Temperatures are expected to reach the 80s over the next few days. To keep the kids cool and entertained, follow Lindsay Garrison’s tips for water play in nature.
When my son was about 18 months, one of my parenting mentors, a mom whose children were a few years older than mine, let me in on a huge secret. “JAW” she called it. Just Add Water. It was her way to make any activity more exciting. Since then we have utilized JAW in countless ways.
As my kids have gotten older, though, JAWS has taken on a new meaning. As much as my kids love playgrounds, we have found that parks where the kids can play in the creek or stream keep them playing independently, and for a longer duration than just the playground. So, JAW, to us now references parks with creeks ready for the kids to play and splash. Here are a few of our favorite places for water play.
Parks Around Richmond Where You Can Keep Cool & Splash in a Creek:
Forest Hill Park: (4021 Forest Hill Ave., Richmond, VA, 23225) is a beautiful park with lots of history as well. If you park at the top of the park near the playground and tennis courts, you can enjoy a nice walk around the lake and find your way to the creek past the bridge.
Larus Park: (8732 Hayden Hill Ln., Richmond, VA, 23235) is a hidden gem, located near Stony Point Fashion Park. Walking the trails has an enchanted forest feeling. There are multiple trails and several creeks and streams to play in, including one with a tire swing!
Midlothian Mines Park: (13301 N Woolridge Rd., Midlothian, VA, 23114) is a great place for a nature walk. While exploring the park, you will come across several creek areas. With plenty of rocks and sticks close by, the kids hate leaving this one.
Poor Farm Park: (13400 Liberty School Rd., Ashland, VA, 23005) is a well-maintained park with several biking and hiking trails. From the playground, you can follow a trail that will take you directly to a large creek. This creek is wider than some of the others, the kids love the challenge of walking back and forth across it.
Robious Landing Park: (3800 James River Rd., Midlothian, VA, 23113) has a creek on the way to the playground, and several other small streams along the way. The trails here are great for walking with little ones, too. Don’t forget to do the Tree Identification QR code along the way!
As you plan your next family outing to a park, try a place with a creek and JAW…and pack a change of clothes and bug spray!
— By Lindsay Garrison
Richmond on the Cheap contributor Lindsay Garrison is a Richmond, Virginia based mom to two young children. A graduate from Chesterfield Schools and Randolph-Macon College, Lindsay is proud to call Richmond home. In the years prior to planning activities and outings with her own children, she was a French teacher. During her tenure she earned accolades for her creative teaching style and ability to connect with her students. Lindsay now applies the skills she learned when she was planning student trips to France, to her own family adventures. She can’t wait to take her own children to France one day! Follow the Garrison’s family adventures on Instagram: @thegarrisonsrva
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