After living in the DC area for 11 years, my kids and I agree that the best playgrounds in Maryland are the "destination playgrounds" in Montgomery and Prince George's County. There are so many unique themes from Wizard of Oz, Maryland Crab Ship and the Epic Slides! Below are 12 of the best ones near DC organized by Montgomery County (7) and Prince George's County (3). Each playground includes info on 🚻 Bathrooms, 🅿️ Parking, 😷 Social Distancing and ❤ Unique Features.
Playgrounds in Montgomery County and Prince George's County
All 12 playgrounds are free! I put a Google Map of all the locations at the end of this post or go directly there here.
At the playgrounds where there are no restrooms, I link to a couple of car travel pottys that we use and highly recommend from Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
Best Playgrounds in Montgomery County Maryland
1) Wheaton Adventure Playground - Wheaton, MD
Can't believe this park is free! Such a cool and unique playground with Giant Slides, Ropes courses and tons to explore. Also, Wheaton Regional Park also offers a ton of cool places to explore including a 5 acre Pine Lake, 11 miles of trails, tennis, Skating Rink, dog park and riding stables!
Unique features: The Giant Slides and The Giant Hill! Kids bring (or leave) cardboard boxes to slide down the hill! Additionally, there is a cool fitness area behind the restrooms. And so I think it is one of the best playgrounds in Maryland because its great for the whole family.
🚻 - Restroom near the Adventure Playground is under construction March 2021. There is another restroom further south which you can see on their website but be advised I read it was not as clean. We used one of our 3 fav car pottys herefrom Amazon.
😷 - We went during the week and it wasn't too busy but I have heard it gets very busy on weekends. Maybe set expectations on the drive that if the slides are busy at first you might play on the ropes or the Giant Hill and then go back to them.
🅿️ - Park on Shorefield Road as there are multiple parking lots.
Location: 2002 Shorefield Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20902
Montgomery County Playgrounds' Website: Wheaton Regional Park
2) Greenbriar Local Park - Potomac, MD
One of my kids favorites of this whole list! Beautiful drive through horse fields to get to Greenbriar Local Park in Potomac. There are 2 playgrounds for little and big kids with a beautiful cedar and stone picnic pavilion separating them. Tons of long slides, nature themed big kids area with a fun (but small) zip line!
Unique features: Maryland themed playground equipment in the little kid areas with a Crab Ship, local fish to "ride on." We didn't notice when we visited but a local mom shared that on the front of the ship there is a cool "Sounds of Chesapeake" sound board. There is a wheel that you turn (might have to help the little ones) and once you turn it enough, it will light up and you can press on different animals to hear their sounds!
🚻 None that I saw and 1 Google review confirmed no restroom. Glad we had our car pottys that I've used for toddler to my 8 year old daughter.
😷 Tons of room to spread out!
🅿️ Free parking. Be sure to put in "Greenbriar local park, Potomac" into your map search as there are multiple Greenbriar parks in the DMV.
⚽ The rest of the 25-acre park has a 2/3 mile paved trail, basketball courts, soccer field, and grass volleyball court.
Location: 12525 Glen Road Travilah, MD 20854
Montgomery County Playgrounds' Website: Greenbriar Local Park
3) Glen Echo Park - Glen Echo, MD
Glen Echo Park is such a fun destination for a family outing and has a great playground as a bonus! It was an amusement park from 1900 to 1968 and many of the Art Deco buildings remain. The playground is behind the historic carousel and has some interesting obstacle course equipment.
Unique features: The historic carousel is currently under rehabilitation but you can peak inside! There is also a very interesting plaque explaining role of the carousel in the Civil Rights protests of segregation at the park. A tangible opportunity to share about injustice with your kids. Great article with pictures from the protest here.
The kids also loved walking around the amusement park and looking in the windows of The Puppet Co. Tons of cute photo spots and even a nature hike at the parking lot.
We haven't visited yet, but the Clara Barton National Historic Site shares a parking lot with Glen Echo and would be a great add on when opened. Clara Barton was a nurse and humanitarian who founded the American Red Cross.
🚻 Clean and warm permanent restrooms right next to the playground and carousel.
😷 Lots of space to spread out even on the playground and among the buildings.
🅿️ In your maps app, use 5801 Oxford Road Glen Echo, MD 20812 to get directly to the parking lot. (The location might pull up as 7300 MacArthur Blvd but that won't take you to the parking lot!)
Location: 5801 Oxford Road Glen Echo, MD 20812
**And check out my Instagram Reel of Glen Echo Park here!**
4) Cabin John Regional Park - Bethesda, MD
This playground is actually 7 different play structures in one huge forest clearing! There are so many different playground levels for different kids ages. There is an obstacle one for big kids, tall slides and a merry go rough that you hang on to. For the little kids there is a musical playgrounds, a train and tractor one and a few more "old school" wooden ones. It's located right off 270 and 495 so we sometimes visit on our way to/from NYC to see family!
Unique features: The Park includes lots of other features including an 8 mile unpaved trail, ice rink (different entrance) and huge dog park. (Mini train is currently closed but we went on it 2 years ago and loved it!)
⏰ Trails are open every day Dawn to Dusk.
🅿Free and make sure you go to Cabin John Regional Park Playground lot at 7400 Tuckerman Ln, Bethesda, MD 20817 (there are other parking lots in the park)
🚻 Individual bathroom stalls right next to the playground! Park-level clean but great to have!
😷 Even though pretty popular park on the weekends, since there are so many playgrounds to choose from, we've never had a problem having a playground to ourselves!
Location: 7400 Tuckerman Ln, Bethesda, MD 20817
Montgomery County Playgrounds' Website: Cabin John Regional Park
5) Rockville Civic Center - Rockville, MD
I wasn't prepared for how cool this place is because of the name "civic center." It is actually a huge 153 acres park that includes a mansion, a great playground, small formal gardens, tennis courts, a nature center and hiking trails! We loved our time here on Wednesday and it was mostly empty except for 1 photographer in the gardens and 2 kids on the playground.
Unique features: I love places that are more than "just" a playground! This playground is in the open field to the side of the mansion and is great in itself with some cool racing games and great slides and swings. But what I love even more is that I got to explore the gardens and mansion a bit on the walk to and from the parking lot.
TIP: And save this post for spring bc the photos online look amazing!
🅿️ We parked behind the mansion next to the tennis courts and walked thru the gardens to the front of the house and then around to the playground. There is also parking closer to the playground behind the theater.
🚻 Unfortunately restrooms are currently closed. So again, car travel potty to the rescue!
😷 Very few people and plenty of room to run and explore!
♿️ One main road loop that would work for strollers and wheelchairs but the gardens and playground are not accessible.
Location: 603 Edmonston Dr, Rockville, MD 20851
Montgomery County Playgrounds' Website: Rockville Civic Center and Park
6) Audubon Naturalist Society Nature Playground - Chevy Chase
We had a lovely time at the Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase. They have 40 acres of nature trails right across from Rock Creek Park where you can hike even more. The ANS was formed in 1897 to preserve and enjoy nature and is still doing that over 120 years later.
Unique features: Behind the mansion is a small nature playground with stumps, sticks, and hours of creativity!
Location: 8940 Jones Mill Road Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Audubon Naturalist Society Website here.
7) Caroline Freeland Urban Park - Bethesda, MD (aka the Firetruck Playground)
** Currently under construction as of September 2023**
💲 - Free to enter! Grounds and trails are open 7 days a week from dawn to dusk.
🚻 - Portable restroom in the parking lot.
😷 - There were many families there on the weekend but plenty of space to spread out and explore!
🅿️ - 2 parking lots.
My kids have grown up going to this park whenever we visit downtown Bethesda and have always called it the Firetruck Playground so I had to look up the real name! It is a small urban park but great for getting some wiggles out if you are visiting all the fun stores and restaurants in Bethesda Row area (Like... Bethesda Bagel, Georgetown Cupcake, the Amazon Bookstore, Luke's Lobster, and more!)
Unique features: Big Firetruck and a good-sized slide structure for bigger kids.
🚻 - No restrooms that I know of but Giant across the street and lots of other shops.
😷 - I will say this gets busy on the weekends and it's fenced in so be aware of crowding possibilities then.
🅿️ - We park in front of Penang Malaysian (sadly permanently closed!) which is now Wang's takeout. But there is parking on Bethesda Ave. and surrounding streets.
Location: 7200 Arlington Rd, Bethesda, MD 20814
Montgomery County Playgrounds' Website: Caroline Freeland Park
8) Rio Lakefront Playground - Gaithersburg
RIO Lakefront is a shopping area surrounding a small lake with so many fun things to do! The playground is long; one end is geared towards littler kids and includes ADA-accessible ramps, and it gradually transitions to tall slides and bigger-kid climbing at the other end of the structure. Every kid will find something appealing and plenty of space to spread out here. Next to the large playground is a carousel. Around the lake is a 0.9 mile paved trail/walking path that is great for scooters and strollers, and there are fish feeder stations in the gazebo over the lake and along the boardwalk portion of the trail. Paddle boats are on the opposite side of the lake from the playground.
Note: The playground is not fenced. The trail runs between the playground and the lake. Just a warning if your baby or toddler tends to wander.
Unique features: There are two food trucks between the playground and the parking lot behind Uncle Julio's. The carousel is $6 for unlimited rides and the paddle boats are $20-$30 per half hour. All the details are on their Lakefront Attractions page. And bring your quarters for the fish feeders!
📍- 231 Rio Blvd, Gaithersburg, MD
💲 - Free playground, the carousel is $6 for unlimited rides, fish feeders are 25¢
🚻 - Tons of restaurants close by including Uncle Julio’s, Yard House, True Food Kitchen, Silver Diner, Starbucks, and Corner Bakery.
🅿️ - Lots of free parking lots and 4 free garages. The closest lot to the playground/carousel is next to Uncle Julio’s.
😷 - The playground is huge so even if busy, there's space to spread out!
♿️ - Playground and walkways are all ADA accessible but not all structures.
Location: 231 Rio Blvd, Gaithersburg, MD
Rio Lakefront Website here.
9) Constitution Gardens - Gaithersburg (one of the best natural playgrounds in Maryland)
We loved Constitution Gardens Park in Gaithersburg Old Town. The playground is all-natural materials with little wooden houses, sandpits, a water pump, swing benches, a little free library, and more!
💲 - Free!
⏰ - Sunrise to Sunset
🚻 - Did not see one open.
🅿️ - Street parking but neighborhood street and not many cars.
😷 - Empty when we went.
♿️ - Stroller and wheelchair accessible.
Location: 112 Brookes Ave. Gaithersburg, MD
City of Gaithersburg Park Website here. (great pictures!)
Prince George's County Maryland Playgrounds
8) Woodland Wonderland at Walker Mill Regional Park - District Heights, MD
"That playground was kinda like a Blippi one!” – the highest compliment from my 4 year old son! The Walker Mill Regional Park was so much fun to explore from this epic red slide to the 10 different play structures each with a different slide!
Unique features: Make sure you check out the Scavenger Hunt through the archway that shows the animal statues to look for in the playground. We loved finding fun secrets like the piano boards that make a sound. And even the walk to the playground from the lower parking lot is fun with a joke-telling Gnome statue! My kids still ask to return to this one because they think its one of the best playgrounds in Maryland.
🚻 - Restrooms are available right next to the playground.
😷 - Lots of space for everyone to play with about 10 different play structures each with their own slide.
🅿️ - Tons of parking in the lower lot and walk up the path or you can drive around and park closer to the playground hilltop.
🍎- Food Tip: Less than a mile away is a great shopping center with drive through Chick Fil A, Sonic, Mezeh and Starbucks
Location: 8840 Walker Mill Rd, Capitol Heights, MD 20743
Prince George's County Playground Website: Walker Mill Regional Park
9) Wizard of Oz Playground at Watkins Regional Park - Upper Marlboro, MD - Often voted one of the best playgrounds in Maryland!
This Wizard of Oz themed playground is the definition of a 'destination playground!' With a yellow brick road entry, rainbow track around the whole playground and 7-10 different structures to play on from the Emerald City to Ruby Slipper Slide to a Barn with chicken coop!
I also loved the separated music area and separated swings. Hard to show in this picture just how big this place is. The Regional Park has some other amazing attractions including the Old Maryland Zoo and Nature Center. These are right across the street from the Wizard of Oz Parking Lot.
💵 No cost to enter park.
🅿️ The playground is a mile or so from the entry to the park.
🚻 Permanent restrooms at the end of the parking lot! (The restrooms right next to the playground was closed when we were there.)
😷 This is a very popular park as one of the best playgrounds in Maryland. However, because of its size and number of separated structures, my husband and I felt comfortable with our kids playing here this month. Our kids played on their own structure and then if they wanted to move to one where there were other kids, we just waited next to the structure and until it was unoccupied. We did our water + soap hand washing routine and hand sanitizer for extra measure!
Location: 301 Watkins Park Drive Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
Prince George's County Playground Website: Watkins Regional Park
10) Indian Creek Playground - Berwyn Heights, MD
Finally, I am including a guest contribution from Katrina at Maryland Kiddos on Instagram @MarylandKiddos. She shared this fun playground I knew I wanted to include in the best playgrounds in Maryland post. Check out her post below for more photos of the playground. She writes in her post on the Indian Creek Playground (and check for great pics!)
🚻 - Unknown
😷 - There was only other family there on a weekday. Big fields and hiking trail.
🅿️ - "We parked to the left of the park at the top of a hill in a gravel parking lot labeled "parking."
Location: 8900 56th Ave, Berwyn Heights, MD 20740
Playground Gear We Love:
Favorite sun hat we've used for 6 years! (Originally from REI bought found on Amazon) 2,700, 5 star reviews with UPF 50 and Smart Strap.
We loved this travel potty for both my kids. You can use a grocery plastic bag or two instead of buying the expensive liners.
Map of the Best Playgrounds in Maryland:
More Lists of DMV Playgrounds (and DC and Virginia!)
- If you want a fun morning or afternoon outing, check out Best Playgrounds in Northern Virginia for even more ideas.
- My list of 10 of the Best DC playgrounds.
- And finally, if you are looking for more Parks to explore that are great for kids but without playgrounds, check out my 17 Social Distancing Spots in the DMV!