Best Playgrounds in Northern Virginia – 23 Favorites

Northern Virginia has some of the best playgrounds I’ve seen in the US! I’ve lived here for 10 years (8 of those with kids!) and below are 23 of the best ones we’ve found organized by Arlington (10), Fairfax (9), and Alexandria (4) counties. Each playground includes info on 🚻 Bathrooms, 🅿️ Parking, 😷 Social Distancing and ❤ Unique Features.

Best Playgrounds in Northern Virginia
Our favorite playgrounds in Northern Virginia all in one place!

Playgrounds in Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington

All 23 are free except for Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton which requires a fee if residents outside northern Virginia.

I also put a Google Map of all the locations at the end of this post or go directly there here.

At the playgrounds where there are no restrooms, I link to a couple of car travel pottys that we use and highly recommend from Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no extra cost to you. Thanks!


Best Playgrounds in Arlington Va

1)  Lubber Run Park (Buckingham neighborhood)

Lubber Run Park is a dream ✨ Thx to those of you who shared this rec…you were right! There is so much at this new park even tho the community center building will be open later in 2021. Thankfully they have a super clean restroom OPEN now!

Unique Features: ⁣Famous yellow slides and “rock climbing” hill⁣, Beautiful wooden play structures made in Germany including 2 playhouses and a huge rope climbing thing. ⁣ Very cool sandpit area (with benches close by!) ⁣
Grassy hill roofs, Trails that go into Lubber Run Creek, Pickleball, volleyball and basketball courts.⁣

📍 200 N Columbus St Arlington, Virginia
🅿️- Free parking garage under the park is open 8 AM to 10:15 PM. Street parking available too.⁣
😷- We went before school let out and it wasn’t too crowded but around 3:30PM it started to get very busy so we went for a short hike from the Center. ⁣
🚻 – Clean and brand new restroom at the Center accessed from the outside. If you are looking at the Center from the playground, it is on your left side with a small bathroom sign. ⁣

2) Fairlington Park

A great playground with 3 distinct but connected areas for different age groups. These sky bridges are great for older ages (actually higher than they look!) and there is also a great little kids and toddler area with a sand pit! 

📍 – 3304-3318 S Stafford St, Arlington, VA 22206

🅿️ – Large parking lot but at 10:30am it was packed (probably bc of Rec classes in the next door building?) so had to west for a minute for a spot. 

🚻 – Fairlington Community center next door is open with restrooms. 

😷 – Fairly busy park with a preschool next door. We visited a couple months ago in the afternoon and it was too busy and came again today and it was busy in the morning but space to spread out more. 

3) Quincy Park (near Virginia Square GMU Metro)

One of our favorite playgrounds in Arlington VA for the variety of structures, fence around the play area, easy parking, and bathrooms accessible from outside the Arlington Central Library a half block away.

Unique features: Map with all the features for kids to explore, rope hammock, very interesting rope ladder to side, small climbing wall, music area that actually made nice sounds and my son’s favorite… a bucket-merry-go-round!

🚻 Restrooms accessible from the outside of Arlington Central Library half a block away.
😷 Lots of different areas to social distance.
🅿️ Dedicated Parking lot 1 block away or free street parking closer to the playground.

Location: 1021 N. Quincy St. Arlington

Arlington Playground Website: Quincy Park

We use these 3 layer kids masks every day. They are by the Dr. Talbot’s brand, very breathable but also 3 layers for my peace of mind and come in two different sizes for ages 2-5 year olds and 6-12 year olds.

4) Mosaic Playground (near Ballston Metro)

This new park in the heart of Ballston is definitely one of the best playgrounds in Northern Virginia! Built in late 2020, this playground has tons of unique features including a climbing wall, hills to roll down, rope bridge and more will be added soon including a splash pad!

🚻 – No restrooms at the park but lots of restaurants and businesses close by (&pizza and Super Pollo right next to Park but I can’t confirm they have open restrooms). We use these 3 car pottys here from Amazon.
😷 – Busiest of the playgrounds in Arlington VA that we’ve visited but still room to spread out.
🅿️ – Street parking available around the playground. Be aware of new or changing parking signs as this is a newer park.

Location: 538 N. Pollard Street, Arlington (not to be confused with Mosaic Shopping District in Falls Church!)

Arlington Playground Website: Mosaic Park

Mosaic Park in Arlington, one of the best playgrounds in northern Virginia
Mosaic Park in Ballston with climbing wall behind blue hill.

5) Chestnut Hills (2 miles from East Falls Church Metro)

Chestnut Hills Park in north Arlington has two full playgrounds in one fenced area and tons of beautiful areas in its 4 acres.

Unique features: Next to the toddler playground is the coolest sand pit/water run I’ve seen in the area! It felt like a European playground with a trike path around the playground and tons of shade. The big kids playground is older but has some unique features my kids loved like a slide-zipline thing (sorry not sure what its called!)

🚻 Restrooms are located at the adjacent Greenbrier Park so allow some time to walk thru the trees to reach the restrooms.
😷 Lots of space to play if some structures are busy with kids.
🅿️ Free parking along Harrison Street.

Location: 2807 N. Harrison St.

Arlington Playground Website: Chestnut Hills Park

6) Benjamin Bannecker Playground (2 blocks from East Falls Church Metro)

Wonderful new playground along 4 Mile Run Creek and the W&OD Trail! It is named after Benjamin Banneker who was the son of freed slaves in Baltimore. He was an inventor, engineer, land surveyor, astronomer, and social advocate. There is a great sign at kid-level explaining more about this incredible man.

Unique features: My kids loved the huge climbing structure with 2 fast slides, secret tunnels and interesting climbing walls. There is also a “climbing course” and a preschool area that has smaller versions of the cool play structure.

🚻 Portable restroom next to playground when we went but not sure if that’s a leftover from construction?
😷 Everyone was wearing masks when we went BUT because it’s new and popular it was pretty busy on Friday when school let out.
🅿️ Street parking along 18th St. N and make sure you check the signs that you are in the free 2hr parking and not residential permit parking as it’s next to each other.

Location: 6620 18th St. N in Arlington

Arlington Park Website: Benjamin Banneker Park

Benjamin Bannecker Best Playgrounds in Arlington Va

7) Bluemont Junction Park (a mile east of Seven Corners)

Wonderful 15-acre park close to Four Mile Run with a great train theme for your little ones!

Unique features: Retired Red caboose can be explored and the playground has a train and farm theme. Also love the stream with rocks to explore on the other side of the parking.

🚻 Restrooms are located next to the playground but are closed during the winter but open in March.
😷 Tons of room to socially distance.
🅿️ A couple of parking lots around the park.

Location: 747 N. Emerson St.

Arlington Playground Website: Bluemont Junction Park

8) Fort Barnard (North of Shirlington)

My kids absolutely loved this playground in Arlington. A friend shared it with me when I was lamenting the lack of merry-go-rounds in the US after a trip from Switzerland. This park has the best one we’ve found! There is also a dog park close by.

Unique Features: Very tall play structure plus a preschool area. All covered in colorful astro turf with hopscotch and other fun decorations. The kids also loved the hammock swing, fort and mosaic pillars around the picnic structure.

🚻 No restrooms so plan accordingly and check out these car pottys that I’ve used for toddler to my 8 year old daughter.
😷 Different structures to play on if on of them is popular.
🅿️ Limited parking along Pollard street.

Note: Picture coming soon. We visited last year before I started this blog and need to return soon to get a picture!

Location: 329 N Manchester St. is for the playground side and 601 N Manchester St. for the Caboose side.

Arlington Playground Website: Fort Barnard Park

Fort barnard playground Arlington

9) Tuckahoe Park (2 blocks from East Falls Church Metro)

Lovely park in the woods with multiple age range structures, paved and boardwalk hikes and lots to explore!

Unique Features: Tall Web Pyramid to climb and explore. Boardwalk for hikes through the woods. Artificial grass under the playground which is unique to Arlington playgrounds.

🚻 Portable restrooms only available during sports seasons.
😷 Lots of room to roam and explore if the play structures are busy for a time.
🅿️ Parking along Sycamore Street.

(Picture coming soon. We visited last year before I started this blog and need to return soon to get a picture!)

Location: 2400 N. Sycamore St.

Arlington Playground Website: Tuckahoe Park

10) Lyon Village Park (Half a mile north of Clarendon Metro)

Great neighborhood playground in North Arlington with two separate play structures and a fenced in area.

Unique features: Includes a spray ground open Memorial Day to Labor Day. Check website below to see opening.

🚻 No restrooms so plan accordingly and check out these car pottys that I’ve used for toddler to my 8 year old daughter.
😷 Large field to run if some of the playgrounds are busy.
🅿️ We parked along Sycamore Street but there is street parking around the park.

(Picture coming soon. We visited last year before I started this blog and need to return soon to get a picture!)

Location: 1800 N. Highland Street

Arlington Playground Website: Lyon Village Park

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Best Playgrounds in Northern Virginia – Alexandria

1) Chessie’s Big Backyard – Lee District Park (My personal favorite playground in Northern Virginia)

My kids’ agree with me that this is in the top 3 best playgrounds in Northern Virginia! Not only are there 2 epic playgrounds but there is also a one-of-a-kind Nature Trail. The playground for 5-12 year olds is nature themed with lots of obstacles and fun slides. The preschool playground at Chessie’s is ocean themed compete with a light house, friendly sea dragon and pirate ship.

Chessie’s Trail: My favorite part of the park is the nature trail which has lots to keep kids and adults happy. There is a scavenger hunt for animal sculptures as well as musical instruments throughout the trail to try. On top of this is a fully accessible treehouse to explore after you’re’ done with your nature hike!  

Special Harbor Splashground, a fully accessible splash ground, is also located right next to the playground. There is also a carousel for a small fee. Check their website below for opening hours and the small fees.

🚻 Restrooms are open and located in the white building next to the playground. (Clean when I went inside!)
😷 Popular playground but lots of different things to explore if one spot is too busy at the moment.
🅿️ Lots of parking in the lot next to the playground.

Location: 6601 Telegraph Road

Park Website: Lee District Family Recreation Area

2) Jones Point Park – Alexandria – the best playground in northern Virginia when it rains!

We all loved this park right under I-495! Tons of cool spots for photos and history markers around. There are actually 2 playgrounds at this park plus basketball courts and the Mount Vernon Trail. The first playground is right by the parking lot and great for preschool ages. The second is through the underpass and next to the water.

Unique features: The 2nd playground through the underpass has cool animal tracks leading up to it here you can “jump like a rabbit” or “leap like a deer!” Also the challenge course is great for older kids.

🚻 Restrooms are open and located under the interstate in a stand alone building.
😷 The definition of social distancing, a whole underpass to play under!
🅿️ Enter on Royal Dr for the big parking lot.

Older kids playground at Jones Point.
Older kids playground at Jones Point.

Location: Jones Point Drive

Park Website: Jones Point Park

3) Potomac Yard Park – Alexandria

Wonderfully bright and accessible playground right off Potomac Ave. Fenced in and 2 separate lots with tons of interesting play structures, hammocks, swings and more! My daughter calls it Turquoise Town!

Unique features: My kids loved the maze on the preschooler side! My daughter said this was the best playground in Northern Virginia.

🚻 No restrooms so plan accordingly and check out these car pottys that I’ve used for toddler to my 8 year old daughter.
😷 There is a lot of separation between the 3 main play structures.
🅿️ Parking is limited street parking but I found a spot in the neighborhood only 1 block away.

Location: 2501 Potomac Ave. Alexandria

Park Website: Potomac Yard Park

Chilling at the Potomac Yard Park - one of the best playgrounds in Alexandria
Chilling at the Potomac Yard Park – one of the best playgrounds in Alexandria

4) Playground at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park – Del Ray, Alexandria

The Playground is actually at the intersection of Duncan Ave and Leslie Ave. (If you put in the park address into google maps, it took me to the dog park on the other side.)⁣

Unique features: Unique features: Swipe to see all the lovely play structures. They are unique as far as nova playgrounds go and my kids loved it! There is also a little garden behind the playground and basketball courts and dog park on the other side of the park. ⁣


🚻 My friend said she thinks the permanent restrooms by the dog park are open now. ⁣
🅿 Free street parking along Monroe Ave. and other streets. ⁣
☕ Check out @Swingscoffee Roastery on Monroe Ave before your playground date. Est. 1916 in DC and now they are roasting in Del Ray… really good coffee!⁣

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Fairfax Playgrounds – Some of the best playgrounds in Northern Virginia

1) Clemijontri – McLean, VA – My vote for best of the Fairfax Playgrounds

The largest and one of the best playgrounds in Northern Virginia and the DMV! My kids love this park for its variety, bright colors and seemingly never ending amount of play structures. There is an entire transportation area, musical instruments area, rainbow color themed area and even a maze. I will say as a parent because its such a large playground, you are constantly moving along with the kids and keeping track of them!

Unique Features: Completely accessible, rainbow explosion! (Check out the park’s website below to see a picture from the air because it really is incredible!) Also a carousel in the center and opening times and fees on the website.

🚻 Restrooms located at the entrance to the park.
😷 Tons of room to explore and literally dozens of different play structures to use if one gets crowded.
🅿️ Parking lot located next to the playground although on busy days it can fill up.

Colorful and HUGE Clemijontri!
Colorful and HUGE Clemijontri – one of the best playgrounds in Northern Virginia

Location: 6317 Georgetown Pike

Fairfax Playground Website: Clemijontri Park

2) Annandale Community Park Butterfly Playground

This park joins Hidden Oaks Nature Center but its easier to park here at Annandale Community Park (first left off Hummer if coming from beltway) and then go to the nature center through the connected trails.


Unique features: Love the obstacle course, separate big kid and little kid area and learning opportunities to discuss caterpillars to butterflies.


🅿️ Tons of free spots! 
🚻 Unfortunately the restrooms I pointed out in this video are closed until April 1st. Breeze Cafe, a Korean bakery is just down the street and might have a restroom to use.
😷 Playground was empty on a weekday afternoon but a few families joined after school let out around 3PM.
♿Paths are all paved so good for strollers and wheelchairs.

Location: 4030 Hummer Road, Annandale, VA 22003

Fairfax Playground Website: Hidden Oaks is connected via a trail!

Butterfly Themed Playground in Annandale VA
Butterfly Themed Playground in Annandale VA

3) Hidden Pond – Springfield, VA (A local hidden gem of the Fairfax Playgrounds)

Hidden Pond is a wonderful nature center, pond, and nature-themed playground. We’ve been coming here since my kids were babies and the playground got a facelift last year. Great fenced in playground with 2 separate areas for older and preschool kids. Because of the pond nature center classes, paved trails and new playground, this is one gets my vote for one of the best playgrounds in Northern Virginia.

Unique features: Make sure to check out the Hidden Pond just down the path behind the playground. The Nature Center has lots of great outdoor class for all age groups on the Fairfax Parks website.  

🅿️ Lots of free parking spots.
🚻 Portable restrooms in the Visitor’s Center parking lot.
😷 Playground can get crowded weekends and before naps but loved walking around the pond while we waited.
♿Paths are all paved so good for strollers and wheelchairs. There is a steep incline at the beginning of the path around the pond BUT if you go around the right side of the Nature Center there is a handicap accessible ramp.

Location: 8511 Greeley Blvd. Springfield, VA

Fairfax Playground Website: Hidden Pond Nature Center

Hidden Pond Nature Center one of the best playgrounds in Northern Virginia

4) Monticello Park Challenge Course – Burke, VA – Very Unique spot in the best playgrounds in northern Virginia

This small but unique park opened 2 years ago with a large dog park next to it. My kids love doing the challenges and timing themselves! Note: there are signs that say the Challenge Course is designed for ages 13+. All the kids I saw were ages 3-10 ish but definitely be aware of the higher climbing structures. 

🚻 No restrooms so plan accordingly and check out these car pottys that I’ve used for toddler to my 8 year old daughter.

🅿️ Medium size parking lot shared with the Dog park.
😷 I love this Challenge Course for social distancing bc there is a “path” through the course that helps a lot with spacing!

Location: 5315 Guinea Road, Burke VA

Challenge Course in Burke, one of the best playgrounds in Fairfax

5) Burke Lake Playground

Burke Lake is a huge 888 acre park tons of activities and beautiful nature to explore. There are 2 playgrounds at the park. The first one is behind the ice cream parlor in the largest parking lot. Next to the main playground is a mini train and carousel. (Check out park’s website below for times and fees) The 2nd playground is closer to the boat dock and boat rentals. Hours of fun no matter where you go!


Unique features: Boat rentals are available but first come first serve – Great free disc golf course and a small fee mini golf course. And can’t forget the 4.7 mile lake trail that is beautiful at every turn!

🅿️ Many different parking lots.  
🚻 Portable restrooms in the Visitor’s Center parking lot.
😷 Lots of space to explore no matter how busy.  

💲 Peak weekends may have a fee for some out of county licenses plates but it is not every weekend.

Location: 7315 Ox Road Fairfax Station, VA

Fairfax Park Website: Burke Lake Park

Burke Lake Park

6) Pohick Bay Regional Park – Lorton, VA

A playground with a view! This Treehouse themed playground was the highlight for the kids and the view of the Potomac was my favorite! It’s really a beautiful destination park for camping, hiking and boating.


🅿 Tons of parking.

🚻 Restrooms at the welcome center.
💲 It is $8 a day per vehicle if you are from outside NOVA (Free for Arlington, Fairfax & Loudoun Counties; Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax & Falls Church)
😷 Tons of

Location: 6501 Pohick Bay Drive, Lorton, VA

Park Website: Pohick Bay Regional Park

Playground with a View! - Pohick Bay Regional Park one of the best playgrounds in Northern VA
Playground with a View! – Pohick Bay Regional Park

7) Clifton Playground – Clifton, VA – one of the best playgrounds in northern Virginia

Clifton is a wonderful hidden gem just 8 miles from Fairfax (30 miles west of downtown DC). It’s a small, historic town with only 282 residents. My daughter calls it the “doll house town” and my son calls it the “train town.” 🚂 I love the historic Victorian architecture, cafes and railway.


There is an active railway through the town and an old caboose near the tracks that kids can climb and peer inside. This playground is Clifton Town Park which is right behind the old church on Main Street. We had it to ourselves on a weekday afternoon! (Peterson’s Ice Cream Depot is a must in the summer!) For me, this is actually one of the best playgrounds in Northern Virginia because it includes an entire historic town to explore!

🅿There is free street parking along Main Street and also behind the Trattoria Villagio restaurant.
🚻 There are not restrooms, but businesses close by that might allow you.  
😷 Clifton has small sidewalks so we have avoided it on the weekends as I imagine its crowded but during the week, it was a lovely escape from the burbs!

Location: 7154 Main Street, Clifton

Town Website: Town of Clifton

Clifton Town Park one of the best playgrounds in Northern VA

8) Van Dyck Park – City of Fairfax

Van Dyke Park in Fairfax is not as new and flashy as the previous playgrounds but it has a ton of different structures all spaced out! And when I say spread out, I mean like baseball fields-length in between different areas!

🚻 Portable restrooms.
😷 TONS of room to spread out!
🅿️ Huge parking lot.

Location: 3720 Old Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA

Fairfax Playground Website: Van Dyck Park

Van Dyck Park playgrounds in Northern VA

9) Dorothy Lane Playground – Springfield (Huntsman Park)

Hidden gem neighborhood park that has 2 great play structures and lots of paved trails great for bikes and scooters.

Unique features: Musical instruments added recently!

🚻 No restrooms so plan accordingly and check out these car pottys that I’ve used for toddler to my 8 year old daughter.
😷 Not very busy and lots of space to distance.
🅿️ Cul-de-sac parking but many spaces.

Location: 9150 Dorothy Lane, Springfield, VA

Google Maps: A part of Huntsman Park but put int Dorothy Lane into your maps app. Dorothy Lane

(Picture coming soon. We visited last year before I started this blog and need to return soon to get a picture!)

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Playground Gear We Love:

Favorite sun hat we’ve used for 6 years! (Originally from REI bought found on Amazon) 2,700, 5 star reviews with UPF 50 and Smart Strap.

Love these 3 layer kids masks from Dr. Talbot’s brand, very breathable but also 3 layers for my peace of mind and come in two different sizes for ages 2-5 year olds and 6-12 year olds.

We loved this travel potty for both my kids. You can use a grocery plastic bag or two instead of buying the expensive liners.

Fun to have a sand bucket and shovel in the car for the playgrounds that have sand pits (and this one has great carrying case)

Map of Best Playgrounds in Northern VA

More amazing playgrounds in Maryland here 10 Best in Maryland Playgrounds in Montgomery and Prince George’s County

And check out my 10 Best Playgrounds in DC!

And if you are looking for more parks without playgrounds, check out my 17 Social Distancing Spots in the DMV!

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2 Comments

  1. Ashley
    February 21, 2021 / 8:24 pm

    Thanks so much for the post! I was just browsing for some awesome playground to take my little guy to! Thanks! I’m from NoVA and some of these I’ve never heard of😂

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 22, 2021 / 1:25 am

      I’m so glad this list was helpful, Ashley! We started exploring more in our “backyard” of nova this summer and found so many great spots!!

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