Arlington County Park Rules & Regulations

Personal Conduct Rules

The following are strictly prohibited unless otherwise specified:

  1. Illegal gambling or wagering.
  2. The carry or discharge of any firearm or the carry or discharge of any air gun, gas gun, BB gun, or any like gun, slingshot, dart devices, bow and arrow or hunting. The ordinance also applies to concealed carry permit-holders.
  3. The possession or discharge of fireworks or explosive devices of any kind. Exceptions to this rule will be determined for scheduled activities and must be specifically authorized by DPR.
  4. Being drunk or disturbing the peace through riotous, boisterous, threatening, or indecent conduct, or the use of abusive, threatening, profane, or indecent language.
  5. Defecating or urinating in other than a rest room.
  6. Use, Consumption, or Possession of Alcoholic Beverages.
    (a)  The use, consumption, or possession of alcoholic beverages on certain County-owned property, as defined in Section 17-2 of the Arlington County Code, is unlawful except as defined in Section 17-2.
    (b)  Alcoholic beverages may be allowed in the following designated park areas with proper licenses and permits:

    (c)  Persons wishing to provide for the use, consumption, or possession of alcoholic beverages in the designated areas must obtain a Special Event Permit from Arlington County, as well as the necessary licenses or permits from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. For more information, contact the Special Events Office at 703-228-1876.

Park/Facilities Use Rules/Regulations

  1. Unless otherwise provided, parks and unlighted play areas shall be open to the public only between the hours of sunrise and sunset. Fires may be kindled only in facilities specifically provided for the purpose. Authorized fires must be attended at all times and fully extinguished before leaving the site.
  2. Camping is allowed by permit and only in those places specifically provided for the purpose.
  3. Practicing or playing golf, baseball, softball, lacrosse, archery, hockey, soccer, tennis, skateboarding or other games of like character shall occur only in those areas specifically provided for that purpose. Games involving thrown or otherwise propelled objects such as stones, javelins and model airplanes, shall be played only in areas specifically set aside for such use. Permits for specific use at certain times and places may be required. Contact the DPR Administrative Services Office for a permit or further information.
  4. Swimming or wading is prohibited in ponds or streams unless under supervision of a County program.
  5. Use of certain designated facilities and areas, by groups or individuals, shall require a permit. Users who do not have permits shall immediately relinquish use of the facility or area upon presentation of valid permit. Contact the DPR Administrative Services Office for a permit or further information.
  6. Posted rules regarding use of tennis courts, athletic fields, and other areas will be followed.
  7. Reservations/permits for groups composed of minors shall be issued only to adults who accept responsibility for supervision throughout the period covered by the reservations/permits. Contact the DPR Administrative Services Office for a permit or further information.
  8. Driving, riding, or parking any bicycle, motorcycle or motor vehicle shall be limited to areas designated for such use.
  9. The operation of “go-karts” or similar vehicles is prohibited.
  10. The repair or washing of vehicles is prohibited.
  11. No persons over the age of six years may use rest rooms or washrooms designated for persons of the opposite sex.
  12. Amplified sound devices are regulated by Chapter 15 of the County Code. A permit must be secured for their use. Contact the DPR Administrative Services Office for a permit or further information.
  13. Nothing may be offered for sale or sold or rented in or upon any regulated open space, without a permit. Contact the DPR Administrative Services Office for a permit or further information.
  14. There shall be no commercial solicitation of any kind. Any political or religious solicitations shall not unduly interfere with the normal operations of the park facilities or with the movement of activities or persons using park facilities. In the case of special events, such as, but not limited to the annual fireworks display, DPR reserves the right to designate specific areas for such solicitation.
  15. Reference is also made to Arlington County Code, Chapter 16-17 (Littering).
  16. No advertising may be placed in or upon any park, public open space, or structure.
  17. The placing of signs by the public, other than such temporary directional signs as may be expressly permitted, is prohibited. Responsibility for removal of permitted signs rests with the permit holder. Contact Director, DPR, for permit and further information.
  18. Geocaching may be allowed following certain guidelines. Contact Park Management at 703-228-6525 for more information.
  19. Firearms are banned in Arlington County government buildings, parks, recreation and community centers, and at certain special events. The ordinance also applies to concealed carry permit-holders. Learn more.

Use of Tennis Courts Regulations

  1. The Department maintains and administers County-owned tennis facilities including those joint-use tennis courts at school locations.
  2. Among those waiting to play, individuals who offer proof of Arlington residency and their guests (limit 3) are given preferential use of these courts (unless a permit has been issued).  Players must be willing to present identification on demand.
  3. Players will relinquish courts within one hour (singles) and one and one-half hours (doubles) when persons are waiting to play.  Individuals desiring to continue playing after their allotted time expires go to the bottom of the order when others are waiting.
  4. No bicycles, mini-bikes, roller skates, skateboards, or games other than tennis are permitted on the court surface.
  5. Tennis-type shoes are required on all courts.
  6. After 6:00 p.m., persons under 14 years of age not playing with an adult shall relinquish the courts when adults are waiting, except on courts at designated school sites (Yorktown, Wakefield, Thomas Jefferson, Gunston, H-B Woodlawn, Kenmore, Swanson). This rule also applies all day Saturday and Sunday.
  7. The Arlington School Board and the Department of Parks and Recreation reserve the right to schedule class instruction, tournaments and league play on all courts. No private instruction is permitted.

Dog Park Rules

  1. All dogs shall be legally licensed and vaccinated before entering the dog park.
  2. No dog that is less than (4) months old shall be permitted in a dog park.
  3. Female dogs in heat shall not be allowed in the dog park at any time.
  4. Parents must be in control of their children at all times.
  5. No food is allowed within the boundaries of a dog park.
  6. No one (1) handler may bring more than three (3) dogs into a dog park at a time
  7. Professional dog trainers may not use any dog park for the conduct of their business, unless sponsored by Arlington County.
  8. Animals must be leashed when entering and exiting the dog park.
  9. Handlers must be in possession of a leash at all times.
  10. Dogs shall be under the control of their handlers.
  11. Handlers shall keep their dogs in view at all times.
  12. Handlers are responsible for the removal of dog waste from the dog park and disposing of it in a proper manner.
  13. Dogs shall be removed from the dog park at the first sign of aggression. An aggressive dog is defined as a dog(s) posing a threat to human beings or other animals. Aggressive dogs shall not be permitted within any designated off-leash dog park. Handlers are legally responsible for their dog(s) and any injury caused by them.
  14. Handlers shall not allow their animals to bark on a continuous or frequent basis. It is unlawful for any person who owns, possesses or harbors a dog to permit that dog to create a frequent or continued noise disturbance across a real property boundary or within a nearby dwelling unit.
  15. Handlers, prior to leaving the dog park, shall fill holes dug by dogs.
  16. Dog grooming shall not be allowed in any dog park, unless it is part of an Arlington County sponsored program.

Conservation and Protection

  1. Pollution of any stream, pond, or other body of water is prohibited.
  2. Dumping of trash, grass cuttings, tree trimmings, or other debris is prohibited. Refuse and litter of whatever kind must be placed in designated receptacles and may not be burned.
  3. Picnic areas must be cleared of all garbage and other refuse before departure.
  4. Structures and equipment, in or upon regulated open space, including drinking fountains, benches and tables, and monuments shall not be damaged or defaced
  5. The conduct of animals in or on regulated open space must be controlled to preserve the health and safety of the public. The individual accompanying the animal(s) is responsible for its control.
  6. The running of dogs and other pets at large is forbidden, except in designated off-leash areas (Dog Parks).
  7. Horses and ponies are prohibited in parks and on trails without express permission. Contact Park Management at 703-228-6525 for exceptions.
  8. Trees, shrubs, and other flora, dead or living, shall not be removed, destroyed or disturbed. Contact Park Management at 703-228-6525 for exceptions.
  9. Animals, birds, fish, and other fauna shall not be molested, injured, or caught. Contact Park Management at 703-228-6525 for exceptions.
  10. The land, including turf, soil, and rocks in or upon regulated open space shall not be damaged or removed.
  11. Removal of historical materials or use of metal detectors is prohibited. Contact Park Management at 703-228-6525 for exceptions.


No peddler, vendor, or canvasser, as defined in Section 30.2 of the Arlington County Code, shall operate in or upon Arlington County public park and recreational facilities, nor shall there be any commercial sales in or upon such facilities, except as follows:

  1. Arlington County may grant permission for sales of goods in designated spaces or areas during specified events scheduled and sponsored by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Such sales must be incidental to cultural, educational, recreational or public service use. Sales must comply with all applicable provisions of the County Code.
  2. Arlington County may grant permission to peddlers, vendors, or canvassers, as defined in Section 30.2 of the Arlington County Code, for sales at the Arlington County Fair and the Northern Virginia Folk Festival. Such peddlers, vendors, or canvassers must comply with all applicable provisions of the County Code, and such other reasonable criteria as may be established by the DPR. Contact the Department of Parks and Recreation at 703-228-4747 for further information.
  3. Nothing herein shall be construed to restrict the authority of the County to contract, through the granting of concessions or otherwise, for the sale of goods or services in or upon public park and recreational facilities under terms and conditions to be established by the County.