Fairfax County has 420 parks on nearly 25,000 acres of parkland, so there’s something for everyone, said Judy Pedersen of the Fairfax County Park Authority. “With gas prices as high as they are and the impacts of inflation hitting families hard, staying local and enjoying our wonderful network of parks makes perfect sense,” Pedersen said.
First stop, a go-kart track in the Dulles Airport area called the Autobahn Indoor Speedway. It offers racers an opportunity for speed in their indoor facility with some karts reaching 50 miles per hour. It’s a bit more high-tech than the beach tracks, so be prepared. There are “Junior Karts”, with a minimum age of 8 years and a height of at least 48 inches.
For Pro Karts, the minimum age is 13 and drivers must be at least 56 inches tall. Summer karting camps are available for ages 8 to 15.
Vacations and vacations are also synonymous with putt-putt golf. You must have the blazing volcanoes and waterfalls, and that’s just the ticket to Upton Regional Park or the Treasure Island Mini Golf Course in Pohick Bay. Other mini golf courses can be found at Monster Mini Golf in Chantilly or Cameron Run Mini Golf in Alexandria. Burke Lake has mini golf, a frisbee golf course and a par 3 course.
If that’s not enough for thrill seekers, there are several places in the area that offer obstacle courses and rope climbing. At Upton Park in Arlington, “Climb Upton” offers a 90-element vertical adventure located next to the Ocean Dunes water park.
At the South Run Rec Center, there is another rock climbing course called “Go Ape”, with five activities depending on skill level. There are 70 obstacles at South Run and a 320-foot zipline.
“Holidays are definitely worth taking this year,” said Ali Morris, destination marketing manager at Visit Fairfax. She highlighted a few events planned for this summer that cater to those staying put this year:
* “KURIOS: a cabinet of curiosities” by Cirque du Soleil under the marquee at Tysons from July 29 to September 25.
* A beer and wine show at the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles Hotel until the end of September: two nights at the hotel, wine tasting at a local vineyard, beer flights at 3 different Chantilly breweries, transportation and food, plus a welcome bottle of wine and other freebies upon arrival.
* Capital One Center at Tysons has a new Performing Arts Center and Capital One Hall with an elevated outdoor Starr Hill Biergarten + Amphitheater and an 18-hole, 11-story miniature golf course in the air.
Do you still want the beach, the surf and the madness? The Fairfax Surf Shop offers boards, skate gear and trunks as preparation for Reston’s surf lesson. Surf Reston Stand Up Paddleboarding is right on Lake Audubon in Reston. For those who want to skate but not on the water, there are skateparks at Wakefield Park, Lake Fairfax, Van Dyck Park, Herndon Skate Park and Powhatan Springs Skate Park inside the ring road.
When evening falls, relax by the campfire, make s’mores and talk all the fun of the beach, and there are several campgrounds in the area for that portion of summer fun. At Pohick Bay, there are cabins, tent and motorhome sites as well as a place for wild camping. Burke Lake also has a campground, as does Lake Fairfax, where cabins are also located.
If you are going to….
Autobahn Indoor Speedway
45448 East Severn Way, Suite #150
Sterling, Virginia 20166
Pohick Bay Regional Park
6501 Pohick Bay Dr, Lorton, Virginia 22079
Upton Hill Regional Park
6060 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington VA 22205
Clare and Don’s Beach Shack
130 N Washington St, Falls Church, Virginia 22046
Phone: (703) 532-9283
Fairfax Surf Shop
10304 Willard Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Mini Golf Monster
14130 Sullyfield Cir suite g, Chantilly, VA 20151
Workhouse Arts Foundation, Inc.
9518 Workhouse Road
Lorton, Virginia 22079
Cool off with the waterslides, pools and our 500 gallon bucket at Atlantis Water Park, located in Bull Run Regional Park in Centerville, VA.
Bring the family for a full day of slides and splashes at Great Waves Water Park, located in Alexandria, Virginia.
Make any day a day at the beach at Ocean Dunes! This water park is packed with fun features for adults and kids, including a 500 gallon bucket, slides, waterfalls and sprinklers! Visitors will find themselves amid the dune grass and feel like they are at the beach, but without the road.
Cool off all summer long on our slides, wading pools and playgrounds at Pirate’s Cove Water Park in Lorton, VA.
1400 Fairfax Lake Parkway
Reston, Virginia, 22039