REI Celebrates 100 Days of Events

United Outside Launches in NoMa, DC

REI co-op. (Photo: United Outside)

REI kicked off 100 days of activities in June at its new NoMa site (First and L Streets NE), inviting the local community outside ahead of the October launch of their flagship store in DC. Some activities are free, others require a fee.

The District store’s co-op owners also launched their United Outside effort to encourage people to get out and relax during a tumultuous presidential election period for city, said Matt Liddle, REI outdoor programs and outreach mid-Atlantic market manager.

REI wants to offer local neighbors opportunities to take breaks from politics, Liddle said.

“When we’re outside, we don’t think about that. No one has said, ‘I’m a Republican mountain biker,’ or, ‘I’m a Democratic kayaker,’” Liddle said, adding that many talk about their favorite trails or memories. “What better way in this election year to celebrate this store coming than to create 100 different moments to allow people to stop thinking about that.”

Also, Wunder Garten’s new space offers flexibility in design to host activities from the pop-up Bavarian beer garden to a pop-up dinner and from classes to gear swaps.

The United Outside events include:

  • classes on bike maintenance, kayaking and Appalachian Trail prep;

  • Wild Kitchen Summer Supper Series chef-hosted dinners starting with Maketto Chef Erik Bruner-Yang on July 10;

  • NoMa summer screen outdoor movies including “Life of Pi” and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”;

  • gear swaps on July 30 and Oct. 8;

  • and campfire hangouts with s’mores.

On July 16 and 17, REI will host a weekend full of free activities, including:

  • no charge rides on the Capital Bikeshare rentals;

  • rentals at the Key Bridge Boathouse;

  • open Outdoor School classes;

  • no-fee entry into the C&O Canal National Historic Park at Great Falls Tavern, Md.

“That was a real eye opener for us in the co-op, how strong the demand was,” Liddle said. “The programs at the Wunder Garten in many ways are like a steady beating drum to the store opening.”

The opening of DC’s REI store is the largest for the co-op in 15 years, since the opening of its Denver site.

“It’s going to be a hug for outdoor culture in the District,” Liddle said.

To learn more about the activities or events, visit

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