The newest phase of Chessie’s Backyard playground has arrived, and it does not disappoint. The new play area is pirate themed, complete with lots of buttons that talk when you push them. (Which still work! These kinds of playground features notoriously get broken pretty fast, but for now they’re going strong.) My littlest was so enchanted by the one that plays a foghorn that he pushed it over and over- even when he still wasn’t sure he liked it. He’d sidle up to it, push the button, and then back away while it played. Repeat, repeat, repeat, GRIN, repeat some more! Also, one of the other buttons taught him to say “shiver me timbers!” and “walk the plank!” which was very funny in context. There is, in fact, a very short, low plank your kid CAN walk over a rubber ocean. Be sure to check out the sand castle (contains a small tube slide), the sea monster (friendly face and doesn’t mind if you climb on him) and the dolphin. Everywhere you look there is some cute detail that will make your kids feel like they’ve gone on an adventure.
Like the original, this playground has a rubber surface and accessible play features. This section is suggested for 2-5 year olds. Your 2 year old may need assistance on some of the more challenging equipment, but there were kids of all ages enjoying this area thoroughly, regardless of what the sign said. All the other Lee District Park amenities- ample parking, restrooms, picnic shelter- are accessible from this new playground as well. The original phase is between this one and the parking lot. (I still wish there was a barrier between the playground and the driveway, even if it didn’t completely enclose the playground. Anything that slows down a child who is headed for traffic makes me happy.) 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!)
There are no leaves on the trees, so I had trouble assessing how shady this will be in summer. Look for an update when the weather turns. See you there!
Hey! Don’t forget to visit our NOVA Playground map to find more great parks.