Fantasy Playground12298 Cotton Mill Drive
Woodbridge, VA 22192
Website ~ Map Link
Bottom Line: Really fun wooden playground. Limited shade, no bathrooms or water, gravel surface (closed shoes recommended). 4/5 stars
I had heard about the “Fantasy Playground” for years, but had never made the trek down to Woodbridge to check it out. Finally, on the last week of summer vacation, I drove down with my crew (ages 5, 8, and 9) to see how it stacked up to the hype.
General Observations: it is big and fun! Located in the Lake Ridge community, it is very different from the more modern playgrounds common to Arlington; it is a wooden labyrinth designed to unleash the imagination. There are lots of tunnels, secret passages, slides, swings and more — the kids had a blast running amuck, hiding from and trying to find each other.
If you are a parent of a younger child, it can be challenging to keep up with your kid(s) and some of the passageways are a tight squeeze for a grown adult. It is also impossible to keep the whole playground in view, so managing multiple children (especially younger kids, or runners) might be a challenge. The playground is surrounded with a wooden fence and only two entry points — wooden walkways — but these are not gated.
There is decent shade in the morning, and the structure itself provides a good bit of shaded playareas around and underneath it, but by lunch time, it is fairly sunny — especially the swings.
There are no bathrooms or water fountains on site. If the adjacent pool or community center happens to be open, you can use theirs, but I wouldn’t count on that, especially during the school year. There is a covered area with several picnic tables.
The play features include a sprawling fortress-like structure, lots of swings (4 regular, 4 baby, 2 tire swings) and a variety of slides. There is also a small sand area that stayed fairly shady. See pictures below for more detail.
The play structure is made with engineered wood, but the actual surface of the ground beneath is small gravel. I recommend not wearing flip flops or sandals, but wearing closed shoes. The gravel seemed to slow down kids who might otherwise be too speedy on the playground, but was also an enticement for little fingers to pick up and throw.
Because of this surface, I wouldn’t recommend this playground for babies/non-walking toddlers.
All in all, this was a really fun place to visit, and I would recommend it for toddlers and up!
I took a ton of pictures, click the thumbnail to view a larger version.
Looking for more places to play? Check out my reviews of other Playgrounds, Parks, and Play Areas in Arlington and the greater Metro DC area.
Find more parks by visiting my main Arlington Parks & Playgrounds page.