Capitol Hill Neighborhood Guide

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We are grateful for the sponsor of this Capitol Hill Neighborhood Guide: Vassar Broermann Group who are expert realtors in the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia areas.

Vassar Broermann

Integrity is the hallmark of Todd and Eric’s client-focused real estate services, serving the DC Metro region. Their professionalism, creative negotiation, and unwavering drive to satisfy their clients are what set them apart from other agents. Todd and Eric have a genuine concern for their clients’ best interests and work tirelessly to ensure they are satisfied with their service before, during, and after closing. Both have been consistently recognized by the Washingtonian as among the Top 100 Best Agents and Top Producers.

Todd’s legal background and Eric’s military background have provided them with a unique perspective on what the role of an effective real estate agent should be: trustworthy, accessible, and professional. Todd and Eric are committed to understanding your goals and helping you reach them. Todd is a resident of Woodley Park, and Eric is a resident of 16th St Heights.  Contact Eric or Todd at [email protected] or at 202-813-9339. Visit their website at www.thevbgroup.com, and be sure to check them out on Facebook and Instagram too.

Capitol Hill Family-Friendly Neighborhood Guide 

With the concentration of young families in the greater Capitol Hill area, DC Area Mom Collective has two Capitol Hill Neighborhood Guides: the Capitol Hill/Eastern Market Neighborhood Guide and H Street Neighborhood Guide. While there is overlap between the Eastern Market and H Street sides of Capitol Hill, they do have distinct personalities.

What is your favorite thing about raising kids on Capitol Hill?

Our family appreciates living in a family-friendly neighborhood literally steps away from the U.S. CapitolLibrary of Congress, and so many other places that make DC unique. Among our favorite aspects of the Hill are the walkability and proximity to a large number of parks and playgrounds. With parks run by the National Park Service, DC Department of Public Recreation, and DC Public Schools, there are many large, clean, and well-maintained playgrounds. Our parks and playgrounds make it easy to meet new people, meet up with friends from other parts of the neighborhood, and feel a sense of community at the playgrounds we go to on a routine basis.

Capitol Hill Twins

What makes Capitol Hill family-friendly and unique?

Capitol Hill is a comfortable family-friendly neighborhood lined with historic row houses. As part of the greater Capitol Hill area, this neighborhood is brimming with young families and professionals. It seems like nearly everyone seems to have a baby or a dog. The neighborhood is near excellent playgrounds and parks, and there are well-organized parent groups and a strong sense of community. Oh, and it is mere steps to the National Mall.

What community events or local attractions are there?

The Capitol is undoubtedly the neighborhood’s most prominent landmark. But, Eastern Market and Barracks Row are the heart of the neighborhood. The South Hall of Eastern Market serves up fresh produce, meats, cheeses, flowers, and more Tuesday to Sunday.  And, the bustling outdoor market is a marquis weekend neighborhood event. Whether you are shopping for fresh farm produce, handmade kid’s clothing, original artwork and jewelry, antique maps, or a lemonade, Eastern Market has you covered.

Neighbors flock to Barracks Row for the Capitol Hill 4th of July Parade, celebrate Hill-o-ween at Eastern Market, trick-or-treat on East Capitol Street, pet farm animals at the Barracks Row Fall Festival, and celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Be sure to get tickets to one of the Friday summer evening parades at the Marine Barracks, and stop by the free military band summer concerts on the West Front of the Capitol.

The large splash pool at Yard’s Park is not to be missed in the summer. And, no trip to Navy Yard with kiddos is complete without a stop for a sweet treat at Ice Cream Jubilee.  Don’t forget to root for the home team and take advantage of the short walk to cheer on the Nationals at Nationals Park and DC United at Audi Field.

Why would you recommend Capitol Hill to families?

Capitol Hill is a great location to raise kids in the heart of the District. Capitol Hill kids grow up within walking distance of the Capitol and National Mall. The sense of community in the greater Capitol Hill area is strong. Moms on the Hill (MOTH) is a near-legendary listserv for all parents, and there is also TwinMOTH for local twin parents. DOTHs (dads) and GOTHs (grandparents) have regular neighborhood meetups.  The Hill is Home is also a great community resource.

Who loves living on Capitol Hill? We do!

What nearby schools or childcare places do kids go to?

Daycare and Co-ops include the Capitol Hill Cooperative Nursery SchoolCapitol Hill Learning GroupCapitol Hill Cooperative Play SchoolBusy BeesThe Hill PreschoolToddlers on The Hill Montessori PreschoolGan Shalom Cooperative PreschoolAppleTree Early Learning Center, and STEM Preschool.

Elementary Schools include Brent ElementaryCapitol Hill Montessori at Logan, Capitol Hill Cluster School (including Peabody Elementary and Watkins Elementary), Ludlow-Taylor ElementaryMaury ElementaryMiner Elementary, Payne Elementary, , School Within a School at Goding (SWS), Tyler Elementary (which has a dual-language Spanish immersion program), and both campuses of Two Rivers Public Charter School.

There are also private school options, such as Capitol Hill Day School and St. Peter School. Then for middle and high schools, most residents are zoned for Stuart-Hobson Middle SchoolEliot-Hine Middle School, and/or Eastern High School.

Where are your favorite places to shop in the Capitol Hill area?

Eastern Market! Both the inside merchants in the South Hall and the outdoor weekend vendors of Eastern Market have so much to offer. The Farmer’s Line is open Tuesday and on the weekends.  Artists, craftsmen, farmers, and vendors with antiques, prepared foods, and much more bring 7th Street to life every weekend.

Whether you are looking for a bottle of wine, DC cookie cutters, or other local kitchen kitsch, check out Hill’s Kitchen and DCanter. Capitol Hill is also home to Frager’s Hardware (a local institution), Labyrinth Games & Puzzles (a game store that offers games clubs for kids and parent’s night out events), East City Books (hosts a storytime for little kids and book clubs for middle readers, tweens, and teens), Honeymade DC (locally designed and made décor and fashion for women and kids), Capitol Hill BooksTrader Joe’s, and even a Sephora.

Shopping for supplies for a kid’s birthday party?  Be sure to pick up supplies and decorations from Groovy DC, order delicious and custom designed cookies from Scub’s Kitchen, and order a cake from My Cake Theory. 

What are some of your favorite places to eat on Capitol Hill?

Take the kids to Barrack’s Row for breakfast at District Doughnut, pizza at Matchbox, or to Ted’s Bulletin, where they have homemade pop tarts, milkshakes (including of the boozy variety for grownups), and project a movie on the wall.  Don’t forget a scoop of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream too. Or, have a date night at one of James Beard Award-winning Chef Aaron Silverman’s Michelin-starred restaurants and treat yourself to Pineapple & PearlsRose’s Luxury, or Little Pearl.

Celebrity Chef Spike Mendelsohn’s We the Pizza and Santa Rosa are some of our favorites on Pennsylvania Avenue SE, or head up to The Roost and try your luck at getting a table at Caruso’s GroceryLa Plaza, and District Taco are all great for our guacamole eaters. And, don’t forget old standbys like Hawk n’ DoveMr. Henry’s, and Tunnicliff’s Tavern.

At Eastern Market, Market Lunch is an institution, and vendors sell crepes, mini donuts, and much more. Nearby family favorites include  The Duck and The Peach, Bullfrog Bagels, and EAT BRGZ—which serves burgers on low carb cauliflower “buns.”

The Pretzel Bakery is absolutely a neighborhood favorite and The Brig, an outdoor beer garden, is incredibly tolerant of little visitors.

What places make Capitol Hill feel kid-friendly?

The Playgrounds! Kids play in the shadow of the Capitol at Triangle Park at 9th and Pennsylvania SE, Marion Park and Stanton ParkLincoln Park has two separate playgrounds; and most of the elementary school playgrounds are open to the public when school is out. (Be sure to check out DC Moms’ Top 7 Parks on Capitol Hill!)In the summer, cool off at the Eastern Market and Triangle Park Splash Pads near 9th and Pennsylvania SE, the Watkins Splash Pad, and the King Greenleaf Splash Pad. You can also swim year-round at the Rumsey Aquatic Center right next to Eastern Market. When it is too hot or too cold, kiddos can play inside at The Little Gym.

The music and dancing!  Think Baby Coachella. Mister Mike’s Music teaches Music Together and other classes at multiple locations in the neighborhood.  Studio One Dance offers dance classes for budding ballerinas and The Hill Center seems to have limitless programming for kids, think Tippie Toes dancing, soccer, birthday parties, you name it. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) is a creative outlet with arts & crafts classes for kids of all ages.  Pre-pandemic, Boogie Babes, a live concert for littles, on Thursdays at The Miracle Theater benefits the DC Diaper Bank was all the rage.  (Do you know if Boogie Babes is coming back?  If so, let us know!)

Storytime! The Southeast Library and Northeast Library have programming for all ages, and special seasonal events. The Library of Congress Young Readers Center has a number of great in-person events as well What could be more DC than having your littles be regulars at the Library of Congress?

The history and being in the center of where it all happens! Take all the tours, but sled down Capitol Hill, watch fireworks from the steps of the Supreme Court, read at the Library of Congress, and pot plants at the U.S. Botanic Garden—which has great children’s programming.

LOC Storytime
The Library of Congress Young Readers Room has books for kiddos of all ages.

What advice would you give to families who are new to Capitol Hill?

Take advantage of your surroundings. Expose your kids to the history in the area. Get out and about and meet other people, involve yourself in the parent groups. Try the local restaurants and create a family Friday-night tradition, like a trip to your favorite (or a new) restaurant—or pizza night with your neighbors.

If someone was visiting the Capitol Hill Neighborhood for the day, what would you recommend they do?

Brunch on Barrack’s Row, stroll leisurely around (and let the kiddos roll down) Capitol Hill, pick up some local artwork and artisanal cheese at Eastern Market, and people watch (or run around) at Lincoln Park. Relax, soak up the history, and eat something delicious. Let the kids slide down all the slides while taking in the charm of Capitol Hill.

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Born and raised on the bayou in South Louisiana, Angelle moved to DC for undergrad at Georgetown. After working on the Hill and Disney's government relations office, Angelle traded-in her Mickey Mouse ears for law school at GW. An election law and white-collar defense attorney at Covington & Burling, Angelle's other full-time job is mom to twin toddlers Emma and Evan (2016). She and her husband Jordan live on Capitol Hill/H Street, where the twins excitedly yell "choo choo" every time they see the streetcar. In her spare time, Angelle scours the internet for coordinating smocked clothing for her twins and dreaming about the international family travel she will do once Emma and Evan learn to sleep or watch feature-length movies on a plane. All posts are her own views.

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