Park & Rec
Recreation Centers and Playgrounds
There are two recreation centers in the Palisades run by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).
PALISADES RECREATION CENTER
5200 Sherier Pl NW
Keely Alexander, Manager
The Palisades Rec Center is a hub of activity. The recently renovated park offers a beautiful soccer field, softball field, tennis courts, a children’s playground and basketball courts. The recreation center runs an after school program, a summer camp and numerous classes throughout the year. Click here for the most recent schedule or call the center for specific details about classes and programs.
HARDY REC CENTER
45th and Q Sts. NW
Rodney Brown, Manager
The Hardy Rec Center boasts soccer fields, tennis courts, basketball courts and a fabulous playground with a great sandbox. Call the center for information on classes and programs.
CAROLINA PARK (AKA DINOSAUR PARK)
There is a small play area for children at the bottom of the hill on Macomb St at the intersection of Carolina Pl. It is a great sledding hill in the winter months. This land is maintained by the Dept. of Parks and Rec and is nicknamed “Dinosaur Park” because of the two large plastic dinosaurs for children to climb on.
W STREET PARK
There is another small park with lots of green space on W St. and 49th. It’s a great place to kick around a soccer ball.
BATTERY KEMBLE PARK
Battery Kemble Park was a Union Army defensive site during the Civil War. The battery was located on Ridge Rd. (now Nebraska Ave. NW). The park is bounded by Chain Bridge Rd (to the west), MacArthur Blvd. (to the south), 49th St (to the east) and Nebraska Ave. (to the north). The park is popular for running, sledding, nature walks and dog walking. The park is administered by the National Park Service.
Fletcher’s Boathouse is located on the Potomac River and the C&O Canal National Historic Park, between Chain and Key Bridges. It has been in this location since the 1850s and is renowned as a superb fishing and recreation area. Fletcher’s offers bike, canoe, row boat and kayak rentals. It is a very picturesque area and has ample parking and picnic areas. View their website at www.fletchersboathouse.com.
Other Parks close By
VOLTA PARK RECREATION CENTER
Volta Place at 33rd St. | Visit website
Volta Park is the site of the local public pool, has a popular softball diamond, and is well cared-for by an enthusiastic "friends" group. A fenced, mulched play area with both "younger" and "older" structures, monkey bars, and sandbox, and an enclosed concrete area with picnic tables for toys.
GUY MASON RECREATION CENTER
Calvert St near Wisconsin Ave. | Visit website
Large play area surrounded by grass, near Guy Mason recreation center. Tall twisty slide, spring toys, lots of swings, big sandbox. Good place for a picnic from Whole Foods or Rocklands.
R St east of Dumbarton Oaks
Nearby is a fun hedgerow labyrinth. Great lawn for running and woods for hiking.
FRIENDSHIP RECREATION CENTER AND FRIENDSHIP PARK (AKA TURTLE PARK)
Van Ness St at 45th St. | Visit website
The most social playground; almost always crowded. Large fenced area with a variety of activities, centering around a huge sandbox with turtle statues. Wooden trains, play houses, lots of swings.
MACOMB RECREATION CENTER
Macomb St near 34th St. | Visit website
Social, busy, not crowded except when daycare groups are there. Good place for exercise. Lots of room (on three levels). Wooden, child-scale structures, a rope climber, wooden train, creative toys to climb on.