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11 Exciting Things to Do On & Around the Water in Capitol Riverfront

Children playing in Yards Park on the Capitol Riverfront - Things to do on the water in Washington, DC

With plenty of dining, entertainment and recreation options, this booming southeast DC neighborhood offers a memorable experience right on the water.

An urban riverfront neighborhood is a rare find, but that’s the beauty of Capitol Riverfront. Set along nearly two miles of the beautiful Anacostia River, this fast-growing neighborhood provides waterfront activities for all ages during the warmer months of the year. The river gives visitors an ideal setting to celebrate and share the outdoors with friends and family, while the variety of dining and recreational possibilities makes Capitol Riverfront a great place to explore.

1 Kayak, canoe or take a twilight tour

Kayaking on the Capitol Riverfront - Family Friendly and Waterfront Activities in Washington, DC

Boating on the Anacostia River is abound at Ballpark Boathouse with kayaks and canoes for rent throughout the spring and summer. Join Ballpark Boathouse for a Twilight Tour to boat along the river with friends and watch the sunset from your kayak. Paddle around the historic Anacostia and check out sites like the Capitol, Washington Navy Yard and Fort McNair. The tour lasts less than two hours, is great for beginner paddlers and includes kayak, life jacket, paddle and experienced guides.

2 Catch and release at Anacostia Riverkeeper’s Friday night fishing

Friday night fishing on the Anacostia River in Capitol Riverfront - Free family-friendly outdoor activity in Washington, DC

Don’t have a fishing rod and want to fish? No worries. Head to Diamond Teague Park for free catch and release fishing, a wonderful experience for kids and kids at heart with fishing equipment included.

Waterfronts in and around Washington, DC - Riverside attractions, restaurants, boat cruises, tours and more things to do

3 Have your bacon, eggs and bottomless mimosas with a side of riverfront

Dining on the Capitol Riverfront - The best places to eat along the waterfront in Washington, DC

Enjoy brunch, the most important meal of the weekend, on a patio overlooking the river at plenty of Capitol Riverfront restaurants, including Osteria Morini, Agua 301, Whaley’s, The Salt Line and All-Purpose Pizzeria. No matter the cuisine or sweet-savory preference, these options are sure to please.

4 Cool off in two different parks’ water fountains and splash zones

Child playing in water park on the Capitol Riverfront - Things to do on the water in Washington, DC

The splash features in Canal Park and Yards Park are open spring through fall. In Yards Park, kids love wading in the canal basin (swim diapers are required for toddlers) and adults love sitting along the edge of the basin cooling off with generous breezes from the river. In Canal Park, there are 42 dancing fountains to provide fun relief from the heat.

5 Rock on the riverfront at free Friday night concerts

Friday night summer concert at The Yards Park on the Capitol Riverfront - Family-friendly things to do in Washington, DC

Enjoy music every Friday night of the summer at the Yards Park boardwalk stage. Pack a picnic basket for the family or pick up takeout from one of the many Capitol Riverfront restaurants and enjoy beer and wine for purchase.

6 Feel the burn at free fitness classes

Outdoor fitness on the Capitol Riverfront - Free outdoor activities in Washington, DC

Break a sweat with free daily fitness classes at Yards Park and Canal Park during the summer season in partnership with local fitness providers and experts. From yoga to bootcamp, there’s fitness for everyone throughout the summer. Check out the Capitol Riverfront events calendar for the latest info.

7 Catch an outdoor flick at the Thursday night movie series

Summer outdoor movie series on the Capitol Riverfront - Free outdoor things to do in Washington, DC

Every Thursday night in the summer, bring lawn chairs and a picnic basket to Canal Park for a movie night under the stars. Find even more outdoor movies in Washington, DC.

8 Gather in Yards Park for a picnic

Family picnic in Yards Park on the Capitol Riverfront - Things to do this summer in Washington, DC

Pack lunch or dinner to dine in Yards Park with a date, friends or family and enjoy a front-seat view of the river. After dining, take in the breathtaking views of the Anacostia, catch a Washington Nationals game or play in the popular Yards Park water features.

9 Run along the river

Family running along Anacostia Riverwalk Trail - Outdoor exercise and trails in Washington, DC

For a more scenic workout, incorporate a jog or stroll along the river on the Yards Park boardwalk, which stretches from the Washington Navy Yard to Nationals Park.

10 Dock at The Yards Marina

Free Friday night concert at The Yards Park on the Capitol Riverfront - Free summer activities in Washington, DC

With about 50 boat slips in multiple finger piers, the marina spans from the east end of the iconic pedestrian bridge in Yards Park to the border of the Washington Navy Yard. The marina is available for short-term docking to grab a bite to eat in the neighborhood or to enjoy the sights and sounds of a Friday night concert at Yards Park.

11 Savor wine tasting with a view

Outdoors at The Yards Park in front of District Winery - The Capitol Riverfront neighborhood in Washington, DC

Check out District Winery – DC’s first urban winery – with flights of rosé, chardonnay, zinfandel and much more. The winery’s restaurant, Ana, features one of the city’s best patios, overlooking Yards Park and the Anacostia River. District Winery also offers tours for the more adventurous wine lovers and date night specials for couples.

Explore the neighborhoods of Washington, DC - Local experiences in Washington, DC