It barely got more than a blip in the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority’s (NOVA Parks) new strategic plan, but the regional park organization said one of its near-term goals is starting to plan for Cameron Run Regional Park’s future.
Cameron Run Regional Park is a large regional park at 4001 Eisenhower Avenue known for the Great Waves Waterpark — and chlorine spillage — in the summer and the Winter Village in colder months. The water park has occupied a precarious situation in the city for years, though. In 2017, the City of Alexandria flirted with the idea of pulling the plug on the park and finding a different use for the park.
The lease was ultimately extended via unanimous vote, but that lease is set to expire in 2028.
The NOVA Parks strategic plan says the organization should work with the City of Alexandria to get a new plan in place for the park before that date. According to the plan:
Goal 4.6 — Engage with the City of Alexandria in planning the future of Cameron Run Regional Park
An objective heading under the goal indicates that the NOVA Parks should “engage [the] public in visioning the future of Cameron Run” in coordination with the City of Alexandria by 2025.
Planning for Cameron Run Regional Park comes at the end of the strategic initiatives. The document also outlines plans for projects in neighboring jurisdictions, such as upgrading the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in Arlington.
This weekend, Cameron Run Regional Park reopened Winter Village, an annual transformation of the water park into a winter-themed experience complete with ice skating.
The theme for Winter Village this year is ‘Ice and Lights‘, with various lit-up displays around the village for gawking and taking photos.
Admission with one hour of skating is $22.03 and only available for purchase online. Admission to just the village part, sans skating, is $9.19. Children under 2 are admitted for free.
“Skating ticket sales have been significantly reduced in order to provide a safe experience on the ice,” Cameron Run Regional Park said on the Winter Village website. “Please be advised that spectators will be limited in the ice rink area. Only children under the age of 12 may have one chaperone in the ice rink are — benches are provided for putting on and removing skates only. All skate sessions include free skate rentals. There is no discount if you bring your own skates this year.”
The program is scheduled to run from Nov. 19 to Jan. 2, from 5-10 p.m. every day. The ice skating rink at the park will remain open until Feb. 27.
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Staff photo by James Cullum
Starting on Saturday (March 14) at 10 a.m., the park (4001 Eisenhower Avenue) will reopen with mini-golf, batting cages and more.
“Come join us as we kick off the Spring season with some outdoor fun!” the park management said in a Facebook post. “Enjoy the batting cages, mini-golf, and climb around Paradise Play starting Sunday, March 14th.”
There will also be opportunities to learn about the local wildlife at the park from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Those looking forward to the reopening of the Great Waves Waterpark will have to wait for Memorial Day weekend (May 23).
Photo via NOVA Parks
Skip the expensive restaurant tabs, avoid the usual bar scene. If you want to take your date somewhere romantic and unique in Alexandria this Valentine’s Day (Friday), below are a few ideas for local outings.
On the more romantic side, there’s Ice & Lights, an ice skating running at Cameron Run (4001 Eisenhower Ave) through the end of February. Access to the rink is $8 and skate rentals are $4. There’s also a nearby retail area and a pizza shop called Slice & Ice.
The Torpedo Factory Art Center is also a go-to for romantic local dates and, as a bonus for cheapskates, is free. In addition to the public art galleries and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum on the top floor, this Valentine’s Day the Torpedo Factory will host a reception for My Queer Valentine, a group exhibit that “offers a poignant look at love and relationships for LGBTQ+-identifying people.”
“There will be special Valentine’s themed reception on Friday, February 14, 7-10 p.m., with juror talk at 8 p.m.” the art center said in an event listing. “The evening features interactive performance art, a photo op at our kissing booth, and DIY art-making activities.”
It’s not for explicitly for Valentine’s Day, but if you and your partner want to “explore the body as a subject” there’s also an opening reception for an art exhibit called Human Condition on Sunday, Feb. 16 at the Athenaeum (201 Prince St). The reception is from 4-6 p.m. and is free to attend.
“This exhibition will be a visual exploration of the human condition, asking artists to capture what is it that makes a person,” the Athenaeum said in an event listing. “From the classic nude to abstract and impressionist treatments, to pieces that touch on the basic concept of humanity — a wide variety of interpretations will be included.”
If you’re the sporty type you and your partner might enjoy the Sportrock (5308 Eisenhower Avenue) rock climbing gym on the west end of the Eisenhower Valley.
While there are Valentine’s Day dinner packages before 9 p.m. at the new laser tag and arcade arena Doyle’s Outpost (4620 Kenmore Avenue), afterward there’s a post-dinner, adults-only arcade night where couples can split a $20 game card.
If you’re a parent and looking for a place to drop the kids off for a date night, a few locations around Alexandria will watch over the children while parents enjoy their evening out.
- Scramble (5412 Eisenhower Avenue) — an indoor playground across from Sportrock is planning to host children from 5-8 p.m. The session costs $25 and includes dinner.
- The Little Gym of Alexandria (291 S. Van Dorn Street) — the Little Gym is scheduled to host a “Parents’ Survival Night” from 6-9 p.m. with pizza and gym activities for children. Pricing is $25 for members and $35 for non-members
“Bring your current work in progress and join us in our second-floor event space,” the store said in a Facebook listing for the event. “We will enjoy chocolates, bubbly and the First Wives Club. Gather at 6 p.m. The movie will go on around 7 p.m.”
Are there other hidden gems around Alexandria that we missed on this list? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.
The summer waterpark season at Cameron Run Regional Park (4001 Eisenhower Avenue) is over, but winter festivities are scheduled to kick off tomorrow (Friday) for the new Ice & Lights Winter Village.
The centerpiece of the park is a 55-by-80-foot ice rink, but there are activities throughout the park, like a lighted tunnel, heated igloos, and fire pits.
Food will also be available at the park, with guests invited to grab a slice of pizza or roast a marshmallow over a fire.
The park is open nightly from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. from Friday, Nov. 15, through Jan. 5. From Jan. 6 through Feb. 29, only the ice rink will be open.
Admission to the park is $5, with an extra $8 for the ice rink and $4 for skate rentals. Free admission is available through Thursday, Nov. 21 with the purchase of skating and rentals if guests use the promo code GRANDOPENING when they purchase tickets online.
Map via NOVA Parks
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