Cathedral Heights, Washington, DC
The Beauvoir playground is amazing for elementary school-aged children because, surprise, it's the playground for the National Cathedral Elementary School. The playground was renovated in the last few years with equipment from Germany consisting of natural materials with natural finishes. The equipment is beautiful and it is also very different to what you find in almost every other playground in the city. There are huge towers to climb with suspended rope bridges between them. There is a section of climbing logs, in addition to swings, monkey bars, and a zip line. Yes, you read that right. There is a zip line and it is a lot of fun! There is also a playing field with artificial turf. While some areas of the playground are clearly designed for older children, there is a section called the "Little Village" that is appropriate for younger children, although I'd recommend pretty close supervision for ages 3-5, even in this section. There is a rock cave for imaginative play, as well as other natural elements to explore.
One word of caution, there's a slide that comes down from a triangular tower at the top of the playground. I call this "the kid cannon" and it's not for the faint of heart. Kids hurtle down it and shoot out the bottom at considerable speed. The first time my daughter went down it, she came flying out at the bottom of the slide, head first on her back. I wasn't prepared and I didn't catch her in time. She wouldn't go on a slide for two months. Mom of the year. You've been warned.
There are no bathrooms available when the school is closed, so, essentially, no bathrooms available since it's not open to the public unless the school is closed. Before you head to the playground, stop at the Open City cafe to the right of the National Cathedral (which is also worth a visit) for a cup of coffee and a pastry or ice cream. The cafe makes great food! If you want to picnic, the Bishop's Garden is a hidden oasis in the city and is one of my favorite outdoor spaces in the whole city.