Thaiss Memorial Park in Fairfax, VA!

Thaiss Memorial Park in Fairfax, VA!

Thaiss Memorial Park is a 10-acre park in the City of Fairfax. The park includes  Little League fields, picnic pavilion, and play equipment. The park is also a point where you can enter the Accotink Stream Valley Trail that is part of the larger Cross County Trail.

Address: 3401 Pickett Road, Fairfax, VA 22031

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Thaiss Memorial Park is mostly a sports park but it does have one piece of play equipment in good shape for the older crowd. A Porta Potty (May-Oct) is available during non sporting times and indoor restrooms are available when Little League games are going on. There is a picnic pavilion to get out of the shade. Check out this City of Fairfax Park!

Marumsco Acre Lake Park in Woodbridge, VA!

Marumsco Acre Lake Park in Woodbridge, VA!

Marumsco Acre Lake Park in Prince William County includes a lake, basketball court, picnic pavilion and playground area. The lake has a small platform area where you can walk out on and fish from. You can also fish from the shore line. There is a small parking lot that you can park in so you don’t have to park in the neighborhood.

Address: 14398 Melbourne Road, Woodbridge, VA 22191

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The playground has a newer piece of play equipment that would be great for preschool and school-aged children. Both regular and toddler swings are available. No restrooms at this park but charcoal grills and two (2) picnic pavilions are available right next to the water.

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This is a very cute park in the Woodbridge area. One of the bonuses is that it’s located right next to the train tracks. Don’t worry there is a fence separating the park from the tracks. The kids can hear and see the train through the trees. The train is more visible when the leaves are off of the trees though….:)

Harry W. Dawson Park in Woodbridge, VA!

Harry W. Dawson Park in Woodbridge, VA!

Harry W. Dawson park is a neighborhood park run by the Prince William Park Authority and is located in Woodbridge, VA.

Address: 13206 Hillendale Drive, Woodbridge, VA  T, S, W, -

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Harry W. Dawson park is located right off of Hillendale Drive.  Although there is not a parking lot, there is plenty of street parking and a paved walking trail that leads you to the playground, swings, cover picnic table and other walking trails.  The playground equipment has a few climbing ladders, a slide and a tunnel.  Also at the playground area is a swiveling seat, a rocking horse, an infant swing as well as a regular swing and two benches.

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There is a covered area with two picnic tables and trash receptacles.  To the left of the picnic area are where you can take the walking trails that lead you to the local neighborhoods.

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If you are in the neighborhood, this is a nice park to stop, visit and enjoy the shade!

Bailey’s Branch in Arlington, VA!

Bailey’s Branch in Arlington, VA!

Bailey’s Branch Park in Arlington, VA is a small park neighborhood park that has close to 2-acres of open space surrounded by a split rail fence with a small playground area.

Address: 990 S Columbus St., ArlingtonVA 22204

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The playground area has one piece of school-age play equipment and one preschool-age equipment. Both types of swings are available and plenty of shade around the play equipment. There are no restrooms available but you are not too far from public restrooms.

collageParking is along the street opposite of the playground and there isn’t much of it. If you’re looking for  a small Arlington Park, check out Bailey’s Branch Park!

Chapel Acres Park in Springfield, VA!

Chapel Acres Park in Springfield, VA!

Chapel Acres Park in Springfield is a small Fairfax County neighborhood park. Situated on a corner lot, the park has plenty of street parking. The small park has several paved pathways and a basketball court around the equipment, perfect if you want to bring the kids’ bikes or ride on toys.

Address: 7900 Giles St., Springfield, VA 22153

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The playground area has a large piece play equipment and both types of swings. Depending on what part of the day, the park has shade around the equipment to get out of the sun. At the corner of the park is a small drainage creek that was partially full when we were there. The kids had a fun time throwing in sticks and checking out some of the frogs that we were hanging out. I would guess that most of the time this is dry and not much fun…:)

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If you live in the Chapel Acres neighborhood this is a nice park to take the kids to burn off some energy or ride their bikes and scooters around.

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…..:)

Oakenshaw Park in Manassas, VA!

Oakenshaw Park in Manassas, VA!

Oakenshaw Park in Manassas, VA is located in the Oakenshaw neighborhood off of Signal Hill Road in the City of Manassas. The park we visited offers a basketball court and playground area off a paved walking trail. It’s actually a two part park with a t-ball field and another basketball court located in another part of the neighborhood.

Address: 9556 Oakenshaw Dr, Manassas, VA 20110 

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The playground are has two large pieces of play equipment with some neat slides and a couple different climbing areas. Both types of swings are available. Sadly no restrooms at the park but public restrooms are nearby in the shopping centers.

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I was pleasantly surprised when we pulled up to this neighborhood park and found several nice pieces of play equipment. The kids didn’t want to leave because of the different features on the equipment that you don’t see at every park. If you live in the City of Manassas around the Oakenshaw Neighborhood, check out this nice park!

Cub Run Stream Valley Park in Centreville, VA!

A follower of NoVA  Outdoors, Suzanne Leonard, wanted to put together her review on a favorite park and trail system. Thank you Suzanne! Cub Run Stream Valley Park in Centreville is mostly a trail park but does have one playground area in all of the 800-acres. Here is a map of the area.

Address: 5501 Sully Park Drive, Centreville, VA 20120 (Look for the trail between Kamputa and Deer Pond Rd)

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So, how do you get to this awesome trail? There is a very hidden, but great access point on Sully Park Drive in Centreville. The public can park for free along Sully Park Drive, which features marked parking lanes along the entirety of the right and left sides of the road. Once parked, look for the very inconspicuous and barely marked trail entry point on Sully Park Drive between Kamputa Drive and Deer Pond Road. The trail immediately dips down a sharp little hill and, after a very short walk bordering housing, you will see the playground and basketball court before entering the truly wooded trail. Keep going until you hit the cement cylinder bridge crossing the stream to start really experiencing the park’s natural wonders.

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So, why venture to this hidden gem? It’s not only large—offering more than 800 acres of preserved natural beauty—but it also offers miles (5 miles north trail and 2.5 miles on the south trail) of paved, family friendly biking/hiking trails and is home to the largest Bluebell flower organism on the East Coast.

The trails are great for running, bike riding, or just taking a leisurely stroll. The park boarder is lined with residential neighborhoods, but once you commit to walking deeper into the trail system, the winding trails are surrounded by forest on both sides. There are many nice sights to see along the trail, including a historic stone bridge and picturesque Cub Run Stream, which in some places you have to cross via “fair weather” stepping stones.

The park’s most attractive sight is only available in April each year when the enormous stand of bluebells blooms for one to three weeks. Heralding in the coming of Spring, at this time of year the trees still all have wintery bare branches making the acres-wide carpet of striking blue bells truly breath taking. It is a great time to bring the family for a bluebell picnic along the stream’s bank and to capture some truly amazing family photos.

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Stick to the Northern side of the park to take in the largest swaths of bluebells in addition to the largest stretches of deep woods trails. There is also a small playground on the Northern side of the park and a basketball court. The playground is great for really little guys, as it is not very high off the ground and has a wide ramp for them to explore.

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Cub Run Stream Valley Park in Centreville, VA is a very large green area in Fairfax County surrounded by many different neighborhoods including Virginia Run, Sully Station and London Towne West. If you live nearby or are just looking for a place to get out into nature, check out Cub Run Stream Valley Park in Centreville, VA.

Lacey Woods Park in Arlington, VA!

Lacey Woods Park in Arlington, VA!

Lacey Woods Park in Arlington, VA is a very nice park in Arlington County. The park includes a playground, indoor restrooms, full basketball court, multi-purpose field, brand two (2) picnic pavilion, charcoal grills, small nature trails and fire ring.

Address: 1200 N George Mason Dr., ArlingtonVA 22205

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

The fenced-in park has parking available along the street and is situated at the corner of George Mason Drive and Washington Blvd. The streets are pretty busy so be careful when pulling out into traffic. If you live in the neighborhood there are plenty of sidewalks and crosswalks for you to navigate. The playground area includes a small sandbox area for the little ones, a large piece of play equipment for the big kids, and toddler swings. There is also lots of shade over the playground so it was the perfect spot for a hot day. This would also be the perfect park for the kids to bring their ride on toys or bikes with the paved trails around the playground area. There a small fun hoop and concrete area for the littler crowd to play basketball on as well. The indoor bathrooms and water fountain are situated right next to the playground so you don’t have far to go for the potty training crowd.

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***Sorry no pics of the toddler sand box, too many little ones…:)

The other part of the park that we explored was the more natural part of the park. We walked up the paved trail to the brand picnic pavilion and found the fire ring area. I have no idea who has the authority to use the fire ring but I do know that the picnic pavilions which there are two of them can be rented. One pavilion can accommodate 50 people and the other 200 people. Click the link at the bottom page for more information on rental picnic pavilions in Arlington County. With the large natural space there a few small trails for the kids to walk in and out of the trees. If want the little ones to learn to take small nature walks this would be a prime spot to take them out in.

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We really enjoyed this park and we hope you enjoyed our review of Lacey Woods Park in Arlington, VA!

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

Springfield Forest Park in Springfield, VA!

Springfield Forest Park in Springfield, VA!

Springfield Forest Park in Springfield, VA is a nice neighborhood park that is situated between the Springfield Forest and Greenwood Neighborhood. You can reach the park from Springfield Forest Neighborhood following the signs pointing you towards the playground. You can also reach the park by parking in the Greenwood Neighborhood in the visitor parking near Dakine Circle.

Address: 6400 Kalmia St., Springfield, VA 22150 (Springfield Forest Entrance)

Address: Simmer Circle, Springfield, VA 22150 (Greenwood Entrance)

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The park includes a large piece of play equipment, a set of swings and a small fenced-in but non gated area with small piece of play equipment. There is plenty of shade around and slightly over the play equipment depending on what time of day it is. There are no restrooms available at this park but there is one unlit tennis court. The equipment is older but still in great shape. There are a few tables and benched around the park to sit down and enjoy a snack or picnic lunch.

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If you live in the Springfield Forest  or the Greenwood neighborhood, this is a nice park to walk to and let the kids burn off some energy!