Kid-friendly Rosslyn

Neighborhood has lots to offer the younger set

Rosslyn is a great place to spend time with kids, whether you're looking for close-in summer weekend activities or trying to find a place to take them to eat after work. Check out our top picks for creative and low-cost ways to have family fun in Rosslyn!

1. Take in a free Netherlands Carillon Saturday evening concert.

The free summer Netherlands Carillon Concerts are a slam-dunk activity for families with kids (and pets!). Live performances on the Carillon’s bells take place 6-8 p.m. every Saturday evening through August 25. Bring a blanket, pack a picnic and spread out at the base of the Carillon to enjoy music by some of the best carilloneurs in the world. Meanwhile, take in the views of Washington, D.C., and snap some great family photos. There's ample parking nearby and there are also Porta Potties onsite. Learn more

2. Grab a bite to eat at Continental Beer Garden, District Taco or Vitality Bowls.

Dining out with kids can be challenging but it doesn’t have to be. Our favorite kid-friendly spots are Continental Beer Garden, District Taco and Vitality Bowls. At the hip and lively outdoor beer garden, enjoy an adult night out with a great selection of cocktails and craft brews while your kids partake of good food they’ll actually eat. The fast-casual District Taco is delicious and easy on the wallet: The kids’ meals (pictured) are just $5. And at fast-casual Vitality Bowls, your kids will think they’re having dessert for dinner instead of nutrient-packed superfoods.

3. Hang out at Pub in the Park. Stick around for Rosslyn Cinema.

Pub in the Park and Rosslyn Cinema take place every Friday during the summer starting at 5 p.m. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. You can enjoy craft beer, wine and homemade sangria at the sleek outdoor bar while your kids play and have fun with games we’ve set up, including Giant Jenga, cornhole and ping pong. There are food trucks on-site, so you can grab dinner, too. Rosslyn Cinema starts at dusk. We always make sure to include kid-friendly flicks in our schedule. This year, these films include “Ratatouille” and “The Lion King.” Learn more

4. Sink your toes into the sand at The Sandbox at Gateway Park.

If you're out and about in Rosslyn, be sure to check out The Sandbox at Gateway Park, the largest sandbox in Arlington County. Created by the Rosslyn BID from a disused fountain, it's located at the western edge of Gateway Park. The fountain walls are painted with lively scenes by local artists Evelyn Powers, Patrick Kirwin and junior designer Emily Krause. Dozens of stone animals—from bunnies to turtles to frogs—are part of the scene. With several Adirondack chairs nearby, you can sit back and relax while your little ones play. Learn more

5. Shop and stroll at the FRESHFARM Rosslyn Farmers Market.

As most parents would agree, grocery shopping with kids is not ideal. But strolling through the FRESHFARM Rosslyn Farmers Market, open Wednesdays from 2:30-6:30 p.m. at Central Place Plaza, is far more pleasant. With fresh fruit and produce grown on local small farms, it's a great place for kids to learn about nutrition and gain an understanding of where their food comes from. Tables and chairs nearby provide a comfortable spot where you can enjoy a drink and a treat together before heading home. Learn more

6. Ride a really cool elevator and take in breathtaking views at The Observation Deck at CEB Tower.

The glass elevator to The Observation Deck at CEB Tower takes you straight to the 31st floor as you look out and watch the people and activities below get smaller and smaller. And if this weren't enough excitement for little ones, they can then take in breathtaking 360-degree views as you wander The Observation Deck's 12,000 square-foot space. Step out onto the open-air terrace for a closer view of the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery. The Observation Deck opens to the public on June 21 and is free for Arlington residents. Learn more

7. Go for a Saturday morning run on Teddy Roosevelt Island (or just meander around if you're not up for running).

If you're a parent who likes running and your older kid wants to join you, consider doing the Teddy Roosevelt Island parkrun together. It's a free, timed 5K held every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. The parkrun community prides itself on being low-key and inclusive, so kids are definitely welcome to run (or walk) the course with you. If running isn't your thing, you can still visit the island, hike around on the unpaved trails and check out the memorial plaza with a monument to our 26th president. This page features great activities you can do with kids, including a Junior Ranger program. Learn more

8. Have an astrophysics lesson/art history lesson at Dark Star Park.

Dark Star Park is a wonderful spot to visit with kids. Created by land art pioneer Nancy Holt, it's composed of five large spheres, two reflecting pools, a stairway, a tunnel, metal poles and plantings. Kids of all ages can explore the unique structures while older ones can learn about the Land Art movement, of which Holt was a member (there's an information panel explaining Land Art on site). Come by on August 1, Dark Star Park Day, for an astrophysics lesson. On this day at 9:32 a.m., shadows created by the poles align with shadow patterns on the ground. If the weather cooperates, it's quite a sight to see. Learn more

9. Pay your respects at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial.

This iconic memorial, more commonly known as "Iwo Jima," is based on a Pulitzer prize-winning photograph by Joe Rosenthal depicting Marines raising the flag atop Mount Suribachi during World War II. Created by Felix W. de Weldon, the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial is the largest bronze sculpture in the world. It's a fairly easy walk from downtown Rosslyn and a great place to take kids or out-of-town guests. A visit to the memorial is a good activity to combine with a Netherlands Carillon concert, which is nearby. Learn more


Did we miss your favorite kid-friendly spot in Rosslyn? Email us and we'll add it to the list!

Photo at top: Pub in the Park, which opens every summer Friday night at 5 p.m. in Gateway Park, serves craft beer, wine and homemade sangria. It's a great spot to enjoy an adult evening while your kids play safely nearby. Stay for Rosslyn Cinema, which starts at dusk.
 Featured Rosslyn Events

FRESHFARM Rosslyn Farmers Market
Wednesday, May 22 - Wednesday, October 30
at Central Place Plaza

Summer Bootcamp
Monday, May 27 - Friday, June 21
at Gateway Park

Rosslyn Public Art Walking Tour
Thursday, June 6
at Central Place Plaza