If you have kids – and want to survive until they reach adulthood – then you probably already know that local parks are a parent’s best friend. Not only do parks provide a place to get fresh air and expend energy, they often encourage free play and imagination in a way that’s hard to find at home. Sometimes it’s just having a change of setting that makes the difference, but more than anything, parks are a place where the kids can run free without destroying your house.
Whether you like to meet with friends at the park, make visits to the park as a family on the weekend, or both, the Greater Richmond area is filled with amazing parks that offer something for every age and interest. To help you discover the best parks in your area, we’ve taken a looks at Richmond area parks and picked a few of our favorites.
When looking at looking for our favorite parks, we made sure to check for the following:
- Free and open to the public
- Easy access for strollers and people with a range of abilities
- A range of amenities and activities
We think you’ll find that these five parks more than fit the bill. With activities for every age group, they’re perfect for spending a few hours or the whole day. Check out our list of the best Richmond parks and maybe you’ll find one of your favorites on it – or perhaps you’ll find a new favorite for your family. And if you know of a park that we might have overlooked, be sure to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
1. PARK365 (formerly ARCPark)
Opened in the late summer of 2015, ARCpark is a public park that is open to all ages and all abilities. The park has many unique features such as a 50-foot-sensory wall with panels that stimulate touch, hearing, and sight, plus complete access for wheelchairs and strollers.
- Three state-of-the-art playgrounds for toddlers, school-aged kids and every age after that
- An abundance of swings
- Recycled, poured-rubber safety surfaces throughout the park
- A wheel-chair accessible treehouse with an extra-wide ramp and a four-ton, repurposed eucalyptus stump
- A custom-built, multi-sensory wall with panels that stimulate touch, hearing and sight
- A play house, a small stage, water troughs and music instruments for creative play
- Handicap-accessible fitness equipment and a multi-purpose playing court
- Water misting stations
- A large, shaded pavilion with nine picnic tables
- A family restroom with an adult-sized changing table
- Charging stations for electric wheelchairs
Why we love it: PARK365k was carefully designed and lovingly crafted for the community – and it shows. The park is completely handicap-accessible and with incredible features designed to be therapeutic for kids with developmental and sensory disabilities. With special features, exciting activities, and appropriate areas for all ages, this is truly a park for the entire family.
Location: 3600 Saunders Ave, Richmond, VA 23227
Crump Park, located in Glen Allen, features playgrounds, picnic shelters, trails, large open fields, and a fishing pond. In addition, the adjoining Meadow Farm Museum is an 1860 living history farm site. The museum offers seasonal tours, live animals, living history interpreters, activities, and programs throughout the year.
- Open Play Area
- Hiking/Nature Trail
- Picnic Area & Shelter
Why we love it: Crump Park and Meadow Farm Museum are the perfect spots for families interested in history and nature. The Meadow Farm Museum offers programs year-round, including farmhouse tours, animal tours, leisure games, and more; while Crump Park offers play, exploration, and fun for all ages.
Location: 3400 Mountain Rd, Glen Allen, VA 23060
Opened in the fall of 1998, Pole Green Park is a 232-acre park with many amenities for every interest, including softball fields, soccer field, football field, a skate park, tot lots, playgrounds, an equestrian stable and ring, and more. Plus, the Pole Green Community Center, which is located in the park, also has various parks and recreation programs year-round.
- Multipurpose fields
- Softball fields
- Walking trails
- Picnic shelter
- Enclosed playgrounds
- Skate park
- Equestrian ring with stables
- Sand volleyball courts
- Horseshoe pits
- Dog Park
- Pole Green Community Center
- Cross country running course
Why we love it: Pole Green Park’s diverse features make it a perfect place for people of varying interests to come together – including members of the same family. No more fights over who wants to do what, Pole Green Park has it all, including a skate park, an equestrian ring, and sand volleyball courts, as well as a dog park, so not even your furry family members will feel left out. In addition to a community center with community events and classes, the park also hosts family-friendly events like the Hanover Tomato Festival, Family Movie Night in the Park, and much more!
As Chesterfield County’s oldest park, Rockwood Park is truly a community treasure. This 161-acre park features a complex of ball fields and game courts, a nature center, an archery range, the Ruff House Dog Park, garden plots, and an extensive system of hard and soft surface nature trails. Other features include picnic shelters, play equipment, concessions, and restrooms, meaning that it’s easy to stay all day at the park, even with little ones.
- Archery Range
- Baseball / Softball Diamond
- Basketball Court
- Concession Stand
- Dog Park
- Garden Plots
- Horseshoe Pit
- Nature Center
- Pickleball Court
- Picnic Shelters
Why we love it: The Nature Center at Rockwood Park alone is worth the visit. The center is housed in a log cabin-style building and is home to an array of native reptiles and amphibians, as well as a honeybee hive. With programs for all ages throughout the year, plus plenty of visual displays, you’ll have more than enough to keep even the most curious minds (and hands) busy. And when it’s time to get back outside to play, the center sits in front of 5+ miles of paved and unpaved trails and is close to playgrounds, play areas, fields, and more.
Deep Run Park is an expansive park filled with a newly updated playground, two ponds, soccer and football fields, play areas, picnic shelters, exercise and nature trails, a multi-use outdoor area, and a recreation center. Plus, the five miles of biking, hiking and exercise trails provide a great way to enjoy the park in different ways.
- Basketball Court
- Open Play Area
- Recreation Center
- Soccer/Football Fields
- Exercise Trail
- Hiking/Nature Trail
- Picnic Shelter
Why we love it: Deep Run Park combines fun for the kids with peaceful tranquility. As one of the county’s most beautifully maintained parks, the grounds are perfect for those seeking a chance to commune with nature (i.e., parents, most likely). But the newly updated playground offers plenty of excitement for the kids. Plus, with family-friendly trails and paved paths, everyone can enjoy a nature walk – even with a stroller. Be sure to check out the recreation center while you’re there, because they often hold free programs for the entire family.
Location: 9900 Ridgefield Pkwy, Richmond, VA 23233
Looking for more parks near you? Be sure to check the following links for parks in your county or look for State Parks in Virginia:
For more great family friendly resources, activities, restaurants, and more in the Richmond area, be sure to check out our entire Best of Richmond series – only on Richmond Mom!