A BIG Thank you to our Guest Reviewer, Allie Higgins, for reviewing Draper Drive Park in the City of Fairfax!
Allie Higgins is a mom of two young energetic boys who love to run and play. Together, they enjoy hiking, biking, swimming and going to the many parks in the area. Allie has been in the DC/NOVA area for over 10 years; she is writer/researcher and a graduate of Saint Mary’s College at Notre Dame and Vanderbilt University.
Draper Drive Park in the City of Fairfax was, until recently, only soccer fields and walking trails; however, the city has now added a playground that is a fun addition to the park.
The playground area is set up on part mulch and part rubber surfaces and includes swings and the main play structures even have shade canopies for the equipment. If your children like to get dizzy, there are several spinning pieces and if they prefer to climb, there are climbing walls as well. Slides and monkey bars make this playground complete. There are numerous park benches and two porta-potties adjacent to the playground.
The soccer field is synthetic turf with goals and bleachers along the fields. Additionally, there is a paved run/walk/bike trail that encircles the park. I especially liked that you can see the entire trail from the playground. While my younger son was swinging, I could still watch my older son ride his bike around the loop. Similarly, if you are at the park to watch a soccer match, you can see the all of the fields from the playground, so that makes it fun for all! This is a great park to check out if you are in the Fairfax area.
On one of our park crawling expeditions we headed to Annandale to check out a few parks. One of the parks we stopped by was Backlick Park off of Backlick Road. Backlick Park has lit tennis courts, unlit basketball court, horseshoe pit, playground area, paved and unpaved walking/hiking trails and no shortage of picnic tables.
The 8-acre park has both paved trails and dirt hiking/equestrian trails. We didn’t make it very far down the paved path since there had just been a large storm and had downed several big trees across the path.
The playground area is surrounded by trees and is handicap accessible. The large piece of play equipment has a ramp system which connects to the paved trail. The only swings available are the toddler swings. A local family playing at the park said that a porta potty is usually available near the parking lot May through October. Around the play area there are many picnic tables in the shade.
The park is in walking distance of many single-family homes and townhomes. If you live in the Mason District of Annandale check out Backlick Park.
Today we headed back to a great park in Franconia, VA, Lee District Park & RECenter. I haven’t been back to the park since they completed the new play area, Chessie’s Big Backyard located by the Our Special Harbor Sprayground. Lee District Park is a 137-acre park complete with RECenter, large playground located by the RECenter, amphitheater, sand volleyball courts, tennis, basketball courts, baseball, soccer fields, and walking/hiking trails. The Family Recreation Area includes the sprayground, fully accessible playground, and treehouse. To check for reservations of shelter and picnic areas click here to find more information, http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/picnics/lee.htm
The Family Recreation Area has the sprayground which is open from May to September and FREE! The great part is they only allow a certain amount of people in at one time so it doesn’t get overcrowded. Right next door to the sprayground is Chessie’s Big Backyard. The play area is fully accessible to all children with padded rubber flooring and ramps wide enough for wheelchair access. Chessie’s Big Backyard does have lots of shade around it and the best part is the indoor restrooms located right next to the play area. We normally eat our lunch in the treehouse but it has no benches or tables. Just outside the entrance to the treehouse are a few circular benches and on the otherside of the play area is a large pavilion. Plenty of shade to eat a snack or pack a lunch. The only downside to the Chessie’s play area is if you have multiple children to watch it can be tough to see all sides of the play area and you constantly have to walk around to make sure you can get a peek of them.
For pictures of the treehouse, check out this article.
The other playground is located right next to the RECenter. The playground normally has a cover over the equipment but has been taken off for the winter and repair. We weren’t able to hit this playground for very long before we had to head out. There are many different pieces of play equipment for all ages. You can park near the RECenter or near the sand volleyball courts. Restrooms are located inside the RECenter.
We didn’t get a chance to hit the trails this time but next time we are over there we’ll head out. The boys and I had a great time at the park. This park is one of my favorites!
On one of our park hopping excursions a few weeks ago we checked out Donald S. Frady Park in the City of Falls Church, VA. The park has a lot of appeal if you just want to stroll through a nice neighborhood park. We parked on the street near the church to enter. A long path takes you into a nice grassy area with lots of older trees and a fountain in between great older homes. The park also has a playground, game table, gazebo and mini amphitheater.
The playground is behind a large slope and you will need to follow a path to get to the equipment. There is one piece of equipment with a ramp and swings. Sadly the park doesn’t have a restroom but the play area has lots of shade.
This was a very cute park in the City of Falls Church. If you live in the area you should check out this great neighborhood park!
Clemyjontri Park is an awesome park located in Mclean, VA off of Georgetown Pike (Rt 193) in Fairfax County. The park is 18 acres of bright colorful play equipment made for children with all different levels of development and special needs. The park was donated by the Lebowitz Family and the name is a combination of their four children, Carolyn (CL), Emily (EMY), John (JON), Petrina (TRI). Adele Lebowitz envisioned a park where all children could play side by side no matter their physical or mental differences. Further development of the park will include 10 acres of open space that will offer more amenities.
Large ramps connect pieces of equipment and are wide enough for wheelchair access. The rubber flooring is smooth and easy on the kids knees when they fall down. Other features of the park include a working carousel and picnic pavilion. Carousel tickets cost $1.75 for each child and adults are free. The pavilion is available for a shaded spot to enjoy a snack or lunch. You can also rent the pavilion for events and parties. Clean restrooms and water fountains are located on the property.
The pictures do not do the park justice. There is a lot of different types of equipment spread out over the park with plenty of benches and shaded areas to take a break. Clemyjontri Park is normally super busy but we were lucky that a passing rain shower kept people away. An extra parking lot is available at Langley Fork Park and you can follow a path down the road to a marked crosswalk where you cross over Georgetown Pike.
Clemyjontri Park is a great park and the kids always have a blast!