Activate Your Summer!

Capitol Riverfront

Water wall and canal basin at Yards Park

Warmer weather has finally arrived, baseball is being played at Nationals’ Park, and Yards Park and Canal Park are in bloom and getting ready for a summer of events.

Part of the appeal of our neighborhood is the variety of outdoor activities that we offer to the community, as well as access to the Anacostia River and the riverwalk trail system.  Our three new parks – Diamond Teague Park & Piers, Yards Park, and Canal Park –offer the opportunity to be outdoors and on the river, enjoying water features, or just relaxing in an inviting park space.  There are also new opportunities to dine outside and enjoy these warm days and cool evenings with a great meal, or to exercise in our parks. 

Yards Park – this 5.5 acre park offers panoramic views of the Anacostia River, interactive water features that captivate children, gardens, and a range of activities.  The canal basin pool with its water wall and fountain features is back up and running as of May 1st.  The Lumbershed Building overlooks the park and offers outdoor and indoor dining from Osteria Morini and Agua 301.  Ice Cream Jubilee at the Lumbershed will also open in June this summer.

Canal Park – this park is located in the heart of our residential community.  It offers 42 water jets for children on the southern block and Park Tavern with outdoor seating, a middle block with lawns for kids’ play and a shallow water scrim for wading, and a northern block with open lawns that are used for our outdoor movie series, bocce ball play, or sun bathing and reading.  The 42-water jets are up and running as of May 1st, and the portable tables and chairs have returned to add to the outdoor seating options in Canal Park. 

Diamond Teague Park & Piers – located directly on the Anacostia River just south of Nats’ Park on Potomac Avenue, SE, Diamond Teague Park offers docks for water taxis, ferries from Alexandria, and tour boat docking.  It also has a floating dock where canoes and kayaks can launch, and there will be opportunities to rent canoes and kayaks at the Ballpark Boathouse for a paddle outing on the river again this summer.  The Anacostia Watershed Society will also host several of its paddle nights from the Diamond Teague docks. The park is connected to Yards Park by the elevated riverwalk trail that also passes in front of the historic DC Water pump house.

Things to Do this Summer

Friday Night Concerts –We will be hosting 14 concerts every Friday night beginning on May 9th, and two of the concerts will be produced on Friday nights by the DC Jazz Festival (Friday, June 27th) and the Tour de Fat festival (Friday, May 30th).  All Friday night concerts,  free and open to the public, are located on the Yards Park river terrace steps from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  New restaurants Osteria Morini and Aqua 301 have outdoor seating overlooking Yards Park and the concert venue, so come and dine “al fresco” while enjoying the concert.

Thursday Night Outdoor Movies – Our series of outdoor movies will begin on Thursday, June 5th with a theme of “It’s a Whole New Ballgame” and sports films will be featured.  The outdoor movies will take place in the northern block of Canal Park and always start around sundown (8:45 pm).  So bring your blanket and your picnic and enjoy your favorite stars underneath our stars in Canal Park.

Outdoor Fitness Classes – The Capitol Riverfront BID and VIDA Fitness will host "Get Fit for Summer Workouts" on the boardwalk of Yards Park, located at 355 Water Street, SE.  Free and open to the public, the fitness classes will be offered Monday through Saturday beginning Monday, April 28th and continuing through August. Class schedules will be revised each month based on participant interest, and will be updated on the Capitol Riverfront BID online events calendar. The following classes can be enjoyed from April 28th through May 31st: 

  • Mondays: V-Boot Camp (6:30 - 7:30 pm)
  • Tuesdays: Boot Camp (7:00 - 8:00 am); Sunset Yoga (5:45 - 6:45 pm)
  • Wednesday: V-Boot Camp (6:30 - 7:30 pm)
  • Thursdays: Sunrise Yoga (6:30 - 7:30 am); Zumba (5:30 - 6:30 pm)
  • Fridays: Vinyasa Yoga (12:00 - 1:00 pm) 
  • Saturdays: Boot Camp (10:00 - 11:00 am)

The OneNess Yoga Festival will also occur in Yards Park on Saturday, June 21st.

Nationals Park – The Nationals 2014 season has begun, so come down for a game and arrive early or stay late at one of our 20+ restaurants that are open for lunch and dinner.  Nats’ fans have already discovered Gordon Biersch, Park Tavern, Bluejacket Brewery, Osteria Morini, Aqua 301 and Kruba Thai as the places to be for dinner before a game and a post game celebration.  Several new restaurants will open over the next 4-6 months including 100 Montaditos, Sweet Green, Ice Cream Jubilee, and Ta Korean.  Nats’ Park offers more than baseball games this summer as they will host a range of summertime activities including:

  • Opera in the Outfield – Saturday, May 3rd will see a production of The Magic Flute by the Washington Opera being broadcast from the Kennedy Center on the ballpark’s jumbotron screen.  So come see the opera and enjoy your favorite ballpark food and beverages.
  • Jason Aldean Concert – Friday, July 25th at Nats Park
  • Billy Joel Concert – Saturday, July 26th at Nats Park
  • One Direction Concert – Monday, August 11th at Nats Park

The Capitol Riverfront is also becoming known as the place to be for outdoor festivals and music events.

Tour De Fat returns to Yards Park for another bicycle themed festival on Saturday, May 31st, and they will be providing the free Friday Night Concert on Friday, May 30thDC VegFest also returns to Yards Park on Saturday, September 30th.  And the DC Jazz Festival will make its first appearance at Yards Park the weekend of Friday, June 27th – Sunday, June 29th.  They will be providing the free Friday Night Concert program on Friday, June 27th and will have a series of concerts in the park on Saturday and Sunday.  Please visit the DC Jazz Festival website for the concert line-up and how to purchase tickets for the Saturday and Sunday shows.

Paddle Nights on the Anacostia is a free program offered by the Anacostia Watershed Society.  The public is invited to Diamond Teague Park & Piers (Ballpark Boathouse) on the following evenings from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. this summer for an opportunity to use canoes and kayaks to paddle on the Anacostia free of charge:

  • Friday, June 6th
  • Thursday, June 26th
  • Thursday, July 10th
  • Tuesday, July 15th
  • Tuesday, July 29th
  • Thursday, August 28th
  • Monday September 18th

The Anacostia Watershed Society is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, and they will be offering 25 paddle nights throughout the spring, summer and fall (from June 6th – September 25th).  The majority of paddle nights will occur at the Anacostia Community Boathouse, Kenilworth Gardens, and the Bladensburg Waterfront Park.  Visit for more information on Paddle Nights and to register for one of the free evenings of paddling on the Anacostia River.

Every summer deserves a boardwalk, and access to the water, and outdoor movies, and live music in the park, and baseball games, and outdoor fitness activities.  Enjoy all these things and more in the Capitol Riverfront this summer season.  Visit our website’s community calendar for a full listing of activities. Activate your summer!

River terrace seating for Friday Concerts at Yards Park
Water jet features and light cube at Canal Park

Michael Stevens, AICP is President of the Capitol Riverfront BID.

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