COVID-safe destinations to take your family when they visit

Media Credit: Auden Yurman | Senior Photo Editor

As the third national park designated by the federal government in 1890, Rock Creek Park offers 23 trails for visitors to escape the bustle of the city.

Worried about finding socially distanced activities for your family when they’re here for Commencement?

Take your family kayaking down the Potomac River, hiking in Rock Creek Park, have an outdoor movie night in the moonlight or eat your favorite foods at City Sliders all while knowing you are staying safe and reducing any potential exposure to COVID-19.

Kayaking
Grab a pair of paddles and kayak down the Potomac River for a scenic view of the city as you get some exercise in. Feel free to take off your mask with your family in the middle of a river, away from all the germs of enclosed spaces. Soak in the city views from the Georgetown Waterfront at the Key Bridge Boathouse and gaze at the countless restaurants, flowing fountains and smiling Washingtonians at the Georgetown waterfront as you paddle. Walkups are welcome, and equipment is available on a first-come, first-served basis. You and your family can reserve boats for yourselves to spend time away from other people in a COVID-safe way while also viewing the city in a new light.

Key Bridge Boathouse Kayaks. 3500 Water St. NW. Monday to Friday 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., weekends 9:15 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Find more information here.

Rock Creek Park
Hike through nature and enjoy the District’s offering of the great outdoors at Rock Creek Park. If you want to get away from the city for a few hours, pack a bag and take a short drive to the park to spend some time in the quiet. Home to the oasis of bikers, picnickers and runners, the park spans 1754 acres in Northwest D.C. As the third national park designated by the federal government in 1890, it offers 23 trails for visitors to escape the fast-paced bustle of the city, less than 10 minutes away from campus. You can follow a trail posted on a map or create your own, with an infinite number of trail options of varying lengths from about one to 10 miles. As long as you keep an eye out for the ticks, snakes and poison ivy alongside the path, the park is a safe, easy place to hike at your family’s own pace. In the midst of graduation photos and celebratory lunches, find a respite in the fresh air, and peaceful nature of Rock Creek Park.

Rock Creek Park. 5200 Glover Rd NW.

Movie Night
If you enjoy a night on the town but don’t want to sit for two hours in a cramped theater, head over to the Plaza at the National Harbor for a free outdoor event called Movie on the Potomac. The movies center around a common theme, like animals, every month, offering screenings such as Dream Horse, 101 Dalmatians, Jaws and The Secret Life of Pets. This outdoor theater will feel just like a movie night at home, but here, you’ll be looking up at a jumbo screen underneath the stars and surrounded by the laughter of other families on their picnic blankets. Grab a blanket, a chair and some food of choice while you watch and take comfort in the fact that you are outdoors and away from others.

Movies on the Potomac. Sunday at 6 p.m. | Date Night Movies: Thursday at 7 p.m. 165 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Md., 20745. Find more information here.

City Sliders
If you’re looking for an outdoor, COVID-safe restaurant for the family, City Sliders is just the place for you. Located in the heart of Georgetown just off Wisconsin Avenue, the restaurant makes finger food gourmet with sliders of all different kinds, ranging from grilled salmon to Vegan Banh Mi. For all vegetarians, don’t let the name “sliders” fool you. The menu includes sliders like vegan banh mi, crispy cod, grilled cheese and cauliflower steak. For the meat lovers, your options are endless – the Korean fried chicken, the cheeseburger, the lamb burger, the Cuban, the Nashville hot chicken, the brisket and many more. An order of their famous truffle and herb fries will surely leave you licking your lips and ordering a second round. Not only does the restaurant serve sliders that will blow your mind, but the outdoor seating also provides a cozy hangout spot that you won’t want to leave, especially given that it is located in a COVID-safe eating area. With sparkling lights hanging above you, the community vibes of the park bench seating and the gourmet finger food, City Sliders offers you a night of food and fun that you won’t forget.

City Sliders. 1529 Wisconsin Ave NW. Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday to Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Find more information here.

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