Collingwood Park in Alexandria, VA!

Collingwood Park in Alexandria, VA!

Collingwood Park in Alexandria, VA has gotten new play equipment.  The park also includes two (2) unlit little league fields, two (2) unlit tennis courts, one (1) unlit basketball court, and two (2) unlit soccer/football fields.

Address: 8200 West Boulevard Dr., Alexandria, VA 22308

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The fenced-in playground area has one medium sized play equipment and both regular and toddler swings. A restroom is available in the form of a porta pottie near the tennis courts and playground. There isn’t much shade around the equipment but there are a few picnic tables by the tennis courts under some trees.

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A very cute park in the Fort Hunt area of Alexandria. If you live in the neighborhood or you’re just looking for a new place to play in Alexandria, check out Collingwood Park.

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!

Monroe Park in Goldvein, VA!

Monroe Park in Goldvein, VA!

Monroe Park is a neat park that has The Gold Mining Camp Museum as part of the 14-acre park. The park also has a playground, picnic pavilion, 1/4 mile walking path, sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits, baseball/softball field, and football/soccer field.

Address: 14421 Gold Dust Parkway Goldvein, VA 22720

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The first thing we hit up at the park was the playground. The park has a large piece of equipment with some fun climbing sections for the older kids. One of the platforms was being reset in the ground so it was closed off for use. There are both types of swings at this park and porta potty restrooms are available nearby. There is no shade around the park so we headed over to the museum to to check it out.

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 There are three different buildings to walk through, the Assay Office, Mess Hall, and Bunk House. In addition to the buildings there were two very large orbs called Hornet Balls that used to crush large rocks on display. Inside the museum was very clean and had air conditioning so it was nice to get out of the heat. The Gold Mining Camp Museum is open year round Wednesday through Saturday from 9:30- 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 p.m – 4:00 p.m. The Museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Easter. There are also gold panning demonstrations held on nice weather days in raised water tables using local stream sand. These are held Wednesday through Saturday at 2:00 and Saturday at 10:00 a.m. For more info please click here. The outside paths and inside the buildings are stroller friendly. During the week you may have the buildings all to yourself like we did. There is a park ranger on site so if you have any additional questions they are happy to help. It’s a quick visit but for short attention spans it’s perfect. 

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We really had a fun time at this park. My oldest lately has loved going to museums and this was a nice surprise for him. If you live in Fauquier County or don’t mind a drive check out Monroe Park in Goldvein, VA!

Claude Moore Park in Sterling, VA!

Claude Moore Park in Sterling, VA!

Claude Moore Park in Sterling,VA has many things you can do at the 357-acre park. There are two entrances to the park including the northern natural hiking and picnicking entrance and the southern Sportsplex and Rec Center entrance. The Rec Center has a great indoor fun pool with a slide and play area. Adult fitness area, competition pool, basketball courts, rock climbing wall, indoor track, classes and camps. You can also find the Heritage Farm Museum when you drive past the Rec Center. The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum has great kids area where they can pretend to milk a cow, run a general store, and ride race horses.

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

Address: 21544 Old Vestal’s Gap Rd. Sterling, VA 20164 

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We were more interested in the hiking and fishing portion of the park. We were also looking for new geocaches to find with the kids. There is a cute visitor center with different types of fish and amphibians for them to look at in the Discovery Room. Also there are clean indoor restrooms inside the visitor center. Outside you’ll find 11-miles of hiking trails, Lanesville Historic District buildings, 2-fishing ponds, picnic shelters and plenty of park benches and tables. We headed out onto the white trail loop then walked by the ponds, Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum then finished up on the green trail back to the car. You can pick up a trail map at the Visitor Center!

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The trails are definitely true nature trails so strollers and wagons are a no go but a good backpack carrier would work well for the little ones. The fishing ponds have nice platforms to sit at or you can fish along the shoreline of both ponds. Remember to have your VA fishing License handy because I watched the park authority check a few people while we were there. Have fun walking the trails and fishing at Claude Moore Park!!

 

C.M. Crockett Park in Midland, VA!

C.M. Crockett Park in Midland, VA!

C.M. Crockett Park in Midland, VA is so big we had to visit the park a couple times before we did everything. My boys loved this park because they could play on the equipment, hike around and fish all in one trip. The park sits nestled up against Germantown Lake, the 109-acre lake is an old flooded quarry from times past when German settlers arrived in the area.

Address: 10066 Rogues Road Midland, VA 22728 

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******ALL RENTAL INFO FOR PAVILIONS OR BOATS PLEASE CLICK HERE******

The park has so much you can do it’s hard to know where to start. When you pull into the parking lot you’ll notice two different paths on each side of the parking lot. Near the entrance to one path are picnic carts that you can use to take your items to the picnic pavilions, playground area, boat dock, boat rental, snack shack, horseshoe pits and sand volleyball court. Such a neat idea! This portion of the park has a pebble/old asphalt trail around the entire picnic area. At the entrance to the trail you’ll find a map that shows you where everything is located. At the snack shack you can rent a canoe, jonboat with or without motor, kayak, or paddle boat. Life preservers are available for rental as well but each rental comes with two vests. If you want to bring your own boat there is a launch ramp available. Remember anyone 16 years or older needs to have a fishing license. You can easily obtain one at www.dgif.virginia.gov/licenses/  and keep it on your person.

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The park has 4 picnic shelters, an amphitheater and tent available for rent. Around the picnic area you’ll find a ton of picnic tables with charcoal grills along the water or just in the large grassy area. Indoor restrooms are available in this portion of the park and were very clean when we were there. Nature trail paths can be reached from the pebble/old asphalt trail with signs pointing you in the right direction. The playground area has two sets of play equipment, both school-aged and preschool age. Both types of swings are available. There isn’t any shade over the play equipment but there are plenty of shelters you can use to get them out of the sun. When we were there they were repairing the smaller play equipment but all the equipment was in good shape. There were other peoples children on the equipment so pardon the picture from a far. I don’t like to infringe on other peoples children…:)

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The part of the park my kids loved was the lake of course. There are some good spots for the kids to fish and not fall in which in my case is a bonus with two boys under the age of 5….:) Near the entrance to the picnic area you would head down the path to the left to find the dock and snack shack. Here you can rent equipment for fishing, volleyball, horseshoes, croquet and or rent a boat with life preservers. For Hours of Operation please click here.

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On one of are other days at the park we decided head towards the dam side of the lake for some hiking . If you follow the path near the boat launching ramp you’ll pass the maintenance shed and ranger home. In this part of the park you’ll find the rope course which no longer has a provider or third party running the course. Porta Potties can be located near the edge of the trees for public use. We didn’t make it all the way around the lake but we still had a nice hike around and the kids got to see a few deer and lots of birds. There were also tons of caches in the park if you’re into geocaching. If you’re into orienteering you can obtain the maps and information for the beginner and advances courses at the office.

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In the front portion of this park you’ll find the Sanctuary: Commerative Grove. Here donated plants or trees can be planted to commemorate a person or special event amongst  a grove of native trees. For more information call (540) 788-4867.

Fauquier County really does have some beautiful parks. Even if you don’t live in the area I would pack a lunch and head out to C.M. Crockett Park in Midland, VA!

Stonewall Park in Manassas, VA!

Stonewall Park in Manassas, VA!

A couple weeks ago we headed out to the City of Manassas to visit a few parks. Our first stop was Stonewall Park. The park offers a large playground and small playground. There is also a cover picnic pavilion and grills that can be reserved. The Stonewall Park Pool is open on Memorial Day Weekend until Labor Day Weekend. Fees for the pool can be found HERE. Lighted Tennis Courts, Basketball court, Football/Soccer Field and 0.9 fitness trail is also part of this park. Best part is the indoor restrooms that are available from May-October.

Address: 8300 Stonewall Rd, Manassas, VA 20110

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The parks larger playground is located near the entrance by the picnic pavilion. It has two pieces of equipment with lots of different elements. Both types of swings and a climbing wall. Plenty of shade over this park and when we were there the leaves hadn’t come in yet.

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******FOR PARK PAVILION RESERVATIONS CLICK HERE******

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!!

Lorton Park in Lorton, VA

Lorton Park in Lorton, VA

Last week we visited parks in Lorton and came across Lorton Park, which is directly behind the Lorton Library.  Lorton Park is owned and operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority.

9518 Richmond HwyLortonVA 22079

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Located off Richmond Highway, there is an open parking lot for the park, community center and library.  There is a nicely sized playground equipment including climbing equipment, slides and monkey bars.  Directly behind the tot lot are swings as well.  Benches, picnic tables and a grill are nearby the playground area of the park.  The walking trail encompasses the park and makes a full circle.  We did some walking while my toddler played at the playground and it was great because I was able to see him the whole  time, while I was getting some exercise.

**Directly across the Richmond Highway, there were ball fields.  Due to the weather, we didn’t make it across the highway to visit the ballfields. **

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If you are in Lorton,  this is a great park to visit in the summer time.  Cool off in the library for a bit and then let the kids run around and explore at this park!