Colorful and vibrant large-scale murals are popping up all over building facades in the DC area over the last several years. Street art is having a moment (thank you, Instagram!) and Washingtonians have taken notice. Locals and visitors alike flock to these creative hot spots to take the perfect picture. In true Mom-fashion, I am constantly making my family stop for “just one quick photo together” all over the DMV as I cross murals off my street art bucket list. Here are 7 of my favorite DC murals for family photos that we have checked out so far.
Where to Find It: 1112 Q Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 (map)
Bonus Tip: There is also a smaller Kiwi mural painted in the same location!
The Watermelon House, a residence in Logan Circle, is an iconic neighborhood landmark. This DC mural is actually painted on the side of a 19th century row house. According to a Washington Post interview, the home’s creative owners painted the watermelon details after the red shade they had originally chosen for the exterior turned out to be more of a “Pepto-Bismol” pink. (Can we talk about turning lemons into lemonade here?!). Need the perfect backdrop for a summertime photo-op? Look no further than The Watermelon House! It’s one of our favorite murals for family photos.
2. The What Lifts You Mural
Where to Find It: Hagar Lane (off of Bethesda Ave.), Bethesda, MD 20814 (map)
Bonus Tip: There are three sets of wings painted in this alley: a large-size for adults, a medium-size for kids, and a small-size for pets!
Artist Kelsey Montague has painted three pairs of her ornate wing murals in this unassuming Bethesda Row alley. The wings are specifically designed to have people (and pets!) stand between them to take amazing photographs. Montague notes on her website, “When I made my first pair of wings, the only thing I could think of was that I wanted to make someone happy and feel inspired and feel loved.” After painting her first wings mural in NYC, she has since go on to paint the series in locations all over the world. My kiddo loved that one of the pair’s of wings was just his size!
Where to Find It: 1309 5th St. NE, Washington, DC 20002 (map)
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to look up and spot the giant mural by Yoko Ono, Relax: Your Heart is Stronger Than What You Think, right around the corner on the exterior wall of Union Market.
Located in the alley behind Union Market, the Heart mural was created by contemporary street artist Mr. Brainwash. Is there anything not to love about this mural? I took this photo on a visit to Union Market right before Valentine’s Day and it is one of my all time favorites.
4. The Peace Mural
Where to Find It: 11325 Seven Locks Rd, Potomac, MD 20854 (map)
The Peace mural was created by the local muralists of Red Swan Walls as part of a more extensive exterior redesign of Cabin John Village. This colorful mural turned a once blank and outdated expanse into a completely unique and vibrant area.
Where to Find It: 4810 Bethesda Ave. Bethesda, MD 20814 (map)
Bonus Tip: This mural is located across the street from the What Lifts You wing series. If you are visiting Bethesda Row, make sure to check out both!
Created by Chip Gestiehr in collaboration with Jerry, Pat, Bryan and Cory Deere, this large-scale mural will definitely catch the eye of your transportation-loving child.
Where to Find It: Blagden Alley NW, Washington DC 20001 (map)
Bonus Tip: Make sure to explore the whole alley because there is a treasure trove of other amazing murals and delicious restaurants hidden in this little stretch.
Lisa Marie Thalhammer of Lisa Marie Studio created this colorful and iconic DC mural. According to Thalhammer’s website, “Her artistic mission is to create paintings, portraits and public murals that uplift and empower…[and her] artworks frequently communicate messages of strength and hope.” I LOVE the Love mural.
7. The Culture House DC Mural
Where to Find It: 700 Delaware Ave. SW Washington, DC 20024 (map)
Bonus Tip: Check out the Culture House DC calendar to plan your visit around its open gallery hours.
Built in 1886, this historic building originally served as the Friendship Baptist Church in Southwest DC. According to the Culture House DC website, “Following a colorful makeover by artist HENSE, the space was reimagined as Culture House (formerly Blind Whino), a bold beacon for creativity and community.”
Share your favorite DC area murals for family photos in the comments below!