A few weeks ago, when the kids and I went to Flower Mart at the National Cathedral with friends, one of the highlights of that outing actually wasn’t even part of the event itself. It was the amazing playground located nearby: Beauvoir Outdoors.
After enjoying the festivities, we made our way to the National Cathedral Elementary School’s play area located just a short walk beyond the Cathedral. Owen, Sasha, and I had never been there before, but, luckily, our friends knew it well. Otherwise, we’d probably still be in the dark about what is easily one of the best playgrounds in the District.
The school’s philosophy on the importance of outdoor play in children’s development informs much of the playground’s design and is intended to “foster a spirit of inquiry and a joy in learning outside their traditional classrooms.” And it’s not just Beauvoir students who benefit. The public is welcome to enjoy it all when school or camp is not in session — after school, weekends, and days off (you can view a calendar here).
As for the playground itself, there are structures and spaces for all ages to enjoy. Kids can climb interesting treehouses then walk among them along wobbly wooden bridges and take a twisty underground slide from one level of the playground to a lower one. There are more cool climbing structures, swings, a kid-size basketball court, a small soccer pitch, and…wait for it…a zipline! That’s right, you (and your kids) can sit on a small seat attached to the line and wiz across about a 50-foot area. A nice, little thrill for all!
You can make a day of it and plan a visit to the playground and Cathedral all at once. However, the playground alone would make for its own great outing, too.
Beauvoir Outdoors is located at 3500 Woodley Road NW. As mentioned, it’s open to the public after school, on weekends, and when school or camp is not in session. Admission is free. For more about the playground, including rules, visit the Beauvoir Outdoors website.