Am I the last person in the state of Maryland who has never taken the kid to Watkins Regional Park? Holy moly, what a hidden gem.
We had Veteran’s Day off and the weather was perfect – chilly and cloudy, but warm enough for just a sweatshirt. Perfect playground weather! I’ve heard good things about Watkins Park, or the Wizard of Oz Park, but I was blown away.
It’s tucked away in Upper Marlboro off of Central Avenue and the park has camping, a carousel and even a train – but the playground is worth the trip alone. It was closed from January to June 2015 for multi-million dollar renovations and reopened with a cool Wizard of Oz theme. Think the ruby slippers, yellow brick road, Emerald City and Aunt Em’s farm.
I was a little worried when we pulled up and saw tons of cars, but once we go into the playground it hardly felt crowded. There were lots of parents chatting while the kids ran around being kids. Mike was beyond excited. I recommend if you have a toddler team up with a partner and wear your jogging shoes.It can be pretty overwhelming!
A few things I liked:
Well, it is no secret I love a theme. They even had stand alone posts with excerpts from the book at each play structure.
The bouncy, cushy ‘floor‘. What IS that material? When I was a kid we had nothing to cushion our landing or wood chips which was equally painful.
The bathroom is RIGHT THERE. I didn’t have a chance to go inside, but it is good to note for potty training ages how convenient it is.
The bells! Mike loved the huge bells. What a cool, unique activity.
The details. From the ‘faces’ on the trees to the small interactive activities to the tadpole steps. There was something cool around every corner.
Quick and Dirty:
Age Group? Fun for all ages
Parking? I would say on a busy day it would be a tight fit, but it’s a parking lot.
Food Options? None near the playground, but fast food options nearby. There are picnic shelters to reserve. There are lots of benches for a quick snack.
Stroller Friendly? 100%
Changing Tables? I didn’t go into the bathroom, but I am going to assume so.
Safety: As safe as a playground can be.
See you there? You bet!