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Hains Point – A Not-So-Hidden DC Gem

View from Hains Point DC of planes taking off from DCA
View of the Airport from Hains Point

When you can’t decide between a leisurely stroll, a picnic, watching airplanes takeoff, playing on a playground, fishing, or feeding ducks, you need to head to Hains Point! During cherry blossom season, it’s also a great place to check out the blooms without the crowds.

Hains Point is a peninsula on the southern end of East Potomac Park and bordered by the Potomac River. There are many green spaces with picnic tables scattered throughout, most shaded by mature trees. While the two play areas–one geared towards younger kids and one geared towards older kids–don’t have any shade, there are plenty of shady spots closeby for parents to watch.

Hains Point DC Playground for older kids
Playground for Older Kids
Hains Point DC Playground for younger kids
Playground for Younger Kids

Walking paths on the water’s edge surround the area, making it a great way to spot ducks, boats, and even planes! Or grab a fishing pole and unpack your picnic while you enjoy the breeze.


Visiting the park is free and there is even plenty of free parking. The closest metro station (Smithsonian) is two miles away.

Penrose Square Spray Fountains

Enjoying the Fountains

Since summer in DC is hot, hot, hot, we are always looking for fun ways to cool off. The spray fountains at Penrose Square are always a hit with the kids. The fountains spray high, making it a fun game to see how many you can run underneath before getting wet!

Plenty of tables and chairs nearby make it easy for parents to grab a spot in the shade and watch while sipping a cup of coffee from Starbucks across the plaza or munching on a pizza from Marble & Rye.


Use of the spray fountains is free. Limited, metered street parking is available along with a parking garage, which is free for the first hour (rates start at $2 after that). While there are no public bathrooms, the nearby businesses do have bathrooms available for customers.