Charles Houston Rec Center (CHRC) Frequently Asked Questions

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

Mon-Fri 9 am to 9 pm, Teens only 9 -11 pm; Sat 9 am to 6 pm, Teens only 6 – 11 pm; Sun 1 to 5 pm

3. Are all programs and activities fee-based?

Yes, the Rec 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 Rec Center for details or click here to learn more about fee assistance.

5. How is the Rec Center funded?

The Rec Center is supported and staffed by the City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA). As a Tier 4 facility all programs and activities must recover 125% of all costs.

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

The fitness center is open when the Rec Center is open: Mon-Fri 9 am to 9 pm; Sat 9 am to 6 pm; and Sun 1 to 5 pm.

  • 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 Rec Center. The Rec Center has 5 separate meeting/activity rooms, a kitchen, and a gym for rental. Call for availability and times.  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

9. What is the process for renting a room?

Please contact the Rec Center to see about times and availability and to obtain a reservation form. Fill out the reservation form and show proof of residency (driver’s license or local bill) at front desk to receive residential fee structure.

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 Rec 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 Rec 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 Center provides supportive services and resources to all City residents of all cultures and nationalities aged 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.

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