Sea Monster at Chessie's Backyard Playground

The Newest Phase of Chessie’s Backyard Playground is here!

My kids loved this so much that they didn’t want to go home even though they were hungry for dinner. My littlest had to be carried to the parking lot, shouting “WANT THE PARK!” the whole way. (Of course, he’s two, so whether that’s an endorsement or just trouble with transitions is debatable. But he had a REALLY good time!)

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Stoneybrooke Park

If it weren’t for the lack of restroom facilities of any kind, this would be my new favorite place. Conveniently located near Kings Highway and not far from Lee District park, this is 14 acres of woodsy, attractive park land. The playground is adorable, and my toddler loved it because, in addition to the high slides and the climbers for bigger kids, it had some low steps and a small slide that were just right for him. There are a couple of high-ish dropoffs you’ll want to watch if you do this park with a toddler, but they are easy to guard from the ground and there are no tight corners to navigate if you want to supervise from the top.

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Butterfly Bench at River Farm Park in Alexandria VA

River Farm Park Children’s Garden

I always refer to this place as one of NOVA’s “little known treasures,” because so many people don’t know it’s there! Once you’ve visited, you’ll say, “I can’t believe I didn’t know about this place!” because it is so amazing you’ll be shocked no one has mentioned it to you. It’s located inside George Washington’s River Farm and is open daily, unless the grounds are rented for a wedding. So if you’re planning a weekend trip, call first or have a backup plan in mind in case it’s closed.

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