The Yards Park
355 Water St SE
We have been dying to get to this place since last summer, but with the fountains turned off last year due to Covid, this was our first chance to visit!
The Yards Park is located on the Anacostia River. This is an absolutely beautiful area with green space, cool architecture, tons of restaurants and easy parking (we parked in lot q for $2/hr). It was 90 degrees when we were there, so we primarily visited to play in their water features. We definitely want to come back on a cooler day and explore the rest of the park more!
The water feature includes “dancing fountains” on the upper level, a small splash area for babies (we LOVED this!) a waterfall and the canal basin – a HUGE chlorinated wading pool with views of the Anacostia. The water feature is open from 10-7 daily (wish I had known this when I got there at 9 🤪🤣)
Just steps away from the dancing fountains is Ice Cream Jubilee (open 12-10 daily). We enjoyed scoops banana bourbon caramel and MarionBerry – SO good and super friendly staff! We also had an amazing lunch from Takorean – super easy to order and pay online! Less than 5 minutes walking from the water feature and my order was ready for me when I got there. 🙌🏼
*3 things that were kind of a bummer but important to note:
According to the website there are supposed to be public bathrooms near the water feature but they were locked (that was rough for us in the middle of potty training!) Also, we were dissappointed to find the water was pretty dirty in the wading pool. From what I’ve seen in pictures (and from talking to other people there) this was not normal. It was cloudy (couldn’t see the bottom) and lots of leaves and dirt floating around – more like a river than a pool. Last thing – the dancing fountains never came on while we were there (this wasn’t a big deal because we could still play and splash in that area but wanted to note so you could be prepared!
We still had so much fun here and will definitely come back. After playing in the water we also made a quick visit to the Transportation Walk, an outdoor transportation museum around the US Dept. of Transportation. From their website: “Interpretive panels, life-size elements of transportation and other features serve as an outdoor museum and connect to the refreshing water wall on the DOT outdoor plaza.”
I was a little leery doing this on a 90 degree day,but it was directly across from where we grabbed lunch so we decided to check it out. The walk is fully lined with trees so it was super shady and a really beautiful and quiet! My girls loved playing with the steering wheels and gas pumps. The fountain displaying different types of boats was turned off, but looked like it would have been cool!
If you’re looking for something else to do while you visit The Yards, this would be a great option.
While we were there, we also wanted to check out the water feature at Canal Park (just down the street from the transportation walk) but my girls ran out of steam by then so we decided to call it a day. We hope to check that out soon and will update this post when we do!
🚽 Bathrooms 🚽: bathrooms near water features were not open 😩 we found porta-potties near the parking lot
👩👧👦Solo w/ kids?👩👧👦: I brought my mom with me to help with the baby, I probably would’ve been ok with just the twins.
🛒 Stroller friendly?🛒: yes
🦠Covid-safe🦠: pretty busy on a weekday from 10-12. But so much room to spread out
🅿️Parking🅿️: Parked in Yards Lot Q for $2 an hour
🧺 Picnic tables: yes, several shaded picnic areas throughout the park
⏰Timing⏰: 2-3 hours
🐶 Dog friendly: leashed dogs allowed in the park but not the water feature
🪳Cicadas: didn’t see any!
☀️ Shade: walk was fully shaded – such a nice break from the sun!