At the center of DC, Columbia Heights is a hub of activity. Blocks away from U Street and booming with new and unique restaurants, its atmosphere is fun for the younger crowd, yet still family-friendly. On October 6, Columbia Heights Day Initiative presents an annual festival to celebrate this neighborhood. Before you can celebrate it, you’ve got to explore it. Here are our picks for where to go before the festival.
Kangaroo Boxing Club is a recently introduced barbeque establishment on 11th street. The cozy atmosphere is perfect for enjoying the comfort foods on the menu as well as passing the time with friends, or watching the game. Don’t pass on the Johnny cakes, they’re often out for a reason! The venue is small so get there early for seating. You can’t miss the bright red door! Kangaroo Boxing Club: 3410 11th St. NW, DC; 202-505-4522; www.kangaroodc.com
Wonderland Ballroom lives up to its name. You never know what you’re going to get until you walk through the door. With an outdoor patio, games, and an upstairs entertainment room, this bar has got it all. Like Alice, you’ve got a decision to make: red shot or blue shot? Wonderland Ballroom: 1101 Kenyon St. NW, DC; 202-232-5263; www.thewonderlandballroom.com
The epicenter of the neighborhood is the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza at the corners of 14th, Park, and Kenyon. Saturdays through December 15, there is a farmers market perfect for breakfast pastries, live music, or stocking up on local produce. Kids love running through the fountains on warm days!
Columbia Heights Day will feature venues and businesses around Columbia Heights with a day-long festival on October 6. Look forward to morning yoga from Quiet Mind Yoga, a cupcake eating contest, performances from The Chariots, Dyverse City, Black Masala and a Petting Zoo and KidZone. For a little post-fest imbibing, head to the Saturday Social at neighborhood bars on 11th and 14th streets. Meridian Pint will also be hosting an Oktoberfest block party on 11th and Park with a beer garden, outdoor food,games and a Polka band!
Columbia Heights Day Festival, October 6, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Harriet Tubman Elementary Field: 11th & Kenyon Streets, NW, DC; www.columbiaheightsday.org.