Chessie’s Big Backyard opened for business yesterday!
The newest playground at Lee District Park in Alexandria VA is sunny and opens to the picnic pavilion, the spray park, and the tree house on various sides. Unfortunately, it also opens onto the street. There is not a large buffer zone between this playground and the street. The sign says it’s suitable for 5-12 year olds. The rubber surface underneath is deep and springy. It will provide very adequate cushioning for any falls. Also, the equipment is fun, varied, and without many high dropoffs. (Do be alert on the rope bridge, though. I have seen a child fall from it and another dangle by one foot screaming for help. Neither kid was hurt but it sure was scary both times.) The woodland theme is fun and the railings are very safe. With appropriate supervision, the equipment here would be fun for any age child. The restrooms on the outside of the spraypark are immediately adjacent to the playground, and they’ll open Memorial Day Weekend. Also, there is ample parking in the lot- just make your first right after you enter Lee District.
What to watch out for:
In addition to being open to the road, the visibility across the playground is poor. If you have older children who can follow rules and be allowed to play out of your direct line of sight for a few minutes at a time, their little sibs will have a good time here under your very watchful eye. If, for instance, you have twin toddlers, you might not enjoy this place very much until they are older. The rubber surface and the equipment was very hot late in the day. You can address this by arriving early in the day. Otherwise, make sure the kids wear long pants and shoes to avoid burns.
I would recommend Chessie’s Big Back Yard for:
Families with older children or for 1:1 supervision ratios. I would also definitely recommend this playground for families who have children with special mobility needs, as they will find equipment that is suitable for them and a smooth surface underneath that doesn’t challenge them more than necessary.
Hey! 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! Have you stopped by the Little Lambs of Alexandria Playgroup page lately to see what’s new? We also have a Toddler Playgroup! Read more about our outdoor adventures in Park Dates for Dummies.