Public Play at Montrose & Dumbarton Oaks Parks

On the way in to Montrose Park

On the way in to Montrose Park



[Note: This was originally published back in June '12 as part of this post about Dumbarton Oaks Garden, since they comprised one day's outing for us. But because they are two different adventures, I thought I'd break them up to highlight each place.]

One weekday last June when Levi was off work, we decided to head up to Montrose and Dumbarton Oaks Parks located in the heart of Georgetown, just off R Street. As we were walking up, we stopped by the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens entrance, a large iron gate surrounded by a long brick-wall bordering the grounds, and peeked in. It looked lovely, and we considered going in until we noticed the lock on the gate — and the sign that said hours were from 2-6pm Tuesday – Sunday.

Swing time

Swing time

We had about 45 minutes until it opened, so we continued on with our plan to hit Montrose Park, which is adjacent to the Gardens and a great place to spend time in itself. A paved path winds around tennis courts, through a vast grassy field next to a small stretch of woods, right to a playground. That’s where we spent the next half-hour pushing Sasha on the swing and helping her cross monkey bars.

We often stop at Montrose when we are in Georgetown. It’s a perfect place to relax and let the kids play, especially after having a bite to eat or doing some shopping.

Monkeying around on the playground

Monkeying around on the playground

Crossing a footbridge on the Dumbarton Oaks Trail

From there, we followed the path back to Lover’s Lane, the road running next to the park, that led us to the Dumbarton Oaks Trail, a .6-mile route that meanders through the woods behind the Gardens. It’s a perfect hike for little ones, with easy tramping, lots of small footbridges spanning creeks, and tucked away spots to sit and have a snack. The path let out on Wisconsin Avenue, so we walked a few blocks back to the Gardens entrance, excited to see what else was beyond those gates. And the rest, as noted in that first post, is history.

Montrose Park is located in Georgetown near the intersection of R & 31st Streets NW, right next to Dumbarton Oaks Gardens. Dumbarton Oaks Park is behind Dumbarton Oaks Gardens. From Montrose, stroll downhill along Lovers’ Lane, marked by a wooden plaque pointing the way to Dumbarton Oaks Park. The lane descends downhill to the Park entrance on the left. Admission is free.

If you go:

- You can usually find parking fairly easily near the parks on R, 31st, or 30th Streets

- There are public bathrooms at Montrose Park

- The playground includes equipment for both toddlers and older children — infant and regular swings, monkey bars, “bouncy” horses to ride, etc.

- M Street and Wisconsin Avenue are close by for a bite to eat before or after. You can even pick up food, then have a picnic in the park.

- Montrose is very stroller-friendly, but Dumbarton Park with bumpy trails and a few creek crossings, is not. You could maneuver a rugged stroller, but an Ergo or another carrier would be a better option.

1 Comment

Filed under All ages, DC, Free, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Play, Weekdays, Weekend

One Response to Public Play at Montrose & Dumbarton Oaks Parks

  1. KCStod

    Thanks so much for this post and for all of the helpful details that you add. Having kids with various ages, it is so helpful to know about stroller friendly access and where baby carriers are needed, as well as age appropriate level of the playground. Coming from the suburbs, we have always wanted to hang out in Georgetown with the kids, but have not known about where there would be a park or playground for the little ones to get there energy out. You provide a much appreciated service!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>