We’re happy with our local playground faves that feature swings, slides and if we’re lucky, perhaps a zip line or stellar views. But sometimes we stumble upon a playground that takes the idea of outdoor play to the next totally awesome level. Take a peek at this interactive race car-themed park that boasts a racetrack, tricycles and huge colorful tires. It’s time to start your engines (errr…pedals).

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The lucky kids and their parents (the park welcomes adults to ride, too) of Embrey Mill, a community in North Stafford, VA about an hour south of DC, get to experience this fun playground day in and day out. The cool park opened in September 2013 and the community threw a huge bash to celebrate the grand opening. We would too if this impressive park was in our backyard.

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The racetrack itself is intended for little riders aged two years and up. No need to bring your own wheels–the park has an assortment of tricycles, scooters and other vehicles available. Helmets included, of course.

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The designers behind the Virginia park wanted to create outdoor play space that encouraged kids’ physical and emotional development while simultaneously making the destination downright fun. So, how did they do that? The designers from Annapolis Landscape Architects drew inspiration from the play choices their own kids made at local parks of course. Architect Sarah Thiel tells us, “kids don’t want swings or slides – they go right for the trikes. Play vehicles allow for self-exploration in a way traditional play equipment does not.”

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What’s your initial reaction to this racetrack park? Tell us below in the Comments Section.

— Erin Lem

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photo credit: Evelyn Alas