas, climbing apparatus, swings, bike paths, a ball court, and garden spaces. Open during after school hours.
10. California Tortilla –Kid-friendly Cal-Mex menu with outdoor seating too. Cactus Cantina is up a few blocks from the strip of Cleveland Park but worth the walk and wait, if you want a more sit-down Tex-Mex meal.