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 31. 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 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. Catch a free flick at Rosslyn Cinema.

Rosslyn Cinema takes place every Friday during the summer starting at 5 p.m. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. You can enjoy hanging out with other parents 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 “Paddington” and “Incredibles 2.” 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 3-7 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 View of DC.

The glass elevator to The View of DC 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 View's 12,000 square-foot space. Step out onto the open-air terrace for a closer view of the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery. The View 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 one of the largest bronze sculptures 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

10. Play nine holes of mini golf and enjoy hanging out at our fun bar and snack stand at Rosslyn Putt-Putt.

Bring the whole family to our newest pop-up this summer, Rosslyn Putt-Putt + Candy BAR! Enjoy playing nine holes of mini golf, with each hole depicting a different Rosslyn landmark. Indoors, hang out at our retro bar/snack stand (pictured here), where you can grab a cold drink and enjoy sweet treats, including popsicles and penny candy. We'll also have a classic Pac-Man arcade game and carnival games. Kids of all ages will love the bright colors and fun design elements we've incorporated, such as Matchbox car decorations and a juke box. Check our website event page for ticket information. If you don't have a ticket for putt-putt, you're still welcome to come join the fun. 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: Enjoying some of our oversized outdoor games at Rosslyn Cinema, which takes place every Friday night during the summer in Gateway Park. Movies start at dusk.
 Featured Rosslyn Events

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

Rosslyn Putt-Putt + Candy BAR
Friday, June 21 - Saturday, August 31
at Rosslyn Putt-Putt + Candy BAR

Summer Bootcamp
Monday, August 5 - Friday, August 30
at Gateway Park