For those who have never been to Our Special Harbor, I know you are wondering what the fuss is all about. If your little ones like to run through sprinklers or play in the water, they are sure to love this spray ground at Lee District Park. Luckily Franconia, Virginia is less than an hour drive for us. I consider the small trek to Fairfax County more than worth it.
OUR SPECIAL HARBOR
One of the best parts about this play area full of water features is…it’s free! It’s not a typo; this is a free resource to families. The spray ground is county owned; however, has the quality and fun factor of an expensive kids zone at a water park. I really couldn’t believe that there wasn’t a fee to get in.
The design of Our Special Harbor features Chesapeake Bay themed décor such as; dumping crab baskets, a spraying osprey nest, Chessie the sea serpent, a lighthouse and sail boats. I love that sections are planned out for kids of different developmental levels. The beach zone towards the back is a quieter area with softer bubbles and an interactive water table for a younger crowd. Towards the front there are dump buckets, sprayers and canons for the older kids who love to get super soaked.
The park is fully enclosed by a gate except for the entrance of which there is always an attendant monitoring. Park staff are there to keep track of signing guests in and making sure rules are being followed. No running is strictly enforced for safety. Within the spray ground are four family style single stall bathrooms for toileting and changing cloths. There are shaded canopies with chairs spread out throughout the park.
CHESSIES PLAYGROUND & TRAIL
An added bonus is the spray ground is located right in an awesome family recreation area. Not only is there a super cool splash ground but there’s a imaginary play ground, shaded picnic pavilions, walking trail and carousel. There are two play grounds; one is a tree house theme with slides that look like hollowed tree stumps and jungle ropes courses meant for children ages 5-12. There is a smaller play ground for younger kiddos in the shade that has a nautical theme with light house and pirate ship slides.
Behind the play ground is a small trail designed for children of all abilities with features that appeal to the senses. Visit the sound garden, play with spinning rocks, stroll the boardwalk or rest in the unique nest seating area. Along the way, encounter all kinds of wildlife figures representing animals indigenous to the Chesapeake Bay region.
Be sure to pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic under the shaded pavilion with picnic tables. After you’ve had a bite to eat be sure to check out the carousel; which is $3 a person to ride.
- Know before you go! It is mandatory that all children under age 15 wear water shoes. If you don’t have water shoes crocks and sandals with enclosed heels or straps on the back to secure feet are acceptable.
- Be prepared to wait. The spray ground has a capacity of 249 people and it reaches it max quickly. I suggest going during mid-day aka nap time hours. We’ve always noticed that between 1PM-3PM things tend to slow down a little.
- Be sure to stay hydrated and protect your skin from the sun since there is little shade in the water play areas. We always wear our SPF rash guards, sun hats and sub screen.
Address: 6601 Telegraph Rd. Franconia, Virginia
***I loved this place and will definitely come back again. I strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t been before to check it out! The Playful Parent is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, dedicated to advocating learning through play and promoting family bonding. All photography and content are intellectual property of The Playful Parent. Thank you Lee District for offering this wonderful resource to families.***