Our family just moved to the Norfolk-area last month. And with an energetic three-year-old on my tail, my first priority was to scope out all the best area parks. Do you follow us on Instagram? Don’t miss our reel.
Here are five great playgrounds to add to your list:
Fun Forest at Chesapeake City Park (Chesapeake)
900 City Park Dr, Chesapeake, VA 23320
My toddler absolutely loves this park! As its name suggests, the Fun Forest playground is tucked away behind a small forest at Chesapeake City Park, which adds some fun alore to it. Fun Forest sits on threee acres with multiple wooden playground structures, imagination center and a family adventure area! Park highlights include friendship benches, three-way underground telephone, shaky bridges, dolphin tunnel slide, sand pit and many fun challenges and obstacle courses. The park has several handicapped accessible areas and paths – and plenty of shade!
Oak Grove Lake Park (Chesapeake)
409 Byron St, Chesapeake, VA 23320
Another great park where your little can get some exercise and you can, too! Oak Grove Lake Park in Chesapeake centers around the 65-acre Oak Grove Lake, a sizable lake and mixed woodland habitat for dragonflies, butterflies and songbirds. There is a 1.5 mile ADA-accessible trail that circles the perimeter of the lake, made of hard gravel.
A brightly-colored playground greets you as soon as you enter the park, so fair warning that will inevitably be your first stop. I love that this playground is far away from any street or parking lot, perfectly safe for littles to run and explore. Only negative is there are no running bathrooms, only porta potties.
Portsmouth City Park (Portsmouth)
Cpl J M Williams Ave, Portsmouth, VA 23701
This park was a sweet surprise! The Portsmouth City Park has a stellar playground, a bit more contained than the Kids Cove (move on that below). The new playground offers an incredible play experience to children of all ages and abilities – also tons of shade!
With spaces for 2-5- and 5–12-year-old children and a pavilion full of comfortable seating where parents and caregivers can supervise both playspaces, this playground has so many thoughtful details that don’t go unnoticed.
Kids Cove at Mount Trashmore (Virginia Beach)
310 Edwin Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
This park is so fun and on a different level. It is a destination all its own! Mount Trashmore is the site of a former, abandoned landfill, now transformed into a beautiful 165-acre park. The park features paved walking trails, two lakes, a fishing boardwalk pier and two large hills spanning over 60 feet high. You can spend hours here.
On the backside of the hills is the Kids Cove, an inclusive and enormous playground with every feature you can think of. The playground is massive and I will say it is always packed. I get dizzy keeping an eye on my toddler! Hot tip: if your little is overwhelmed, there is a smaller playground on the other side of the hills. There are also proper working bathrooms on that side, as well.
Grommet Island Park (Virginia Beach)
Boardwalk &, 2nd St, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
If you’re down by the Virginia Beach waterfront, don’t miss Grommet Island Park! The beachfront park sits at the end of the boardwalk and encompasses 15,000 square feet with wheelchair accessible entrances, raised sand tables, a sensory board and a sway boat. The playground also has fun climbing structures such as dolphins, a surfboard and a wave.
Beach Wheelchairs that are FREE to use (available as first come first serve) between April 1 – October 1, as well as beach chairs. An attendant should be available between the hours of 8am-8pm for assistance. There are also family restrooms just a few steps away!
What other parks should we add to our list? Comment below and let us know!