The Best Parks and Playgrounds In and Around Washington, DC
With so many parks and playgrounds in Washington, DC and the surrounding areas, it's hard to narrow the list down to our favorites. Here are our very favorite top ten playgrounds in the area! Spring in DC is the perfect time to get outside and check out some of these fun places.
301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
A Wizard Of Oz-themed playground, Watkins is a super fun and unique playground! Modeled after the Emerald Palace, Auntie Em’s House, and an old barn, there are multiple climbing structures, with decorative inspiration from the Emerald Forest throughout.
There are hot air balloon-inspired structures, an antique tractor, ruby red slipper slides, and even two impressive wood sculptures of The Scarecrow and “The Witch of Watkins” flanking the long yellow brick road.
1865 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20009
Although this is a fairly small playground, it's the most requested by my crew and there are two reasons we end up here over and over again – the long black rubber slide and the swinging rubber “hammock.” They love to try to race up the rubber slide to hit the top and then slide back down in a pile to do it all over again. They sit in the “hammock” and I swing and rock it so they can pretend it’s a pirate ship on the seas!
4500 Van Ness Street NW, Washington, DC 20016
Two fun features at this park are playhouses and sandboxes! Turtle Park maintains a sandbox, one of only a few well-kept sandboxes we have discovered at DC area playgrounds, as well as playhouses. There is also a climbing web, slides, and swings. In warmer months your kids can also enjoy a splash park!
3500 Woodley Road, NW, Washington, DC, 20016
The playground of Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School is simply unlike any other playground in the DC area. Kids love the zip line and the natural elements for imaginative play. This is always a favorite.
1109 N. Barton Street, Arlington, VA 22201
A massive jungle gym and climbing area capped with a very cool slide for older children immediately catch the eye at this Courthouse neighborhood playground. There is a “treehouse” like space at the top and an extensive webbing of climbing nets around the base. Another climbing structure to build strength and balance is adjacent. The toddler area is also well equipped and boasts a sandbox with running water during the summer months.
6317 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101
This expansive playground is fun for all ages and abilities. In the summer, kids will love the added bonus of the carousel, but it’s a family favorite year-round for its sheer size and variety of equipment.
Jones Point Drive, Alexandria, VA 23242
This nautical-themed playground encourages big imaginations to run free. The equipment is safe and suitable for little ones, but there is also a string of swings safely tucked to the side so big kids can reach for the skies without much risk of wobbly tots underfoot. There are also adjacent infant swings. The play area is entirely fenced in, and a soft rubber surface lies beneath the large play structures and the swings. There is even a smaller climbing structure with a playhouse for toddlers.
3600 Calvert Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
This playground's prominent play features include a nest-like climbing structure and other unique rope climbing towers to entice big kids. Everyone enjoys the multitude of slide options, including one comprised of rollers and a fast, stainless steel tunnel slide, as well as a circular spinning wheel to ride on. There is also a big sandbox with a playhouse that is reasonably well-maintained.
1021 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22201
Quincy Park is a "universally designed playground" for children of all ages to enjoy and features unique, fun equipment that will keep kids entertained for a long time. Creative activities include a seated merry-go-round, swings, climbing walls, and other structures, all on astroturf.
5200 Sherier Place, NW, Washington, DC 20016
Palisades Park Playground offers fun, creative play and climbing structures, including a fake rock mountain. Native American culture and the Potomac River inspire the design of the playground, and elements carved from concrete with nature in mind appear throughout the large play area. There are balance beam log climbers, and a soft surface shaped and colored to look like the river runs through the colorful space. There is also a splash park for the summer months!
Be sure to tag us on Instagram with any of your family's adventures @gethappyly.
Looking for more to do outside in the DC area this spring? Check out our Spring in DC: Bucket List Adventures blog post!
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