Things to Do

Pickleball on the National Mall? Yes, It’s Actually Happening.

Play on the pop-up courts from September 28 to September 30.

Court renderings courtesy of the Trust for the National Mall and Humana.

The fastest growing sport in the nation is coming to the National Mall. Nine pickleball courts will be open for game play at JFK Hockey Fields (1964 Independence Ave., SW) from Thursday, September 28 to Saturday, September 30. Players can reserve a free spot on the courts or in a pickleball clinic starting on Thursday, September 14 at 12 PM.

Pickleballers register in teams of two, and opponents will be matched on site. If you don’t book a slot in time, there will also be a dedicated court for walk-ons. Paddles and balls will be provided to all players. New to the sport or looking to perfect your shot? Pros from the DC Pickleball Team will hold lessons for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players.

When the courts aren’t occupied by free play and clinics, spectators can watch a series of pickleball games. Comedian Rob Riggle will emcee a celebrity contest featuring participants such as Wizards player Corey Kispert, and journalist Katie Couric will join a game with a group of local senior athletes. You can also attend a pickleball showdown between DC newsrooms such as the Washington Post and NPR. Whether Washingtonian will make an appearance on the court remains unconfirmed.

The pickleball pop-up is a organized by the Trust for the National Mall and healthcare company Humana. Check out the full schedule of events here.

Editorial Fellow

Hunter is a cat-loving Coloradoan who enjoys history, Halloween and board games. He studied audio production and radio storytelling at Hofstra University before moving to DC in 2022. During his editorial fellowship with Washingtonian in the fall of 2023, he ran Halloween Hunter, a section featuring local stories for the spooky season.