Sports and Fitness in the DC Area:
Susan’s Top 25
The Washington, DC area is a great place for sports and fitness fanatics. There is no shortage of places to do or watch your favorite physical activities. Just about every sport imaginable has a DC area team to support. Here are Susan’s Top 25 sports and fitness in the DC area picks. Have fun!
FOR YOUR INNER CHILD
Trapeze School New York – DC Location
1299 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
For those who dream of flying, check out this local gem! TSNY offers trapeze, silks, lyra, trampoline, conditioning, and even juggling classes, workshops, camps, and special programs. For something really different, book your next birthday party or corporate event here! Its nonprofit community outreach program provides trapeze instruction to those who may not be able to afford it.
BalletNova Center for Dance
3443 Carlin Springs Road, Falls Church, VA 22041
BalletNova Center for Dance (BNCD) has one of the most extensive adult dance programs in the DC area, with a full range of classes in different dance genres and levels to meet almost every need and interest. They even have a Ballet for 50+ class! Try out BNCD with one of its four-week introductory workshops in either ballet, hip-hop, jazz, or theater dance. Ballet Nova also offers classes for children and teens, summer intensives, and birthday parties.
Adult Gymnastics Classes at Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center
4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA 22206
If you’ve always dreamed of flipping around the uneven bars or trying your hand at the balance beam, head to Arlington County’s Barcroft Rec Center. The center offers both beginner and advanced adult classes which cover gymnastics fundamentals and proper technique. Of course, plenty of kids’ gymnastics classes and programs are offered her as well but why should the kids have all the fun?
Horseback Riding and Racing
Rosecroft Raceway – 6336 Rosecroft Drive, Fort Washington, MD 20744
Little Burgundy Farm – 5715 Sable Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22303
Tamarack Stables – 9905 Old Colchester Road, Lorton, VA 22079
Area horse lovers will love nearby Little Burgundy Farm and Tamarack Stables. Riding lessons from beginner to advanced, camps scout troop events, and birthday parties are available at both stables. Tamarack also offers trail rides on their beautiful wooded trails along Pohick Creek in the Mason Neck area of Lorton in Fairfax County. For live harness horse racing, cross the bridge to Fort Washington, Maryland to find the area’s only racetrack, Rosecroft Raceway. This track has been a DC area institution since 1949. Races are held from May to December each year.
7550 Reservation Road, Springfield, VA 22153
Looking for an exhilarating outdoor adventure? New to Northern Virginia, Go Ape is the perfect place to take kids (and grown ups) that have energy to burn! Plan to spend 2-3 hours ziplining through a forest, playing on suspended obstacles, and swinging like Tarzan. Note that children must be 10 years old and at least 4’7” to partake in the fun.
Flight Trampoline Park
7200 Fullerton Road, Springfield, VA 22150
Jump to your heart’s content at Flight Trampoline Park in Springfield. This indoor fun zone offers kids’ parkour, fitness classes, and dodgeball. Try one of The Flight Fitness classes, which promise to burn 1,000 calories an hour. Visit the website for more details on Flight’s many programs, including Open Jump, Kids’ Flight (for those under 47″), Club Flight (for ages 14 and up with a DJ), Family Night, and Dodgeball tournaments. Flight even offers a monthly Special Needs Night.
Thompson’s Boat Center
2900 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
Whether you like to sail, kayak, stand up paddleboard, or canoe, Thompson’s Boat Center has an option for you. You can take a leisurely ride down the Potomac or get in serious shape here. You can also soak in Washington DC’s iconic landmarks or search for hawks at nearby Roosevelt Island. If you like biking, try Thompson’s “hydro biking” option – think of a bike on pontoons! Thompson’s Boat Center is also home to many DC area regattas.
5308 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304
Sportrock is far more than just a place to rock climb. Of course, it offers “learn to climb” classes, camps, Open Belay, Friday Night “Heights,” and more. Sport Rock is a fantastic place to hold your kid’s next birthday party or your next “team building” event at work. Yoga, Capoeira, and “handstand” fitness classes are also offered at Sportrock. Memberships are available if you find yourself there often. Sportrock has a second northern Virginia location in Sterling.
Mini Yoga Retreat
The Retreat at Veritas – 72 Saddleback Farm Afton, Virginia 22920
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Retreat at Veritas offers a mini (single-day) retreat consisting of yoga and wine programs “for those looking for a quick reset.” Enjoy yoga, a vineyard tour and wine tasting, education, and wine pairings. Promising good food, wine, and company, the mini retreat at Veritas is well worth a trip to the mountains.
600 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024
DC Sail, a community program of the National Maritime Heritage Foundation, offers an amazing assortment of sailing classes and events for both adults and kids. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to sail, sign on for DC Sail’s Adult Beginner Lessons; you’ll learn the skills and knowledge necessary to pass the US Sailing Small Boat certification test (enabling you to rent a Flying Scot without an instructor). Top it off with the accompanying (free) Capsize Course. An adult sailing “refresher” course is also available.
SUP Yoga at Boating in DC
Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
Boating in DC is now offering an exciting new yoga class on paddle boards — stretch and strengthen while enjoying the tranquility of floating on water and being in harmony with the surrounding nature. Enjoy a quiet morning or peaceful evening on the Potomac while getting a fabulous workout AND your zen.
Rock Creek Park
5200 Glover Road NW, Washington, DC 20015 (Nature Center and Planetarium)
Rock Cree Park, a 1,754-acre park in the heart of DC, offers endless opportunities for sports and fitness. Hike, bike, play tennis or golf, horseback ride, skate, and more in Rock Creek Park. Beach Drive, portions of which are closed to vehicles on weekends, is perfect for long, smooths rides. Check out Yoga Hikes DC for a combo yoga/hiking class held in the park. You may even see pop up Pilates or Tai Chi classes in the park!
6400 Clipper Way, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Looking to improve your game? Visit Top Golf National Harbor for the high-tech way to do just that! In its signature game, players score points by hitting balls (with microchip technology) into a target. The more accurate your shot and the farther the distance, the more points earned! Top Golf also offers two mini-golf courses and a restaurant/bar area. With its many programs, including lessons, scrambles, leagues, parties, and more, Top Golf is always a fun destination with something for everyone!
Marine Corps Marathon
Known as “The People’s Marathon,” this 42-year DC tradition attracts local runners and those from over the country and world! Touted as “Best Marathon in the Mid-Atlantic,” “Best for Families,” and “Best for Beginners,” the Marine Corp Marathon draws 30,000 runners every October. The event is designed to “promote physical fitness, generate community goodwill, and showcase the organizational skills of the United States Marine Corps.” Even if you’re not a runner, the MCM is a great, inspiring event to watch.
The DC area may not be mountainous, but it still offers some excellent hiking opportunities. Read our complete post on local hikes here. You’ll be surprised how close some of these hikes are!
The Washington DC area is home to several “rail-trails,” or walking/biking trails created from former rail lines. Rail trails make excellent routes for these activities, as they are mostly flat and paved. Check out the most popular area rail-trails with the family – the 45-mile Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad Regional Park from Arlington to Purcellville, the 184-mile Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park from DC to Cumberland, MD, and the 11-mile Capital Crescent Trail, from Georgetown to Silver Spring.
The DC area is very bicycle-friendly! The city was named #9 on Bicycling.com’s The 50 Best Bike Cities (2016). Maryland and Virginia rank 10th and 13th, respectively in the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America state ranking program. In fact, many DC area residents are regular bike commuters. With its relatively flat terrain and many trails, our area is fabulous for cycling enthusiasts. Check out BikeWashington.org for details about all of the great recreational bicycle facilities in the area.
DC AREA SPORTS
The Washington Nationals
1500 S. Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
What’s more American than watching baseball in our Nation’s Capital? Be sure to visit Nats Park for a Washington Nationals game at least once a year. It’s easily accessible by car or public transportation and is always a memorable experience. You can even take the “Baseball Boat” from Old Town Alexandria! Nats games are very family-friendly – kids go nuts for the “Racing Presidents” and “Screech,” the team mascot. You can even bring your dog to “Pups in the Park!” The Nationals keep the season interesting with frequent theme and giveaway nights.
The Washington Commanders
1600 FedEx Way, Landover, MD 20785
While not always the most successful NFL franchise (to our chagrin), Washington fans are extremely loyal and enthusiastic. Take the family or a group of friends out to FedEx Field in Landover to see the team in action every fall.
Medstar Capitals Iceplex / Washington Capitals
627 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22203
Visit the official home of the NHL Washington Capitals in the Ballston section of Arlington. Capitals practices are held at Medstar and are open to the public and free of charge. This 20,000 square foot facility has two indoor NHL-sized ice rinks, locker rooms, a full-service ProShop, and a Capitals Team Store. Additionally, Medstar offers public ice time, learn to skate programs, stick ‘n shoot, adult pickup hockey, and broomball as well as summer camps and space for private events and parties. Of course, you can watch the Caps in their regular-season action at the Capital One Arena.
16th & Kennedy Streets, NW, Washington, DC 20011
Every summer, the Citi Open draws upwards of 70,000 tennis fans to the Rock Creek Tennis Center. This tournament has been running since 1969, and was one of the first professional tournaments in the US. A portion of its proceeds benefit the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF), which seeks to improve the life prospects for DC area youth, particularly those from lower-income communities, primarily through tennis.
601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004 (Capital One Arena)
Basketball may be at its best at the college level. For excellent NCAA basketball, head to the Capital One Arena to catch the Georgetown Hoyas in action. This team, which is a frequent visitor to “The Dance,” or NCAA championship, has also won the Big East Tournament seven times. The Hoyas are always fun to watch! If you have kids, be sure to join the Hoyas Kids Club, for ticket deals, special events, and more.
3700 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305
Did you know Alexandria is home to its own collegiate baseball team? Check out a game of the Alexandria Aces at Frank Mann Field. College players from all across the country come to Alexandria to play games in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League every June and July.
600 2nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20052
Did you know Washington has its own professional tennis team? While Washington Kastles‘ season is short, you can see some amazing tennis at a very reasonable price. The Bryan Brothers, Martina Hingis, and Venus Williams are members of the current Kastles’ lineup. Season and group tickets are available, as are birthday packages.
The DC area is home to some fabulous lacrosse action! Ride out to College Park to watch the NCAA men’s lacrosse champions, the Maryland Terrapins, in action. A little further north you can catch the Johns Hopkins University lacrosse team (with its 44 national titles!) in action.
Or catch a high school game in Alexandria – the Bishop Ireton’s girls team is currently state champion, as is the St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School‘s men’s team. The DC area’s professional lacrosse team, the Chesapeake Bayhawks, plays in nearby Bowie, Maryland, and always offers an exciting sports experience.
32-60 R Street SW, Washington, DC 20024
Are you a soccer fan or live with some? Be to check out DC’s Major League Soccer team, DC United. The MLS season runs from March to October each year. DC United calls Audi Field home in the SW Waterfront area of Washington, DC, just down the street from Nationals Park.
As you can see, there are so many ways to enjoy your favorite sports and fitness in the DC area. Get out there and start moving, exploring, and cheering!
Did we miss your favorite activity for sports and fitness in the DC Area? Please comment below or drop us a line.