Located just 9 miles northwest of downtown Washington, Glen Echo Park first opened as a National Chautauqua Assembly in 1891. It later became a famous amusement park until it closed in 1968.
Today, the park emphasizes arts and cultural education. Resident artists include the Adventure Theatre MTC, which features children’s theater performances; and a glass studio with offerings such as blown glass and silversmithing. Learn more by clicking here.
Originally developed in 1891 as the National Chautauqua Assembly, Glen Echo became a destination for adult education courses, entertainment, and the arts. It remained popular even as tastes changed and the Park began to operate as an amusement area.
In the summer of 1960, Howard University students led daily demonstrations at the Park’s carousel demanding integration. Montgomery County aided and abetted the segregation by transporting children to the park on busses, bringing thousands of dollars in children’s admission fees into the Park’s coffers.
National Park Service’s acquisition of the Park in 1975 brought new vitality. The unused Spanish Ballroom was remodeled as an art gallery and the Park’s historic structures were stabilized or restored. The resurging popularity of the Park suffered setbacks in 1981 when federal budget cuts cut back on funding for Glen Echo.
Originally developed in 1891 as the National Chautauqua Assembly, the park has a long history of arts and cultural programming. Resident artists and organizations produce children’s entertainment, such as theater productions from the Adventure Theatre MTC, and music classes and performances for kids of all ages at Glen Echo Glassworks a blown glass studio, and the Washington Conservatory of Music.
Getting to Glen Echo Park by public transportation is easy, just take the METRO Red Line to Friendship Heights or Bethesda and transfer to Montgomery County Ride-On bus route 29, which stops right in front of the Park. You can also visit Moovit for step-by-step directions on how to get there from your current location. The bus trip takes about fifteen minutes, and the bus fare is only $2! Explore more!
Things to Do
A relic from its days as the National Chautauqua Assembly and later an amusement park, Glen Echo Park offers an array of arts, recreation, and entertainment. The complex includes a 1920s carousel and the Puppet Company Playhouse, a year-round theater with puppets, music, and dance shows for children of all ages. The park also hosts concerts, workshops, and family festivals like Contrastock and the Fall Frolic.
The park’s many historic buildings showcase a range of architectural styles. Several of the buildings are now home to galleries and studios including glassworks, pottery, photography, painting, and dance and art classes. For history buffs, a film reel features interviews with civil rights activists who took part in 1960s protests at the park. Another film is Glen Echo on the Potomac, an hour documentary chronicling the park since 1891.
Located within the historic National Park, Glen Echo Park is home to 13 resident artists and arts organizations, a restored 1921 Dentzel Carousel that includes seven different types of animals in its menagerie, two award-winning children’s theaters, weekend drop-in art programs for kids, and numerous studios and galleries. Guests can also enjoy social dancing, learn how to silversmith and sculpt, and experience the art of storytelling through the medium of puppetry.
Craving something salty or sweet? Get a hot and delicious pizza or snack delivery from Domino’s near Glen Echo Park. Once your order is made, you can track it on Domino’s website or app to make sure it gets delivered in a timely manner to your doorstep or wherever else you want it delivered to.
The Glen Echo Park Arts and Cultural Center is well-known in the Washington DC area. It houses 13 resident artists, a thriving social dance program, a reconstructed 1921 Dentzel Carousel, two award-winning children’s theaters, numerous art studios and galleries, a nature program, and much more. The venue is ideal for a wide range of events, from elegant catered affairs to more casual, whimsical ones like birthday parties.
Dancers can enjoy the ambiance in the Spanish Ballroom or the charming Bumper Car Pavilion. All social dances include an introductory lesson and live music. Other special events include Tango Brillante, and the Yellow Barn Studio & Gallery’s painting and drawing residency. These programs provide community and artistic guidance to nationally-recognized artists. Find out more!
Driving directions from PowerWashCompany to Glen Echo Park
Driving directions from Glen Echo Park to Meadowbrook Local Park