I can almost smell the freshly cut grass and see the wisps of orange dust being kicked up, which can only mean one thing: baseball is returning to Nats Park! The Washington Nationals will celebrate Opening Day and their first home game of the 2018 season on Thursday, April 5 against the New York Mets at 1:05 p.m. Gates open at 11 a.m. and we highly encourage all fans to plan accordingly as traffic/parking can be a bit of a nightmare on opening day.
As we enter the11th season played at Nats Park, we reflect on the monumental changes that have occured in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood over the last decade. There are 2,800 residential units currently under construction and since last Opening Day, 16 new restaurants have opened (Chloe, District Winery, RASA, The Salt Line, All Purpose Pizzeria and Declaration just to name a few) with eight more expected to open throughout the 2018 season. When the Ballpark District is completed in 2019, it will boast 3,000,000-square-feet of mixed-use development from residential units to restaurants, retail and the new DC UNited Audi Field.
We've already told you what to expect when you get inside the park, but let's talk about a few of the nearby businesses offering Opening Day specials. After all, if the Nats score a Curly W, you'll want to keep the party going all day!
- The first 25,000 fans to enter the ballpark will receive a t-shirt featuring the 2018 schedule, and Coca-Cola will hand out free samples as fans exit the ballpark through the Center Field Gate (while supplies last).
- District Winery will open at 11 a.m. and offer happy hour through 6:30 p.m. in celebration of the Nats' home opener.
- Bluejacket will open at 9 a.m., debuting a new pilsner called Love Cats and an outdoor grilling menu with sticky ribs, wings, sausage, pulled pork, burgers and more.
- Ice Cream Jubilee will add a free mini scoop of their Nats Red Velvet flavor onto any ice cream purchase to guests with an Opening Day ticket.
- Nando’s will offer an all-day happy hour.
- Chloe is offering an all day happy hour starting at 11 a.m., with $7 draft beers, wine specials and happy hour bites like falafel and wild mushroom croquettas.
- Takorean will offer $3 craft beers all day.
- Declaration Nats Park officially opens Thursday, April 5 at 11 a.m. with a free meatball slider with the purchase of a Sam Adams beer and plenty of chances to win gift cards, Nats swag, Nats tickets and free pizza.
- The Salt Line will open at 11 a.m. and partner with RAR Brewing and Harris Creek Oyster Co. to offer taproom-only rarities and shucked oysters all day.
- Osteria Morini will serve ciabatta sandwiches, salads, charcuterie, beer and wine, and Italian desserts such as ice cream sandwiches and tiramisu from their waterfront food and drink stand, Morini Piccolo.
- Trapeze School New York - Washington DC will offer 20 percent off of a student’s first class.
- The Yards will be handing out free swag and giveaways all day.
- Willow will give out a free pair of baseball earrings with a $20 purchase.
- VIDA Fitness will host an outdoor boot camp class, which will meet at the Department of Transportation at 6:30 a.m.