At these five shady Northern Virginia playgrounds, you can get the kids to burn a little energy WITHOUT burning their little bodies! 

Virginia heat and humidity is no joke, and parents know their outdoor options are limited: pool, sprinklers, slip 'n' slides, OR shady playgrounds. But where do you find shady playgrounds in Northern Virginia? We've got five COOL options for you!

Burke Lake Park

7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station

shady Northern Virginia playgrounds

Courtesy, PWC Moms

This 888-acre park has it all: mini golf, an ice cream parlor, boat rentals, a 4.7-mile flat trail, a mini train, a carousel, and several play structures situated among the trees to keep kiddos (and you!) cool and shaded. Check the website for details on events such as the Full Moon Boat Tour ($6, July 26, at 8:30 p.m.) for ages 6 and up, and stargazing on Campfire Saturdays ($6, 8:30 p.m.) for ages 3 and over.

Bluemont Park Playground

601 N Manchester Street, Arlington

shady Northern Virginia playgrounds

Courtesy, The Meanest Momma

With separate sections for bigger and smaller kids, this 70-acre park’s well-shaded playgrounds offer something for everyone – including benches for grown-ups. Bonus: There is a real train caboose and train-themed play structures for the Thomas the Train lover in your fam!

Tuckahoe Park

2400 N Sycamore Street, Arlington 

shady Northern Virginia playgrounds

Courtesy, Arlington Parks and Rec

Surrounded by trees, the playground at this park is partially covered by a giant umbrella. Besides the play structure, there’s also a 20-foot spider web-like ropes course, a standup teeter-totter, and other unique equipment.

Ashburn “Dinosaur” Park

43546 Partlow Road, Ashburn

shady Northern Virginia parks

Courtesy, The Next Best Thing

My personal favorite of all shady Northern Virginia playgrounds, this one is named because of the dinosaur theme throughout. The park offers lots of shade around the play structures, as well as a covered pavilion for munching on some lunch. Four sets of equipment are spread out to get the kids running; plus, there’s a nature trail that leads to a bridge-covered creek.

Ratcliffe Park

10300 Sager Avenue, Fairfax 

shady Northern Virginia playgrounds


Refinished a few months ago with all-new play equipment, this park has several playsets, a well-maintained sandbox, swings, and three different play structures for all ages. 

There you have it: five playgrounds where you and the kids will have it made in the shade!

Did we leave out your favorite shady Northern Virginia playgrounds? Let us know in the comments! 

Want to add some water to the mix? Check out our favorite NoVA spraygrounds!