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.
A friend of mine who lives in Warrenton recommended this awesome playground area in the Town of Warrenton. The Warrenton Aquatic & Recreation Facility or WARF by the locals has a large Aquatic Center with Competitive Pool, Leisure Pool with large slides, lazy river and water mushrooms. The recreation part of the facility has a large fitness room and multi purpose room where they hold classes.
Outside the facility you’ll find seven athletic fields, inline skating rink, skate park, paved walking trails and large handicap accessible playground. The Claude Moore Fun For All playground is perfect for all children with all different abilities. The flooring is the nice compacted rubber mat that pads a fall. There are plenty of swings for every age range and ability. The playground area has a couple different large umbrellas for shade but not much other than that. The playground is situated right next to the Rec Facility so you can get out the heat inside. Restrooms are available in either the porta potty right next to the playground or inside the Rec facility. The part of the play area that I liked the most was that the area overlooked a large pond but was fenced off so the kids can’t fall in.
When the weather gets warmer the boys and I will be headed back to the park to check out the paved hiking trails and to hit up the great play area again. If you live in Warrenton this is great park with a lot of different activities.
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!
This little relatively unknown park is near Dulles Town Center off of Dulles Center Blvd in Sterling, VA. Hadley’s Park offers accessibility to disabled children with large ramps that are wheelchair accessible. The theme of the park is Main Street USA with store fronts for the kids to play pretend.
The playground floor is made of compressed rubber and makes for easier falls. There isn’t a lot of shade except around the benches and under the equipment. But overall this is a cute park and the kids have a blast chasing each other along the ramps.