My kids love the idea of going on a picnic, so we pack up what seems like half of our refrigerator a few times a year and head out to one of our favorite picnic spots. We’re lucky! Arlington, Falls Church, McLean and Vienna all have so many great picnic spots to choose from!
Here’s my family’s list of top three picnic spots and a few honorable mentions!
Picnic Spot #1: Gravelly Point
Features: There are limited amenities, but that doesn't take away from the sights and sounds of Gravelly Point! There are portable restrooms but limited numbers of tables. Pack a blanket, a football and a big lunch!
What my kids love: The planes!
What I love: The location! The park is located on the water, with gorgeous views of the monuments and DC skyline. It is really a sight to see the planes take off and land at what seems to be right over your head!
Cost & Hours: FREE, Open from 6am - 10pm daily
Keep in mind: The park is only accessible traveling north on the GW Parkway so keep that in mind when heading there. You can also access it on the Mount Vernon Trail by bike or walking.
Picnic Spot #2: Turkey Run Park
Features: Located at the northern end of McLean, Turkey Run Park is a perfect combination of stunning scenery, hiking trails and animal sightings.
What my kids love: They expect to see different flowers and animals each time we go.
What I love: Parking is readily available at all of picnic areas (there are 3). Pack a picnic or grab lunch, you can sit and have lunch if you're on limited time or take a short or long hike if you have more time!
Cost & Hours: FREE, open from 6am - 10pm daily.
Keep in mind: There are no trash bins, so bring your own bag.
Picnic Spot #3: Clemyjontri Park
Features: There is no shortage of fun at Clemyjontri Park in McLean. Children of all ages and abilities are welcome at this park - most (if not all) of the park is handicap accessible for wheelchairs, walkers or braces and for children of differing sensory and developmental disabilities. There is a trainless track and a carousel to add to the already extensive amount of playground and equipment.
What my kids love: All of it! The carousel, train, equipment and freedom to run!
What I love: Besides being accessible for ALL children regardless of disability, the meaning behind the name CLEMYJONTRI was created from the donor’s four children: Carolyn (CL), Emily (EMY), John (Jon), and Petrina (Tri). It now boasts Virginia's first ever Liberty swing allowing the experience of swinging without having to transfer out of their wheelchair.
Cost & Hours: FREE (The carousel costs $3.00) and the park is open daily from 7:00am to dusk.
Keep in mind: They just added on to the (free) parking lot! There is a pavilion and canopy spaces that can be rented through Fairfax County, restrooms and a few vending machines. Bring your own picnic and find a spot under a tree while you watch your kids run all over!
That’s my family’s list, but I bet your family has their own favorite picnic spots! I’d love to know where they are. Drop me a line on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great time on your picnic adventure, and remember...don’t forget the napkins!