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Chessie's Big Backyard

Main play structure at Chessie's Big Backyard
Main play structure at Chessie's Big Backyard
Sara Cinotti

My philosophy is: Get your children out of the house so they can't mess up the house. That can be tricky to do when you have different ages. One child may be big enough to enjoy a trampoline and another child is still mastering walking. Obviously, the trick is to find a place they can both enjoy.

Chessie's Big Background is one of those places. Slides, climbing walls, rope bridges and ladders, monkey bars, and tunnels make up this play ground. And the best part is, the floor is super absorbent rubber, to make sure any falls are as "boo boo" free as possible.

The majority of the play ground mimics the look of the forest, which surrounds the park. The roofs look like little tree houses and the tunnels and other equipment have replica tree bark features. Much of the equipment is specially designed for use by all children, including those with special needs.

Behind this massive structure is a pirate ship, complete with a friendly sea monster and a light house. This area is geared more for the younger crowd, although any one is welcome to play on the ship.

There is plenty of parking, restrooms, water fountains, vending machines, and there is no entrance fee. The park is next to a forest, so it is quiet and there is plenty of shade to set up a blanket. There is also a large pavilion with picnic tables; great for hosting a birthday party.

But the best part of the park is the treehouse. Extending out, and above the forest, is a catwalk with a large open area in the middle. Here you can sit and enjoy your lunch, while luxuriating in a cool breeze, and overlooking the sunlight filtering through the trees. While we enjoyed the greens of summer, we plan to return to enjoy the red, orange and gold of autumn.

Visit this park at Lee District RECenter, a part of the Fairfax County Park Authority, in Alexandria.

Lee District Park & RECenter
6601 Telegraph Road
Alexandria, VA 22310

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