Category Archives: Arlington County VA Playgrounds

Thank you for stopping by our Arlington County Playground listing! Local moms have submitted their favorites, so if you don’t see one you know is great, please send it to us! Why don’t you join our Wee Play Together in Arlington Playgroup at one of these great playgrounds for a playdate? We’d love to get to know you!

Potomac Overlook Park: Playground and more

Potomac Overlook Park A Family Adventure Arlington VA

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure that is fun, active AND educational, look no further than Potomac Overlook Park. There is no part of the park where they haven’t tucked something visually interesting, educational, or physically challenging. The hiking trail is appropriate for steady, mobile children. For toddlers and babies you will need a pack, as there are several stream crossings and steep areas that are not suitable for any kind of stroller.

Pack a picnic lunch and plan to stay a while. You and your kids can explore and learn about gardening, solar power, local history, and more.  The “potomac overlook” is officially listed as closed because tree growth on federal lands blocks the view that used to go all the way to Georgetown, but the trail is safe and passable for those who would like an easier hike than some of the park’s other trails. If you hike down to the water, you’ll see the remnants of historic swimming holes. A helpful and chatty fan I met on the trail told me that the original swimming hole, which is the farthest downstream, was quite the destination for picnickers until it was destroyed by a tree that fell in the late 19th century. The newer hole, which was further upstream and built of concrete, also suffered storm damage and was never rebuilt. (Probably because we have public pools now, so stream swimming isn’t as popular.) Keep hiking and you’ll find some steps that head down toward the river, or turn off to head back to the nature center. There are signs along the trail that will tell you how the spot you were standing on has changed through the area’s history.

If you and your kids are feeling only a little less adventurous, there is a very nice playground right near the ample parking area. The playground is enclosed and shady with a mulch surface. There are restrooms at the adjacent picnic area or in the nature center.

Potomac Overlook Park 2845 N Marcey Rd, Arlington, VA 22207 (Parking is free!)

Powhatan Springs Park – Children’s Rain Garden

I started building excitement for our visit to the rain garden by letting my son watch this video. That worked well- when we arrived, he was able to identify the purpose of the different features and was excited to point them out to me. However, our visit was on a bright, sunny day that followed several weeks of dry conditions. If you are unable to visit when it is actually raining, definitely go when there has been a lot of recent rain, so there is more to see.

The parking lot is closed on rainy days because the rain garden is attached to the skate park. However, the sidewalk access is always available and there is plenty of street parking nearby. The rain garden isn’t very big, so this is a good outing to sandwich in between a couple of errands (or at the tail end of an errand on the way home, so you won’t be about town with soaking wet kids) because it doesn’t take long to explore the whole area. It offers a lot of learning “bang” for not a lot of time “buck,” so we definitely plan to return for future visits.

The rain garden is handicap accessible, so we were able to get a non-jogging stroller into the rain garden area by going around back to the ramp. The big kids clambered over all the obstacles and had a great time. If you want a longer outing, combine this with a trip to nearby Upton Hill Regional Park. (Walking distance, so you can park once and play twice.)

6020 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22205

Information Line

From the website:

As designed by the park design team of Oculus along with artist Jann Rosen-Queralt, the site plan combines a children’s learning experience and a bioretention area into a single dramatic element of the park. Bioretention is a means of cleansing stormwater runoff through a man-made wetlands or “rain garden.” Construction of the rain garden was made possible by a grant from the Kiwanis Club of Arlington.

The flow and collection of rainwater is exposed and animated to further emphasize collection and placement of water into the bioretention system. The system contains several interactive components that function as stormwater collection devices and also provide interactive fun for children.

Water vessels collect water from the roofs of the park buildings and release the water a drop at a time after a rainfall, thereby creating a trickle of water for days afterward.

Water Pump and Water Flume. A water storage tank is installed beneath the bioretention area. Rainwater will is used to fill this tank. From this tank, water is pumped into a flume which runs through the nature area to the stream. Children may place objects in the flume and watch as they float downstream.

Wetland Plants and Stepping Stones have been placed in the bioretention area providing an opportunity for children to hop from stone to stone and touch, see and smell the wetland plants.

V-Ditch leaf impressions, jade river pebbles, copper bits from parking lot to rain garden.

Raindrop System. Drops of water will be released and fall from pipes on the restroom building for a few minutes every hour on the hour. This is expected to be an event that children anticipate. Children can play in the drops of water, collect them or run through them. A minimal amount of water will be used to maintain the wetland plants.

Wall Embedments. The concrete wall surrounding the Children’s Nature Area is embedded with long pieces of wood that will eventually decay to leave behind interesting impressions.

Looking for more playgrounds? Be sure to visit our NOVA Playground Map to find them by location! If your favorite is missing, please submit it!

Upton Hill Regional Park Playground

This playground is built in what was once a water feature, so there are two levels. My kid loved the fact that there were steps and a little bridge, but it was a hot, sunny day, and the equipment was just a bit too hot to play on. There’s plenty of shady, grassy space to play in, even if the day is very hot.

This would be a great spot for a picnic. There is plenty of hiking and biking nearby, as well. There is a large lot near the pool, which may be full if the park is busy. There is also street parking that is accessible to the playground.

Despite the fact that the park website says the playground is located “near restrooms,” and the presence of a building that looks like it really ought to contain restrooms, it seems the nearest restrooms are actually across the park at the pool area, which is a bit too far for a potty training child but not bad for an older child or an adult.

The playground surface is mulch. The playground is not enclosed, but is also not particularly near the street. The playground itself is small, but bring a frisbee or a soccer ball, and the kids will be plenty entertained, even if you have older kids in the crew.

Find more playgrounds near you on our playground map. Are we missing your favorite? Please submit it.

Slater Park

1837 N. Culpeper St.
Arlington, VA 22207

Although mostly green space and picnic area, this park does have a preschool age playground tucked into one corner. The playground surface is mulch. The play area is enclosed, and there are benches for the adults. No restrooms, not shaded, and the parking is on street.

Looking for more playgrounds? Be sure to visit our NOVA Playground Map to find them by location! If your favorite is missing, please submit it!

Parkhurst Park

Parkhurst Park Arlington VA The Joy Troupe NOVAParkhurst Park
5820 20th Rd. N.
Arlington, VA 22205

Parking is on-street. Park is mostly enclosed, but has one side that opens to a cul-de-sac. No restrooms. Play areas are not shaded, but there is a shaded picnic area. Paved walking path through the park, lots of benches for the adults. This is a cute park with plenty of adventurous equipment for any level of play.


Looking for more playgrounds? Be sure to visit our NOVA Playground Map to find them by location! If your favorite is missing, please submit it!