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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "fun"

10 great spots to have a picnic in NoVA

It doesn’t matter if you pack your everyday lunchbox or the perfect basket, a picnic knows no bounds with the help of a nearby grassy area, a comfy blanket and some of your favorite snacks, all ready to be enjoyed outdoors. 

If you’ve grown tired of taking your lunch to your balcony or back porch, here are a few local spots worth tossing out a blanket, turning on some tunes and enjoying a portable summer meal.

 

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Bon Air Memorial Rose Garden

If you’re looking to be surrounded by nature’s beauty during your picnic, look no further than Bon Air Park. Depending on when you visit, you might get to stop and smell the bountiful blooms of the roses in the garden, or enjoy the bright azalea bushes along the pathways. No matter when you visit, the serenity of the park—fit with ornamental trees to sit under too—will act as the perfect backdrop for a calm picnic in the summer sun. Just make sure when you arrive to put enough space between you and other visitors, especially while you enjoy your meal. // Bon Air Park: 850 N. Lexington St., Arlington

 

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Fort Hunt Park

This local park is known as a picnic favorite for a reason. With several large picnic shelters available for rent throughout the summer, it’s often a bustling park with family gatherings, birthday parties and much more, hosting up to 600 people at a time. But following CDC guidelines, this year’s picnics will probably be a bit smaller, and there’s still plenty of space for your very own picnic in the historic park. Find a spot to empty your basket and learn more about the park’s history. From being an original part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, to its prevalence in the Spanish-American War, the Great Depression and WWII, there’s so much to learn and so much to enjoy. // 8999 Fort Hunt Road, Alexandria

 

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Gravelly Point Park

You would be pressed to find a Northern Virginian who hasn’t heard “picnic” and “Gravelly Point” in the same sentence during the summer, and this year is no exception. Despite the pandemic, planes are still taking off over the nation’s capital, and this is the best place to watch them fly while you enjoy a meal in the grass or at a nearby picnic table. Plus, the land is flat and perfect for a day filled with family games, letting the dog sniff new trees or just getting a much-needed breath of fresh air. // George Washington Memorial Parkway, Arlington

 

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Great Falls Park

Sometimes you just have to be reminded that we are surrounded by natural wonders everywhere, even beyond the busy streets of our local neighborhoods. Head out to Great Falls Park with your packed picnic basket and you can enjoy the sounds and sights of the national park, and maybe even enjoy a hike while you’re out and about. To ensure the park stays enjoyable and beautiful for all, make sure to properly dispose of any packaging you have, and keep your environmental footprints light. // 9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean

 

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Hidden Oaks Nature Center

Having a meal tucked away in the trees may be possible in your backyard, but you have to take a trip to Hidden Oaks Nature Center to experience the true magic of the forest. Pack your lunch and find a shady spot to enjoy the quiet and calm of nature, then let the kids (or yourself!) explore the wooded areas for bridges, trails and lots of wildlife. Check before visiting for the opening of park spaces and accommodations, and be sure to wear proper shoes for exploring on and off the park’s paths. // 7701 Royce St., Annandale

 

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Huntley Meadows Park

If you’re missing your summer tradition of walking along the boardwalk and having lunch with your toes in the sand, you can still get a similar experience without leaving NoVA this summer. Head to Huntley Meadows Park to walk the boardwalk trail, view wildlife and set up a picnic in a grassy area surrounded by birds, wildflowers and more. The park has over 1,554 acres to explore, and the kids will love getting to spot beavers, frogs, dragonflies and herons as you enjoy the outdoors and packed picnic lunch. Plus, this is the perfect place for a picnic if bird-watching is your go-to hobby, with over 200 species having been identified in the park. // 3701 Lockheed Blvd., Alexandria

 

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Lake Accotink Park

Spending a day on the lake is the perfect summer activity, so pack up a picnic lunch and plan an entire day on and off the water, just under a mile from the Capital Beltway. This 483-acre park offers panoramic views of Accotink Creek, where you can find a shady spot near the water and enjoy your lunch, or get out on the water yourself with a kayak or pedal boat. If you would rather stay on land, rent a bike and circle the park to get your legs moving, or simply sit back and enjoy a picnic day with the family. // 7500 Accotink Park Road, Springfield

 

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Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

If you’ve already spent quite enough time in your own garden this season, head to one of the region’s best botanical gardens in Vienna, filled with flora and fauna throughout the 95 acres of parkland. No matter where you decide to enjoy your picnic, you’ll get to enjoy views of the Piedmont hills and browse the beautiful blooms from the beginning to the end of your park exploration. If you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to explore the Korean Bell Garden or tour The Atrium to see the indoor tropical garden (when visitors are allowed). Another bonus? Snap a few gorgeous photos of the family for your summer album. // 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna

 

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Potomac Point Winery

Have you missed getting the views of stunning Virginia-grown grapes, and sipping on some local wine while you’re at it? Potomac Point is the perfect place for a winery picnic, fit with social distancing, contactless pickup and disinfecting measures that will keep you and your picnic crew safe. You don’t have to pack your own food and drinks (although you are welcome to), so if you’re looking for a treat, be sure to check out the winery’s picnic menu. You can get your own charcuterie board, homemade pickle spears and more, plus, there’s always bottles available to enjoy during your stay. // Potomac Point Winery: 275 Decatur Road, Stafford

 

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Silver Lake Regional Park

A fishing trip isn’t quite complete without a packed picnic, so make your way to Silver Lake and enjoy a meal by the water during a day of fishing with the family. The park boasts 230 acres of roaming fields, pine forests and 23 acres of water, and is open for fishing bluegill and largemouth bass fish from sunrise to sunset. Want a little extra for your picnic? Permanent grills are available to cook if you’re feeling fancy, as well as nearby picnic tables. // 16198 Silver Lake Road, Haymarket

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

10 birthday party venues your kids (and their guests!) will love

Westlake Legal Group Birthday-Parties 10 birthday party venues your kids (and their guests!) will love Science laser tag Kids Birthdays fun Fly Family Features cooking Birthday Party birthday parties
Looking for a great birthday spot for the kids over the summer? Here are 10 that are sure to please. (Photo by Rahel Daniel)

Birthday parties can be a challenge. The infamous summer pool party or winter celebration at the ice rink can’t happen every year, right? Well, whether your preteen prefers a fun time in the air conditioning or your 7-year-old wants a long day with friends in the kitchen, here are a few birthday parties the kids (and you) will love.

NoVA Ninja
Your highly energetic  and agile kiddos have probably caught a glimpse of American Ninja Warrior on television at some point. Maybe they’ve even taken to using the walls of your living room as some type of make-shift Warped Wall. Rather than attempting to turn your backyard into an all-out obstacle course for a birthday party, take the ANW hopefuls to NoVA Ninja. Co-founded by two-time competitor Casey Passafaro, the location allows guests to learn and try the various obstacles for themselves while testing their balance, agility, speed and more. // 21531 Blackwood Court, Suite 110, Sterling; Party packages start at $180

iFly
Take this year’s birthday to new heights by giving party-goers the opportunity to fly. Don’t worry, the guests won’t strap on a backpack and dive out of a plane (try explaining that to other parents), but they will get to gear up in a flying suit and helmet, get pre-flight training and one-on-one coaching  from a trained flying coach, and take their chance at two flights through various movements and methods. // 20315 Commonwealth Center Drive, Ashburn; Party packages start at $408

Room Escape Fairfax
Finding clues and problem solving has been upgraded from your typical treasure hunt adventure. Book a birthday party where the kids find themselves working their way out of a freaky fish bowl scenario, saving a spaceship or enrolling in Bond’s Magic School, where everyone learns ancient spells, solves puzzles and saves the school from the spooky evil spirits. If they keep their eyes out, they’ll even find a hidden customized birthday card while trying to escape. // 3949 University Drive, Fairfax; Party packages start at $475

Children’s Science Center
We might have gotten past the DIY slime craze (or did we?) but kids can still be interested in making, creating and understanding why simple science experiments are so cool. Plan a birthday party at the science center and your future lab coat-wearers get unlimited access to all exhibits (where they can program a robot arm and build structures at the tinker shop) and participate in an exclusive interactive activity for all party guests. // 11948 Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax; Party packages start at $350

Sportrock Climbing Center
Fighting a fear of heights on your birthday doesn’t sound like the best idea, but if your child is a risk-seeker looking for their next challenge, get ready to watch them race to the top at Sportrock. Guests get 90 minutes to try techniques and patterns to get up different parts of the wall, safely strapped in by a staff member who will belay their ropes from below. Little hands and legs can make it up the wall, but they must be 5 years old or older. // 5308 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria; 45935 Maries Road, Sterling; Party packages require a $100 deposit and $30 per climber

Shadowland Laser Adventures
Tag! You’re it! Let your child and their fun-loving friends zig-zag around at Shadowland by competing in laser tag, a colorful and exciting upgrade to the backyard game. They’ll strap on their vests, create a code name and use every strategy in the book to conquer the fortress once and for all. Once they’ve had enough of their laser adventures, they can make their way through the arcade or play some glow-in-the-dark mini golf. // 4300 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly; 5508 Franconia Road, Alexandria; Party packages start at $19 per person

Volcano Island Waterpark
Slide your way into a great outdoor birthday party by hosting it at Volcano Island Waterpark, where there’s a little something splash-worthy for everyone. There are two dueling water slides that the kids can race down either in the sunlight or in complete darkness (one is open, one is closed), a play area with a 500-gallon water bucket ready to drench those below and even a mini golf course for when guests are ready to head back to dry land. Plus, there’s pizza included! // 20015 Volcano Island Drive, Sterling; Packages start at $22 a child

Tiny Chefs
In honor of their birthdays, it’s time to let your kids loose in the kitchen (not without supervision of course). Messes and mistakes might be made, but so will memories and great kid-friendly recipes that get your kids excited about being in the kitchen for all of the right reasons (and in the right ways, too). Host a Tiny Chefs party and the kids will make their very own meals, rock chef hats and learn to love cooking. Bonus points for the staff who also handle the cleanup! // Hosted in home or at a rented location; Party packages start at $325

Curiosity Zone
Kids love to get their hands into (mostly) everything one way or another, and they’re encouraged to do so at Curiosity Zone during the personalized birthday parties. Guests are taken through several DIY science experiments with themes such as blast and bubble, artsy potions and spa science. Regardless of their interest, this party allows kids to get their hands sticky and take their fun concoctions home. // 43135 Broadlands Center Plaza, Suite 123, Ashburn; Party packages start at $329

Dynamic Gymnastics
Flip your way into a super fun birthday party at Dynamic Gymnastics, where kids are led by USA Gymnastics-certified coaches, who help them tumble, tuck and balance on equipment throughout the facility, and guide them through fun and engaging activities beyond just flips and twists. No cartwheels required but your kids might just never stop doing them after this celebration. // 3441 Carlin Springs Road, Bailey’s Crossroads; Party packages start at $299

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com