City Cast

How to Spend a Day In Anacostia Park

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on June 13
Gazebo at Anacostia Park. (Kaela Cote-Stemmermann/City Cast DC)

Gazebo at Anacostia Park. (Kaela Cote-Stemmermann/City Cast DC)

We’re back with the second iteration of our Summer Entertainment Guide, sponsored by Clyde's Restaurant Group. Anacostia Park spans eight miles on the east side of the Anacostia River and holds a wealth of history and community events to explore this summer.

The park is named after the Nacotchtank indigenous people who lived there before John Smith (yes, the John Smith) and white settlers arrived. Through the years, it was subject to toxic dumping, neglect, and environmental erosion, but the community has worked hard to restore the space. Now, besides serving as a gorgeous landscape, it’s also home to tons of community events.

“There's so much untapped wisdom and expertise east of the Anacostia River. We really try to activate Anacostia Park as a platform for Ward 7 and Ward 8 residents to share their passions with the surrounding community,” said Richard Trent, the Executive Director of Friends of Anacostia Park.

Anacostia Park skating pavilion. (Kaela Cote-Stemmermann/City Cast DC)

Anacostia Park skating pavilion. (Kaela Cote-Stemmermann/City Cast DC)

Besides picnicking, hiking, and biking to your heart's content, we highly recommend checking out the park's events calendar. Here are a few of our favorite ways to spend a day at the park:

Late Skate: Once a month, the skating pavilion hosts Late Skate from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. There are DJs, food, dancing, and free skate rentals. It’s truly one of the best, most wholesome events I’ve been to in D.C.

Fishing: Try out your angler skills and learn about the vibrant ecosystem in the Anacostia River at this weekly community fishing excursion.

Pirate ship playground: Ok, so this is more for the kiddos than for you (although I personally would still have a blast). This jungle gym right by the park entrance is a fully-fledged pirate ship — sails, brig, and all.

Northfield: This massive expanse of greenery used to hold concerts and protests. Now, it's the perfect spot for dog walking, sports, or just a little picnic.

Volunteering: Every Saturday morning, Friends of Anacostia Park holds a community cleanup to prevent litter from entering the river. If that's not your thing, there are plenty of other ways to get involved, like hosting an event or doing outreach.

Hear from Richard Trent on today’s City Cast DC episode for more ideas!

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