Escape to somewhere over the rainbow by visiting Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. It’s like walking into a storybook as Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” comes alive before your eyes. Start your adventure and follow the yellow brick road to the 12,000 square foot Wizard of Oz themed playground. Walk under a giant rainbow that reflects bright and vibrant colors at your feet. Cross over the bridge and the magic unfolds as you are greeted by the scarecrow and other characters.
As you enter the main park, step to the right and you will find yourself down on Auntie Em’s farm with tractor, barn, windmill and Dorothy’s house. No detail is left out, even a quaint picture is hung in the house reading “there’s no place like home.” Walk through a field of bright and colorful poppies and hide in little whimsical dome shaped munchkin huts. Escape the flying monkeys in the forest that is a giant obstacle course. Explore the Emerald City’s castle, where your kids can climb rock walls, ropes and ladders. Pretend to fly away in the hot air balloon section. Activities in this area include a word search and hour glass spin dial. Each section has fun little activity centers to stimulate visual, sensory and auditory awareness.
At the back of the play ground is a fun musical zone where you can play giant xylophones. Don’t forget to relax and enjoy a old fashioned swing; which of course has a scene on the ground that looks like the sky. Another awesome detail I love about this park are the excerpts from the book on illustrated pages through different sections. Last but not least, with the ruby slipper slides located on the way out of the park you will be clicking your feet together and saying “There’s no place like Watkins Regional Park!”
You can easily spend an entire day at this park; yet still not see and do everything available! This state of the art play ground equipment isn’t all that this park offers…There’s more! Watkins Region Park also has antique carousel rides, miniature golf and train rides on site. You can purchase tickets at the station located across the parking lot from the Oz Playground. The train is closed for reconstruction during the 2022 season. While on campus be sure to visit the nature center, walk through Maryland Farm and enjoy a picnic under a shaded tree or pavilion.
- While entry to this park and parking is free. Which include access to playgrounds, restrooms, nature center and farm. Extra activities such as carousel, train, mini-golf have a small fee.
- The park gets crowded fast. It is recommended to go on week days. Dress your kids in bright colors so it’s easy to spot them. If the main playground is too busy. Drive around to the back of the park and there is a large equestrian themed playground.
- There isn’t any food available for purchase in the park, so be sure to pack lunch or snacks.
- If you plan to explore the park the walking trials are paved and stroller friendly.
- Be sure to check the Watkins Regional Park calendar. They offer year round fun, seasonal events such summer concerts and movies on the lawn in the summer, hayrides in the fall and Festival of Lights in the winter.
- It’s a beautiful park, so plan a day trip here to explore. Enjoy the walking trails and even climb a tree.
Address: 301 Watkins Park Dr, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774