We are grateful for the sponsors of this guide: Hagen Bergstrom and Kelly Kelley. Both 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 Moms resources like this.
What is your favorite thing about raising kids in the Kensington & Chevy Chase Neighborhood?
We love our neighborhood! It has been the perfect location to begin putting down roots and raising our kids. We love how many other families there are around us. Yet, the area still maintains a diverse feel with people of all ages and backgrounds. The DC metro area is huge, yet our area feels like a small town. We love that our kids are a part of a smaller community while living in a general urban area. We still have access to all the amazing things that come with living close to a city! It is also very walkable and has walking access to wonderful trails and parks.
What makes Kensington & Chevy Chase, MD family-friendly and unique?
Kensington and Chevy Chase are some of the oldest established towns in Montgomery County, MD. There is lots of history and roots here, as well as wonderful small businesses that have been a part of the community for generations. Its location within Montgomery County places it beautifully within driving/metro/bus distance of major shopping areas and fun places to go like downtown Bethesda.
Kensington and Chevy Chase are great areas for families. The schools are great, and there are strong and established community and neighborhood associations. They also have many beautiful green spaces and direct access to the Rock Creek Park and its trails. The area started as a small DC commuter town. There are many fun town festivals and traditions that still go on today. We love attending them because they provide a hometown, small-town feel.
What community events or local attractions are there?
We love all of the events and festivals that Kensington holds yearly. I think our favorite overall would be the parades! The town hosts yearly fourth of July and Labor Day parades in addition to festivals such as the kite festival, bike festival, and book festival. All of them include local vendors and performance groups. Each one is well organized and when you are there it really does give you that hometown feel I keep mentioning!
There is a weekly farmers market in the downtown area of Kensington which is very convenient and a great way to access locally sourced produce and food. Our town is the home of Montgomery County’s children’s library called Noyes as well as some of the best antique and furniture stores in the DC metro area. And, our favorite yearly family event, Maple Boo, which is a safe trick or treating family event in our neighborhood that includes face painting, food trucks, music, and all sorts of fun for both kids and parents on Halloween!
I highly recommend family living in our area because of the spirit of this town. There is something special here that is hard to put into words, but what a fabulous combination of access to all the incredible things Montgomery County and DC have to offer while still feeling part of an authentic community. We also have found it to be affordable housing wise in comparison to other parts of the area. We have a very active neighborhood association group in Rock Creek Palisades as well as active neighborhood listserv and Facebook group, which are always invaluable resources for connecting with other families that live close by.
What nearby schools or childcare places to kids go to in Kensington & Chevy Chase?
The public schools in Kensington are definitely a great part of our community. Rockview Elementary is fantastic and there are also several great private schools, including Holy Redeemer School and Grace Episcopal Day School. Some great schools in Chevy Chase are Somerset Elementary, Chevy Chase Elementary, Bethesda Chevy Chase High, and Lycee Rochambeau. There are also many popular nursery schools including Audubon Nature Preschool, Kensington Nursery School and The Learning Center for Young Children. Some of the most fun kids activities nearby are also free, including story time at Noyes Children’s Library, Wheaton Regional Park, Brookside Gardens, and Moco Movement Center!
Where are your favorite places to shop in the area?
One of the best aspects of our neighborhood is our five-minute drive to Target AND Costco! It really is true. We live a short drive from Westfield Wheaton Mall, which holds dozens of convenient and much-wanted stores like Target, Costco, H&M, Macy’s, and children’s clothing stores as well as great take-out and restaurant options.
Antique Row in downtown Kensington has a host of small, locally-owned antique and home decor stores. Our favorites are Antique Village and Jill & Company. There are also shopping centers with grocery stores like Safeway and convenient, needed places like CVS within a short driving or walking distance as well. Everything you really need for day to day shopping is within two miles of the neighborhood!
What are some of your favorite places to eat in the area?
Now comes my favorite topic—all the yummy food! Oh my, how I love how food options here. And again, all within 2 miles of the neighborhood. We absolutely adore Continental Pizza. It’s such a “mom and pop” fixture of Kensington it doesn’t accept credit cards or have a website, ha! Some of the best pizza and sandwiches you’ll ever taste. Frankly Pizza is perfect for families or a cozy date night, boasting delicious and unique wood oven pizzas. Another staple and classic restaurant in this area is China Gourmet, one of Montgomery County’s oldest and greatest Chinese food restaurants.
JennyCakes is an incredible bakery with yummy baked goods including cupcakes, granola, and cookies. They also do incredible custom cakes for any occasion. One of my favorite spots for brunch is The Daily Dish! It’s a perfect place for coffee with friends or even a day date. The food is delicious and the service is phenomenal! Another thing our family loves is that we can walk to any type of restaurant or coffee shop (Car Wash Coffee is the best) that is locally owned OR pick up take out from a favorite chain like Five Guys or Chipotle all within minutes of our home. What a gift!
What advice would you give to families who are new to area?
All of these wonderful things come together to give Kensington a small town, family-friendly feel. Whether a bike ride on Rock Creek Trail, a stroll to the brand new Newport Mill Park, a walk to Car Wash Coffee, or a fun outing at storytime at Kensington Park Library, there really are so many things this lovely town offers families. It’s a beautiful place to enjoy and raise a family.
One of my other favorite parks in the area is Meadowbrook Local Park, or more commonly known as Candy Cane City! I love it for its proximity to the big open field to run in, a wonderful walking trail perfect for a stroll or riding bikes/scooters, and the park has great equipment and is fenced in! For anyone new to this area I suggest joining the neighborhood Facebook group! There are many fun family-style meet-ups planned regularly where you can connect and meet people. I also suggest just saying hello to your neighbors when you are out for a walk or at the park. Everyone is friendly, fun, and inviting! This is a truly wonderful place to live.
Expert, experienced Realtors for the Kensington & Chevy Chase, MD Neighborhoods:
Marin Hagen and Sylvia Bergstrom are both locals from Cleveland Park. Marin and Sylvia work with both seller and buyer clients throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia. They specialize in Kalorama, which 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.
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.