This is a non-J. Crew/fashion post, so if you have a desire to see that sort of post, I promise my next post is for you. This is a post to let the moms/dad/kids of the DC area learn about the amazing facilities that are located right here and are very inexpensive, too.
I grew up in Arlington, and my dad pretty much kept us inside the Arlington borders, with occasional jaunts to DC and Alexandria. Whoo. We lived it up, baby.
I was nearly 20 years old before I realized what an amazing resource Fairfax County Recreation Centers are. I had been to one (formerly called Wakefield--now Audrey Moore) for a swim meet championship for all the local independent schools back in 1992, but had not understood that this rec center was a place for singles, couples and families alike to rock out and have a great time.
It wasn't until my (infamous) boyfriend who wanted me all skinny (re)-introduced me to these centers that I was hooked. He introduced me because he wanted me to swim off all my excess poundage, and I loved swimming, so I was game. We went to the Lee District Rec Center for this...and although he is LONG gone (and in Williamsburg to boot), I still go on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to the Lee Rec Center. I love it that much!!!
I tend to go to swim, take a class (yoga, pilates, you name it), walk on their indoor track, play in their soft-play room with the kids (you'll see this in a minute), heck, it is so good that Jim waited in the cold in the wee hours of the morning to get Rex into a preschool there next year. I even have coached on and off there for the past six years.
Well, imagine my surprise when the awesome Rec Centers got even more AWESOME. Opened a few years ago (before I had kids), Cub Run Rec Center is as Jim puts it, "the rec center by which all rec centers must be judged." Now we only get there twice a month as it is in far western Fairfax County (Chantilly) and quite a haul for us Alexandrians. BUT, AND I WILL WRITE THIS IN CAPS BECAUSE I AM SO SERIOUS, IT IS WORTH THE HAUL AND TROUBLE. This Rec Center not only has a full-fledged gym, a beautiful lap pool (which I swim in before we play), but it also has an amazing INDOOR WATER PARK. That's right, an indoor water park at County rates and supported through County taxes. Now I hate taxes, and often believe they are used poorly by the government, but Fairfax County made the right decision to support this. Every time we go to the Rec Centers (any of them), we as a family have such a nice time.
What follows is a photographic journey of two of our favorite family activities...1) A visit to Cub Run's Indoor Water Park; and 2) A Blast Off for Babies Class in Lee Rec Center's Soft Play Room (made for tots only).
Here is CW swimming (with daddy's help) in the indoor water park at Cub Run. I am huge believer in getting kids in the pool as early as possible, but only with certified instructors. Obviously I am certified (coaching and teaching swimming to kids for years), but if you aren't able to teach your kids yourself, the Rec Centers also have swim lessons for ages 6 months plus.
The water in the indoor water park is really nice and warm, so CW was able to swim around for about 30 minutes. Her cute little wrinkled feet made me swoon! :)
Rex is shown here playing with the spouts near the toddler play area. The water park also has two indoor slides, a whirlpool, a mini-lazy river, and some sort of vortex play circle.
Here are Rex and I just hamming it up for the camera. By the way, all of these water shots are taken with my Olympus 720SW...a camera especially made for using at the beach and underwater.
To find out more about Cub Run Rec Center, go here: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/rec/wcrec.htm
To find out more about the sw720 by Olympus, go here: http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_archived_product_details.asp?fl=2&id=1225
Now onto Lee Rec Center's Soft Play Room (these were taken while in Rex's Blast Off for Babies class--which being two, he has sadly outgrown--tis okay, they have the zoom around the room class for older tots).
Soft Play Room happily has a ball pit. Rex is shown jumping into the pit, while CW stares from the distance. There is a jaunty orange ball coming at the camera. Fun times all around!!!
For those of you who are germ-a-phobes, I am assured that the room is wiped clean with some heavy duty disinfectants once a night. I have never, ever seen it not be anything but spic and span clean.
CW playing with the balls. SHE loves this playroom. Technically she is too young for this room and class, but the organizers get that she is our daughter and that we take full responsibility if anything were to happen to here. Give me a break, though...it is a SOFT play room. It is like us worrying about her teddy bear coming and eating her. We have better things to keep us up at night!
Rex, CW, and Jim hanging out on the soft-play slide. Even the floor is soft. It is like a multi-colored roll of Charmin bath tissue in there.
Rex playing with the soft rocking fish.
I love this room in the winter because it allows him/soon her to be active when it is truly grody outside...
For more on Lee Rec Center, visit here: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/rec/leerec.htm
Families of the DC area, I hope to see you all soon!
Families of the DC area, I hope to see you all soon!