ALEXANDRIA, VA-This month check out the newly renovated Simpson Park Playground in Del Ray. The playground recently reopened after an extensive renovation and is ready for play! Located behind the Del Ray YMCA on 426 East Monroe Avenue, the playground is a perfect mix of old-school playground equipment and modern equipment that double as pieces of art. On one side of the playground is a climbing structure great for younger kids that reminds me of a caterpillar out of Alice in Wonderland. On the other side, there are swings and a roundabout or merry-go-round that brings back childhood memories of spinning too fast and flying off with resulting skinned knees. (That’s childhood for you!) The playground also features wooden climbing structures that will test your child’s sense of adventure and balance.
After enjoying the playground, explore the Simpson Gardens with your little one, which are within Simpson Park. The gardens are quiet, peaceful, and feature five unique gardens in different themes. Our favorites are the Scented Garden, with fragrant flowers, and the Butterfly Garden, designed as a habitat for butterflies through all life stages. The Simpson Garden is one of those hidden gems in the local area that make you feel like you’ve stumbled on your own secret garden.
Here are my top picks for your upcoming weekends:
June 8: Sesame Street is coming to the local area and hosting a free, family festival in D.C. The festival will feature your child’s favorite Sesame Street characters who will perform a stage show and be available to meet. There will be plenty of fun activities, including a giant maze, treasure dig, and a milk-and-cookies snack station. The festival is 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Anacostia Park, 1900 Anacostia Drive, Washington D.C. and admission is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
June 15: For Father’s Day weekend, head to D.C. to enjoy the D.C. Jazz Fest at the Wharf. This free weekend-long event features both indoor and outdoor music starting at 3 p.m. After enjoying the music, walk along the Southwest Waterfront to the Recreation Pier which features oversized games and swings for kids to enjoy.
June 22: Old Town has the best family-friendly festivals. Head down for the Portside in Old Town Summer Festival. This free festival at Watertown Park will feature live music throughout the day, a beer garden for the adults, and activities for the little ones. The festival is from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m.
June 29: Visit Mount Vernon for an Independence Day celebrationending with fireworks. Take a tour of the mansion, enjoy live music, and games with General and Mrs. Washington. This ticketed event is great for families with older kids and includes a rare visit to Washington’s tomb at night.
Erica Barker is the founder of littleoldtown.com, where she shares fun activities in the Alexandria area for parents and kids and she enjoys exploring the local area while keeping her toddler entertained.