Road Trip! Maryland’s Top 20 Playgrounds – Part 2 of 4

centennial park in ellicott city md
As we navigate this unprecedented time of social isolation, the days of loading the kids into the car in search of some of Maryland’s best playgrounds feels long ago and far away. Eventually, however, the distancing measures will relax, and we will be able to slather on the sunscreen, fire up the GPS, and hit the road in search of exciting new places to play. So why not use this “indoor time” to make a list of the play spots you and your gang would like to visit when it’s safe to go outdoors again?

Here are five more of “Maryland’s Best Playgrounds”:

Centennial Park

Address: 10000 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042
Hours: 7:00 AM – Dusk (unless different hours are posted)
Cost: Free

Facilities: Public restroom facilities near the playground.
There are four (4!) playgrounds at Centennial Park, each with its own unique points. Located at the main entrance to the park off of Route 108, the South Playground has the most activities— which is why you’ll find it to be the busiest most of the time. The other three playgrounds are also fun spots, especially for toddlers and kids under 3 years old.
Don’t forget to allow plenty of time to explore the park’s beautiful lake ringed by a nice walking path and bike trail. Bring your fishing line and try to snag a sunny or other little fish. And when little legs are tired, you can rent a canoe or paddle boat— as long as you’re prepared to do most of the legwork!

Clark’s Elioak Farmland

Address: 10500 State Road 108/Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042
Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM
Cost: Yes/Visit the website

Facilities: Visit the website

After your visit to Centennial Park, if you’ve still got some daylight, a little energy, and a few extra bucks in your backpack, swing by Clark’s Elioak Farm. Less than a mile from Centennial Park’s main entrance, Clark’s Farm will be a trip down memory lane for any grandparent who grew up going to the old Enchanted Forest, as the venue has incorporated the nostalgic “nursery rhyme” pieces from that vintage playground/amusement park popular in the 1960s. You’ll also find a cow train, pony rides, hayrides, and a petting “zoo” with horses, chickens, goats, and cows.

Watkins Regional Park Wizard of OZ Playground

Address: 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
Hours: Sunrise – Sunset Year-Round
Cost: Free

Facilities: Restrooms next to the playground. Park in the small adjacent lot, or drive a short distance to ample parking at the Nature Center’s parking lot. Follow the shaded, easy trail from the Nature Center to the playground.
One of Maryland’s most beloved playgrounds, the Wizard of Oz themed playground at Watkins Regional Park is a magical experience, complete with rainbows and a yellow brick road! Kiddos of all ages will love exploring the Emerald City-themed main play structure and Munchkinland. You’ll love watching them run through the “We’re not in Kansas anymore” cornfields to Dorothy’s house, which is laying authentically on the Wicked Witch of the East.
This is truly a not-to-be-missed adventure that belongs near the top of your own list of Maryland’s best playgrounds!

Cabin John Regional Park Playground

Address: 7400 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, MD 20817
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset, Year-Round
Cost: FREE

Facilities: Plenty of parking and public restrooms near the playground.
Believe it or not, there are at least 10 separate play areas within the confines of this playground. In addition to the traditional playground equipment, you will also find a surprising amount of fun structures geared toward younger kids, including a wooden train. There’s a great collection of climbing boulders and other types of climbing and balancing apparatus, plenty of swings, and a unique triple slide. Even if the day is hot and humid, as Mid-Atlantic summers often are, never fear: the playgrounds are under a beautiful canopy of trees that provides breezes and ample shade.

Long Gate Playground at Meadowbrook Park

Address: 5001 Meadowbrook Lane, Ellicott City, MD 21043
Hours: Sunrise – Sunset
Cost: Free

Facilities: Plenty of parking and restrooms near playground
For sheer size alone, Long Gate Playground is a winner! But this suburban-style playground is not JUST big— it’s also full of fun places to play. Your kids will love balancing on the stepping stones, crawling through the tunnels, and practicing their climbing skills throughout this massive play space. This place is Slide Nirvana, too— there are 14 slides of various speeds, sizes, and configurations— slide lovers will want to experience each one. Got a toddler in tow? There’s also a smaller version of this playground if they prefer.