We are grateful for the sponsors of this guide: Sheena Saydham, Vassar Broermann Group, and Kelly Kelley with Compass Real Estate. Each of these teams are experts for this area. Please be sure to check out thorough details about their practices below. We are thankful for their sponsorship, which allows us to continue to bring DC Area Mom Collective resources like this.
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. Capitol, Library 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.
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.
What nearby schools or childcare places to kids go to?
Daycare and Co-ops include the Capitol Hill Cooperative Nursery School, Capitol Hill Learning Group, Capitol Hill Cooperative Play School, Busy Bees, The Hill Preschool, Toddlers on The Hill Montessori Preschool, Gan Shalom Cooperative Preschool, AppleTree Early Learning Center, and STEM Preschool.
Elementary Schools include Watkins Elementary, Tyler Elementary (which has a dual-language Spanish immersion program), Payne Elementary, Brent Elementary, Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan, Ludlow-Taylor Elementary, Maury Elementary, Miner Elementary, Peabody Elementary, School Within a School at Goding (SWS), 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 high schools, most residents are zoned for Stuart-Hobson Middle School, Eliot-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. 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), Capitol Hill Books, Trader Joe’s, and even a Sephora.
What are some of your favorite places to eat in Capitol Hill?
Take the kids to Bararck’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. Or, drop the kiddo’s off at Elemeno for a date night at one of James Beard Award-winning Chef Aaron Silverman’s Michelin-starred restaurants and treat yourself to Pineapple & Pearls, Rose’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, as well as Hank’s Oyster Bar—where they bring goldfish (yes, goldfish!) to the table as soon as you are seated. La Lomita Dos, La Plaza, and District Taco are all great for our guacamole eaters. And, don’t forget old standbys like Hawk n’ Dove, Mr. 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 are Bullfrog Bagels and EAT BRGZ serves burgers on low carb cauliflower “buns.”
What places make Capitol Hill feel kid-friendly?
The Playgrounds! Kids play in the shadow of the Capitol at Marion Park and Stanton Park, Lincoln Park has two separate playgrounds, and most of the elementary school playgrounds are open to the public when school is out. In the summer, cool off at 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 Elemeno or The Little Gym.
The music and dancing! Boogie Babes, a live concert for littles, on Thursdays at The Miracle Theater benefits the DC Diaper Bank. Think Baby Coachella. Mister Mike’s Music teaches Music Together and other classes at multiple locations in the neighborhood. Makeshift has Tunes4Tots and Studio One Dance offers dance classes for budding ballerinas. 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) and Makeshift, a welcome newcomer to the area, are creative outlets with arts & crafts classes for kids of all ages.
Storytime! The Southeast Library and Northeast Library have programming for all ages, and special seasonal events. The Library of Congress Young Readers Center has storytime too. 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.
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 Capitol Hill for a 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.
Please find more information on expert realtors for Capitol Hill below.
Sheena Saydam and her husband Han are managing principals of Saydam Properties Group. In 2018 with just 5 agents, they closed 182 transactions for $90 million in volume. When not running after one of her 3 kids, Sheena is reading yet another life-changing book. As for the rest of her waking hours, she is laser-focused on her team providing pro-active, high-quality real estate advice and service twice as quickly and three times as effective as the average agent. For the last few years, SPG has invested a portion of each home sale into Generosity:Global, whose vision it was to build a shower truck for the homeless in Baltimore. The shower truck has now been in operation since May and we are providing showers to 100’s of homeless men and women weekly. Our next project will be to bring a shower truck to DC. SPG also invests in bringing clean water to sub-Saharan Africa by building wells so that the villages have access to clean water. Contact Sheena at [email protected] or at 202-476-9463. Please head to her website www.saydamproperties.com and check out their Facebook page and her Instagram too.
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 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.
Kelly Kelley with Compass Real Estate
Kelly Kelley works closely with her clients throughout the DC/MD/VA area and has a well-earned stellar reputation for her extensive knowledge of the market, strong negotiation skills, and smooth transaction processes. Kelly‘s clients enjoy exceptional service and a client-focused, educational approach to buying their next home or investment property. Kelly has lived and worked in Washington, DC and Virginia for over 16 years. She and her young family live in the Logan/U St. neighborhood. She’s an expert in navigating the complexity of the school systems in and around DC and the surrounding suburbs, including but not limited to the DCPS lottery and area private school systems. Contact Kelly at [email protected] or at 540-529-4804. Look at her website at https://www.jaybarrygroup.com and be sure to follow her group on Facebook and Instagram.