Rose Park Recreation Center
2609 Dumbarton St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20007
Hours: daily – dawn to dusk; park closed during winter
Known as one of the first integrated parks in D.C., Rose Park is known for its pick-up basketball games as well as its baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, picnic areas and lots of open parkland. The park is also home to family friendly events including a farmer’s market, concerts, dog shows and festivals so you can slip away to play while the family is distracted. Free parking is available nearby. The park is located conveniently close to Georgetown and Dupont Circle.
Columbia Heights Community Center
1480 Girard St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20009
Price: $5 a day; options available
Hours: Mon to Fri – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Sun
Whether you want to play a game of horse or five-on-five, Columbia Heights Community Center is the place to be. Lights on the courts allow you to play well past sundown. Warm up your muscles in the fitness center or cool down after the game in the spray park. The community center also provides a dance studio, computer lab, playground, sound and video studio, gymnasium and multi-purpose room to keep the kids occupied while you play. The Columbia Heights Community Center is both Metro and bus accessible and offers street parking.
1875 Columbia Rd. Northwest
Washington, DC 20009
Hours: Mon to Fri – 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Sun
Located in the heart of Adams Morgan, the Kalorama Park might seem like a little piece of land, but it offers plenty of activities and fun for area residents. Play basketball, soccer, bocceball, volleyball or tennis. The park also offers plenty of open space for picnics as well as a small recreation center. Street parking is available.
800 3rd St. Southeast
Washington, DC 20003
Hours: daily – dawn to dusk
Garfield Park offers both lighted basketball and tennis courts as well as plenty of space to have a picnic, let your pooch run around and let the kids take their skateboards or rollerblades for a spin. After you’re done playing a game of pick-up basketball, run around the hugely popular, adult-sized playground to really bump up the cardio. The park also offers a playground for kids, bocce and volleyball courts, barbecue grills and softball fields plus a gorgeous view of the Capitol Building. Public parking is available, and the park is also Metro accessible.
YMCA of Metropolitan Washington
1711 Rhode Island Ave. Northwest
Washington, DC 20036
Price: membership options and discounts vary widely
Click here to become a member
Hours: Mon to Fri – 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sat – 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sun – 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Come for pick-up games of basketball, stay for the seven stories of strength and cardio fitness equipment, indoor pool, rock climbing wall, indoor track and massage therapy for when you throw out your back trying to dunk. If you’d like to play basketball on a regular basis, the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington provides men’s and women’s basketball leagues for a small fee. Take advantage of childcare facilities, educational and teen leadership programs, athletic clubs and camps, and art and dance classes for the kids.
Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.