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The Capital Wheel at National Harbor

The Capital Wheel
174 Waterfront Street #215
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
www.thecapitalwheel.com
 

The Capital Wheel is a 180-foot-tall observation wheel at the National Harbor that opened in May 2014. It is positioned at the end of a new pier overlooking the Potomac river and has amazing views of the Capitol, National Mall, and Arlington National Cemetery. I was intrigued ever since I heard about the wheel coming to DC since it reminded me of the London Eye that I rode while studying abroad in college. The Capital Wheel is only half the size of the London Eye but is still very impressive. I decided to take the girls on a beautiful fall morning after visiting the National Children’s Museum and we all greatly enjoyed the experience.

CWpier

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The Capital Wheel has 42 climate controlled gondolas, so you can ride comfortably in any type of weather. They hold 8 people and also include music and an emergency call button if you need to stop and get out for any reason. Be careful not to bump your head when entering the gondola as they are not tall enough to stand up in…..I know from experience :).

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The wheel makes about 6 rotations, so the flight lasts approximately 12-15 minutes. We rode on a clear day, so we had great views of the city and watched planes fly into National Airport.

CWview                             CWgirls

CWpierview                                          CWclara+momma

After riding The Capital Wheel, we went over to The Awakening, a larger than life sculpture embedded in the earth at the water’s edge. The girls enjoyed running around in the sand and playing on the different parts of the sculpture. There are a few Adirondak chairs where you can sit to enjoy coffee or take in the beautiful view from this area.

CWsculpture                   CWfoot

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While at the National Harbor there are a few other fun things to do with children. There is an Americana-themed carousel featuring whimsical creatures located at the north end along the waterfront. The carousel is open only on the weekends and tickets are $5 per child. The area housing the carousel also has a new playground, toddler play area, and picnic tables.

NatHarCarousel        NatHarplayground

Also while at the National Harbor you can rent kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and pedal-boats.

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The National Children’s Museum is another attraction at the harbor and is just a couple blocks up from the waterfront. See my review here.

I definitely recommend visiting the National Harbor and going for a ride on The Capital Wheel. It is an easy drive from the city or suburbs and an activity that children will enjoy. I would love to go back sometime and ride the wheel at night for a different experience.

Good to Know:

•Tickets are $15 (ages 12-60), $11.25 (ages 3-11), $13.50 (over 60), free (2 & under). You can buy tickets online or at the onsite ticket booth on the pier.
•Take advantage of a Certifikid deal currently being offered now through November 14 – kids ride free with the purchase of a $15 adult ticket.
•Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10am-11pm.
•Strollers are not permitted on the gondolas. There is a designated stroller parking area just in front of the ramp leading up to The Capitol Wheel.



Clemyjontri Park

Clemyjontri Park
6317 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101
(703) 388-2807
 

Clemyjontri is hands down the best playground we have visited in the area. I first discovered the park a couple years ago and have been taking my girls here ever since. It is so colorful and full of fun equipment. Yesterday, we made another visit to the park to meet our friends for a play date.

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Open daily 7am to dusk

The parking lot directly next to the park is small and often fills up quickly. There is additional parking just across Georgetown Pike. Sometimes, this lot is also full and in that case there is more parking further east on Georgetown Pike at the Langley Fork Park.

For my girls, the highlight of this park is the carousel. Tokens are $1.75 per ride. The carousel is lowered to ground level so that it is accessible for wheelchairs. This was the last week the carousel was open during the week days. In September and October it is only open on the weekends.

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Located in the center of the park

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My girls!

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Includes Chariots, a spinning teacup, & 14 horses

The playground is amazing in that it was designed so that children of all abilities can play side-by-side. The park was made so that children in wheelchairs, walkers or braces, or who have sensory or developmental delays can have an equally fun playground experience. The special features of Clemyjontri include:

• Ramps connecting structures
• Wide openings for easy access to play areas
• Rubber ground surface
• Sensory rich equipment
• Lowered monkey bars
• Swings with high backs, arm rests, & safety features

The 2-acre playground consists of 4 outdoor “rooms”. The first room is the Rainbow room. Clara actually calls this park the “Rainbow Playground” because of this archway.

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Rainbow Room also includes a variety of swings

The next room is the Schoolhouse and Maze.

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Maze includes learning panels

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Teaches “where am I” with maps and a globe

The Moovin & Groovin area is next.

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Includes transportation themed equipment such as planes, trains, & cars

The last room is Fitness & Fun.

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Includes the largest jungle gym

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There is also a musical area with various drums & noisemakers

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Structures designed to challenge physical strength

There is very little shade on the playground. However there are a few tent sails over picnic tables and benches.

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Picnic table area

Other helpful information:

• Picnic Pavillion can be rented out for parties, etc
• Bathrooms include changing tables
• Vending machines on site
• No bikes or scooters allowed on playground
• Playground does get very busy between the hours of 10am-3pm