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…..:)

E.C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly, VA!

E.C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly, VA!

E.C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly, VA is split right down the middle by Route 28. One half of the park is the active park where you can find baseball, little league, soccer and synthetic turf fields. There is also basketball courts and two large playground pieces in the active portion of the park. The largest portion of the 667-acre park is natural and includes historical structures, Walney Visitor Center, tons of natural hiking trails, pond with boardwalk, plenty of picnic tables, Cabell’s Mill and Middlegate Historical propeties. To learn more about the park and the rich history follow this link, History of E.C. Lawrence Park.

Active Park Address: On 28 Between Rt. 66 and Westfields Blvd. Entrance at Light.

Natural Portion of the Park: 5040 Walney Road Chantilly, VA 20151

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The active portion of the park is where you’ll find the play equipment. The equipment is for the school aged crowd but there a few small slides for the little ones. There isn’t any shade around the equipment so on a hot day you wouldn’t last very long. The restrooms on this side of the park are porta potties and when we were there they had just been cleaned and restocked.

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We visit the natural portion of the park all the time. It has some great trails for all ages. Below you’ll find a picture of the trail map so you can map out your hike.  A stroller or wagon couldn’t make through all the trails but a backpack would be perfect since the terrain isn’t too terribly tough. We normally park at the Walney Visitor Center to check out the small nature center then walk the trails to the pond. You can also park at the pond and walk in the reverse direction. At the visitor center you can see plenty of reptiles and amphibians to look at along with other historical information. Also inside is a clean restroom that can be accessed when the Visitor Center is open. Around the visitor center you’ll find different structures that made up the Walney Farm. We visited the old dairy storage room and told the boys about how they had to store items that would spoil underground where it was cool and food would spoil slower. Next to the visitor center there is also an old smokehouse where they have artificial meat hanging showing how they would take care of meat. The garden is also nearby where the park authority plants vegetables and fruit during the growing season.

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The E.C. Lawrence Park is one of our favorites. If you enjoy hiking or just looking for a new playground check out this great Fairfax County Park!!

Byrd Park in Manassas, VA!

Byrd Park in Manassas, VA!

City of Manassas sometimes get a bad rap but when it comes to their parks they go all out. The other day we were out in Manassas and visited Byrd Park. Byrd Park has large and small play areas with swings for all ages. There are also 2 softball fields and full court basketball courts. The neatest part of the park is the fenced in roller hockey area. One side of the court has many different colored basketball hoops for all different ages and heights to play. Restrooms are indoor and are open seasonally, May-October.

8528 Cavalry Ln, Manassas, VA 20110

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The playground area offers two different sizes of equipment for the younger and older crowds all in great shape. Both types of swings are available but in different parts of the park. You can see each playground clearly but if you had a younger child and an older child who wanted to play on the other equipment it would be good distance from each other. In the older kids area there is a great sea serpent for them to climb on and other motor developmental type climbing equipment.

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The park also has a small picnic pavilion with grills that you can reserve by calling the City of Manassas. The Roller Hockey Area is fenced in and also has one section dedicated to what they call bankshot basketball. My boys just happen to bring a soccer ball so they shot around and played with the fun size basketball hoops.

The boys had a great time at this park and asked to go back to play basketball! If you live in the City of Manassas or you just want to find a nice park in the Manassas area, check out Byrd Park!

Glade Recreation Area in Reston, VA!

Glade Recreation Area in Reston, VA!

Glade Recreation Area is part of the Hunter Woods District in the Reston Association.  Included in this park is a tot lot, restrooms, pavilion, basketball and tennis courts and a pool during the Summer months.

Address: 11550 Glade Drive, Reston, VA 

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Glade Recreation Area has a large parking lot.  There is so much to do here and you don’t have to belong to the Reston Association to enjoy some of the perks! There are tennis and basketball courts.  My boys had a ton of fun at the tot lot; it’s great for all ages. The playground itself is tucked in the furthest away from the parking lot.  There’s a little climbing wall and slide.  There is a whole back wall fence that has other play equipment such as a steering wheel and a little kids picnic area.  Two infant swings and two regular swings are included in this play area.   In addition to the little kids picnic area, there is another picnic table with a covering that will keep you shaded as well.   After we played, we took a stroll on the walking trail.  In addition, this park has restrooms, trash cans, benches and a water fountain.  If you belong to the Reston Association you can also enjoy the pool at Glade Recreation Area.

If you are in the Hunter Woods area or nearby, this is a good park to put on your visit list!

 

Jefferson District Park in Falls Church, VA

Jefferson District Park in Falls Church, VA

Jefferson District Park is located right off of Lee Highway in Falls Church.  This park has so much to offer.  The main attraction to this park is their golf course, in addition there is a miniature golf course, play grounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, picnic areas and restrooms.

Address: 7900 Lee Hwy, Falls Church, VA 22042

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 This park has a large parking lot and it set deep within the park that it is safe for the kids to play and not worry about heavy traffic.  There is one piece of large play equipment including a wrap around slide and a tic-tac-toe game.  The playground is surrounded by benches, picnic tables a few grills and trash cans.  In addition to the play area is several fields including basketball and  tennis courts.

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If you live near Falls Church and Lee Highway, I recommend making a day of this and trying out the miniature golf course as well planning a picnic at the playground.

 

Alabama Drive Park in Herndon, VA

Alabama Drive Park in Herndon, VA

Review submitted by NoVA Outdoor’s newest addition, Ashley Wells. Ashley is a mom to two wonderful boys who have plenty of energy and married to a husband who enjoys being outdoors!

Alabama Drive Park is located in Fairfax County in Herndon, VA, right off of Eldon Road.

Address: 1100 Alabama Dr, Herndon, VA 20170

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This 10 acre park has two baseball fields, lighted basketball courts, soccer field,a tot lot and a smaller for tot lot  for little ones. Although there are not any picnic tables, there are several benches to sit back and enjoy your little ones play.  There is a nice sized parking lot, however, there is not very much shade throughout the play areas.   Restrooms and trashcans are located throughout the park as well.

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If you are a Herndon resident and have kids both older and younger, this is a great park to have the older kids practice ball, while the little ones play on the tot lot.

**Please Note:  Restrooms are available May-October**