Cleveland Park/Woodley Park/Van Ness Neighborhood Guide

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We are grateful to the sponsors of this guide: The Mandy & David Team, Vassar Broermann Group, and  Hagen Bergstrom. Each of these teams are experts in 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 Moms resources like this.

What is your favorite thing about raising kids in the Cleveland Park/Woodley Park/Van Ness Neighborhood?

My favorite part of raising my son here is that we have the best of both worlds: The quietness of the suburbs and the convenience of the city. There’s not much nightlife in this area, so we don’t have the noise that goes along with that, but we’re right on the redline with quick access to all the city has to offer. We can walk to playgrounds, coffee shops, grocery stores, pharmacies, and best of all, the National Zoo!

Visiting the elephants at the National Zoo

What makes Cleveland Park/Woodley Park/Van Ness family-friendly and unique?

We have the National Zoo, plus a variety of family-friendly restaurants (see below), ice-cream shops, and more. We love that our area offers several fun playgrounds like Guy Mason Park and Recreation Center, Macomb Park Recreation Center, Forest Hills Playground, and Beauvoir Playground (which is a part of the National Cathedral). There is also have the gorgeous Rosedale Conservancy and Tregaron Conservancy. Also, the Cleveland Park listserv is very useful for getting local recommendations, and for buying/selling furniture, toys, kid’s clothes, etc.

Macomb Park Recreation Cente

What community events or local attractions are there?

Obviously, we LOVE being so close to the National Zoo! We often top off a trip to the zoo with a stop at Baked by Yael or Frozen-Yo, which are both directly across the street from the zoo. There’s Gymboree Play & Music (a great place to burn off some toddler energy) and the Cleveland Park Public Library where you can attend storytime or pick up some new books. We also love visiting the Cleveland Park Farmer’s Market, which is held each Saturday. All Fired Up is a local treasure that is fun for families too. You can end the day with ice cream at our Cold Stone Creamery!

Splash pad at Macomb Park Recreation Center

What nearby schools or childcare places do kids go to in Cleveland Park/Woodley Park/Van Ness

As you can see from the lists below, there is no shortage of schools in this area!

Daycare/Pre-school:

Public Schools:

Private Schools:

Universities:

Cleveland Park Public Library

Where are your favorite places to shop in the area? 

I love shopping at Yes! Organic Market because of their organic options and friendly staff. I also love Streets Market – It is a small but high-quality local grocery store. Transcendence-Perfection-Bliss of the Beyond is a great little local gift shop with an array of unique greeting cards, children’s toys, jewelry, etc. We also have a new Target, which is super convenient for picking up basics. Cleveland Park Farmer’s Market is a local open-air farmer’s market open on Saturday mornings along the west sidewalk along Connecticut Avenue.

What are some of your favorite places to eat in the area?

Open City is a great family-friendly restaurant in Woodley Park with awesome food (and breakfast fare all day!). It’s always busy and loud, so no need to worry about your kids making too much noise. They even have some kids’ toys inside, plus sidewalk chalks out front to entertain your kids while you wait for your table. They have a Children’s Menu, changing table, and high chairs.

Laredo is a Mexican restaurant right on the main Cleveland Park strip along Connecticut Avenue. They have an outdoor patio area that is perfect for nice weather (and loud children). The vibe is casual and they are always very friendly and accommodating to children. They have a Children’s Menu and high chairs, but no changing tables.

Right across the street from Laredo is Firehook. It may seem like your average bakery/cafe from the street but they have a hidden gem of a patio outback.  Their food is good and the outdoor patio has plenty of spread-out tables and a fountain surrounded by kids’ chairs. It’s a great casual place to eat where you don’t have to struggle to keep your child in their chair for the entire meal. They have high chairs, but no Children’s Menu or changing tables.

Also nearby is Medium Rare. This restaurant has just one option on the menu: salad, steak, and fries. It’s loud enough that you don’t have to shush your kids every two minutes, and they have paper table covers and crayons for coloring. Our son is picky and won’t eat salad or steak, so we usually just bring something for him to eat along with the fries, which he loves. They do not have a Children’s Menu, but they offer kid-size portions. They have high chairs but no changing tables.

Are there more places to eat?

YES! Cactus Cantina is another great Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood. It’s located right on Wisconsin Avenue, close to the National Cathedral. Our son loves to watch the tortilla-making machine and if you ask, they will give kids tortilla dough to play with. They have crayons and a paper children’s menu for coloring, and they are overall very accommodating to young children. They have a Children’s Menu, changing table, and high chairs.

Jetties is an awesome sandwich shop, with a location on Macomb Street, just off Wisconsin Avenue, by the Cathedral. This location doesn’t have much space for eating there but we love to pick up sandwiches and walk over to the picnic tables at Macomb Park (one of our favorite neighborhood playgrounds). They have a Children’s Menu and high chairs, but no changing table.

Silver is a newer restaurant in the neighborhood and is already one of our frequent stops. It’s located right on Connecticut Avenue, just north of Cactus Cantina. It has a diner-style but with more upscale food. They have a Children’s Menu, high chairs, and changing tables.

What advice would you give to families who are new to the area? 

If you are new to the area, I recommend that you invest in a good stroller and enjoy all that is within walking distance to you! A typical weekend for us involves walking to the playground, a visit to the Cleveland Park Public Library, and maybe a stroll through the National Zoo. Sometimes we walk to Gymboree, especially in the cold months when we need to burn some energy indoors. Along the way, we often stop to eat at one of our favorite local restaurants (listed above) and pick up some groceries on the way home. You really don’t have to leave the neighborhood!

Expert, experienced Realtors for Woodley Park, Cleveland Park, & Van Ness in DC:

The Mandy & David Team – The most trusted name in Washington, DC area real estate

An executive vice president with Compass Real Estate, Mandy Mills is a principal agent at the Mandy & David Team, where she co-leads a team of 20 with David Getson. As the top producing team at Compass D.C. with annual sales over $160 million, they make the Washingtonian’s Best of D.C. list year after year and were named one of the top-producing real estate teams in the country by The Wall Street Journal and Real Trends. A native of North Carolina and diehard Tar Heels fan, Mandy lives in Mt. Pleasant with her husband and three adorable children. Contact Mandy at [email protected] or (202) 873-1325. Visit her website at www.mandyanddavid.com and be sure to check them out on Facebook and Instagram too.

 

Vassar Broermann Group

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.

 

Hagen Bergstrom

Marin Hagen and Sylvia Bergstrom specialize in DC’s Kalorama neighborhood, home to both of them. They are both locals from Cleveland Park. Kalorama features historic and “one and only” properties; luxury homes, condos, co-ops, and everything in between, priced from $200,000 to $22,000,000 and beyond. They count among their clients Presidential candidates, Senators, Members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries, governors, leaders in the arts, medical, business, legal, non-profit, and many more. Their business is nearly 100% repeat and referral, a testament to their high ethical standards, strong negotiating skills, energy, and discretion. Sylvia and Marin consistently rank among the top 5 Coldwell Banker teams in the Mid-Atlantic region, among more than 2,078 sales associates in 30 offices. Contact Marin and Sylvia at [email protected] or at 202-257-2339. Visit their website at www.hagenbergstrom.com and check them out on Facebook and Instagram too.