About Glen Echo Park



Glen Echo Park is one of the finest cultural resources in the Washington, DC area.


It is home to 13 resident artists and arts organizations, a thriving social dance program, a restored 1921 Dentzel Carousel, two award-winning children's theaters, a weekend drop-in art program for children, numerous art studios and galleries, a nature program, and hundreds of classes in visual and performing arts, including ceramics, painting, photography, glass, music, dance, and more. These activities, as well as free summer concerts, festivals, and special events bring more than 350,000 visitors to the Park each year.

The site was first developed in the 1890s as a Chautauqua retreat and soon became the premier Washington area amusement park, serving the community until 1968. In 1971 the federal government acquired the land in order to preserve the Potomac Palisades and prevent development along the river. The management of the Park was assigned to the National Park Service, which established the core of the current arts program.


In 2002, the National Park Service transferred management of the Park to Montgomery County, which in turn created the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, a new nonprofit, to oversee the Park’s arts programs and historic facilities.


From 2003 to 2010, extensive renovations of the Park's facilities took place under the direction of Montgomery County and the National Park Service with input from the Partnership and resident organizations. These renovations were funded with major federal, state, and county resources as well as private donations. Renovations included: the Spanish Ballroom, the Dentzel Carousel, the Puppet Co. Playhouse, the Arcade building, the Yellow Barn, Adventure Theatre, the Candy Corner, the Chautauqua Tower, the Ballroom Annex, and the Caretaker's Cottage.


(Pictured above: Senator Mikulski and former County Executive Doug Duncan dancing at the Park's historic Spanish Ballroom grand opening in 2003.)


More Information:


About the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture



History of Glen Echo Park National Park Service
Contact Us

Press Room

Board & Staff Job Openings
Photography/Filming Studio Opportunities



•••••  What's so special about Glen Echo Park?  •••••


“Glen Echo Park fosters creativity and a love of the arts as well as a sense of community. The learning and shared experiences that I have enjoyed at the Park over the years have not only strengthened my understanding of myself but also of the arts as a basic necessity.”

Laura C.

Member, Student, and Volunteer


“We love dancing at Glen Echo Park! The dance community is what brought us together 10 years ago when we first met at a USO dance in the Spanish Ballroom... The beauty of the Ballroom, the wide variety of dance offerings (we especially enjoy Waltz Time), the incredible bands that play at the dances, the lessons offered before each dance – all of this has kept us coming back for more."

Bob & Francine L.

Social Dancers