Dragged along to Nationals Park? You’ve got more options than sports

Media Credit: Desiree Halpern | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Head to Nationals Park for D.C. Beer Festival on Saturday.

With opening day kicking off baseball season last weekend, jersey-clad fans have begun to fill every Metro train heading toward the Southwest Waterfront.

But don’t fear if you’re not psyched about the game. There’s plenty to do in the Navy Yard area besides watch baseball, wait in a long line for a ShackBurger or see Teddy lose the Presidents Race again.

These are the places to go near Nationals Park that will make your trip to the ballpark even better.

WHERE TO EAT WITH A SPORTS CROWD
Gordon Biersch Brewery
100 M St. SE
Two blocks away

Right across from Nationals Park, Gordon Biersch Brewery is one of the most popular spots around for a burger and beer. Brewing its own award-winning German lagers, this restaurant is a magnet for hungry sports fans and pint connoisseurs alike.

With $5 happy hours, a classic outdoor patio lounge and crispy garlic fries, the brewery is a nice pit stop before exploring the rest of the area. Though this Gordon Biersch lacks the Penn Quarter location’s luxurious marble columns, the endless booth seating and top-notch, delicately prepared entrées keep the regulars coming back.

WHERE TO EAT AND AVOID SPORTS TALK
Kruba Thai and Sushi
300 Water St.
Five blocks away

One of the many D.C. Thai and sushi restaurants, Kruba offers satisfying food on a college budget, along with a comforting wooden ambiance and friendly service.

With fresh Japanese-imported fish, this sushi joint is most crowded on Fridays, but because they have a smaller bar, they see fewer customers than other restaurants on game days. At $11.95 per entree, the lunch special is one of the most popular items on the menu. Their in-house chef also creates specialties like chili drunken noodles and spicy tuna tempura.

Its location next to the Yards Park makes Kruba a convenient place to stop for a pre-concert dinner.

WHERE TO ADVENTURE
Washington Trapeze School New York
4th and Tingey streets
Six blocks away

Live your trapeze-flying dreams for a few hours here. Trapeze School New York offers all the circus staples, from outdoor flying trapeze or aerial silk classes where participants twist and wrap through hanging fabric, to juggling and trampoline classes – all for less than $50 an hour. The two-hour-long flying trapeze course is just right for game day. As a beginner, you can learn knee-hanging tricks 23 feet above the ground, swing upside down, do backflips and jump into the air. Don’t be afraid to fall, because safety nets are in place to catch you and experienced instructors are always nearby.

While walk-ins are welcome, most of the classes fill up a few days ahead of time, so you might want to sign up early. Relieve some stress, work out and have fun.

WHERE TO RELAX
The Yards Park
355 Water St.
Five blocks away

This Anacostia River park holds Thursday movie nights and a Friday concert series, in addition to summer festivals like Oneness Yoga Fest on June 21 or D.C. Jazz Fest on June 28. On quieter days, you can walk around the modern skeleton bridge or cool down in the surrounding fountains and sprinklers.

If you are still coping with the closure of Cone E. Island, stop by the Ice Cream Jubilee flagship, which will open in the Yards Park this June. Last year’s winner of the D.C. Scoop People’s Choice Award, this startup is known for its monthly bike delivery ice cream membership and its creative flavors such as fig and honey or fluffernutter.

The Yards Park offers relaxing green space and optimal people-watching. If you need a little more excitement, grab a bike from the Capital Bikeshare rack nearby and ride along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.

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