Alcova Heights Park901 S. George Mason Dr.
Arlington, VA 22204
Website ~ Map Link
Bottom Line: A lovely shady park with a big play structure and an old fashioned tire swing. Park is a bisected by a creek which can be a pro or con; overall better for older kids than babies. 5/5 stars!
Worth Noting: This park is big enough to lose track of multiple kids if not paying attention. Less stuff geared towards toddlers. The creek is only a few inches deep, but is still an area to be aware of. Also, while down in the creekbed with my kids, I noticed a bunch of bags stuffed under the bridge, which made me wonder if the park had a homeless resident. Street parking along 8th St and Randolph St.
We visited this park at the end of June and I forgot to blog about it! It had been recommended by several moms in my mom’s club, so when I needed to meet up with a friend who was staying in south Arlington, it seemed like a good opportunity to check it out. It was a short ride down George Mason Drive to Alcova Heights. I had driven by it many a time, but never seen a playground. This is because the park is bisected by the creek. The half that runs along George Mason Dr. has picnic tables, grills, a basketball court and restrooms. But once you turn on to 8th St., you see the other half of the park which is a shady wonderland with a fantastic play structure. The park also extends along George Mason north of 8th St, but the playground is in the southern quadrant (look to your right as you turn onto 8th St). The newly renovated playground area has one of the bigger play structures I’ve seen at an Arlington park.
In addition to this huge play structure, there are also baby swings, regular swings, and something a little different — a tire swing!
The surface is mulch and the entire area is surrounded by trees, so I imagine it stays shady all day. The park is not really fenced — it does have a split rail fence that extends around the perimeter of the park, but it does nothing to keep a wandering toddler safe. Adjacent to the playground is a baseball field.
Although there was plenty to do on the playground itself, I had to keep an eye on my roving toddler, who liked to cross the footbridge over the creek and wander to the George Mason side of the park. The bathrooms are on this side of the park and while I didn’t have to use them, it’s nice to know they were there.
In addition to exploring the big play structure, the tire swing was a big hit with the kids.
They were also excited to check out the creek. It has rocks/boulders lining the creek bed, and they seem to be arranged in a way that was easy to climb down the creek. The kids had a blast scrambling around — until another child informed them there were snakes. This quickly quashed my daughter’s interest in the creek, though no actual snakes were sited.
We had a nice picnic lunch (I brought a blanket) and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves until naptime beckoned. It is a lovely park and a great option for shade on a sunny day.
Find more parks by visiting my main Arlington Parks & Playgrounds page.