We are grateful for the sponsor of this guide: Kelly Kelley with Compass Real Estate. Kelly Kelley is an expert for this area. Please be sure to check out thorough details about her practice below. We are thankful for her sponsorship, which allows us to continue to bring DC Area Moms resources like this.
What is your favorite thing about raising kids in the Takoma Park area?
One of our favorite reasons why we love Takoma Park is the number of parks, playgrounds, and trails in the area. Living so close to so many playgrounds (and dog parks!) means we spend more time together outdoors. We love saying hello to all of the deer we encounter when walking or biking through Sligo Creek Park. Finding a new favorite book at one of the many little libraries around each corner is always exciting too! This has also been named a “Playful City” with so many opportunities for young children and the young at heart to get out and play together! Another reason we love Takoma Park is the “small world” feeling that grows with each year we live here. It feels like you know everyone and when you do meet someone new, we find something in common almost right away!
What makes Takoma Park family-friendly and unique?
I believe Takoma Park is super family-friendly because of the inclusivity and love that can be felt throughout our city. Takoma Park works diligently to make sure each resident feels safe, included, and has a voice. There’s a sense that everyone belongs here, that each neighbor is a member no matter their age, family structure, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.
What community events or local attractions are there?
There are so many events each year that attract thousands of people from all over. The Folk Festival is a well-known art and music festival that celebrates local artists. Each year the Takoma Park Street Festival is a day filled with kid-friendly activities, local businesses sharing their passions, live entertainment, and so much more. Some of our favorite events include Pajamarama, 25 Days of Roscoe, Art Hop Takoma, and the Family Fun Festival, just to name a few!
Why would you recommend Takoma Park to families?
Takoma Park is full of families looking to share resources and support one another. People use the TakomaPakk listserv to share ideas about local happenings, sell/request to purchase items, suggestions for childcare, and every recommendation you could think of from Notary Publics to Pediatricians.
What nearby schools or childcare places to kids go to?
Where are your favorite places to shop in Takoma Park?
Tabletop is my absolute favorite place in Takoma Park! They offer an amazing assortment of gifts from babies to household items to that perfect funny gift you’ve been trying to find. Their card selection will keep you laughing with so many original designs to choose from too! The Takoma Park Co-Op is a natural food grocery store through the co-op model. Produce is always fresh, organic, and locally farmed. They support fair-trade and other local businesses which makes us feel good about shopping and supporting this area. I also love Fair Day’s Play! One of my favorite things about this independent toy store is this small business’ offerings of high-quality toys. They are always filling their shelves with toys that promote curiosity and creativity. Shopping here is a kid’s dream come true!
What are some of your favorite places to eat in?
*Full disclosure: It is impossible to choose a few places from all of the amazing food locations in Takoma Park! But here are a few of my favorites. If you are needing a space to work with an amazing cup of coffee (or tea!) or your belly is rumbling for a great lunch spot, Takoma Beverage Co. is one of my favorite go-to locations. They’ve put so much time into developing their menu making each plate taste better than the last. Definitely a great date-night place to enjoy cocktails with a savory dinner too. Living as a New-York transplant in Takoma Park, I was over the moon when I tasted Pizza Movers! This tiny take-out place may not look as fancy as some other restaurants in the area. But, don’t let that change your mind for a second. This pizza was so delicious it (almost) tasted like home!
Great Shoals Tasting Room is a local winery utilizing locally grown fruits in their award-winning ciders/wines. Their new tasting room offers their well-known hard ciders and wines as well as beer and cocktails. Enjoy your tasting flight! Mark’s Kitchen has been cooking up traditional American and Asian dishes for almost 30 years in Takoma Park making this location a favorite for locals. From burgers and sandwiches to Korean sang dinner boxes and Bibimbop, everyone will find something they love. There are tons of vegetarian/vegan choices too (check out their desserts!). Kin Da is our favorite local Thai restaurant whether you’re in the mood for drunken noodles or sushi, everything is delicious. Their website revealed the meaning of Kin Da as, “A verb. (Thai colloquialism) to indulge, especially regarding delicious food and drink.” Perfectly named, go indulge and enjoy!
What places make Takoma Park feel kid-friendly?
Takoma Park has lots of options to keep your little ones busy every day of the week! The Takoma Park Recreation Center offers classes and activities for all ages from dance to pottery to step to Dungeons and Dragons. The Takoma Park Library offers fantastic circle time programs in both English and Spanish on weekday mornings as well as many other events throughout the year. Little Loft is an art space designed for kids of all ages to explore various art mediums and create. Dance Exchange offers many types of dance and movement classes for all ages. Willow Street Yoga and Yoga Heights both offer a variety of leveled yoga, prenatal/postnatal yoga, itsy bitsy yoga, and classes with childcare. Roda Movements offers many different types of classes throughout the week, most known for their Capoeira classes.
What advice would you give to families who are new to Takoma Park?
Get out and say hello! Joining the listservs and reading our local paper will give you a sense of what is going on. But, the best way to get to know your new area is to say hello to your neighbors. Get to know who lives by you, who you see at the playgrounds, who is shopping at the weekly Farmer’s Market. Get to know everyone. If you have a new baby, join the Takoma Mamas and Families group for local weekly meetups for lots of support. You’ll start to see how much we are all interconnected and how much people are willing to share with you too!
If someone was visiting for a day, what would you recommend they do?
I hope they would be visiting on a Sunday with beautiful weather so they can enjoy the outdoor Farmer’s Market in the downtown area followed by lunch at one of the many delicious choices nearby. After you can stroll through the local shops. Then head to any of the parks or trails to get the whole family moving. Enjoy spending time with everything Takoma Park has to offer!
Kelly Kelley is an expert, experienced Realtor in Takoma Park, MD:
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. Her 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.