Family activities in Georgetown include outdoor activities like kayaking and canoeing on the Potomac River and hiking along the C&O canal. Other popular family activities are shopping and eating, visiting museums like the Old Stone House and national park sites like Theodore Roosevelt Island. Here are some recommendations for family activities in Georgetown which will satisfy everyone.
Georgetown Waterfront Park
If you are looking for outdoor family activities in Georgetown, you should explore Georgetown Waterfront Park for a perfect day in the sun. This beautiful park stretches along the Potomac River and offers stunning views, walking trails, a fountain, and a large grassy area for picnics or playing games. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better afternoon on the water. Key Bridge Boathouse is the place to go to rent kayaks, canoes or to take a paddling lesson. You’ll enjoy incredible panoramas of the Potomac River and the DC and Virginia skylines while also getting a great workout. For the adventurous fitness fanatics, try the stand-up paddleboard yoga or fitness classes. Let the kids cool off at the Georgetown Waterfront Park Fountain. This interactive fountain allows children to splash and play in the water during the summer months.
Boat Tours on the Potomac
Another great idea for family activities in Georgetown is to take a boat tour on the Potomac River: Enjoy a scenic boat tour from the Georgetown Waterfront and cruise along the Potomac River. Several companies offer narrated tours that highlight the history and landmarks of the area, providing a unique perspective of the city. You can still enjoy waterfront activities in Georgetown and never even get wet!
The Old Stone House
Tour the Old Stone House, which is the oldest unchanged building structure in Washington, DC. The house is also Washington’s last pre-revolutionary colonial building on its original foundation. Built in 1765, Old Stone House is located at 3051 M St NW. It was preserved from demolition, unlike many colonial homes in the area that were replaced by redevelopment, by local activists. This may be the best example of Georgetown’s historic sites, but it isn’t the only one!
In 1764, Christopher and Rachel Layman bought Lot Three, a piece of land in Georgetown’s commercial district. They paid £1 10s. and financed the construction of a simple one-room house the following year. The lot faced Bridge Street, now known as M Street, NW. The Laymans’ only possessions were Christopher’s tools, a stove, Bibles, and some furniture. Christopher died unexpectedly in 1765, and the widowed Rachel Layman remarried two years later. She sold the house to another widow, Cassandra Chew.
Chew was a member of the upper class and owned several properties in and around Georgetown. Because of her wealth, Chew was able to finance the construction of a rear kitchen in 1767 and a second-floor addition to the house between 1767 and 1775. The third floor originated in a property line dispute during the 1790s: the original west wall had been constructed six feet beyond the property line and had to be dismantled. Chew used the opportunity to add the upper floor, which was completed by 1790.
Following the Revolutionary War, government officials carved out land from Virginia and Maryland to create as the new nation’s capital. L’Enfant, who was appointed by George Washington to design the city layout, arrived in Georgetown on March 9, 1791, and began his work. Washington and L’Enfant held their meetings at Suter’s Tavern, a former building owned by John Suter near 31st and K Streets, NW. At the time, John Suter, Jr. was renting a room at the Old Stone House. For many years, locals believed that Washington and L’Enfant had met at the Old Stone House instead. This folklore is why the house was never demolished, and for many years a sign hung over the front door which said, “George Washington’s Headquarters.” After some research done by the National Park Service, they learned that the folklore was not true. By the time they had discovered that they already owned the House and the property.
When Chew died in 1807, she bequeathed Old Stone House to one of her daughters, Mary Smith Brumley, who became the first of many owners who operated businesses from the house. Like her mother, Brumley ran a successful merchant’s shop inside the home. The house, then known as the Layman home after the first owners, remained in the family until 1875.
Over the years, the house had been used as a shop for hats, tailors, locksmiths, clockmakers, house roofers, and house painters. The Old Stone House was still privately owned in 1953 – serving as a used car dealership, with the backyard converted to a parking lot – when the Federal Government purchased the property for $90,000 ($911,500 today) and transferred it to the National Park Service for management. Between 1953 and 1960, the NPS removed most 19th- and 20th-century intrusions to the home, and the parking lot was redeveloped as an English garden.
If your favorite family activities in Georgetown include trips to museums and historical sites, you should explore Tudor Place: This historic house and garden offer a glimpse into the lives of prominent Georgetown families. Take a guided tour of the house, explore the beautiful gardens, and participate in family-friendly events and workshops.
Dumbarton Oaks – Historical Family Friendly Activities In Georgetown
Another of the family friendly activities in Georgetown that focuses on art and history is a visit Dumbarton Oaks: This stunning estate features beautiful gardens, a museum, and art collections. Enjoy a peaceful walk through the gardens, which showcase different styles and plantings, or explore the museum to learn about Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art. This is a shining example of the Georgetown parks and green spaces.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
if your taste runs to outdoor family activities, you should definitely visit the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park. This historic park runs through Georgetown and offers opportunities for walking, biking, and picnicking along the canal towpath. Enjoy the picturesque scenery, and learn about the canal’s important role in the region’s history. Sometimes there are canal barge rides which is an added treat. There are so many outdoor activities in Georgetown from which to choose!
Theodore Roosevelt Island
Explore Theodore Roosevelt Island in the middle of the Potomac River.In the 1930s, landscape architects transformed Mason’s Island from neglected, overgrown farmland into Theodore Roosevelt Island, a memorial to America’s 26th president. They conceived a “real forest” designed to mimic the natural forest that once covered the island. Today miles of trails through wooded uplands and swampy bottomlands honor the legacy of a great outdoorsman and conservationist. Is there a better example of outdoor activities in Georgetown?
The Exorcist Stairs Near Georgetown University
If family friendly activities in Georgetown mean burning off energy, then you should race up and down the Exorcist stairs with your family members. For some, these stairs close to the entrance to the Whitehurst Freeway on M Street might look like little more than a daunting climb, but fans of the 1973 horror film, the Exorcist, will likely recognize the site of the climactic final showdown between the self-sacrificing priest and the demon who possesses 12-year-old Regan.
Bike on the Capital Crescent Trail
If all these outdoor family activities in Georgetown haven’t worn you out, you can take a bike ride along the Capital Crescent Trail! The Capital Crescent Trail is a paved path that runs through Georgetown and extends for miles, connecting to other parts of the city and all the way up to Bethesda. Rent bikes and enjoy a family-friendly ride along the trail, surrounded by greenery and scenic views.
Shopping and Eating in Georgetown!
Go shopping and dining: Georgetown is known for its charming cobblestone streets lined with boutique shops and delicious restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll down M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, and explore the various shops and eateries. Don’t forget to indulge in some Georgetown Cupcakes, a popular local treat.
Want to Live In Georgetown?
There are lots of homes in Georgetown ranging from studio condos to historic residences claiming a connection with George Washington and General Lafayette. There are traditional colonial styled homes with narrow staircases and modern condos with walls of glass providing incredible views of the Potomac River. There is a perfect match for you in Georgetown, limited only by your tastes and your bank account! To find that perfect home, give the Lise Howe Group a call at 240-401-5577 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to start your search!
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