407 E. Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176 (map it)
If you’ve been in the Leesburg area for a while Douglass Park is not big news, but if you’re new to the area or new to the park stage of parenting then it may be new to you. I think Douglass Community center playground is the biggest playground in Leesburg. The play area looks a bit dated compared to some of the newer parks, but it has separate areas targeted at different ages all contained in a smaller (and thus easier to monitor) space than some of the slightly more impressive playgrounds in other parks of Loudoun (e.g. Lovettsville Community Center, Potomack Lakes Sportsplex in Sterling, Ashburn Park, and Trailside Park in Ashburn).
We like Douglass park because
- it is tucked away from busy streets.
- it is just off the W&OD trail.
- it is next to a creek (though some people dislike it for this same reason).
- it has cool pokie things (actually, seed pods from sweetgum trees) that 2–4 year olds love to throw — again, some people dislike it for the same reason.
- it is the site of some of my best ever parenting moments: talking the smoking teenagers into putting out their cigarettes or leaving and a crazy grab-the-toddler-and-roll-to-the-ground before she gets hit by a swing maneuver.
- it has picnic tables and porta-potties. (I apologize for using those two words in the same sentence.) I believe you can use the real toilets in the community center too.
- it is across the street from Pei Wei.
- it has some trees and therefore shade.
Points against the park:
- The fencing is not especially childproof. Gates open easily, so the fence can give a sense of false security.
- Woodchips/mulch gets eaten by babies and sneaks into our crocs. (That happens at most parks around here!)