SkillZone DC to Open on Barracks Row

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Article by Christine Rushton from HillRag.com 

A new child play center SkillZone (709 Eighth St. SE) plans to open its doors to children ages one to five on Barracks Row in mid-November. Construction started Sept. 6 in the space formerly occupied by City Bikes.

Co-owners SkillZone DCMichael Campbell and Liza Fox hope to fill a gap in play zones for families and child caregivers around Capitol Hill, Campbell said. With more parents choosing to raise their children in the city, Campbell noticed a need for more spaces dedicated to young children’s play.

SkillZone isn’t a daycare center, but a place for parents or caregivers to interact with their children.

“If you’re a parent with little kids you’re limited — you can go to a park, Eastern Market or each other’s houses,” he said. “The intent is to try to provide a family-friendly space for young kids.”

Campbell, a father to two kids on the Hill, envisions the space in two parts: one dedicated to free form open play, and the other to a focused quieter zone for learning, he said. The free form space will include a slide, swings, small car racetrack and water table. The focused zone will include a glass wall enclosing the space and allowing for children to explore home skills like cooking; toys to learn about transportation or construction; and a section about animals. This area will only allow a certain number of children in at a time and reset every hour to clean up and invite others a chance at more quiet play.

But the space also gives adults a chance to sit or spend time with their children without sacrificing their own comfort, Campbell said. SkillZone plans to add comfortable seating and offer coffee, tea and other amenities.

“It offers families something other than technology to interact with,” Campbell said. “It allows parents to come and sit and get something done in a comfortable space.”

Parents can also prearrange to drop their child off for a short period of time if they need to run and errand or want to enjoy a date night near the Barracks Row area. The short-term babysitting arrangement requires parents to stay within a close range, though.

SkillZone will offer monthly memberships at prices geared toward more affordable rates. It will also offer day passes, which allow the children to either stay as long as they like or come and go. Prices will be determined in the next few months, but Campbell said they plan to offer discounts for multiple children. They will also rent the space for parties.

“I overly enjoy hanging out with children — to see the joy on their faces when they get to play with things they don’t normally have access to me — I could be perfectly content just hanging out here and keeping these children happy,” he said

Owners Campbell and Fox plan to host a walkthrough of their new site during the Sept. 24 Barracks Row Fall Festival.

Just 60 days until the Barracks Row Fall Festival!

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Saturday, September 24, 11AM-5PM

Your home town fair in the big city! Apply Here 

In this mid-summer heat wave it's hard to believe but fall is less than 2 months away. If your group plans to participate in the Barracks Row Fall Festival apply online as soon as possible or email us at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  with questions!

Every fall groups from well beyond Ward 6 celebrate the unique, small town flavor of Historic Capitol Hill. 

8th St. SE, is closed to traffic and booths of all description line the midway. Meanwhile, on the center stage, you'll see performances you don't want to miss - including the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. Of course, Chesty, the Marine Corps Bulldog mascot dressed in his uniform will be walking the midway to meet fair goers and pose with fans.

Up at the corner of 8th and E Street, the Petting Zoo returns - where city kids and their parents can meet farm animals. And towards the corner of 8th and I St, SE, an expanded Truck Touch will include some very unusual vehicles from DC Water. 

If you have questions about the festival we are easy to reach at 202-544-3188, Monday-Friday from 10:00AM- 6:00PM.

Barracks Row 4th of July Parade Photos

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Every 4th of July marchers form up under the protective cover of I 695.
Meanwhile a patriotic crowd waits up and down 8th Street. Phil Guire,
Grand Marshall organizes groups in parade order and at 10:00AM 
sharp they're off!  Check if your favorite Capitol Hill organization
was part of the 2016 4th of July Parade ... 
Take a look at our album here

Marine Corps Marching Band at rest - they lead the parade
Eastern High School Drill Team warms up.



Capitol Hill Corner also has an excellent selection of photos here.

Do More 24

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This Thursday is Do More 24! Do More 24 is the local movement powered by United Way of the National Capital Area that provides a simple way to generate excitement and connects donors with the causes they care most about throughout the National Capital Community. Over 700 local Nonprofits are working together this year.

The goal is to inspire the entire DMV to come together for 24 hours to give as much as possible to support the work of public 501c3 nonprofits and raise awareness in the National Capital Community!

Below is a list of Barracks Row participants and partners:

The Washington Humane Society/Washington Animal Rescue League

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop

Anacostia Watershed Society

People Animals Love

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Dupont Circle Main Streets


Or give directly to Barracks Row Main Street here to help support the great work we do!

Garden Party 2017 Tickets & Sponsorships

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Click here or on the picture below to buy sponsorships or tickets!

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District of Columbia Main Streets DC Department of Small and Local Business Development

Barracks Row Main Street is a designated DC Main Streets commercial district.  Barracks Row Main Street is funded in part by the Department of Small and Local Business Development.