Road Trip! Maryland’s Top 20 Playgrounds – Part 3 of 4
All Kids love to swing, slide, spin, and imagine— and playgrounds give them the perfect stage for that. Fortunately, Maryland has some top-notch, innovative play spaces to visit and explore as a family. Unfortunately, we’ve been unable to enjoy these great— and largely free— activities recently due to closures forced by the ongoing pandemic.
As stay-at-home orders gradually begin to lighten up, some playgrounds are reopening. Most still have social distancing and other guidelines in place to minimize the possible spread of coronavirus, but we are cautiously beginning to enjoy playgrounds again. However, please be sure to call any play area you may want to visit or check their website or Facebook page to confirm if they are open. If not, continue your armchair research and add to your list of places to visit when it becomes safe to do so.
Here are five additional entries in our list of “Maryland’s 20 Best Playgrounds” (in no particular order):
Address: 501 East Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21014
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Facilities: Restroom facilities on-site
As the heat and humidity in Maryland ramp up, parents will be happy to hear that this playground is well-shaded! There are also plenty of benches and a picnic pavilion very close to the wonderful background…and because “kids are kids”, you’ll also be glad to hear that this classic play area is fenced. Your kiddos can go virtually free-range without the worry that they could wander off.
For the youngest players, you’ll find a separate tot lot area with play houses and a sandbox. There are also plenty of slides, swings, climbing walls, and other structures spread out throughout the areas of varying difficulty— even the widest range of ages and ability levels will find something to wile away the hours!
Wheaton Regional Adventure Playground
Address: 2000 Shorefield Rd, Wheaton, MD 20902
Hours: Year-round, Sunrise to Sunset
Facilities: Plenty of parking and restroom facilities at the playground
Located in Silver Spring, MD, Wheaton Regional Park’s Adventure Playground has something for everyone— a separate tot lot with a bunch of swings and lots of age-appropriate play structures— including a menagerie of ride-on animals your littlest players will go nuts about.
The main part of the playground is enormous. The slides are huge and fast, but don’t rule them out for your younger kids. Older players will spend hours navigating the massive climbing knot and attacking the Big Blue Mountain. After play time, why not catch your breath and enjoy lunch in Brookside Gardens? A path connects the playground area with the Gardens where you’ll find picnic tables under cover surrounded by beautiful flowers, fountains, a children’s garden, and places where eagle-eyed kids can spot frogs, fish, ducks, and turtles.
Angel Park Playground
Address: 9685 Honeygo Blvd, Perry Hall, MD 21128
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset, Year-Round
Facilities: Plenty of adjacent free parking, as the playground shares a lot with the Perry Hall Library— a much better choice for restroom facilities than the sketchy portable toilets on-site.
Everything about this play space makes it special. Designed by local children and artists to honor “angel children,” it includes some unique details not to be found anyplace else. Everyone’s favorite Winnie the Pooh hides around corners, inviting even the littlest players to find him. Now picture a play structure that includes climbing apparatus designed to look like Rapunzel’s cascading locks. Harry Potter character Dumbledore invites kids to participate in a “hat sorting” activity. Kids will be delighted when they find characters from Finding Nemo inside some secret spots.
While the magic of Angel Park is found in its unique and innovative details, the classics are not overlooked either. In addition to a sprawling tot lot, the main play castle is huge— filled with nooks and crannies for games of hide and seek, climbing structures, some epic sliding boards, all kinds of swings, and two types of ziplines— one of which is fully accessible.
P.S. Did we mention “unique”? Adjacent to Angel Park’s fully-fenced playground area is a separate outdoor gym where adults can work on strength training and cardio.
King and Queen Playground
Address: Cheverly Euclid Street Neighborhood Park, Prince George’s County
Facilities: Port-o-Potty only. No public restrooms on-site.
Located inside a quiet little neighborhood on the border between Maryland and Washington DC, King and Queen park is a fun way to indulge one of your kids’ fantasies: what would their lives be like if they lived in a castle? Kids of all ages will enjoy scaling the castle walls and walking across the moats, or climbing to the top of the turrets and sliding down the dragon slides. PG County has done a great job designing and creating “Imagination Playgrounds” and this is one of the best. Check out the adjacent tot lot for younger kids with two swings, a baby swing, and an accessible swing, a few boulders, and a log and other climbing structures.
Note: King and Queen playground isn’t protected by any shade, so choose to visit on an overcast day early in the morning or later in the day.
Lyn Stacie Getz Creative Playground
Address: 301 West Ring Factory Road, Bel Air, MD 21014
Facilities: Plenty of parking and public restrooms on-site.
You know you’ve got a winner of a playground when it was designed by kids! Lyn Stacie Getz Creative Playground is the result of a collaboration of kids’ best ideas, starting with the playground’s namesake. This joyful play space includes a wide variety of playground equipment, including multiple slides, seesaws, sandboxes, towers, tunnels, and bridges. There are lots of swings— including a tire swing and accessible types with high backs and harnesses, a smooth surface throughout to cushion falls and make using a wheelchair easier, and sound-play components like drums and marimbas for outdoor concerts and jam sessions.
Because closures are being driven by the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation, we can’t stress enough how important it is to call or check the website/Facebook page of your intended playground destination before leaving home to avoid a wasted trip and the resulting disappointment. Even if the playground is open, many have turned off their water fountains to minimize the potential spread of infection…so if you do take a road trip, fill up those water bottles or a nice big jug before you hit the road!