Last week we checked out Poplar Tree Park in Chantilly, VA. This Fairfax County Park is located off Stringfellow Road between Route 50 and Route 29. The park is located amongst older single family homes and newer planned communites including townhomes, condos, and single family homes.
Poplar Tree Park is more of a sports park complex but it does have a set of equipment for the kids to play on. The park has 4 softball/baseball fields, two turf soccer/football fields, grass soccer field and walking/hiking trails. The park does have clean restrooms and not porta potties. The playground equipment is newer. But there was plenty of shade for the equipment during the morning hours.
I probably won’t return to the park but for a local community park this one has a lot to offer local sports clubs. The fields are in great shape with lots of bleachers for spectators.
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.
If you have ever headed to Great Country Farms in Bluemont, VA you most likely passed right by the Bluemont Community Center. Many times we have driven by and never stopped because the kids were pooped out from running all over the farm. This time my oldest insisted we stop in and see what it was all about. They both were hooked when they saw the caboose located right next to the basketball court.
The community center was a schoolhouse that opened in 1923 and ran until the 60’s. In 1988 community interest helped it become the community center it is today. The community center offers licensed preschool, childcare and after school programs. For more information you can find their phone number and info here.
The playground area has several newer looking pieces of equipment including swings, lots of slides and climbing apparatuses. It does have a small fence to keep the little ones inside. There is plenty of shade up against building and you can go inside to use the public restrooms during business hours. There is a preschool and daycare that works out of this facility so at times there may be extra kids playing out on the playground. A fun aspect of the park area is the old caboose that sits adjacent to the full basketball court. The kids can walk up and check it out. There are plenty of picnic tables if you want to pack a lunch or snack in the large grassy area.
Bluemont Community Center Park is a fun park located in beautiful Bluemont, VA!
Big Walnut Park in Arlington, Virginia is located in between homes and has plenty of parking on the street if you drive over. Bring your dump trucks! There is a great sand box for the kids to play in and normally folks have left their old trucks and sand toys for everyone to play.
Arlington County has some really fantastic parks and the equipment is so different from the traditional swing and slides. In addition to the sand box there is great climbing equipment. There are no swings at this park but plenty for the kids to do. There is a small merry-go-round with a compressed rubber mat flooring. Most of the ground cover is either compressed rubber or mulch. There is a fair amount of shade around the park including a small gazebo and older trees. In addition to the gazebo there are picnic benches or concrete steps to sit on. If you need a large grassy area there is a nice area for the kids to play soccer or even just tag. No restrooms at this park which is kind of a bummer.
I can’t say enough about Arlington County’s Parks. They are usually in great condition and the play equipment is unique and fun for all!
(At the intersection of Ranger Road and Cambridge Road).
There are a few parks off of Ranger Road and we came across this neighborhood park at the intersection of Ranger Road and Cambridge Road. This park is semi-gated in and has a car wash section and hook up for the residents in Cambridge Station. The park also has a small playground area, swings, basketball court and a picnic area. The tot lot has three small slides, there are three infant swings nearby as well.
This park is for Cambridge Station residents, so if you live in Cambridge Station check out this quiet little park in your neighborhood, and enjoy washing your car (when it’s warm out).
Potomac Crossing Park is the latest edition to Loudoun County. The park includes playground, picnic pavilion, and plenty of hiking trails. Located in the Potomac Crossing neighborhood it offers a nice sidewalks to walk to the park and a large parking lot for visitors.
The playground offers a nice array of different equipment for the kids to play on. A school-aged and pre-school aged equipment with are set up inside the mulch based play area. Also there is a neat slide that is set up at the top of small grassy hill that slides the kids back into the playground area. A modern day merry-go-round has the option of sitting and standing and was a hit with my kiddos. There is a large picnic pavilion available for rental and a porta potty near the parking lot.
The best part of the park in my opinion is the access to the hiking trials. You can get on any of the trails and hit the Potomac Heritage Trail that travels up and down the Potomac River and also you can hike over to Balls Bluff Regional Park. Signage is available to point you in the right direction. The trails are all natural trails and not stroller friendly. If you have new little hikers a backpack carrier would be perfect. Most of the trail to a point is flat and would be fun for the walkers. As you get deeper into the park beware that as you get closer to the Potomac there is a straight drop off. Currently right now the trail along the bluff is covered in leaves and slick. We chose to skip this trail only because I didn’t have a second set of hands to make sure everyone stayed safe. This is only the trail closest to the river and there are plenty of other trails for the kids to enjoy.
We did end up hiking over to Balls Bluff Regional Park since it was such a nice day and the trees were gorgeous. If you haven’t ventured to the new Potomac Crossing Park I would highly recommend coming and checking it out!
Rosslyn Highlands is located behind the Rosslyn Fire Station on Wilson Blvd. This park can be accessed by N. Quinn or N. Oak Street (off Wilson Blvd). At this park is a large playground structure with a few slides, climbing area, tic-tac-toe and a pole to slide down. This park is ideal for parents that have busy kids, as it is fenced in.
Right next to the playground is a basketball court. During our time at this park, there were a handful of kids riding some of their ride on toys on the court. Unfortunately there are not any bathrooms at this park. There are benches and a picnic table as well some shaded areas . Nearby is a parking lot, but it is for the Fire Station only. There is plenty of metered parking along the streets, that’s where we parked. If you live nearby, I recommend visiting this park and letting the kids play and explore.
Last week we entered the trail off of Wainwright Drive. We parked on the street and entered the green trail and shortly down the walking trail, over a bridge and to the left was a small tot lot. During our walk on the trail we also came across the Vantage Hill Pool. Although it was already closed for the season, we still took a picture of the sign. The tot lot itself, is pretty small, but has a slide, steering wheel and steps. Perfect for my boys as they loved going on a “treasure hunt”, going over the bridge to get to this playground.
If you live in the Lake Anne neighborhood, enjoy a nice walk on the trail and stop at this tot lot.
Last week we spent some time visiting parks in Woodbridge, VA. Howison Homestead Park is managed by Prince William County Park Authority. This park was a lot of fun and my boys especially loved the train themed playground equipment.
Address: 14716 Minnieville Road, Woodbridge, VA
Howison Homestead Park has three soccer fields, two picnic pavilions, concession stands with restrooms, a train themed playground, as well as another playground, a digger and a see-saw. The train themed playground is surrounded by a sand like floor and is built like a train, has a sliding board, steering wheel instead and a tunnel to crawl through. In the area of the train playground there is also a small digger that you can maneuver on your own to pick up and discard sand. My boys really enjoyed making “sand” piles, while the other crashed them. The other playground has mulch on the ground. This play area has a few climbing areas, a large slide and a regular slide. This area also has the see-saw. There are two benches and a nice little sitting area that overlooks both play grounds.
Just past the playground is one of the park pavilions with two picnic tables. The other pavilion is just behind the concession stands and bathrooms. There are also three different soccer fields that have different leagues throughout the year.
Tysons Woods Park in Vienna, VA is a nice park that has all sorts of different play equipment for all ages. There is also a few picnic tables in the wooded area to have a nice picnic lunch or snack. A short paved trail runs through the park to get to the other neighborhoods and also to the W&OD Trail. If you click on the google map address below you can see where the walking paths meet up with the W&OD Trail.
The playground area has preschool-age equipment with toddler swings surrounded by a fence but no gate. Then there is a large piece of school-age equipment and a couple regular swings. There are a couple neat climbing apparatuses as well. Just down the path you’ll find lots of shade under the canopy of the trees and several picnic tables. There is plenty of shade around and over the play equipment but no restrooms at this park.
This is a very neat park that has a lot of play equipment for all ages. The shade is an extra bonus as sometimes the Northern Virginia can get quite hot. If you live in Vienna and are looking for a new park, check out Tysons Woods Park!