Until two years ago, when the first phase of The District Wharf made its debut as a 24-acre, mile-long business, residential, commercial and entertainment development on the Potomac waterfront, few paid attention to the Southwest Waterfront. The neighborhood’s only attraction was the Municipal Fish Market, but now, District Wharf lures people to a promenade and piers, a 309-slip marina, short-term docking, a multitude of shops and more than 20 eateries.
The major draw is The Anthem, a new, 3,000-seat concert venue. Plus, Union Stage offers some free concerts for children — and Arena Stage where Newsies is currently playing — is nearby.
The Wharf is a fabulous family destination throughout the holiday season, from the mid-November Tree Lighting ceremony and the opening of the Wharf Ice Rink to the light-decorated Boat Parade, after which folks enjoy live music, ice skating, s’mores and hot chocolate. A holiday market, Dec. 12–15, welcomed special appearances from Santa and, in The Wharf Floating Stage, guests played cornhole and listened to live bands.
This year, the Menorah lighting takes place on the first night of Hanukah, Dec. 22, and Christmas Carols enchant Dec. 23.
For kids, the area is a year-round playground. The 7th Street Park — with its fountain centerpiece — offers rocking horses to ride and oversized games, swings and a fire feature await on the Recreation Pier. There’s also a D.I.Y. treasure hunt challenge to find the 30 historic markers. For outdoor recreation, including golf or the walking path, the free Wharf Jitney ferries across the Washington Channel to East Potomac Park and you can rent kayaks. We saw water taxis darting to and from, some cross to Arlington, while one route connects The Wharf with National Harbor in Maryland.
The Wharf’s amazing, convenient location is just minutes from major attractions, museums and monuments in Washington, D.C. Via the free Southwest Shuttle Bus, it’s just one stop from the Metro at L’Enfant Plaza and two stops from Hirshhorn Museum facing the National Mall. For many, it’s within a reasonable walking distance to the mall and memorials; and Uber rides can cost less than $10.
Three prestigious hotel chains (Hilton, Hyatt and InterContinental) attract business travelers mid-week, and families on weekends to its safe, pedestrian-friendly, waterfront resort-like vacation destination.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Card recently launched BoldFamilyTravel.Chase.com, an interactive, online resource allowing families to plan future travel together. The launch followed the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Card Survey of parents and grandparents that revealed most parents believe children are important resources for planning family vacations and that one-third of parents don’t currently involve their children in planning but would like to.
Coconut water is an amped-up version of plain H2O with many beneficial properties. For starters, it replenishes electrolytes after a hard workout and provides a source of vital nutrients, like potassium and vitamin C, to keep you on your best game. The best part about the delicious drink is it tastes like you are drinking straight from the coconut.
If your family is a fan of thrills and waterparks, it’s time for a trip to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania: Camelback Lodge is the perfect family-friendly getaway for families of all kinds. When you book a stay at Camelback Lodge, access the resort’s indoor waterpark Aquatopia with more than 12 slides, a lazy river, interactive play areas, wave pool and more.
When guests book at Colonial Williamsburg Resorts, they receive up to two complimentary, length-of-stay admission tickets to explore the Historic Area and Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. The offer is exclusive to those booking stays at colonialwilliamsburgresorts.com.
Dog-loving people will let you know traveling with their furry companion is a bonding experience like no other. At Bark Social in Bethesda, Maryland, guests can sit back, relax and enjoy a brew or two surrounded by energetic pups. No need to worry about the occasional dog outburst as professionally trained Bark Rangers monitor the grounds for a clean, safe play area.