Here is a round-up of our favorite playgrounds in Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland. Grab a buddy (and your kids) and check these off your bucket list! Each one of them is truly unique! If you are looking for other outdoor adventures, check out our list of 80+ places to explore nature!
Hover over the name of the park to take you to the website and over the address so you know how to get there. At least one of our contributors has been to and vouches for these playgrounds. Of course, these aren’t all of the playgrounds in our area, but some of our favorite DC area playgrounds! Enjoy!
Washington, DC Favorite Playgrounds
Beauvoir School Playground 3500 Woodley Road NW Washington, DC 20016
The Beauvoir School is kind enough to open their truly awesome playground to the public after school and on the weekends. On days when school or camp is not in session, the playground is open for use all day. See the school’s calendar to see weekdays that the School is closed.
Chevy Chase Recreation Center Playground 5500 41st Street NW Washington, DC 20015
They have a great play area with a rubber surface and it is fenced in. Plus it is right next to the public library and rec center (with quality classes). It’s one of our favorite DC playgrounds.
Douglass Playground 2100 Stanton Terrace SE Washington, DC 20020
This rubber surface playground has slides, a biplane, a music house, an ADA Accessible Aero glider, and an electronic game. The site also has a community garden, basketball courts, and fitness stations.
Guy Mason Recreation Center Playground 3600 Calvert Street NW Washington, DC 20007
This DC playground has a constellation theme, so it has a big metal globe with telescopes. There are also swings (including bucket swings), a playhouse, climbing structures, balancing structures, and a large sandbox. There is also a basketball court and baseball diamond on site.
Hains Point 2301 Ohio Drive SW Washington, DC 20024
Do you ever feel like you need to get out of the city for fresh air? There is plenty of room to roam around at the tip of the East Potomac Park! Two expansive playgrounds, room to play ball, a swimming pool, golf area, tennis courts, and cycling trail. Plus, viewing the Cherry Blossoms here is epic and not as crowded as the National Harbor. It also offers great sights of the Potomac River, Anacostia River, and Washington Channel–you’ll see fun boats!
Harry Thomas Sr Park 1743 Lincoln Rd NE Washington, DC 20002
This playground was named one of the 16 Coolest Playgrounds in the World by MentalFloss.com in 2015 and, also in 2015, was ranked #2 out of the 50 Best Playgrounds in America by the Early Childhood Education Zone. There are two play areas that are fenced in and have rubber surfaces. One is for younger kids and the other is for kids aged 5-12. There are many climbing structures, floating steps, a rock wall, swings, slides, gear boards, and more.
Pirate Ship Playground at Anacostia Park 1900 Anacostia Drive SE, Washington, D.C. 20020
Anacostia Park is an NPS site that stretches along the Anacostia River. It has a skating pavilion, 3 playgrounds, walking/running/biking trails, fitness stations, basketball and tennis courts, and more! The Pirate Ship playground is a wonderful play area where your little ones can pretend they are sailing on the high seas. Here is our Instagram Reel with some details!
Rosedale Recreation Center Playground 1701 Gales Street NE Washington, DC 20002
The playground is designed with a National Mall theme, so it includes many DC landmarks. It is also an inclusive playground, designed to be accessible to kids and caregivers of all abilities.
Sherwood Recreation Center Playground 640 10th Street NE Washington, DC 20002
Sherwood playground has multiple play areas including one for smaller kids, a human sundial, and live instruments kids can play. Some equipment is accessible for wheelchairs and kids of varying abilities. The rec center also has a basketball court and a small track and field area.
Turkey Thicket Recreation Center Playground 1100 Michigan Ave NE Washington, DC 20017
This DC playground has a variety of play structures including a big train going through a mountain, balance bridges, climbing walls, and other climbing structures, swings, and more. There is also a spray park, swimming pool, and tennis courts.
Northern Virginia Favorite Playgrounds
Clemyjontri Park 6317 Georgetown Pike McLean, VA 22101
This is a huge playground with a variety of sections. It is designed for children of all abilities. It also has a carousel, a train, and picnic tables.
Potomac Yard Park 2501 Potomac Ave. Alexandria, VA 22301
There are two fenced playgrounds with rubber surfaces, and they are separated by an interactive fountain. One playground is for toddlers and includes a maze, slides, swings, and more. The other playground is for kids aged 5-12. It has tall slides, climbing structures, swings, a zip-line, balance beams, and more. A train track runs directly beside the playground and Reagan National Airport is nearby, so planes and trains entertain the kids while they play.
Rocky Run Park 1109 N Barton Street Arlington, VA 22201
Rocky Run has two areas, one for bigger kids (complete with a very challenging climbing area) and one for smaller toddlers, plus swings. It has a large picnic area (both a grassy spot above the park and a number of picnic tables right in the playground area).
Quincy Park 1021 N Quincy Street Arlington, VA 22201
Recently re-developed and re-opened in early 2017, Quincy Park is a masterpiece. Right next door to Arlington’s Central Library and adjacent to soccer & baseball fields and sand volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts, it’s also a great place to have a birthday party, with a sheltered picnic area. The playground is designed to be accessible for children of all abilities and has beautiful murals, swings, a jungle gym designed for older children, and a great open area for younger kids.
Hayes Park 1516 N Lincoln St, Arlington, VA 22201
Hayes has an area geared toward pre-school children, complete with sand, an area for older children, and swings. It has tennis and volleyball courts, a covered picnic area, and a wonderful spray ground in the summertime.
Jones Point Park 125 Jones Point Alexandria, VA 22314
This park is nestled below the Woodrow Wilson bridge with great views of National Harbor. There is a playground for young tots and one for the older kids as well as swings – no mulch here! Under the bridge is a great place to practice riding bikes as the area is completely paved. Watch out for cyclists on the Mount Vernon trail though!
Lyon Village Park 1800 N Highland Street Arlington, VA 22201
Lyon Village Park includes some great playground equipment (separate areas for kids of different ages), plus tennis and basketball courts. It also has a great spray ground in the summer. The only drawback is no bathrooms.
Bluemont Park 601 N Manchester Street Arlington, VA 22203
Tucked back in the woods, Bluemont Park has the W&OD Trail running through it, so we often take bikes/scooters or just walk along for a while and end at the playground. It features a play structure shaped like a large train engine, so kids love it, and it’s appropriate for toddlers through older children. It’s also nice and shady in the summer!
Potomac Overlook Regional Park 2845 N Marcey Road Arlington, VA 22207
Potomac Overlook is a huge park and nature center with plenty of great light hiking trails for families. The playground is primarily made from cedar and other natural materials and is rustic and cool!
Virginia Highlands Park 1600 S Hayes Street Arlington, VA 22202
A small park nearby the Pentagon City mall and Costco, Virginia Highlands is a gem. The spray ground in the summer is wonderful (my kids love the buckets that randomly dump water from above), it’s nice and shady and has a fenced playground with a play structure and swings.
Maryland Favorite Playgrounds
Cabin John Regional Park 7400 Tuckerman Ln, Bethesda, MD 20817
Cabin John Regional Park offers something for every sports lover and is situated just minutes north of Washington. D.C. Recreational options include summer ball games on the various athletic fields, tennis on both indoor and outdoor courts, Tai Chi, and even ice skating in the summer at the fully enclosed Cabin John Ice Rink. Visitors can also connect with nature through a variety of environmental nature programs, become entranced by a ride on the model train, or spend the afternoon relaxing with family and friends at various picnic and playground areas. The Adventure Playground is a well-shaded highlight–and don’t miss the totem pole! Children and adults alike are captivated by the miniature train running through the park. The train’s five-passenger cars carry visitors on a scenic two-mile ride through the Cabin John Regional Park (about a 15-minute ride). If an afternoon isn’t enough, spend the night enjoying the campgrounds, hiking, and biking trails, there is plenty of scenery to explore.
Caroline Freeland Urban Park 7200 Arlington Road Bethesda, MD 20814
Located in between the Giant Food and the Library on Arlington Road, this downtown Bethesda Playground is a wonderful spot. Fully fenced in with a rubber ground, the playground features swings and climbing structures for toddlers and young children. Because of its convenient location, it can get crowded on the weekends.
Ellsworth Urban Park 621 Ellsworth Drive Silver Spring, MD 20910
Want to have some fun? Check out, Ellsworth Park! It is a lovely 3.6-acre park super close to downtown Silver Spring. It offers a large dynamic playground area for older and younger kiddos. In addition, it has tennis courts and a fun, new dog park.
Falls Road Local Park 12600 Falls Road Potomac, MD 20854
Get active on the baseball field, soccer field, football field, and walking path with exercise equipment at Falls Road Local Park in Potomac! Don’t miss the award-winning Hadley’s Playground, a unique and playground ready for children of all ages and abilities to play together.
Greenbriar Local Park 12525 Glen Road Travilah, MD 20854
Greenbriar Local Park is 25-acres of fun! It combines a vast green space, picnic area and has two playgrounds with a rubber surface. The younger kiddos will love the fun Chesapeake Bay-themed play area complete with a fishing boat! The older kiddos (5-12) can climb, slide, jump, and swing on the Piedmont Play Fort. In addition, visitors can learn about “The Journey of Raindrop” and find insights about watersheds, geography, and Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay wildlife. Don’t forget to bring a ball since there is also a soccer field, volleyball area, and basketball court.
Heurich Community Park 6001 Ager Road Hyattsville, MD 20781
Any kid who loves superheroes will love this comic-themed space. It is bright and fun with space for kids ages 2-12. Check it out and go ahead and wear a cape.
Kemp Mill Urban Park 1200 Arcola Avenue Wheaton, MD 20902
At the intersection of Arcola Avenue and Lamberton Drive, Kemp Mill Urban park sits on 2.7 acres. The fun includes a newly expanded playground, water feature, basketball court, benches, observation deck, and large trees. If you are looking for a good time, go here!
North Four Corners Local Park 315 University Boulevard West Silver Spring, MD 20901
North Four Corners Local Park rests on 13.9 acres. There is a climbing web for big kids, a play firetruck, two playgrounds, and a fitness station for the adults. It also has fields for various sports, plus basketball and tennis courts. Bring a picnic to enjoy!
Norwood Park 4700 Norwood Place Bethesda, MD 20815
Norwood Local Park is a popular place with its two playgrounds, five tennis courts, basketball courts, softball fields, a soccer/football overlay field, a soccer overlay field, and two park activity buildings. The fully wooden playground is expansive and very different from some of the other local parks.
Walker Mill Regional Park 8001 Walker Mill Road District Heights, MD 20747
This 500-acre wooded park offers lots of imaginative space with a windmill, a giant anthill large ants, bridges, and a variety of climbing structures. Be on the lookout for woodland creatures throughout the space and enjoy the treehouse! In addition, there are basketball, tennis courts, skate park, baseball field, softball fields, and a large sheltered picnic area.
Wheaton-Claridge Local Park 11901 Claridge Road Wheaton, MD
Drive over a bridge to access this newly renovated (2018) playground. Perfect for kids who love to climb! The park has a lovely stream running through it and it is nestled right next to inviting forest trails for little and big explorers. There are also picnic areas, bathrooms, and basketball courts.
Wheaton Regional Park 2000 Shorefield Road Wheaton, MD 20902
Wheaton Regional Park has it ALL on its 536 acres. There is an Adventure Playground that includes climbing structures and a sandcastle. There is biking, horseback riding, fishing, picnicking, four softball fields, two baseball fields, gobs of tennis courts, an ice skating arena, a doggy park, and the inspiring Brookside Garden Nature Center. And don’t your family miss out on the scenic train ride or historic carousel. This is one of those parks that you could spend a whole day there and come home happy (and exhausted!).
Watkins Regional Park 301 Watkins Park Drive Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
Watkins should be on the top of your list to check out–it is special! There are a variety of activities at this park including a carousel, mini-golf, an agricultural farm, and a miniature train. The 14,000 square foot playground is one of the best in the area. It has a Wizard of Oz theme. After they pass under the rainbow, children can slide down a giant pair of ruby red slippers, play in Auntie Em’s house, climb around on the Emerald City, and skip down the yellow brick road.
Sophie and Madigan’s Playground 1124449211, Frederick, MD 21702
This gorgeous playground honors Sophie and Madigan Lillard by bringing the joy and wonder of their lives into imaginative play for all children. From a 3-story tall magical castle to inclusive swings, all families will love making memories together here.
If you have any favorite DC, NoVA, or Maryland playgrounds that you’d love to share, please let us know!