One of the first fully inclusive playgrounds that I have ever been to was Clemyjontri Park in McLean, Virginia. Years ago, I had seen a blog about the coolest playgrounds in the WORLD and this one was close enough that I knew we had to go just from looking at an aerial view of the park! I didn’t know anything about inclusive playgrounds at the time and it was a couple of years still before we started volunteering with Sophie and Madigan’s Playground!
One of the first things I noticed when entering the playground (besides all of the bright colors) were the numerous swings! They have typical swings, high back swings that offer more support and even a Liberty Swing that allows wheelchair users the experience of swinging without having to transfer from their wheelchair! Two keys are needed to use the Liberty Swing, so make sure you check the web page for details if you are planning on going!
We had some friends come up from Georgia to visit family in Virginia, so we decided to meet there. My kids and I got there a bit early, so we walked around to check out everything and I was amazed! Not only is the ground cover fully accessible, it is brilliantly rainbow colored and they even have racing lanes, so kids of all abilities can race together, which they did! It was so hot that day, but the kids had so much fun! They were in and out of the maze that has widened lanes for easier wheelchair access, using imagination playing in the open structure cars, and there were ramps to run or wheel on all of the equipment!
One more amazing part of this park is that there is also a carousel in the middle of the park! Anywhere we go with a carousel, my kids have to ride! The unique attribute about this carousel is that it is recessed to the ground level to allow easy access for wheelchairs! Once on, a person may be more easily transferred to a spinning teacup, chariot, or just remain seated in their wheelchair! The carousel also has 14 horses to ride on! It costs only about $2 or $3 depending on the day of the week. The carousel is not open daily though, so check the hours and times on their website.
This is not a playground that we frequent often because it’s just over an hour from my house, but it really is an amazing one that I will for sure make it a point to take the kids back to this spring! Check it out at Clemyjontri Park 6317 Georgetown Pike McLean, VA 22101