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Local Parks and Playgrounds

Do you have a terrific playground in your neighborhood?  Contact me with the address or good directions! 

  • See reviews of local parks and playgrounds.
  • Learn more about all Fairfax County parks .  Some favorites include:
    • Clemyjontri 6317 Georgetown Pike McLean, 22101
    • Cub Run Rec Center 4630 Stonecroft Blvd., Chantilly, next to Westfields HS.  In addition to the many classes and activities Parks and Rec has there, they have a fantastic indoor swimming pool with a tot lot water park, a wave pool, swimming channel, and for the big kids, a GIGANTIC slide.  They have a relatively new playground outside as well.  You can pay-as-you-go, buy a fast pass with 25 visits, or buy a membership for the pool and fitness center.
    • Burke Lake Park – 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, VA 22039 703-323-6600  Miniature golf, miniature train ride, carousel, ice cream parlor, Frisbee golf, marina, picnic areas with grills and public restrooms, fitness trails, playgrounds, campground and camp store and 4.68 mile hiking/biking trail.  Note that the train, carousel, and ice cream parlor are only open seasonally (spring – summer).
    • Ellanor C. Lawrence Park – nice hiking trails, a visitor’s center with snakes, frogs, turtles.  They have “activity bags” you can check out and use to explore different topics, i.e. “Bugs.”
    • Riverbend Park – 8700 Potomac Hills Street, Great Falls, VA 22066 703-759-9018     has hiking trails, wildflowers and birds as well as picnic area with grills and a deck overlooking the Potomac River.  Ice cream, drinks and snacks.
    • Lake Accotink Park – offers canoe, rowboat and pedal boat rentals, an old fashioned carousel, fishing, tour boat rides, picnic shelters and facilities, playground and trails.    7500 Accotink Park Road, Springfield, VA
    • Lake Fairfax – 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston, VA 20190 703-471-5415  has a carousel, athletic fields, picnic shelter, picnic areas with grills, playground, restrooms, campgrounds and nature trail which features tubing on the rattlesnake Lazy river, a baby pool at Tenderfoot Pond, slides, water cannons, tunnels, towers and more.
    • Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax Park  1400 Lake Fairfax Dr. Reston, VA 20190 703-471-5415  Features tubing on the rattlesnake Lazy river, a baby pool at Tenderfoot Pond, slides, water cannons, tunnels, towers and more.  
    • One of my very favorites – Hidden Pond Park and Nature Center (don’t confuse it with Hidden OAKS) 8511 Greeley Blvd., Springfield, VA.  This place has it all – a playground, a wonderful wooded trail, a pond full of turtles, hiking trails through the woods, bike paths, a stream, and to top it all off – a FANTASTIC nature center.  The volunteers at the nature center will often pull out a skink or turtle for the children to touch.  There are magnifying glasses to take a look and, b/c the back of the nature center is actually on the second floor, a solid window wall from which to get an eye-to-eye view of the birds at the bird feeder (and if that isn’t close enough – they will lend you binoculars).  There are puzzles, a coloring station – just all kinds of things.  This is a very kid-friendly nature center and they have put up with some very active younger siblings.  Bonus – they sell cold bottled water and popsicles for those really hot days.  There are bathrooms.
    • Van Dyck Park 3722 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax in Fairfax City – has lots of nice features including a rock climbing wall, sand pit, sand diggers, and a pavilion, for older kids, there is a skateboard park.
  • Learn more about Loudoun County parks at: http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=883 and http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=924  Some favorites include:
    • Ashburn Park is especially nice and shady — 43645 Partlow Road, Ashburn 
    • Claude Moore Park – 21544 Old Vestal’s Gap Road Sterling, VA 20164 Phone: 571-258-3700   This park has a wonderful nature center with lots of hands on activities (animals skins, bones, shells, etc.), books, puzzles, usually a new activity each month to do.  Simply terrific.  There are picnic tables near the nature center, so bring a picnic!  There is also the Heritage Farm Museum (there is an admission fee for this) which is a neat please-touch type of exhibit about farm life in our area in older times.  You can weigh and measure grain in a sensory table, grind some grain, “milk” the lifesized plastic cow, pick up wooden eggs from underneath the rubber hens in the chicken coop, try on historic farm outfits, walk through a general store, ride on small tractors, etc.
    • http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=883  All of the parks and rec centers have activities; see their activity guide
    • http://www.idalee.org/parks/programs/  Ida Lee is part of Leesburg parks
    • http://www.idalee.org/parks/events/  great events in Leesburg
  • Learn more about Northern Virginia Regional Parks at: http://www.nvrpa.org/  

Water Parks – typically open Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend

  • Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax Park  1400 Lake Fairfax Dr. Reston, VA 20190 703-471-5415  Features tubing on the rattlesnake Lazy river, a baby pool at Tenderfoot Pond, slides, water cannons, tunnels, towers and more. Although they have food vendors on site, you are also allowed to bring your own food and (non-alcoholic) drinks in a cooler.  Admission includes a ride on the carousel and lake tourboat.
  • Signal Bay Waterpark is a fun water park with a toddler play area, a lazy river, and water slides — usually there are coupons in the Fairfax County Library Summer reading program to this park, so there may be again this year 9300 Signal View Dr Manassas Park, VA 20111 
  • Splash Down Water Park  7500 Ben Lomond Park Dr. Manassas, VA 20109  (703) 361-4451  Claims to have 13 acres of fun!  There’s plenty of fun for little kids and big kids – lots of water slides, a sand beach, a 770-foot lazy river, 25 meter lap pool, an interactive children’s area with 4 (small) slides, bubblers and fountains (very, very shallow) and food vendors on site. Note, young swimmers will need a Coast Guard approved vest (no water wings, etc.) when swimming, but they have free ones for your use on site.
  • Our Special Harbor Spray Park  is an all-access spray park. Located at the intersection of Rose Hill and Telegraph Roads in Franconia, this is a zero-depth spray park that allows children of all abilities to enjoy water on a summer day — see site for hours.  Free to everyone, there is a slight charge for commercial groups.