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Sites for Smallish Picnic


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We're planning our son's first birthday party which, as with all such things, is more for the adults than the honoree. We'd like to find a spot for a picnic that meets these requirements:

- Picnic table capacity: About 15-20 people, with kids, babies, and related paraphernalia.

- Some kind of available shelter.

- License to drink.

- Reservable.

- In or fairly close to DC (could do Arlington; Alexandria; close-in MoCo).

Having been to a DR.com picnic, it appears that the shelter areas at Ft. Hunt Park would be fine, except they are awfully big. And in my online scouting of alternatives, I am finding that it's very difficult to find an appropriate spot that allows alcohol. That is, of course, a non-negotiable requirement, the non-satisfaction of which will result in the non-celebration of my son's birthday.

We'd be open to affordable (read: dirt-cheap) options on private property, if such things exist.

Any ideas?

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I was surveying the options a couple of months ago for a similar function.

If I remember correctly, Fairfax is the only local jurisdiction that allows any kind of alcohol at parks, and then only beer and wine at selected locations.

We landed up doing our event at someone's house.

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Fort Ward Park in Alexandria allows alcohol with purchase of a $25 ABC permit (along with the picnic area reservation/payment). They have 4 sites for 20 people - near a playground ;) - although those 4 don't appear to have a shelter (shade tree is mentioned). There are some larger sites with shelter that aren't a whole lot more $$ to rent.
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Fort Ward Park in Alexandria allows alcohol with purchase of a $25 ABC permit (along with the picnic area reservation/payment). They have 4 sites for 20 people - near a playground ;) - although those 4 don't appear to have a shelter (shade tree is mentioned). There are some larger sites with shelter that aren't a whole lot more $$ to rent.

Thanks. I had run across that park in my searches, but by my reading of the rules, consumption of alcohol is permitted only "by a group of 50 or more." (Seems like a strange rule. I can understand the desire to prevent small groups of miscreants from congregating for the purpose of getting drunk, but I would think the rather byzantine permitting process would take care of that problem without need for a minimum group size.)

We may be leaning back in favor of doing it at home anyway, after hearing some stories of one-year birthday parties gone bad because the screaming damned honoree just wants to go to his crib.

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Lyon Village and Lyon Park Community Houses in North Arlington have special children's birthday party facility rental rates, even for the general public. Last I checked it was Sat am $100 for 4-hours. There are also other rate options, days. The LV one is next to a nice children's park. The LP one has outdoor grounds included.

LV CH address: 414 N Fillmore St Arlington, phone 703-527-9520.

If I recall correctly, alcohol is fine but no kegs. There is a security deposit.

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