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Spring and Summer Activities Animate Capitol Riverfront

Spring really starts in the Capitol Riverfront with the return of Nationals baseball and the beginning of outdoor programming. Opening Day of baseball was April 5. The Capitol Riverfront restaurants and merchants invited Nats fans to come early and stay late and enjoy the over 45 restaurants now open in the neighborhood.

This will be the 11th season that the Nationals have called the Capitol Riverfront home. Since they first started playing at Nationals Park in April of 2008 the neighborhood has changed dramatically. Nats fans will notice the most evident changes at Half Street when they exit the Metro station with six constructions cranes operating on the following projects:

  • two new residential apartment buildings on both sides of Half Street by Jair Lynch and JBG Smith totaling 904 units. JBG Smith has also completed 1221 Van, a 291 unit apartment building with the new 10,000 SF Mission Dos Mexican restaurant opening soon.
  • Monument Realty has a new condominium project under construction – 10 Van Street that contains 171 for sale residential units.
  • Two new office building are under construction at 99 M Street, SE, and 1 M Street, SE. 99 M Street by Skanska will deliver in late summer, while the NAB headquarters building at M Street and South Capitol Streets will deliver in late 2019.
  • At completion, the Ballpark District that contains Half Street will contain approximately 3.4 million square feet of development and two hotels (already completed), three office buildings, five residential buildings, and approximately 160,000 SF of retail uses.

The Capitol Riverfront community is also known for celebrating the spring and summer through outdoor programming in Canal Park and Yards Park.

The Outdoor Movie Series will return on Thursday nights beginning June 7th. The line-up of movies has been voted on by our movie fans and the results are listed below.

Outdoor Movie Series
Thursdays, June 7 – August 23 beginning at sundown in Canal Park:


Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle


Raiders of the Lost Ark


Despicable Me


Easy A


National Treasure


A League of Their Own


The Greatest Showman




Black Panther


Wonder Woman


The Lion King (The Folger Shakespeare Library Partnership)


Kiss Me Kate  (The Folger Shakespeare Library Partnership)


The Friday Night Concert Series returns to Yards Park for their 8th season. Located on the River Terrace Steps and boardwalk, the concerts will begin on Friday, May 25, 2018 at a new starting time – 7:00 p.m. Bring your picnics or your favorite take out foods from one of the surrounding restaurants. Once again beer and wine will be available for sale at the concerts. The concert lineup for 2018 is as follows:





Pebble To Pearl



Burnt Sienna

Top 40, Pop, Rock


Marvillous – Jazz Fest Artist



Black Masala

World Funk


Shane Gamble Band

Country Covers & Own

Jun 29

Jah Works



Jimi Smooth Band



19th St Band

Americana Folk Rock


Jeff From Accounting

Pop/Rock covers


Trailer Grass Orchestra

Bluegrass Party


Practically Einstein



Party Like Its



La Unica

Celtic Latin Rock


United States Navy Band Country Current



Rain Date


A popular feature for families last year was Kids in Canal, a morning of programming and activities every Wednesday from June 6 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. that takes place in the middle block of Canal Park. The series will return again this season and you can check out the schedule at  www.capitol riverfront.org.

Another popular returning event is the FRESHFARM Farmers Market sponsored by the Capitol Riverfront BID. The FRESHFARM Farmers Market will occur every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. from May 6 – September 30, 2018 in the southern block of Canal Park and on the adjacent block of 2nd Street, SE. Come visit Canal Park for fresh produce, breads, meats, cheeses, ice cream and live music in the park.

Capitol Riverfront’s two parks help create an “outdoor ethos” for the community, and the BID is once again partnering with local health clubs and exercise instructors to offer a series of outdoor fitness classes in Canal Park and Yards Park every week this summer. The Fitness Series begins Monday, May 28 with instructors and class dates and times to be announced. Please visit our website at www.capitol riverfront.org for a full listing of those classes.

One of the recurring themes of the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood is ‘Water is Magic.” Everyone likes the opportunity to recreate on or close to the water, and Yards Park certainly affords beautiful views of the Anacostia River as does the one mile boardwalk trail from Nationals Park to the 11th Street Bridges. Local river outfitters Ballpark Boathouse and Capital SUP will be opening their rental facilities for canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddle board rentals in May 2018 to continue the river recreation..

The Yards Park Water Features are enjoyable for all ages

The water features in Yards Park and Canal Park certainly capture the imagination of children and engage them in summer fun in our neighborhood. Preparations are underway to have both sets of water features open to the public from April through October. Many neighborhood restaurants are also opening their outdoor seating in anticipation of the start of baseball and the warmer weather, so come down for a meal and enjoy an outdoor dining experience because everything feels cooler with a breeze off of the Anacostia River.


Michael Stevens, AICP is President of the Capitol Riverfront BID.

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