Charles Houston Recreation  Center (CHRC) Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do you have to be an Alexandria resident to use the Recreation Center?

No, the center is open to all Alexandria, Virginia, residents and non-residents but different fees vary. See our fee schedule here.

2. What are the Recreation Center hours?

Mon-Thur 9 am to 9 pm
Fri & Sat 9 am to 9 pm | Teens only 9 pm to 12 am
Sun 1pm to 5 pm

3. Are all programs and activities fee-based?

Yes, the Recreation Center financial structure requires cost recovery.

4. What if I cannot afford a program?

There are discounts on all programs and activities for Seniors (55+). There are three discount levels from 40% to 70% for those who qualify. Please contact the Recreation Center for details or click here to learn more about fee assistance.

5. How is the Charles Houston Recreation Center funded?

The Recreation Center is supported and staffed by the City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA).

6. What are the hours and costs for the fitness center?

Hours: The fitness center is open when the Recreation Center is open (see above).

The daily cost varies. Please find the cost schedule below (or click here for the full City of Alexandria cost schedule).

  • Daily Visit: $5 for residents or $10 for non- residents
  • 3 Month Pass: $40 for residents or $80 for non- residents
  • 6 Month Pass: $75 for residents or $150 for non- residents
  • 12 Month Pass: $125 for residents or $250 for non- residents

NOTE: Children under the age of 15 are not allowed in the fitness center. Children 15 -17 must be accompanied by a paying adult and must show photo school ID. Seniors 55+ get and additional discount (learn more here).

7. Why doesn’t the fitness center have early hours prior to 9AM?

The city requires city staff to be present during all hours of operation. Early morning hours did not receive enough consistent usage to justify the additional staff time.

8. Can I rent meeting rooms, activity rooms or gymnasium? What is the cost?

Yes, you can rent rooms at the Charles Houston Recreation Center. The Recreation Center has 5 separate meeting/activity rooms, a kitchen, and a gym for rental. Please call for availability and times, or reach out to us using the “Contact Us” form.  Prices are listed per hour (resident / nonresident) – you can find the Charles Houston Rental Fees. Among a few of the rooms the Center has available include the following:

  • Conference Room – Conference table with 10 chairs $59 / $79
  • Activity Room (2) – Flexible space $59 / $79
  • Multi-Purpose Room – Flexible open space, high ceiling, corner $75 / $95
  • Dance Studio – Dance studio with mirrors and ballet bar. $59 / $79
  • Kitchen – Full kitchen facility $39 / $53
  • Senior Center – Flexible space, up to 8 round tables and chairs $75 / $95
  • Gymnasium – Configurable gym, retractable bleachers $115 / $135

If you’re interested in renting out space at other City of Alexandria Recreation Centers, please find that information here.

9. What is the process for renting a room?

Please contact the Recreation Center to request information about room availability and to obtain a reservation form. If the date/time requested is available, please fill out the reservation form and show proof of residency (driver’s license or recent bill) at the front desk to receive residential fee structure.

If you’re interested in renting out space at other City of Alexandria Recreation Centers, please find that information here.

10. Can I serve food and/or alcohol when I rent a room?

Yes, food is allowed. If food requires refrigeration, you must rent the kitchen facility. Yes, alcohol is allowed, however, you must fill out an ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Commission) license form and pay a $50 ABC fee. The Recreation Center will submit the form and the turnaround is 5 to 7 days.

11. Is the kitchen available for rental?

Yes. If you need to store food in the refrigerators you must rent the kitchen.

12. Do you have play activities for children and Toddlers that are 5 and under?

Yes. Little Gymmies is offered in the gymnasium on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 9AM to noon. Cost is $5/child. Parents/Guardians are free. The gym is set up for organized play and includes activities, bounce rooms, mats, soft play toys and other age relevant materials. (and lots of kids running around having fun)

13. Do you have party packages for room rentals?

Yes, the center offers two party packages. WOW and Soft Playroom. WOW is 1 hour in soft play, 2 hours in game room with themed event material for $370. Soft Playroom is 1 hour in soft play plus 1 hour in game room for $149. All prices include room rental. Please contact the center for details. For the room rental application, click here.

14. Is the Alexandria Boxing Club open to all residents and non-residents?

Yes, the Alexandria Boxing Club is a separate 501c3 entity renting space from the Recreation Center. The club has open usage time from 6:30-9:00pm for adults to come and use equipment. Each person must register with Charles Houston. Registration is free for teens under 17 and the fee for 18 and older varies based on residency status and usage.

15. What does the Senior Center offer?

The Recreation Center provides supportive services and resources to all City of Alexandria residents of all cultures and nationalities ages 60 and older, especially those who are low income. This includes congregate meals and a wide variety of wellness, exercise, social, recreational, educational, and entertainment activities, as well as field trips.

Visit our “Seniors” page for more information

Have additional questions that we didn’t answer? Reach out to us here.

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