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  • Writer's pictureThe West End Mom

The Best Playgrounds in Richmond, Virginia

Updated: Feb 7

Looking for a new (or new to you) playground to visit? Me too! I love taking my children to parks all year because they are fun places to visit and make new friends. Parks and playgrounds are a budget-friendly place visit with kids too -- most are free!

I've rounded up 40+ parks and playgrounds around Richmond that I've visited with kids! To make it even easier for your family to enjoy these public parks and playgrounds, I've included all my tips and tricks for visiting each playground too! This guide will be updated as we visit more RVA playgrounds.

*Follow @thewestendmom on Instagram and TikTok for things to do with kids in Richmond and around Virginia!

The best parks and playgrounds around Richmond, Virginia.

Playgrounds located in Chesterfield County:

1. Point of Rocks Park: Located in Chesterfield, this park is 176 acres with a lot of history. The grounds of the park were used during the Bermuda Hundred Campaign, and there are remnants of these battles & historical markers around the park. Point of Rocks Park has two main areas: an upper area & a lower area. The upper area has athletic fields, picnic areas, a large playground with two play sets and swings. The lower area has a play space, 2.7 miles of trails (paved & hard pack), and a floating boardwalk over tidal marsh!  

Heads up: The best shade is on the trails and at the lower playground. The upper playground does have large trees around it and a picnic shelter, providing some relief from the sun.

2. Robious Landing Park: This is a 102 acre park in Midlothian, just 20 minutes from the West End. Located on the James River, the 3.4 miles of trails provide views of the river, wildlife and forest. Since it’s on the river, there’s easy access to the river for boating & fishing. It also has a playground, picnic shelters & a sand volleyball court. The trails are almost completely in the shade.

Heads up: The playground has very little tree coverage.

3. Huguenot Park: Located in Bon Air, this 53 acre park has an all-inclusive playground, picnic shelters, athletic fields & basketball courts, and stroller friendly trails! Our favorite feature of this park is the large sand play area in the fenced playground. My littles love playing here with the trucks, shovels & other sand toys. This park is very popular, so it’s easy to make friends too!

Why I like it for babies and toddlers: The sand play area is so much fun! Community members donate toys, so they are always rotating. The playground also has a paved path around it, so children can use the ride on & push toys.

Heads up: While this playground is fenced in, it does not have a gate. There is only one way in and one way out though!

4. Wishing Well Park: Located in the Salisbury neighborhood, this playground is open to the public. It shares a parking lot with The Redeemer Church, so it may look crowded even if its not. It has a large, fenced in play area with a gate! There's plenty of space to run around, and it has a play structure, climbing wall, and sand play area. There are plenty of swings, including baby swings and accessible swings.

Why I like it for babies and toddlers: The sand play area is such a hit! I love that the sand play has a covered play area too - especially on hot days! Little ones can crawl into the climbing tower, so it's like a play house.

*Wishing Well Park is currently raising money to renovate the playground. They have almost reached their goal - visit here to make a donation! With the help of community donations, Wishing Well Park will be ADA accessible!

Playgrounds located in the City of Richmond:

1. Grayland Tot Lot: Located in Carytown, this park has a *COMPLETELY RENOVATED* playground! The play space now has a turf surface with push toys including a cozy coop. It even has a playground for babies - think crawler to ~2 years old. There are plenty of thrills for preschoolers & big kids too! The 2 story play structure is designed for 5-12 years old & there’s one created for 2-5 year olds. The space net is close to the ground & provides low course challenges. And, the playground has *COMPLETE* shade and a *FENCE*!

This playground has complete shade, so you can visit anytime during the day or the year to play. I also love the turf surface - it's easy for babies to crawl and for new walkers to explore. It also has a playground just for babies. It's one of the few playgrounds that has something for a wide range of ages too.

*Heads up: This park does not have restrooms. Bring your stroller with a portable changing station or a travel potty.

2. The Carillon’s Tot Lot: This playground is located next to the Virginia World War Memorial Carillon. I like it because it’s fenced in (except a gate) and it’s perfect for the 6 and under crowd. The main play structure has three slides and climbing features. It has two swings, two baby swings and a swing that holds a big kid & a baby! Bigger kids would enjoy the large climbing feature, see saws and other balancing structures. While the playground has full sun most of the day, there are plenty of large trees to escape the heat outside the fenced in area.

*Heads up: This park does not have restrooms - it has porta potties. Bring your stroller with a portable changing station or a travel potty.

3. Park 365: Formerly known as ArcPark, Park 365 is an outdoor play area that is open to all ages & all abilities. It’s open every day of the year from dawn to dusk. While this is one of the best playgrounds in the Richmond area, it has full sun throughout all parts of the day. There are two large picnic shelters and a water play area that provide some relief.

*This playground is consistently named the "best playground in Richmond" by various outlets.

4. Play 60 Obstacle: Located at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center, this obstacle course has Ninja steps, floating boards, a traverse wall, a turf floor and more. Families can enjoy the park and obstacle course daily from 8:30-5:30 even though training camp was cancelled this year. This green space is next to The Science Museum of Virginia and The Children's Museum of Richmond , and it’s close to the interstate.  While it’s the perfect park for sports fans, it has full sun throughout the day.

*Heads up: This park does not have restrooms: Bring your stroller with a portable changing station or a travel potty.

5. Westhampton Green: Also known as Libbie Playground, this park located between Granite Ave & Libbie Ave. While it’s nestled in a neighborhood, it has its own parking lot & street parking. We love this park because it’s fenced in. It was one of the places I could handle alone with a newborn & 2 year old! It is also in a great location. This park is best on cooler days because the entire play space has full sun except in the late afternoons. You can walk in one direction to Westhampton and in the other direction to Super Stars Pizza.

*Heads up: This park does not have restrooms: Bring your stroller with a portable changing station or a travel potty.

6. Abner Clay Playground: Located in Jackson Ward, Abner Clay Park is an urban green space with a brand new playground. With new art installations, upgraded walking paths and basketball court, the City of Richmond did a great job with the 2019 renovations. The highlight for families, of course, is the playground with brand new equipment for little kids and big kids, ADA flooring, and a fence.

This is the only playground in the area with a fire pole that moves up & down – my children love playing on the pretend fire truck and saving people using the fire pole. Richmond Fire Station 5 is also across the street, so you may see the real ones too. The ADA flooring makes it accessible for all children, plus it’s a soft surface for babies to crawl & new walkers.

*Heads up: This park does not have restrooms: Bring your stroller with a portable changing station or a travel potty.

7. Bryan Park: Dedicated as a park 1909, Bryan Park sits between the City of Richmond & Henrico. It’s a gorgeous park with rolling hills, ponds, streams, and trails through the woods. The 17 acre azalea garden is a family-friendly spot to see blooms in the spring, and its large farmers market is a fun event for families all year.

The playground has over 6 swings, so you will always have one. We also love all the hills for rolling, running, and sledding. RVA Big Market meets each Saturday from 8-noon, making it a really easy and fun Saturday activity.

*Heads up: This park does not have restrooms - it has porta potties. Bring your stroller with a portable changing station or a travel potty.

8. Forest Hill Park: Located in Forest Hill, this 105 acre city park is the perfect spot for a play date, picnic or family walk. It has tennis courts, picnic shelters, walking trails, a playground, and wetlands. It’s also on the National Register of Historic Places: it used to be a terminal for the Forest Hill trolley & an amusement park with a carousel and roller coaster.

The playground has two structures - one for big kids and one for little kids, so it keeps both of my kiddos happy. There are so many hills and large trees that also provide opportunities for pretend play. We also love visiting on Sundays – the South of the James Market is open from 10AM to 1PM.

*Heads up: This park does not have restrooms - it has porta potties. Bring your stroller with a portable changing station or a travel potty.

*Check here for my full review.

9. Chimborazo Park: Stretching 30 acres, Chimborazo Park has gorgeous views of the city, and some of the most unique statues in Richmond (like a miniature Statue of Liberty). While there are plenty of trails and green space in the park, the highlight for families with little kids is the playground. It’s about a block from the park, and it’s easy to walk to and from both areas. Renovated in 2009, the playground has a community garden, basketball courts, and a play space with swings and a playground.

*Heads up: This park does not have restrooms - they have been locked every time I've been. Bring your stroller with a portable changing station or a travel potty.

10. Lombardy & Park Ave. Triangle Park: Located in Richmond’s Fan, this neighborhood park is smaller than most Richmond city parks, but it’s still worth a visit! It has picnic tables, a sand play area, swings, and a play structure. The play structure is designed for younger kids - it has a play area under it, there’s a small climbing wall, and two smaller slides. The four swings are completely in the shade.

Why I like it for babies and toddlers: This neighborhood park is completely fenced in, so it’s one of my go-to spots when I am solo with my kids. We love the sand play area that is filled with toys - all donated by the local community (bikes, cozy coops, etc). It is the perfect spot to visit before having dinner at Kuba Kuba, too!

*Heads up: This park does not have restrooms. Bring your stroller with a portable changing station or a travel potty.

Playgrounds Located in Henrico County:

1. Cheswick Park: Henrico’s oldest park often goes unnoticed with its almost hidden entrance. Located across from Henrico Doctors Hospital, Cheswick Park has a playground, bathrooms, picnic shelters, open spaces to run, a stream to splash in, and a mile of walking trails. The best shade is found on the walking trails, by the stream and by the picnic shelters. The playground has a little bit of tree coverage, but for the most part it is in the sun.

2. Crump Park: Crump Park has a massive playground, picnic shelters, trails, large open fields, a fishing pond, and historic Meadow Farm. Meadow Farm is an 1860 living history farm site & museum, plus it has animals, too! As a bonus, RF&P Park is located inside Crump.

The best shade is found around the playground and on the walking trails in the woods. This playground is great for all ages and the tree coverage is similar to Deep Run's! There's lots of shade around the perimeter with sunny spots in the middle - the swings, the smaller play structure and parts of the little kid play area have the best shade. Meadow Farm is located inside of Crump Park, and it has direct sun other than a few trees that provide shade.

Heads up: The largest play structure, the tractor and the corn stepping stones are in full sun. This equipment gets very hot on sunny days.

3. Deep Run Park: This 165 acre park is at the corner of Gaskins Road and Ridgefield Parkway. Deep Run has a pond, 3.4 miles of trails, three separate playgrounds, picnic shelters, bathrooms, a basketball court, soccer fields, and multiple open spaces.

This park has a lot of shade! The two main playgrounds (by the first parking lot & by the soccer fields) have a lot of tree coverage. All of the trails, except the ones around the soccer fields & around the lake, are in full shade. The trail around the lake has partial shade. The soccer field and the toddler playground across from the rec center are in full sun. Check out my reviews on the first playground, the largest playground, and the trails.

Heads up: The best shade is found around the two larger playgrounds and on the walking trails in the woods. Equipment that does not have tree coverage will get very hot!

4. Dorey Park: At 400 acres, Dorey Park is the largest park in Henrico. With 7 athletic fields, 8 baseball fields, tennis courts, a recreation center, a dog park, two playgrounds, a lake, and a frisbee golf course, there’s plenty of places to explore! The little kid playground has great shade, while the big kid play area has full sun. The entire playground space is surrounded by trees too.

It’s also has a connector trail to the Virginia Capital Trail. Located in the East End, Dorey Park is less than 5 minutes from Richmond International Airport.

Heads up: The large play area is in full sun! The equipment gets hot on summer days. The smaller playground has better tree coverage.

*Check here for my full review, and more pictures are in my "East End Parks" highlight.

5. Dunncroft Castle Point Park: This hidden gem is at the entrance of Hungry Creek Middle School. Dunncroft Castle Point Park is located off Francistown Road & it has so much to offer: trails, a frisbee golf course, a soccer field, splash pad and playground. It also has a picnic shelter and bathrooms. While the soccer field, splash park and playground have full sun, the walking trails have shade. We like to visit this playground in the evenings during the summer.

Heads up: The playground has full sun. The best shade is found on the walking trails (all toddler friendly).

6. Echo Lake Park: Located off Nuckols and Springfield, Echo Lake Park has a lake, nature trails, two playgrounds, a picnic shelter, and bathrooms. There's also lots of open space for children to play. The playgrounds are completely in the shade, and the nature trails are mostly in the shade. The decks overlooking the lake are in full sun.

This is one of the best parks to visit in the summer because the playground has almost complete shade.

7. Hunton Community Center & Park: This Henrico County park is located in Glen Allen right next to the railroad tracks! It has a community center, baseball/soft ball fields, a picnic shelter and two playgrounds.

While the playground with the swings has full sun all day, the other playground has partial shade and sometimes full shade throughout the day. It's also next to the picnic shelter, which provides full shade all day. We like this park because the parking lot is right next to the playgrounds, making it a really easy walk with children, and it is next to the railroad tracks. If you check out Amtrak's "Track my Train," you can time your park play around the train schedule!

8. Eastern Henrico Rec Center: Located in the East End, the layout of this play space is really great with little kids because the bathrooms, playground and splash park are next to each other. A fence surrounds most of the play space, protecting children from the road and parking lot (no gate though).

The picnic shelter has full shade and a full view of the playground. The playground has a large sun shade that prevents the equipment from getting too hot on summer days. It also has soft flooring - huge plus with new walkers and little kids!

9. Twin Hickory Park: Located next to Twin Hickory Public Library in Glen Allen, this park has a lot to offer! It has walking trails, open play areas, 4 sand volleyball courts, a splash pad, a picnic shelter with restrooms, and two different play areas. It opened in July of 2014, so it is also relatively new. This playground and splash park have full sun throughout the entire day, but there is a large sunshade with picnic tables in between the two play areas.

Heads Up: If you visit this playground while the splash park is on, your kids will probably run straight for the water. There are no barriers between the splash park and the playground.

10. Short Pump Park: Located in the heart of Short Pump, this Henrico park is bigger than it seems! It includes multiple playgrounds, a dog park, walking trails, a football field, a baseball field, concessions, and a restored 1902 Schoolhouse. The paved walking trail is .25 mile, going from the park to John Rolfe Parkway. 

Why I like it for babies and toddlers: This park has plenty of baby swings and a playground designed for children 5 and younger. The paved walking trail from the playground to John Rolfe Parkway is easy for small legs, scooters & bikes!

Heads up: This playground has a fence on three sides, but the side that faces the picnic shelter and dog park is open.

11. Three Lakes Park & Nature Center: This massive park is in Henrico’s East End. It has two playgrounds, lots of open space, trails, and three beautiful lakes. There is also a 6,500 square foot Nature Center with 50,000 gallon fish tank, exhibits and a beautiful deck overlooking one of the lakes. The Nature Center is open from dawn to dusk on Saturdays & Sunday - it's a great spot to escape the heat.

12. Poucney Track Park: Nestled between Short Pump Middle School & Striker Park in Glen Allen, this park has so much to explore. There are paved paths, nature trails, pickle-ball courts, open space to play, athletic fields, and the historic Springfield Schoolhouse. Also, the playground is brand new! The playground and pickleball courts have full sun, but there is a small picnic shelter by the playground that offers a little relief from the heat.

13. RF&P Park: This athletic park is located next to Crump Park. There are trails, tennis courts, a football field, and baseball fields, including The Glen Allen Stadium. There’s lots of parking, side walks + places to run around. Most importantly, there are four restored RF&P train cars, perfect for train lovers!⁣⁣⁣ This entire park has full sun during all parts of the day.

14. Westwood Park: This Henrico Park is nestled in a neighborhood close to Willow Lawn and St. Mary's Hospital. It's located at the corner of Morningside Drive & Keystone Drive (5906 Keystone Rd). There is a toddler-friendly playground, swings, and open space to play. There's also a soccer goal. There isn't a bathroom, but it's very close to lots of places with bathrooms (Willow Lawn and the Regency area). The playground and swings are almost completely in the shade!

*Heads up: This park does not have restrooms. Bring your stroller with a portable changing station or a travel potty.

15. Westham Park: Nestled in the middle of Westham and close to University of Richmond , this park is surrounded by trees and has a stream running through it. Make sure you bring bug spray if you plan on checking out the creek. There’s a playset for younger children, a climbing structure for older children, swings and plenty of space to run. It reminds me of Westwood Park!

*Heads up: This park does not have restrooms. Bring your stroller with a portable changing station or a travel potty.

16. The Springs Recreation Center: Located in the Fairfield District, The Springs Recreation Center has the newest playground in Henrico County (as of August 2023). The playground has 2 steep slides, 2 smaller slides, and plenty of climbing features. There are swings, baby swings and a double swing for big kids and a baby. This Henrico recreation center also has a croquet lawn, shuffleboard, 8 pickle ball courts, and a covered picnic area.

Henrico County Parks and Recreation is hosting a Community Open House on September 3 from 4-6pm. This event is celebrating the opening of the newest Henrico playground. There will be food and activities for the whole family.

*Heads up: this playground has full sun.

17. Springfield Park: This neighborhood park is located next to Springfield Park Elementary School. There is a picnic shelter, bathrooms, swings, and a playground. There is also a paved trail that loops around the park and the elementary school. The playground has almost complete shade, even in the afternoons! This playground is great for younger kids with its ramps & smaller slides. The trail only has shade near the playground, and then it is in full sun.

This is one of the best parks to visit on hot days because the playground has complete tree coverage, and the small, paved loop has partial shade.

18. Osborne Landing Park: Located in Eastern Henrico, Osborne Landing Park is on James River! At the first parking lot, you'll find a fenced in playground, two picnic shelters & a paved trail from the playground to the river. My littles love the water themed playground - the "boat" has slides & climbing areas. The playground flooring is a mix of mulch, ADA surface and sand. If you keep driving towards the river, you'll find the boat slip, canoe launch, fishing pier & swings with views of the river!

Heads up: This playground has full sun, and the equipment can get hot on summer days!

Playgrounds located in Hanover County:

1. Pufferbelly Park: Located in Ashland, this park is less than 5m from Ashland Station, and you can even walk! The park has shaded picnic tables & open space, but the playground is mostly in the sun. It even has a skate park.

Playgrounds located in the Tri-Cities of Virginia:

* Petersburg, Hopewell and Colonial Heights create the Tri-Cities of Virginia along with portions of Chesterfield county, Dinwiddie County and Prince George County.

1.White Bank Park: Located in Colonial Heights, this 22 acre park has beautiful views on Swift Creek. It has boat ramps, a frisbee golf course, sand volleyball courts, open green space & an all inclusive playground. The Maddie Mann Foundation playground is barrier free with ADA surface, ramps, slides and swings.

Playgrounds located in Virginia State Parks:

*Want to know how to visit our Virginia State Parks for free? Check out this guide.

1. Pocahontas State Park: Located inside Pocahontas State Park, Beaver Lake Trail goes 2.5 miles around Beaver Lake. While it’s rated a moderate hike, we make it kid-friendly & stroller friendly by starting at the CCC Museum, walking down the gravel incline, going around the dam & connecting to the paved trail that goes back up to the CCC Museum. The best part? It will only take ~5 minutes with kids to reach the water fall! Make it even easier by going back up the hill instead of trying our loop (~an hour).

2. Bear Creek Lake State Park: This Virginia State Park is less than an hour from Richmond, next to Cumberland State Forest! It has trails for hiking, biking & horseback riding trails, archery ranges & two playgrounds. Bear Creek Lake State Park also has cabins & camping sites. The *highlight* of this park, especially in the summer, is the 40-acre lake with a boat launch, fishing pier, boat rentals & swimming!

The playgrounds are next to the lake. One has complete shade, and one is located on the beach.

3. Lake Anna State Park: This 3,127 acre state park has 10 miles of lake frontage, and it's just an hour & 5 minutes from Richmond. This is one of Virginia's most popular beaches, and this is a great spot for families! We like it because it has shallow water & no waves, and it has a playground, concessions & bathrooms near the beach. Lake Anna State Park also has trails for biking, hiking & horses plus yurts & cabins.  

The playground has views of the lake!

4. Powhatan State Park: Located in Powhatan County, this park is 1,565 acres with trails for hikers, cyclists and horses! The gorgeous trails offer views of the James River and go through the woods & large open fields. It also has a campground, boat ramps, wildlife observation areas, picnic shelters and a playground.⁣⁣

I also really like church playgrounds and elementary school playgrounds. Almost all of these playgrounds are fenced in, and they have play structures geared towards little kids (children 6 and under). Most church playgrounds, however, do not have swings.

The biggest thing to keep in mind about visiting these private playgrounds is that they are usually closed during school hours or while the church uses them.

The Best Church Playgrounds around RVA:

*Most churches allow guests to use their bathrooms if they are open.

1. All Saints Episcopal Church: This completely fenced-in playground is designed for walkers through 5 year olds. It also has some more thrilling areas for older kids. It was a lifesaver with two little ones 22 months a part because of the shade, the fence & the sand. Plus it’s an easy spot to visit after afternoon naps!  

Bonus: This is where Miss Anne hosts her popular music and movement class for children 5 and younger. The fenced in playground is open regularly during the week, if the preschool isn't using it. Typically, families can use it between the 10am-11am music classes.

2. St. Stephen's Episcopal Church: This playground is completely fenced in, and it was made just for little kids. It has almost complete shade - great for summer days. It has a large sand play area with an outdoor kitchen. There are a couple playhouses and a mini-climbing wall. I also love that it is within walking distance to Gelati Celesti, Jack Brown's and Stella's.

Heads up: During the school calendar, this playground is closed to the public. It's open after 4pm on weekdays, all day Saturday, and after morning church on Sundays.

3. Mount Vernon Baptist Church: Located in Glen Allen, this is a fantastic play area for all ages! The playground is large with three different fenced in areas: one for babies & walkers, one for preschoolers and one for elementary schoolers. There’s also a large grassy space to play.

Heads up: The playground is closed to the public from 8-2pm on weekdays during the school year (September-May).  

4. Derbyshire Baptist Church: It’s off Derbyshire Road, between Gaskins and Parham. Since Derbyshire has a preschool, this play area is designed for walkers through 5 year olds that is completely fenced in with a gate. There are also 2 adjustable basketball hoops in the parking lot - my 5 year old loves to play here. A second playground with a large, climbing web and swings is next to the community garden, too. This playground is really nice for play dates (you’ll be the only ones there)!

Heads up: This playground is closed to the public during school hours (8am-3pm).

*Check here for my full review, and more pictures of this playground are in my "Fenced Playground" highlights.

5. St. Matthew's Episcopal Church: Located off Forest Ave., this amazing playground has complete shade and it is completely fenced in! It is a great spot for the 7 and under crowd, too. It has two sand play areas, a steep slide, a playground, two playhouses, a climbing structure and a bunch of regular swings. St. Matthew's playground is only closed to the public during preschool & church hours.

Heads up: This playground is closed to the public during school hours (8am-3pm).

6. Tuckahoe Presbyterian Church : This church is on the corner of West Franklin & Stafford Place. The playground is completely fenced in! The playground has shade in the afternoon, so save this one for after naps. It’s small, but perfect for the 6 & under crowd. It’s great for play dates or if you want to have a playground for just your group. Church playgrounds like this made life easier for me when I had 2 under 2! It’s also less than 3 minutes from Ukrop's & Christian's Pizza.

Heads up: This playground is closed to the public during school hours (8am-3pm).

7. Westover Hills Tot Lot: Located in Forest Hill, Westover Hills Methodist Church opens its playground to the community every day after 1. This tot lot is completely fenced in, making it very easy to parent solo with multiple kids. It's designed for children 2-10, but even babies would love the sand pit! The large playground, climbing tunnel, and spider web will keep big kids moving, even on hot days. It also has two big kid swings.

*The tot lot shares a parking lot with Tablespoon Bakery. Grab some treats after you play!

Looking for more Richmond playgrounds to visit? Check out my guide to The Best Fenced Playgrounds around Richmond.

For details on these Virginia places and more things to do with kids around Richmond, follow our family on @thewestendmom on Instagram!

Tags: Things to do with kids in RVA, free things to do in Richmond, family friendly activities in central Virginia, free activities for children in Virginia, RVA playgrounds, Virginia State Parks the best playgrounds in Richmond


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