Henry Clay Park3011 7th St. N.
Arlington, VA 22201
Website ~ Map Link
Bottom Line: A nice large park with something to offer big and little kids. Not fully fenced, and fairly sunny. No bathrooms. 3/5 stars.
We decided to meet up with friends and check out Henry Clay Park on a delightfully sunny, technically-winter-but-feels-like-spring kind of day. The park is surprisingly large, given the density of the neighborhood homes and it’s close proximity to Clarendon. There wasn’t much shade, but the full sun was welcome on a mild spring-like day.
HCP features two separate play structures, for younger and older kids. Unlike Chesnut Hills, the play areas are close enough and have decent enough sight lines that a mom with more than one child has a better chance at keeping all her kids in sight without too much trouble.
The Big Kid Play Structure
The large play structure features lots of different slides, including two enclosed tube slides, a zip line, monkey bars, a fireman’s pole and more.
Next to this play structure, there is a small playhouse, sitting in the shade of a tree.
Younger Kids Play Structure
This area was set in sand and featured a smaller structure, along with two baby swings.
Unfortunately, one of the bucket seats was ripped, leaving only one functional swing. There were no regular/big kid swings.
The boys had a great time digging in the sand with all the trucks and play equipment that seem to be donated to the park.
A covered gazebo and picnic table sit in the middle of the park. It made a nice spot to eat our lunch and keep an eye on the kids.
Behind the gazebo, there is an open field and one basketball court. There is also a water fountain on the Highland St. side of the park.
There is a sidewalk that loops around the perimeter of this mostly flat park, making it a great spot for younger riders to go for a spin.
There is a slight decline from the center of the park (by the gazebo) towards 7th St. The boys found it fun to ride the ride-on toys down the path, towards 7th St. This has the potential to be dangerous, and if your child doesn’t heed boundaries or verbal instruction — he or she could find himself heading towards the street.
Thankfully that was not an issue with our group, but the parks porous boundaries did prove problematic for one mom with a runner. The split rail fencing surrounding the park does not span the crosswalks and roving child could easily make his escape.
As far as parking goes, there was limited street parking on 7th, but we found plenty on Garfield St. I could see parking being an issue on a nice day, but wasn’t a problem when we were there.
Overall, we enjoyed this park. I’m sure it would be hot in the height of summer, but it made a nice destination on a mild day.
Find more parks by visiting my main Arlington Parks & Playgrounds page.