1. Watkins Regional Park, Upper Marlboro, MD, 2. Maggie Daley Park, Chicago, IL, 3. Magical Bridge Playground, Palo Alto, CA, 4. Jungle Gym in Nashville, Tennessee, 5. Downtown Container Park, Las Vegas, NV, 6. Clemyjontri Park, McLean, VA, 7. Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington, Minnesota, 8. Wright Brothers Playground in New York City, New York, 9. Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove, Minnesota, 10. Chapman Adventure Playground at Gathering Place, Tulsa, OK. The exciting world of playground design is something you can't replicate even in your own backyard or school parking lot. It takes community hard work, an artistic eye, and the cheers of hundreds of kids every day to know that you have the right magic formula. Now, let's look around the United States, you'll find fantastic playgrounds with unique climbing structures, slides and water play facilities.
- Watkins Regional Park, Upper Marlboro, MD
- Maggie Daley Park, Chicago, IL
- Magical Bridge Playground, Palo Alto, CA
- Jungle Gym in Nashville, Tennessee
- Downtown Container Park, Las Vegas, NV
- Clemyjontri Park, McLean, VA
- Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington, Minnesota
- Wright Brothers Playground in New York City, New York
- Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove, Minnesota
- Chapman Adventure Playground at Gathering Place, Tulsa, OK
Watkins Regional Park, Upper Marlboro, MD
Watkins Regional Park in Prince George County, Maryland is a unique park. Kids can not only explore beautiful nature, but they can also play at the Wizard of Oz-themed playground (one of the best in the area!), ride the old carousel, and play mini-golf. You can easily spend a full day here, but don’t have time to do it all! We’ve curated the best places for your family’s next trip.
The famous Watkins Regional Park is the amazing Oztemad Wizard playground. How did you find it? Follow the yellow brick road of course! Then, walk under the rainbow and experience all that Oz has to offer. The slides are a pair of giant ruby red slippers, and the climbing structures are shaped like emerald green palaces, state fairs and even old barns. Munchkin Land also has a small climbing area. Kids can also play at their aunt’s house or run along the rainbow path around the playground.
- Parking is free, but it can get crowded during weekends. Try to park near the playground, which is close to the carousel, train, mini-golf, and farm. (The park is very big so don’t just grab the first spot you see!)
• No food is available for purchase in the park, so if you are planning on spending the day be sure to pack lunch or some snacks. There are several restaurants within a couple of miles of the park, including a Wendy’s, a Chinese restaurant, and a Jamaican eatery if you would rather not picnic.
• While the kids’ attractions are all grouped close together, if you are planning on walking around the park be aware of distance. Younger kids may prefer exploring in their stroller.
• Watkins Regional Park also offers fun, seasonal events such as a Kinderfest in the Fall and a Festival of Lights around Christmas time
Hours and Admission
Location: 301 Watkins Park Dr, Kettering, MD
Hours: The carousel, train, and mini-golf course do not run year-round, so check before going. (Note: the farm is closed on Mondays!)
Admission: Admission to the park is free. Train and carousel rides are $2 per person for Maryland residents and $2.50 for non-Maryland residents. (If you plan on visiting frequently, buy a 10-pack for a discount.) Mini-golf is $5 per person per round for Maryland residents and $6.50 for non-Maryland residents.
Watkins Regional Park, Upper Marlboro, MD, https://www.mommynearest.com/edition/washington-dc/article/ultimate-family-guide-to-visiting-watkins-regional-park-in-maryland
Watkins Regional Park, Upper Marlboro, MD,https://www.mommynearest.com/edition/washington-dc/article/ultimate-family-guide-to-visiting-watkins-regional-park-in-maryland
Maggie Daley Park, Chicago, IL
Six playgrounds on 3 acres make up the magical playground of Second City – Maggie Daley Park, Chicago, IL. Each video has its own theme and is designed for different age groups. For the little ones, visit the boat-shaped playground in the harbor, or take a dip in the watering hall.
At Maggie Daley Park, kids 5-12 will test their courage on the Slide Crater and explore the 8,500-square-foot Sea game loop. Sloping wave lawns and magical forests (including a fun mirror maze) await kids of all ages. But don’t forget to keep an eye on the little runners. This playground is very important and has many entrances and exits.
Parking: Nearby parking options include:
- Metered parking – Available on upper Randolph Street. $7/hour
- Garage Parking – Millennium Lakeside Garage, located right below the park -$13 Dollar special for 12 hours!!!
- Designated accessible parking is available on Randolph Street, as well as within Millennium Lakeside
- Garage which provides street-level elevator access.
Hours and Admission
Location: 337 E. Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60601.
Hours: from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm 7 days a week.
Admission: There is not an admission fee for the park. However, there are costs associated with the climbing wall, bungee, mini golf, skating ribbon, and snack kiosk.
Maggie Daley Park, Chicago, IL, http://maggiedaleypark.com/
Maggie Daley Park, Chicago, IL, http://maggiedaleypark.com/things-to-do-see/climbing-wall/
Magical Bridge Playground, Palo Alto, CA
This indoor playground with soft lawns from Mitchell Park – Magical Bridge Playground is just magical. The flagship Magical Bridge Playground opened to the public in April 2015 in the heart of Silicon Valley. Located in Mitchell Park in Palo Alto, California, Magical Bridge is heralded as the nation’s most innovative and inclusive playground, attracting visitors of all ages and all abilities. With wheelchair-accessible treehouses, braille signs, swings and wide slides, it’s become a playground on and off Palo Alto.
- The playground opens at sunrise.
- Masks are no longer required, but are encouraged.
- We recommend washing your hands before entering.
- Please, no food or drink (other than water) to help keep your playground clean and safe for all abilities.
- Our play surfaces are one of the main staples of our accessibility. Not only are messes extremely difficult
- to clean, but they are sometimes impossible to remove, and the only remedy is expensive turf replace
- ment and park closures. This is the same reason we do not allow wheels.
- We allow cardboard to slide on, but please take it home with you when you leave and please throw away smaller pieces that are not useable. We are finding pieces all over the playground and in the landscape.
- Please wear shoes for your safety.
- NO DOGS ARE ALLOWED except for service dogs with a vest and tags.
- NO WHEELS are allowed in any of the play zones, except for wheelchairs. Please park your strollers or ride-on toys in the designated area. Bikes can be locked to the bike racks outside the gate.
Location: 3700 Middlefield RoadPalo Alto, CA94303
Hours: opens at sunrise.
Admission: $6 parking/admission fee
Magical Bridge Playground, Palo Alto, CA, https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/photos/2015/april/20/42249_full.jpg
Magical Bridge Playground, Palo Alto, CA, https://aparkadaybayarea.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Magical-Bridge-Playground-Palo-Alto-CA-Slides.jpg
Jungle Gym in Nashville, Tennessee
Next time you visit the Nashville Zoo, be sure to visit this large and creative play area – Jungle Gym. The playground is inside the zoo, so you have to pay to enter the zoo. It may not be very big for some parks, but this playground is even cooler as it is considered the largest community-built playground in the United States.
Jungle Gym offers over 66,000 square feet of space and features a child-friendly wooden play area where children can run around like wild animals. In the center of the area is a treehouse that looks like a huge wooden tower that can reach 35 feet tall. Cross bridges, climb nets or glide down snake tunnels. The design includes many little shelters that the kids will love.
Location:3777 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211, U.S.
Hours: Sunday—Thursday: April 13 – August 14: 6 pm—8 pm (or dusk if earlier)
Admission: Non-Member Tickets. Pricing varies by day. Adults & Teens : $16-23; Children (age 2-12) : Save $4; Children under 2 : Free
Jungle Gym in Nashville, Tennessee, https://alltoez.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/nashville_zoo_020-122444.jpg
Jungle Gym in Nashville, Tennessee, https://i.ytimg.com/vi/tkPljoRbd8c/sddefault.jpg
Downtown Container Park, Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas is a huge playground for adults. So this is the only fairground where we can find something for kids. In the middle of this shopping, dining and outdoor entertainment venue, DTLV has a multi-story tree house for the little ones.
At Downtown Container Park, experiment with NEOS electronic rides aboard the 33-foot rotating tube slide, collect oversized LEGO bricks and imaginary playground elements and enjoy regular live music and entertainment on the nearby stage and lawn. Don’t leave without taking a picture in front of the giant mantis!
Location: 707 Fremont StreetLas Vegas, NV 89101
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11:30a to 11:00p, Friday: 11:00a to 1:00a, Saturday: 10:00a to 1:00a, Sunday: 11:00a to 11:00p
Admission: no admission fee
Downtown Container Park, Las Vegas, NV, https://downtowncontainerpark.com/
Downtown Container Park, Las Vegas, NV,https://downtowncontainerpark.com/
Clemyjontri Park, McLean, VA
Designed as an inclusive playground for children of all levels, Clemyjontri Park covers two acres and is a great choice for playing in Virginia. This huge and surprisingly well-designed playground was built in 2006. The park has wide ramps for children using wheelchairs and other mobility devices, and some swings are designed for children in wheelchairs. Maps and mazes include Braille for children with visual impairments. The Monkey Bottom Bar is easily accessible to all children.
The iridescent surface of Clemyjontri Park catches children’s attention, but it’s not just bright and cheerful. The protective surface around the equipment is non-slip and porous, making it safer for everyone. The play area divides the equipment into four “rooms” or pieces of space. These are the Rainbow Room, the School, and Maze Room, the Fitness and Recreation Room, and the Movin` and Groovin` Room. You’ll find traditional playground components like the Jungle Gym and swings everywhere but presented in a fun and colorful way with a kid-friendly theme and accessible design. As if the rides themselves weren’t enough, this park has a huge, fully functional carousel in the middle of the action.
Location: 6317 Georgetown PikeMcLean, Virginia 22101, U.S.
Hours: 7 a.m. to Dusk
Admission: General Admission is free, however, there is a daily fee for each participant and chaperone for commercial or nonprofit groups (including daycare centers, martial arts camps, YMCA, church groups, etc.). $5 for Fairfax County residents, $10 for Non-County residents. This fee does not apply to families.
Clemyjontri Park in McLean, Virginia, https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/insidenova.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/c3/cc3bb88e-66c2-11e5-98b6-431c7540f359/560ab5124be74.image.jpg
Clemyjontri Park in McLean, Virginia, https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/sites/parks/files/Assets/images/specialty/clemyjontri/playground3.jpg
Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington, Minnesota
Known as the Gutter and Ladder Park, this Bloomington jewel -Hyland Lake Park Reserve is reminiscent of the Wallholla Playground, with its high profile and mesh fence to keep children safe. However, the park is much larger than the Wallhall structure and combines several classic playful elements to keep the kids busy.
Hyland Lake Park Reserve’s highlights include giant slides, tunnels, tire swings and climbing nets. There is also a separate, low-equipped children’s area for visitors to the mini-park. Kids can do so many different things that they never get bored. Also, there is only one exit, so you can easily send your kids out of the playground.
Location: 10145 Bush Lake Road, Bloomington, MN 55438, U.S.
Hours: 5 AM–10 PM
Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington, Minnesota, https://www.threeriversparks.org/sites/default/files/2017-09/Hyland%20Play%20Area.jpg
Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington, Minnesota, https://www.threeriversparks.org/sites/default/files/2017-02/PTF_Parks_Hyland_Billboard_03.jpg
Wright Brothers Playground in New York City, New York
Inspire your child’s domestic pilot by stopping by the Wright Brothers Playground in New York City. This city park may not occupy an acre of land, but in its individual character, it is huge and kid-friendly. You can see that the theme of the plane matches the names of the Wright brothers.
Location: St Nicholas Ave &, Manhattan Ave, New York, NY 10027
Hours: 7 a.m- 6 p.m
Admission: Adult (16 and older): $10, Children (15 and younger): Free, With Federal Recreational Lands Passes: Free
Wright Brothers Playground in New York City, New York, https://www.playlsi.com/493a1c/globalassets/slideshows-design-files/playgrounds/wright-brothers-playground/wright-bros-h.jpg?width=905&height=450&mode=crop
Wright Brothers Playground in New York City, New York, https://www.playlsi.com/493a1d/globalassets/slideshows-design-files/playgrounds/wright-brothers-playground/wright-bros-hero.jpg?width=1440&height=560
Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove, Minnesota
The playground at Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove, Minnesota will fit your needs. This playground opened in 2011 in the Three Rivers Park area. The novelty of this playground means that all equipment is safe and in good condition. And the park not only takes up a lot of space, but the tall buildings make it an exciting sight for kids.
The Toddler Zone of Elm Creek Park Reserve provides safety and fun for young children. There are many short play elements along with a small slide that makes it easy for young children to climb onto the toddler-friendly structure. The main building provides entertainment for older children. They can climb the three-level platform to bring up a giant slide that opens into this traditional playground. Hidden in the sandpit is a fun surprise of dinosaur fossils that kids can find. The playground features swing plates, rock climbing, poles, ladders, and many other classic park equipment. Kids of all ages will find something they will love at this park.
Location: 12400 James Deane Parkway, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove, Minnesota, https://i.pinimg.com/originals/77/1e/ca/771eca1ca33615ea37a4671f414e0a66.jpg
Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove, Minnesota, https://dynamic-media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-o/02/2d/12/6b/elm-creek-park-reserve.jpg?w=1200&h=-1&s=1
Chapman Adventure Playground at Gathering Place, Tulsa, OK
Chapman Adventure Playground is a place where children learn through play. In this 5 acre kingdom, you will be transported to a magical land where anything is possible. Kids can let their imaginations run wild as they explore the playground’s characteristic towers, slides, climbing opportunities, playgrounds, sandy beaches and waterways.
Chapman’s Adventure Playground includes elements for children of different developmental levels and physical abilities to participate. Chapman Adventure Playground is located right next to a large shady tree to keep kids safe and comfortable even on hot summer days. Likewise, caregivers will appreciate shade, ample seating, and easy access to parking and toilets.
- Gathering Place is open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Redbud Cafe – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Chapman Adventure Playground – 9 a.m. to Dusk
- Skate Park & Sports Courts – 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Water Mountain – Open Spring and Summer
- Water Maze at Mist Mountain – Open Spring and Summer
Location: 2650 S John Williams Way ETulsa, OK 74114
Hours: Open 9 a.m. to Dusk Daily
Chapman Adventure Playground at Gathering Place, Tulsa, OK, https://www.gatheringplace.org/attractions
Chapman Adventure Playground at Gathering Place, Tulsa, OK,https://www.gatheringplace.org/planyourday