Dawson Terrace and Community Center in Arlington, VA!

Dawson Terrace and Community Center in Arlington, VA!

Last week we spent some time visiting some parks in Arlington, VA! Arlington parks do such a great job with their parks.

Address: 2133 N. Taft Street, Arlington, VA

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Dawson Terrace Community Center is located off of Taft Road.  This park has street parking as well as a parking lot.  Included in this park is a large open field, basketball court, volleyball court, playground with two tot lots and swings, walking/hiking trail as well as the community center.  There is a historic landmark, The Dawson-Bailey House here as well, which is where the name Dawson came from.

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Our boys had a lot of fun at this park, it was also nice because although it was not fully fenced in, there was a fence facing the woods and parking lot to help the kids safe.  There are two different playgrounds, one is a larger piece of equipment with two wrap around slides and the other one is geared more for the younger ones and is much smaller.  This piece of equipment has a slide and climbing equipment, but is surrounded by sand.  So we took out some sand toys and the boys had a blast! There is also a piece of climbing equipment for the older kids.  Swings, there are six total; 4 regular swings and 2 infant swings.   Directly behind the “play area” is where you can enter the Palisades Trail.  Beautiful trail, especially in the Fall.

collage2The Dawson-Baily House, a beautiful stone house, is expected to be the oldest building in Arlington, patented in 1696.  From the back of the house, is a large open field that is used for soccer.  During our time at the park there were five different dogs playing and running around.  There is also a basketball court at the community center.  Right next to the house is the community center where they host events daily.

If you are in Arlington and haven’t had a chance to visit Dawson Terrace Community Center, check it out!

Barcroft Park in Arlington, VA!

Barcroft Park in Arlington, VA!

Our Orthopedist was funny and mentioned Barcroft Park is her kids favorite park because the high rope climbing apparatus. The rope equipment at this park is pretty high but my oldest had a fun time pretending he was on American Ninja Warrior..:) But luckily there is not just the climbing tree to play on. This playground is near the Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center. The 65-acre park includes several sports fields including lit baseball/softball field, batting cage,tennis courts, handball court, drop-in rectangular field, volleball court, lighted basketball court, and horseshoe pit. You can even head down to the stream and try some fishing. Here is a map that kind of shows you where things are located in the park.

Address: 4200 S Four Mile Run Dr ArlingtonVA 22206 

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We only spent time at the one playground area by the parking garage but there are two other small playground areas next to the two different picnic pavilions. We’ll have to end up going back and checking them out on another day. The playground we did check out is located near all the sports fields and has indoor restrooms right next to the area. The area includes a large climbing apparatus that includes two different sizes for the kids to climb on. It was easy for me to get in there and help out when someone needed help coming down or going back up. So the little crowd doesn’t feel left out there is a preschool age slide and steps combo for them to climb on over a compressed rubber flooring. Besides the added bonus of  bathrooms being so close by there is plenty of shade over and around the equipment. Lots of benches, concrete wall and tables for everyone to sit at as well.

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We will definitely head back to this park at a later date to check out the picnic pavilions, other playground areas and fishing spot. My oldest is already begging to go back and climb on the rope trees…..:)

Long Branch Nature Center & Park in Arlington, VA!

Long Branch Nature Center & Park in Arlington, VA!

We love the Arlington County Nature Centers and Long Branch Nature Center is pretty awesome inside. They have a large classroom, live animal exhibits, indoor Koi Pond with turtles and Children’s Discovery Room. Outside they have nature and paved trails along the stream plus a viewing pond. Here is a map to that shows you the Nature Center compared to the parks around the area.

Address: 625 S Carlin Springs Rd ArlingtonVA 22204 

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The kids had a fun time walking around the Nature Center. They have a lot of live animal exhibits including an indoor Koi Pond and Discovery Room. The best part is that the indoor space is a nice getaway from the weather outside with clean restrooms. They are closed on Mondays but open from 10-5 Tue-Saturday and 1-5 on Sundays.

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After spending a good amount of time at the Nature Center we headed out on the trails. Before we hit the paved trail we came across a small kids area with a sandbox and stumps to climb on. Inside the sand box were plenty of sand toys to play with.  Small nature trails surround the Nature Center or you can head out on the Paved Trail that leads to Glencarlyn Park and access to the W&OD Trail. The Glencarlyn Dog Park can also be accessed from the trail system too.

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A neat feature at the beginning of the trail was the Trail Tales. A children’s book is broken up into different signs and by the end of the trail the kids and you have read a full book. My youngest was running up to every post begging me to read the Beetle book.

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As you can tell by the pictures the area is just beautiful and my pics don’t do it justice. Here is a map to show you where the parks connect and also where the streams meet up. If you’re looking for a nice nature hike, bike ride or just a leisurely stroller walk check out the area around Long Branch Nature Center in Arlington,VA!

Lacey Woods Park in Arlington, VA!

Lacey Woods Park in Arlington, VA!

Lacey Woods Park in Arlington, VA is a very nice park in Arlington County. The park includes a playground, indoor restrooms, full basketball court, multi-purpose field, brand two (2) picnic pavilion, charcoal grills, small nature trails and fire ring.

Address: 1200 N George Mason Dr., ArlingtonVA 22205

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*****PICNIC PAVILION RENTAL INFORMATION*****

The fenced-in park has parking available along the street and is situated at the corner of George Mason Drive and Washington Blvd. The streets are pretty busy so be careful when pulling out into traffic. If you live in the neighborhood there are plenty of sidewalks and crosswalks for you to navigate. The playground area includes a small sandbox area for the little ones, a large piece of play equipment for the big kids, and toddler swings. There is also lots of shade over the playground so it was the perfect spot for a hot day. This would also be the perfect park for the kids to bring their ride on toys or bikes with the paved trails around the playground area. There a small fun hoop and concrete area for the littler crowd to play basketball on as well. The indoor bathrooms and water fountain are situated right next to the playground so you don’t have far to go for the potty training crowd.

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***Sorry no pics of the toddler sand box, too many little ones…:)

The other part of the park that we explored was the more natural part of the park. We walked up the paved trail to the brand picnic pavilion and found the fire ring area. I have no idea who has the authority to use the fire ring but I do know that the picnic pavilions which there are two of them can be rented. One pavilion can accommodate 50 people and the other 200 people. Click the link at the bottom page for more information on rental picnic pavilions in Arlington County. With the large natural space there a few small trails for the kids to walk in and out of the trees. If want the little ones to learn to take small nature walks this would be a prime spot to take them out in.

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We really enjoyed this park and we hope you enjoyed our review of Lacey Woods Park in Arlington, VA!

*****PICNIC PAVILION RENTAL INFORMATION*****

Eads Park in Arlington, VA!

Eads Park in Arlington, VA!

Eads Park in Arlington, VA includes a small gazebo with charcoal grills, multi-use field and fenced-in playground. Metered parking is available along the street. I parked along Fort Scott to get closer to the play equipment.

Address: 2730 S Eads St. ArlingtonVA 22202

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The fenced-in playground has one large piece of play equipment that was in great shape.  No shade over the park but plenty of shade around the park for the kids to get out of the heat. When we were there the porta potty was down by Eads Road across the park from where the playground is. The porta potty must be seasonal May through October. If you’re looking for a quick and easy park in the Arlington area, check out Eads Park!

Thomas Jefferson Community Center & Park in Arlington, VA!

Thomas Jefferson Community Center & Park in Arlington, VA!

Thomas Jefferson Park in Arlington, VA includes a Community Center, playground, lit basketball courts, lit tennis courts, lit synthetic turf field, a baseball field, lit grass soccer/football, and a fitness trail. The Thomas Jefferson Community Center has an indoor track, basketball courts, volleyball courts, fitness facilities, open art studios, and after school programs.

Address: 3501 S 2nd St. ArlingtonVA 22204

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The playground area had lots of smaller slides and ride on equipment. One of the slide sets needed some work but all the rest of the equipment was in great shape. There isn’t any shade over the equipment but at least there are inside restrooms you can use when the community center is open.

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The Thomas Jefferson Park and Community Center has a lot of sports fields and courts for you to enjoy. The additional activities at the Community Center are great for all ages and skill levels. If you live in the Arlington area and need a great sports park check out Thomas Jefferson Community Center and Park!

Carlin Community Center & Park in Arlington, VA!

Carlin Community Center & Park in Arlington, VA!

Carlin Community Center & Park in Arlington is a very cute Glencarlyn park. The park sits adjacent to the Glencarlyn Branch Library and the library has very cute garden you can walk through. All the plants in the garden are labeled and a gate leads you through to the playground. Or you can reach the park through the front gate by the Carlin Hall building. Parking is available in the lot.

Address: 5711 4th St S ArlingtonVA 22204 

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Carlin Hall was originally built in 1892 as a community center and in 1962 it was transferred over to Arlington County for use as a Rec Center. Today the facility is used during the school as year as a preschool and County summer programs. Any other times the hall can be used by Arlington residents for events, meetings and kids birthday parties. Check availability by clicking here!

The gardens around the library are really neat and the kids had a great time trying to read the labels. There is a nice shady sitting area behind the library including a gazebo. Public restrooms are available inside the library.

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The park area has a nice selection of equipment for the kids to play on including slides, platforms, swings and a fun train shaped piece of equipment. All the equipment was in great shape and for all ages.

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If you live in the Glencarlyn neighborhood or just want to find a new park in Arlington, check out Carlin Hall Community Center and Park!

Gulf Branch Park & Nature Center in Arlington, VA!

Gulf Branch Park & Nature Center in Arlington, VA!

Last month we checked out Gulf Branch Park and Nature Center. We hadn’t even planned on stopping by but the kids saw the sign and wanted to check it out. The Nature Center was having an event so we had to park along Military Road and walk up the driveway. The Gulf Branch Park is 37-acres of untouched land in the heart of an Arlington Neighborhood.

Address: 3608 N. Military Road Arlington, VA 22207

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The boys had a great time walking around the Nature Center. The observation bee hive was fascinating to them and then we headed into the live animal exhibit to check out the local VA wildlife and a few extra reptiles. Next we headed downstairs to the cultural exhibit where the boys could actually sit in a carved out canoe and touch different items. When we headed outside the first order of business was to check out the owl exhibit. Since it had rained the day before we didn’t make it over to the pond or the restored log cabin. Next time we’re out in Arlington we’re going to stop by and hike a little more and check out the sites we missed. Right off the parking lot is a small bridge that crosses over the Gulf Branch Stream and we headed out on the short trail towards Military Road. There are many different trails throughout the park and all are nature trails. Also an indoor restroom is located inside the Nature Center.

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We are definitely headed back here when it hasn’t rained in a few days. The boys enjoyed walking on some of the trails and we definitely want to check out the pond and the restored log cabin. If you live in the Arlington area check out the Gulf Branch Nature Center!

Fort Ethan Allen Park & Madison Community Center in Arlington, VA!

Fort Ethan Allen Park & Madison Community Center in Arlington, VA!

A few weeks ago we headed to Fort Ethan Allen Park in Arlington, VA. Madison Community Center sits right next to the park which is great because you are able to use the indoor restrooms. The park includes two different pieces of play equipment, multi-use field, basketball court, both types of swings, dog park, and asphalt area next to playground with recycled ride on toys for the kids to use. For parking, just park in the lot of the Community Center.

Address: 3829 N. Stafford St., Arlington, VA 22207

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The playground area has two different pieces of play equipment. One set is for the smaller crowd and also sits in a large sandbox filled with recycled dump trucks and shovels. The other piece of equipment is for the larger crowd and sits on mulch. Both types of swings are available in their respective play areas. In between both play areas are a few benches with lots of shade to get out of the sun. The equipment doesn’t have much over it but at least you can walk in the surrounding areas to get out of the sun. The large asphalt area next to the playgrounds is perfect for all the ride on toys that have been donated over the years.

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I’ve said it before but Arlington parks are great. All the recycled toys make it a different experience from ordinary parks. If you live near the Madison Community Center check out Fort Ethan Allen Park in Arlington, VA. Oh and if you have a dog check out the fenced in dog park.

 

 

Chestnut Hills Park in Arlington, VA!

Chestnut Hills Park in Arlington, VA!

Chestnut Hills Park in Arlington is a lovely large park in Arlington, VA! The fenced-in park backs up to Greenbrier Park, a sports oriented park. Chestnut Hills Park has lots of shade, a portable restroom and plenty for the kids to do.

Address: N. Harrison St. & 27th St. (Park is along N. Harrison St. just past 27th St.)

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The playground area is quite large. It has one large piece of play equipment, both types of swings, large sandbox and tons of donated ride on toys. The kids had a great time and even though the park is large it’s still manageable with multiple children. What I love most about Arlington parks are the recycled toys that end up at the park. The large sandbox is overflowing with trucks, buckets and shovels. On the surrounding paved sidewalks there are several ride on toys for the kids to use. The park has a ton of shade around the equipment for the kids to get out of the sun. If the portable potty is not to your liking you can head down the trail to the indoor restrooms at the Greenbrier Park. Parking is along the street but there is plenty of street to park along.

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If you want a great park and or live in Arlington County check out Chestnut Hills Park!