Tuesday, June 9, 2015

HENSE Graffiti Church

Visiting the HENSE Graffiti Church has been on several of our bucket lists for awhile and I promised the kids we'd get it done at the beginning of summer so it wouldn't slip again. I knew that it was in SW DC, but I didn't quite realize exactly how close it was to so many of our other favorite city spots. As soon as I figured that out, I knew we could have an awesome first summer field trip. We headed out first thing yesterday morning and were so glad we did.

HENSE is an Atlanta based public artist who creates colorful works combining street and abstract art.  In 2013, along with a small crew, he transformed a historic, abandoned DC church into an amazing work of art. Whether or not it's your particular aesthetic, it's a pretty fabulous transformation and one definitely worth seeing. It now houses the Blind Whino SW Arts Club, but was not open to the public when we visited. We got the best glimpse we could walking around the outside.

If you happen to be in the neighborhood, which you would if you're attending a Nats game, hanging at the nearby Capitol Skyline Hotel pool, or waiting out the infamous lines at the only DC DMV to oversee vehicle inspections, GO. If you are taking the kids just to see the church, there are plenty of other awesome nearby attractions to loop in and really make a day of it.

To begin with, there is a geocache located near the Church. So plan on that. Then head around the corner to the newly re-done Randall Recreation Center + Pool (25 I. St., SW) -- we had a great time climbing and swinging our way around the ocean-themed playground (and we'll be back when the pool opens for summer hours).

After we'd heated up on the playground, we drove a few short minutes away to Canal Park (200 M. St, SE) where we knew the sprayground was already running. Since it was lunchtime, we scored some tasty food at the food trucks lining the park during the work week (if it's the weekend, there are plenty of options for food nearby as well). Then the kids hit the spraypark fully clothed (I forgot our swim stuff, oops) and played so long in the sun after that they basically completely dried out. While they played, I saw that there was another geocache nearby and we made sure to grab that after as well.

Yards Park (355 Water St., SE) is also just a short distance away and has more elaborate splash pools for kiddos to play and a free Friday Night Concert series in the summer.

The HENSE Graffiti Church is located at 700 Delaware Ave, SW. Street parking is limited, but doable. The Navy Yard-Ballpark metro is about a 15 minute walk away.

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