We are grateful to the sponsor of this guide: Hannah Hinzman. She is an expert realtor for the DC Metro Area. Please be sure to check out thorough details about her practice below. We are thankful for her sponsorship, which allows us to continue to bring DC Area Moms resources like this.
This post was written by Dr. Anita Kulkarni and Elizabeth Reid.
What is your favorite thing about raising kids in Georgetown, Palisades, & Wesley Height?
These three adjacent neighborhoods, located in Northwest DC, are absolutely amazing for raising kids! They are walkable and family-friendly. Despite being in a big city, these neighborhoods have the feel of a small town. They are safe and welcoming to families with kids of all ages. All you have to do is head to one of our many neighborhood public parks and playgrounds to see just how many kids are around here! We also love that it’s super convenient to get downtown and to the monuments.
What makes Georgetown, Palisades, & Wesley Heights family-friendly and unique?
So many families have settled in these neighborhoods over the last few years that it’s easy to feel right at home, even if you are new! There are several libraries, tons of shops, walkable to most things, it is very well maintained, and a historic place to raise children.
What community events or local attractions are there?
There are so many community events and local attractions in this area! We have lots of parks and playgrounds. Each park in the neighborhood has a “Friends of” committee that organizes events throughout the year. Just a few examples: Rose Park hosts an annual Fall Festival and a Holiday Extravaganza. Volta Park has Volta Park Day with games and rides along with Breakfast with Santa. These events are always full of neighborhood families! During the winter, Georgetown GLOW lights up the neighborhood with gorgeous public installations of light. This year it runs from Dec 1- Jan 6 and it’s totally free! It is a great way to see Georgetown in the evening and enjoy the lights and holiday spirit.
In April, Georgetown hosts the French Market, with loads of food, shopping, music, and more along Wisconsin Avenue. Palisades 4th of July Parade is always a big hit, with a long line of parade watchers lining MacArthur Blvd from the fire station all the way to Palisades Park. In the park, there’s a big festival with bounce houses, food, music, and lots of family fun. Taste of Georgetown happens in September and features restaurants and shops that come together to offer good food, drinks, and entertainment. Make sure you come hungry and thirsty!
Why would you recommend Georgetown, Palisades, & Wesley Heights to families?
We would highly recommend these neighborhoods to other families! These neighborhoods get the best of both worlds–the feel of a big city with the heart of a small town. They are an incredible urban environment, but we constantly run into people we know—neighbors and friends! And the Palisades Listserv is a great resource for area families.
What nearby schools or childcare places do kids go to?
There are so many childcare, playgroup, and school options in these neighborhoods!
Playgroups for ages 6 months to 3 years are:
Popular Neighborhood Preschools are:
- Little Folks School
- St. Johns Episcopal Preschool
- Bright Horizons Daycare and Preschool
- French Maternal School
- Georgetown Montessori
- Community Preschool of the Palisades
- Palisades Montessori
- Montessori School of Washington
- Children’s House of Washington
Our wonderful local Elementary Schools are:
- Hyde-Addison Elementary School (DCPS Georgetown)
- Francis Scott Key Elementary School (DCPS Palisades)
- Horace Mann (DCPS Wesley Heights)
- Holy Trinity School
- Washington International School
- Georgetown Day School
- River School
- British International School of Washington
Where are your favorite places to shop?
Deep in the heart of Georgetown, the M-Street corridor is great for big-box retailers and has LOADS of options. If you’re looking for smaller, unique stores, these are our local favorites. For kids, we love Tugooh Toys. It is a small, independent toy store in the heart of Georgetown with a curated selection of educational and eco-friendly toys, gifts, and books. Need a last-minute birthday gift? This is your store! We also love Little Birdies Boutique offers adorable clothing and toys for babies and little kids! For adults, we love A Mano on Wisconsin. It is a little hidden gem great for housewarming and hostess gifts. We also love Pillar & Post for fun British Antiques. And Take Care Shop has you covered with natural skincare and services. We also love Lilly Pulitzer, Kendra Scott, Anthropologie, Ann Taylor Loft, and J Crew.
What are some of your favorite places to eat?
If we listed all the restaurants we love in the Georgetown/ Palisades/ Wesley Heights area, we’d be here for days! It was tough to choose just a few, but we narrowed it down to some family-friendly favorites.
For breakfast, we love the local feel of Black Coffee located in the Palisades – stop in for coffee and a pastry or a full-fledged brunch. If you’re looking for a sweet treat to go with your coffee, check out Baked & Wired in Georgetown. (But be warned: it is so popular on weekday mornings, you’ll probably have to stand in line!). Be sure to try a savory scone or a sweet donut muffin- yum!
One of the most popular lunch spots in this area is Jettie’s on Foxhall Road. Their outdoor picnic seating is perfect in the summer, and the seasonal sandwiches are delicious and filling. If you’re looking for a creative vegetarian option for lunch, head down to Chaia for tacos like you’ve never had before! Right across the street, stop at South Block and grab a smoothie to go with your
If you are hungry for a hamburger after all your shopping in Georgetown, stop into Thunder Burger on M Street. But, please, please, please save room for dessert!! A neighborhood staple and a favorite of all past Presidents is Thomas Sweet, located in Wisconsin in Georgetown. Don’t be scared away if there’s a line–it moves quickly, and it’s worth the wait!
What places make Georgetown, Palisades, & Wesley Heights feel kid-friendly?
The Georgetown Library just off Wisconsin is housed in a stunning old brick building on top of Book Hill Park and has a huge kids section on the lower level. The Palisades Library off Macarthur Blvd was renovated just last year and now features a large upstairs kids section with books and tons of hands-on activities. Both libraries have multiple weekly storytimes, kid classes, and events throughout the year. Pick up a schedule when you stop by to stay up-to-date with all the library goings-on!
If you’re looking for organized classes and sports, be sure to check out Just for Kids – Coach John has classes and sports for all ages. We have a couple of fantastic dance studios as well: Centre de Danse in Georgetown and Candace Sheppard Dance Academy in the Palisades. The best art classes around for even the littlest kids are at Anna Banana, just off Wisconsin!
The Georgetown Waterfront has some seasonal offerings for kids that shouldn’t be missed! In the winter, the central fountain at the waterfront gets transformed into an ice-skating rink. In the summer, the arched water feature, along with the grassy walkway, doubles as a splash pad for kids.
What advice would you give to families who are new to Georgetown, Palisades, & Wesley Heights?
DC Is such a wonderful place to raise a family, and there are so many great neighborhoods to choose from here! Georgetown/Palisades/Wesley Heights has so much to offer, and our number one suggestion is to be sure to get out and about with your kids. There are tons of families raising kids in our neighborhoods, and it’s really easy to meet other moms and make friends for you and your kids!
Hannah grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and relocated to Palm Beach, Florida, with her husband. She taught elementary school art, and in 2016, they moved to Washington, DC, so that her husband could pursue graduate school at Georgetown. She has utterly fallen in love with the Metro DC area. Hannah is passionate about the historic real estate and neighborhoods in the region; the diverse architecture, aesthetics, and cultures. Hannah prides herself on providing concierge service to her clients and their families. She understands that purchasing a home is a significant milestone, and the entire process should feel effortless.
Hannah supports many local organizations, including Borromeo Housing, Crossway Community, Healthy Babies Project, and Bright Beginnings. Hannah also serves as Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for youth in the foster care system. Contact Hannah at [email protected] or at 561-316-3561. Look at her website, and be sure to find her on Facebook and Instagram.