ClemyjontriWashington DC is a seven hour drive from the Queen City  and a favorite travel destination for many travelers from Charlotte.  While most travel north to the capital with plans of touring the monuments and museums, if you’re looking for a break from the city – and its millions of other visitors – be sure to check out Clemyjontri Park, a short drive away in the Northern Virginia suburb of McLean.

The playground itself, designed to accommodate all children, is TWO ACRES with a central carousel.  The playground is divided into four “rooms” – the Rainbow Room, which accommodates all physical levels, integrates sign, Braille, pictures and language and teaches the colors of the rainbow; the Schoolhouse and Maze, which focuses on educational learning games and features maps and clocks; the Transportation Area, designed with transportation-themed equipment like planes, trains and trucks; and the Fitness and Fun area, which features a huge jungle gym.  There’s something for everyone, from slides to swings to musical instruments, all on a rubbery, non-slip surface, which minimizes scrapes and bruises when kids fall.

Additionally the playground features shaded benches, vending machines that dispense water and juice, and bathrooms.  My son had a blast climbing and running around, but the carousel was definitely his favorite feature.  Despite the fact that there were lots of people there, because the park is so big you never feel overwhelmed like you can at some playgrounds when too many kids are running around.  There was plenty of space and plenty to do to keep everyone spread out and entertained.

The downside?  For a playground of this size the parking lot is small.  There is an auxiliary lot nearby though, and people are often coming and going, so we were able to snag a spot close to the entrance after waiting a few minutes.  Also, while there are swings (a few different types of swings even), there aren’t a lot considering the size of the playground (maybe 8 – 10 total).  The other bummer was that while there’s a lot to play with and climb on, the actual playground equipment is fairly limited – there aren’t a lot of slides, and the “biggest” one is actually pretty tame.