Tired of Being Indoors? 9 Places Around DC to Get Out of the House & Still Follow "Social Distance" Rules
Second in a continuing series about awesome social distance activities in DC to keep you entertained during the outbreak and inspired to keep daydreaming about your next adventure in the Nation's capital.
NOTE: The provided information is accurate as of this writing, but is subject to change. Be sure to check the business' website and social media for the latest news before heading out.
With so many events cancelling and museums and other cultural attractions closing, it seems like staying close to home is the only option. But there are still plenty of things to do to get away from home and the news for awhile (it's nothing good anyway!).
We've curated nine places around where you can practice "social distance" and still get out and about.
1. Visit the Art Museum of the Americas
The Art Museum of the Americas is overshadowed in reputation by larger Washington, D.C. museums, but is well worth a visit. Primarily showcasing work by artists from Latin America and the Caribbean, the museum is housed in a beautiful Spanish colonial-style building. It's the oldest art collection of its kind in the United States. All told, a permanent gathering of about 2,000 paintings, sculptures, installation pieces, prints, drawings and photographs are on display. The museum will be closed March 17 - 19 for disinfecting; however, as of this writing, it will be open. As a precaution, admission will be limited to only 10 visitors at a time. PRO TIP: Be sure to explore the grounds and the outdoor sculpture garden while you wait.
2. Take a Self-Guided Tour of DC's Past
The story of DC's past is highlighted by heritage trail marker erected by Cultural Tourism throughout the city's diverse neighborhoods. Embark on a self-guided to appreciate the history and wonder of the nation's capital and its landmarks. Each trail sign combines stories, historic photos, and maps. There are 18 downloadable guides to choose from so opt for the path less traveled and explore, all at your own pace.
3. Check out Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
The only national park that caters to water-loving plants, Kenilowrth Aquatic Gardens is truly a D.C. treasure. With its wetlands, ponds, and marsh, the garden offers a serene environment for taking in nature’s beauty; you'll forget you're even in the city. Take a walk along the boardwalk and keep a look out for beaver dams, clouds of birds and other wildlife.
4. Experience Glenstone
Tucked away in Potomac, Md, Glenstone is not just an art museum, it's an experience. It occupies 200 acres of land amid undulating countryside north of the Potomac River and consists of a mix of outdoor sculpture and installation, as well as a 9,000-square-foot gallery stocked with rotating exhibitions that focus on works created after WWII. Yet despite its extensive acreage and blue-chip artwork, it’s somehow one of the Washington area’s best-kept secrets since it opened in 2006. Glenstone is currently operating as an outdoor-only experience due to ongoing health crisis.
5. Go on a mural scavenger hunt in NoMA
Walk or bike to the NoMa neighborhood and see how many murals you can find. Thanks to POW! WOW! DC , a global festival that invites local and visiting artists to treat blank walls as canvas, there are plenty to look out. Sixteen new murals were painted last year alone! You'll find a concentration of colorful artwork from all the previous festivals along the Metropolitan Branch Trail which runs adjacent to the Metro/Amtrak rail lines.
6. Take a Ranger-led tour
The National Park Service, which oversees everything on the Mall from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument and beyond, offers guided experiences throughout the year. They offer a wide variety of programs and activities: talks, walks, runs, bikes, and they’re totally gratis.
7. Spend time in Constitution Gardens
Even though it's located right on the National Mall, few people know of this 50-acre green space that runs between the Lincoln and World War II memorials, making it a lovely, little-visited oasis. Walk along the tree-lined path or sit on one of the many benches, gazing at the ducks and geese in the pond that acts like a mirror, reflecting the image of the Washington Monument in the distance. PRO TIP: Be sure to take the time to check out the memorial to 56 signers' of the Declaration of Independence.
8. Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of DC's monuments and memorials
While some monuments are temporarily closed, you can still admire all of them for their magnificent design and historical importance on a DIY walking tour. Chances are you probably haven't seen most of them close-up since a school field trip! This one takes you on a course along the National Mall, this one guides you around the White House area, and this free, GPS-enabled audio tours are handy and will help keep you from getting lost.
9. Lend a hand and volunteer
People and animals in need in the DMV continue to need help -- now more than ever -- so look for opportunities to volunteer, here. NOTE: Some organizations may have closed temporarily or adjusted their hours of operation, so be check to check their CORVID policies. Also, parents are challenged with schools, daycare facilities and play centers closings so check parents' groups on Facebook and social media for ways to help out.
Look up, down, and all around. Adventures can be found everywhere -- if you're curious enough to look. k for it