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It took more than five years in D.C before I made my first trip to Brookland in Washington, DC. After looking at more than 50 condos, I finally convinced my husband to check out a new development close to the Basilica of the National Shrine. As a catholic, I had heard of the beautiful shrine but never made the trip, so on a Sunday afternoon we ventured out of our comfort zone and found our new home.
Brookland, also known as “Little Rome” is home to a series of catholic institutions including Catholic and Trinity University. Two quiet, yet vibrant campuses that provide life and culture for a well established neighborhood. If you walk or drive around the neighborhood, you will find beautiful architecture and a great mix of row and single family houses. One can say that Brookland is a little suburb in the city full of history. Only four miles away from the monuments and you can find kids riding bicycles in the streets, small local owned businesses, a couple of farmers markets, public parks and schools.
What is your favorite thing about raising kids in Brookland?
Convenience is the key. Although you might need a car, specially if you are further from the supermarkets, you can pretty much center your activities within a mile radius. In 20 minutes you are in the center of everything in DC, but there are plenty of things to do and enjoy as a family without having to venture out.
It is also a very family friendly neighborhood. Kids are welcomed everywhere and you will find plenty of neighbors with young children.
What makes Brookland family friendly and unique?
The great number of open space for children to play. There are several parks in the area, including school parks which are open to the public on weekends.
You will also find family centered events for every holiday or special occasion, organized by the schools, neighbors and small businesses. There are lots of neighborhood clothing swaps for every season, opportunities to volunteer with local charities, and the very popular Lights Trolley Tour of Brookland.
What community events or local attractions are there?
Catholic University has a great calendar of events, from recitals, plays to sports. Make sure to check out their calendar and support the student body. They also host two great free community events for Easter and Halloween. Rain or shine you will have a set of activities to celebrate both holidays as a familly.
Brookland is also home to the Dance Place, a local arts campus that provides neighbors with a great selection of classes for all ages as well as a wide range of special performances.
The neighborhood is a great place for summer. You can cool off at Turkey Thicket’s splash park, head indoors to their pool, or take a little ride to the newly renovated Landgon Park Pool. You can also take a nice walk through the beautiful gardens at the Franciscan Monastery and if you have time, take one of their guided tours.
Why would you recommend Brookland to families?
Brookland has a very active and engaged community. There are a number of listservs and facebook groups such as Brookland Kids; Brookland DC and Brookland Mom’s Happy Hour. These groups are a very good source of second hand items, playdates and just overall parent support.
If you have a child that stays home with you or a nanny, there are plenty of options for entertainment during the day, from story times to dance classes and it’s always easy to hop on the red line and head to the national zoo.
What nearby schools or childcare places to kids go to?
Brookland and its vicinity is home to a great number of public, charter, and private schools. The community also organizes a yearly lottery mixer where local parents can connect with each other and learn about the public schools in the area. The list of options is extensive:
- Scirili School
- Little Workers of Sacred Hearts
- Petit Scholars
- Inspired Teaching PCS
- Lee Montessori PCS
- Shinning Stars Montessori Academy PCS
- Mary McLeod Bethune PCS
- Hope Community School PCS
- DC Prep PCS
- City Arts and Prep PCS
- Perry Street PCS
- Elise Whitlow Stokes PCS
- Mundo Verde 8th Street Campus
- St. Anthony Catholic School
- Noyes Elementary
- Brookland Middle School
- Washington Leadership Academy
Where are your favorite places to shop in Brookland?
Salumeria, if you like fresh, Italian food. Salumeria offers a great selection of Italian products, Italian meals made from scratch, and warm bread are the staples of this small shop. A great option when you want to skip cooking.
Annie’s Ace Hardware supplies us with all of our needs to upkeep our home. Annie’s is our favorite local hardware, with very friendly staff and a great selection of products. From plumbing to your fresh Christmas tree, they will help you out. Also, a special bonus for children who will get to enjoy fresh popcorn on their visit.
Good Foods Market is a beautiful small grocery store full of local and organic products. Not only will you be fresh quality produce, but you will also be helping their very special mission to access to healthy, sustainably grown produce to everyone in the community. Take a nice walk over to their market and stop over for coffee at Zekes on your way out.
For more items, you might have to take a drive to the nearby neighborhoods, where in a couple of miles you would find Union Market, Costco, Giant, Whole Foods, Mom’s Organic Market, Target and other big retailers.
What are some of your favorite places to eat in Brookland?
Family friendly takes a new meaning when you visit a restaurant in Brookland. My favorite part is that your kids will get real food, of great quality and flavors. You will be always welcomed with a smile and of course crayons and drawing paper.
Brooklands Finest has the ultimate kids menu. Once you try it, it will be hard to go anywhere else. The owners at Finest are committed to bringing the best quality food to your kids. Their adult menu is small but greatly sourced. Local meats and veggies accompanied with an adult drink from their great bar, which you can enjoy while your kids draw on one of the many coloring books they have available.
Busboys and Poets is the perfect place for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with great outdoor space for the summer. Busboys is the perfect place for allergy or special diet families. My favorite is the Rise and Rhyme every Monday morning. Who doesn’t love a good coffee with storytime?
Brookland Pint have Kids eat Free on Tuesday, shall I say more? Another great kids menu with tons of seasonal events, enjoy it and taste one of their many beers on tap. It’s a great place for family brunch.
Menomale is known to have the best Napoletana pizza in DC. It is very small but delicious restaurant with lots of character and great owners. The kids will enjoy looking at how the pizza is made and admire the beautiful custom build oven.
Pho 12 serves chicken broth for the soul! If your kids are adventurous eaters, you can enjoy a great pho in the neighborhood. They also have a great room in the back which is also a great place for big gatherings.
Tastemakers has a small but good selections of vendors and a fun family bar. Enjoy a morning play at Noyes Park and then cross the street for a fast and delicious meal. If you like sweets, get an ice cream cookie from the captain.
Primerose DC, at first glance, seems like only a fancy and trendy restaurant. This is true, but it is also a very kid friendly restaurant. The owners, parents as well, have made the environment inviting to families. They even adjust portions on some menu items for kids. Enjoy a fancy meal, without the need of a babysitter.
What places make Brookland feel kid-friendly?
Nothing says family neighborhood like a good local library. Although our library is technically in Woodridge, it is still within walking distance. This beautifully renovated library has a great area for kids, an outdoor patio, a variety of story times and other family centered events.
Brookland is a place where you walk around, meet your neighbors and where your kids can safely ride their scooter. If you want to head to the mall, you are close to the Metropolitan Branch Trail and a 20 minute ride will get you there.
What advice would you give to families who are new to Brookland?
Get out and enjoy life outdoors, especially with little kids since Brookland offers great parks. Head to Catholic University and walk around their beautiful campus, which is also a great source of babysitters. If you need some adult interaction, check out the list serves for events and don’t be shy to introduce yourself to your neighbors, each block keeps pride of how much of a family they are.
Expert, experienced Realtors for Brookland in Washington, DC:
For over 17 years, the Abbott Klar Real Estate Group has helped clients buy and sell homes throughout the DC Metro area. How? With expertly crafted marketing plans. With trusted agents who know the ins and outs of the region. And with an unwavering commitment to helping everyone realize their dreams of home. Whatever you’re trying to find, consider it found. And whatever you’re trying to sell, consider it sold. At Abbott Klar Real Estate Group, we’re more than just realtors. We’re your neighbors. Learn more at sellingdc.com or call 202-642-9004.