Thing to Do

Take a walk through Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

Flowers at Kenilworth Gardens Lotus Festival in 2016.

No matter the time of year, a walk through Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens reveals nature's beauty in an urban environment.

Go birding on the boardwalk in the winter. Witness the sights and sounds that fill the park as everything comes to life in the spring. In late June and July, see our famous water lilies and large lotus flowers take center stage in the early morning, opening up to display their beauty for a few hours until the mid-day heat forces them to close. Visit during the fall to feel the crisp cool air and see leaves splashed with color. There are a variety of activities and experiences for ALL to enjoy throughout the year.

Pets are welcome in the park, but must remain leashed at all times. 

Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens (visitor center facilities) is in northeast Washington, D.C., just south of the Route 50, Baltimore-Washington Parkway, Kenilworth Avenue intersection. The entrance to the Aquatic Gardens is at 1550 Anacostia Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20019.

The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. Gates will lock and Close Promptly at 4 p.m.

The entrance to Kenilworth Athletic Fields (active recreation area) is located at the western end of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, N.E. It is approximately 0.5 mile south of the Aquatic Gardens entrance. There are no facilities at the site.

Coming by car

 Take Route 295 southbound if you are coming from north of Route 50 or Route 50, to the Eastern Avenue Exit. Go straight up the ramp to the second street on the right, Douglas Street. Make a right onto Douglas Street. At the end of Douglas Street, make another right onto Anacostia Avenue to get to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Go left to get to Kenilworth Recreation Park.

If you are coming from south of Route 50, take Route 295 north to the Burroughs Street Exit. At the bottom of the ramp go left. Go straight to Kenilworth Recreation Park. To get to Aquatic Gardens, go to the right of the athletic field entrance to follow Lee Street to 40th around a curve to Anacostia Avenue. Pass a hand ball court and wooded area to the gardens. An alternate to the Aquatic Gardens is to continue north on Route 295 to the Eastern Avenue Exit. Make a U turn to the left at the light at the top of the ramp and go down two streets to Douglas Street. Make a right on Douglas. At the end of Douglas make a right on Anacostia and continue a block and a half to the park on the left.

Coming by Metro

For the Aquatic Gardens, exit the Deanwood Stop on the Orange Line, lower Polk Street Exit. Take the pedestrian overpass across Kenilworth Avenue and go left on Douglas Street. Go right on Anacostia Avenue and enter any open gate on your left. For Kenilworth Park exit the Minnesota Avenue Stop, go left on Minnesota Avenue to Nannie Helen Burroughs and go left to the athletic fields.

Coming by bike

There are a growing number of bike trails near the park. For more information and a map go to

For further information, you may contact a Park Ranger at the site at (202) 692-6080.

Open 362 days a year, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens welcomes visitors with blanketed white snow in winter, fresh green sprouts in spring, to lush green hot summers, and painted foliage during the fall.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Winter Hours (November 1 - March 31)

8:00 am to 4:00 pm 

Summer Hours (April 1 - October 31)

9:00 am to 5:00 pm

The park is closed on January 1, Thanksgiving, and December 25.

No matter the season, there are a variety of things to do for everybody throughout the year.

Kenilworth Park (Athletic Fields and Meadow)

This area of the park, entered from Burroughs Avenue, contains the athletic fields and meadow. It is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to dusk. This area may be closed if road conditions are hazardous or after heavy rains to prevent damage to the fields.

Accessibility Information

The parking lot has four handicapped parking spaces near the path that leads to the aquatic gardens. Unfortunately the paths around the ponds and the river trail are not paved and may be uneven or muddy at times. Please use caution. For your safety it is encouraged to visit with a friend and do not explore the grounds alone in a wheel chair. Please visit our book store and visitor center as it has a ramp and is wheel chair accessible!

For any questions please call the park at (202) 692-6080

Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

Flowers at the Kenilworth Garden Aquatic Festival in 2016
Flowers at the Kenilworth Gardens Aquatic Festival in 2016.

NPS Photo

Sparkling in the sun on a breezy day, this natural area of Anacostia Park has its origins in a 1926 act of Congress to preserve the forests, water quality, and recreation value of the waterways of Washington, DC. The park reflects the policies that affect rivers and wetlands.

Come out and walk the boardwalk for winter birding. See the park come to life during spring as the sights and sounds wake up and fill the park. Early summer mornings are prime time to see our famous water lilies and large lotus flower as they take center stage before closing up during mid day heat (late June-July). Come during fall and enjoy crisp cool air and splashed water colors as the leaves dance with color. There is an ever changing pallet of activities for ALL throughout the year.

Last updated: June 12, 2021