There is a reason that the streets of Arlington are so often crowded with strollers. From Rosslyn to Clarendon, opportunities for families to eat, play, and explore are never ending. Though often lost amidst the bustling Arlington hot spots, there is a sweet little neighborhood just a bit further along the Orange Line. Westover is tucked between Ballston and East Falls Church, and even though it spans just a few blocks, it offers enough family-friendly fun to fill an entire laid back day with the kids.
Photo: Lost Dog Cafe via Facebook
Where to Eat
Perhaps the neighborhood’s most popular claim to fame, The Lost Dog Cafe is a fantastic place to settle in for a meal with the family. Although they don’t have a formal kids menu, they do have pizzas and pastas that satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Whimsical paintings of dogs engaged in all sorts of shenanigans adorn the walls and provide visual distractions for the small and antsy. And a larger-than-life-sized stuffed dog, usually dressed in a clever costume, guards the door (and enjoys hugs from all of the little people passing through).
When you’re finished with dinner at Lost Dog, you can jet across the street to Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream for a scoop or two. Dine in or enjoy your cone while strolling along the sidewalk.
Photo: Westover Farmers Market
Where to Explore
You can tell it’s Sunday by the pink truck parked at the corner of Washington and McKinley. Or by the smell of doughnuts wafting up and down the street. Every Sunday morning, the open air Westover Farmers Market draws families in with baskets of produce, freshly cut flowers, and, of course, the doughnuts. The market is large enough to stock you up with what you need but small enough that little legs can wander along it without getting tired. Good thing, too, because they’ll need that extra energy to launch into the park that rests at the end of the line.
Photo: PitBull D. via Yelp
Where to Shop
Every Saturday can be small-business Saturday in Westover. On one side of the street is Ayers Variety and Hardware, which specializes in variety and hardware equally. With everything from hammers and nails to toys and candy bars, to holiday decorations and arts and crafts supplies, you will surely find what you need inside. And it has a sweet, old-fashioned feeling that fits well with a warm summer night. For softer wares, cross the street to Trade Roots which sells eco-friendly, handmade, and fair trade jewelry, clothing, home items and gifts. Whether you’re in the market for something new or not, walking around this shop is a lovely way to spend a few pre-dinner minutes.
Photo: Christina B. via Yelp
Where to Play
When you’re ready to leave the tastes and shops of Washington Blvd., but aren’t quite ready to head home, wind your way over to Westover Park. Big enough for kids to run off a little steam but small enough that they can’t wander out of sight, Westover Park has something for just about every age. Little ones will beeline for the swings or the sand area while bigger kids will launch onto the climbing structures. A covered pavilion offers some shade and a place to sit for a snack. And, because you’ll probably need them on the way out, there are clean bathrooms.
Have you visited Westover recently? Let us know what you loved about the nabe in the comments!