Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens
District of Columbia

Lotus and Water Lily Festival

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Welcome to the 2021 Virtual Lotus & Water Lily Festival

The Virtual 2021 Lotus and Water Lily Festival is being presented by the National Park Service and the Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and will include a variety of events on-line that will air on this webpage and there will also be a few small programs and activities featured in the park. This virtual event kicks off on July 8th with the an on-line “Opening Ceremony” and continues throughout the month of July. A list of featured programs with their descriptions can be found in the calendar below.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is a one-of-a-kind destination within Anacostia Park and it is a hidden gem in Washington, DC. The summer lotus and lily blossoms are a “must see” during their peak blooming period in July, not unlike viewing the cherry blossoms in the spring. We hope you will have a chance to visit the park this July and that you will participate in some of the festival programs being featured on-line. The park will continue to update this festival page and the park Facebook page with any new information about this year’s virtual festival as it becomes available. We also encourage you to learn more about the Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens by visiting their website and/or stopping by their table at the park when you visit in July.

Pink lotus flowers and their large leaves on a sunny day.
Lotus flowers are just part of the natural wonders to discover at the aquatic gardens.

NPS / Kendra Barat

Extended Hours on Fridays

Looking for an outdoor place to do something in the evening with friends or for a date night? The park will be open until 8 p.m. on Fridays July 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st, to give everyone more time to see the lotus and lily flowers. The park has a picnic area where you can bring your own food. Most Fridays, we will have a food truck on site where you can buy dinner or a snack.

Event Calendar

July 8 - 7:00 pm - Opening Ceremony (Virtual)
July 9 - 4:00-8:00 pm - Extended Hours
July 10 - 1:00 pm - Lotus Tea (Virtual)
July 13 - 10:00 am - 1pm - Lotus Craft
July 15 - 12:00 pm - Shaw Water Gardens history talk (Virtual)
July 16 - 4:00-8:00 pm - Extended Hours
July 17 - 1:00 pm - Origami
July 18 - 1:00 pm - Virtual Garden Tour en Español (Virtual)
July 19 - 12:00 - Opening Ceremony Replay (Virtual)
July 20 - 12:00 - Water Lily Family (Virtual)
July 22 - 12:00 - Hardy Water Lily (Virtual)
July 27 - 12:00 - Lotus or Lily? (Virtual)
July 28 - 1:00 - Lotus Craft
July 29 - 12:00 - The Manchurian Lotus (Virtual)

Find more events hosted by Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

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There are three easy ways to get to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens! Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is located at 1550 Anacostia Ave. NE.

  1. Metro: Deanwood Metro Station (Orange Line) is about a 10-minute walk from Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. From the lower station exit go out the Polk Street tunnel to the pedestrian overpass that crosses Kenilworth Avenue. Use the overpass to cross Kenilworth Avenue. As you come down the overpass, Douglas Street will be straight ahead. Make a left on Douglas Street and go to the end of the street, about two blocks. Make a right at the end of Douglas Street onto Anacostia Avenue and the park entrance will be on your left.
  2. Drive: The park has a dedicated parking lot that fills up quickly on busy weekends. Please refrain from parking in the neighborhood or blocking driveways. We recommend parking on the park side of Anacostia Avenue or there is additional parking parking for visitors with disabilities is located on Anacostia Avenue between Polk St. and Ord St. NE at the old Kenilworth-Parkside Recreation Center campus and is a short walk from near the park entrance. There is plenty of additional parking at this location.
  3. Bike: Enjoy a 20 minute bike ride along the scenic Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, starting from the Anacostia Skating Pavilion (1500 Anacostia Drive SE) to the festival site. You can also bike the Anacostia River Trail from Bladensburg, Md., to Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens. Bike racks are available at the end of the spur trail that leads from the paved Anacostia River Trail into the gardens. Please leave your bike at the bike racks as biking on the paths around the ponds is not permitted.
A ranger fills a water bottle.
Stay hydrated! The water bottle filling station is at the visitor center.


What to Bring

Please bring water! The park has a refillable water station outside the visitor center to fill reusable water bottles. The area around the ponds does not have much shade and it can be very hot during the summer so make sure you carry water with you to stay hydrated as you walk around the park.

You can bring a picnic or snacks to the park. Picnic tables are available in the picnic and a few other locations. There are no grills in the picnic area and visitors are not permitted to bring grills to the park. On some weekends in July, there will be food trucks in the park for the convenience of park visitor since there are no places nearby to purchase food and beverages.

Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome. Dogs on leash are allowed at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and owners are responsible for picking up waste.


Be prepared! July is a hot month in Washington, DC, so having a hat, staying hydrated to avoid heat exhaustion and wearing sunscreen are recommended. It is also a good idea to wear sturdy, comfortable walking shoes.

Mask wearing is no longer required outdoors for anyone who is fully vaccinated though maintaining adequate social distancing is still recommended for all visitors.

Don’t leave valuables in your car, and park only in the designated parking areas mentioned above.

If you see something, say something! Call U.S. Park Police at 202-617-7500.

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Social Media

Follow us online and become a part of our social media community by tagging us in your photos, reacting to posts, and sharing what you love most about the Lotus and Water Lily Festival.

Facebook @kenilworthaquaticgardens
Instagram @kenilworthnps


Last updated: June 10, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1900 Anacostia Ave SE
Washington, DC 20020


(202) 692-6080

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