I have to add this awesome resource to the list of things I wish were in Southern Maryland. Luckily Franconia, Virginia is less than an hour drive for us. I consider the small trek to Fairfax County more than worth it. For those who have never been to Our Special Harbor, I know you are wondering what the big deal is all about. If your little ones like to run through sprinklers or play in the water, they are sure to love this spray ground at Lee’s District Park.
One of the best parts about this play area full of water features is that it’s free! It’s not a typo; this is a free resource to families. The spray ground is county owned; however, has the quality and fun factor that of an expensive kids zone at a water park. I really couldn’t believe that there wasn’t a fee to get in.
The design of Our Special Harbor features Chesapeake Bay themed decor such as; dumping crab baskets, a spraying osprey nest, Chessie the sea serpent, a lighthouse and sail boats. I love that sections are planned out for kids of different developmental levels. The beach zone towards the back is a quieter area with softer bubbles and an interactive water table for a younger crowd. Towards the front there are dump buckets, sprayers and canons for the older kids who love to get super soaked.
The park is fully enclosed by a gate except for the entrance of which there is always an attendant monitoring. Park staff are there to keep track of signing guests in and making sure rules are being followed. No running is strictly enforced for safety.
Within the spray ground are four family style single stall bathrooms for toileting and changing cloths. An added bonus is the spray ground is located right next to a picnic area and awesome imagination style dry play ground. The park is a tree house theme with slides that look like hollowed tree stumps and jungle ropes courses. There is a section for smaller kids in the shade that has a nautical theme with light house and pirate ship slides.
I loved this place and will definitely come back again. I strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t been before to check it out!
-It is mandatory that all children under age 15 wear water shoes. If you don’t have water shoes crocks and sandals with enclosed heels or straps on the back to secure feet are acceptable.
-The spray ground has a capacity of 249 people and it reaches it max quickly. I suggest coming ten minutes before it opens to get in line or coming between 12-2 which seems to be a slower time maybe because the target age kids are napping.
-Stay hydrated and protect your skin from the sun since there is little shade.
6601 Telegraph Road
The Playful Parent was created in 2016 as a blog to share the joys and craziness of parenting. The founder of The Playful Parent is a full time domestic energizer and has a Bachelors from Marymount University and a Masters in Clinical Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.
1442 Concord Ave, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland 20762
INDOOR PLAYGROUND IDEAS Date: OPEN DAILY Time: ALL DAY Location: VARIOUS LOCATIONS THROUGH OUT SOUTHERN MARYLAND Details: SEE INDOOR PLAY GUIDE LINK Event Type: INDOOR PLAY Age Group: All Ages Cost: VARIES Registration: Drop-In
Date: Every Tuesday & Thursday Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Location: Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Crain Highway, White Plains, MD Details: Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. A time for your little ones to discover the joy of being active, bouncing under the supervision of their parents, and without interference from the big kids. Visit their website or Facebook Page to find out about special seasonal Toddler Time Events Event Type: Parent/child Age Group: Walking to 5 years old Registration: Walk-in welcome! Cost: $10 Toddler, $8 Additional Toddler, $7 Parent Information: SKYZONE TODDLER TIME LINK
DROP IN FREE PLAY Date: TUESDAYS & FRIDAYS Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM Description: Come join Unique Gym for their drop in free play. Lots of fun for your little ones including, obstacle courses, foam pit, trampoline time. These are just some of the activities your child will enjoy. Parent participation is required during floor activities. No registration required to participate in the fun. Location: Unique Sports Academy Event Type: Parent/Child Age Group(s): 2-5 Registration: Not Required Cost: $5 for one hour/ $10 for two hours per child. More Information: www.uniquesportsacademy.com
Date: Monday – Thursday Time: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Location: Family Place to Play, Waldorf, MD Details: Family Place to Play Fun Center is a large indoor playground that can accommodate private parties and also is a great place to bring kids to play. Open Play provides many different ways for kids to be stimulated both physically and mentally. Event Type: Free Play Age Group: All Ages Cost: $11 (2 Hours)/ 2 and under $6.60 Registration: Drop- In Welcome https://familyplacetoplay.com/ways-to-play/
Details: Bring your little ones to Story Time with Mrs. Miranda & Usborne Books & More. Enjoy stories that encourage, educate and allow your child to use their imagination and complete a fun, easy craft. Come build community with other moms and young children!
Date: Every Tuesday (September 25, 2018- May 7, 2019)
Time: 10:00 AM -11:30 AM
Location: Outdoor Classroom at Clubhouse One
Details: You and your child are invited to meet us at the Greenwell Foundation, every Tuesday morning, for outdoor discoveries and learning, from September to May. Activities include: Sensory Play, Games, Songs, Art, Music, Stories, Seasonal Activities, Dance, and More. Age Group: up to 6 years old
Cost: $5 per child
Registration: Not required. Children attend with their adult
Directions: Enter Greenwell State Park on Rosedale Manor Drive, go straight on the gravel, dirt road, between the fields, and take your first right. Park in the lot straight ahead and look for us in the outdoor classroom on the left.
Date: Most Tuesday’s & Thursday’s (Always Check first)
Time: 11:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Location: Pump it Up Waldorf
Details: Vome enjoy a special open jump available for children and parents that home school. Come join us at Pump It Up for a few hours of jumping, socialization, and creative time. Be sure to call ahead!
Location: Edward T Hall Aquatic Center, Prince Frederick, MD Details: Enjoy this special children’s pool that features a zero depth entry up to 3 feet depth heated pool with slides, climbing features, and water drop buckets.
**Leisure pool will close from 4:00pm – 7:00pm for swim lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays**
Youth & Teen Drop-In Open style sports and semi-organized games. Registration form with parental consent required each school year. Sign-in by youth required each day of participation. Dates and times subject to change. Contact the center for schedule changes.
LIGHTS ON THE BAY Date: November 17, 2018 – January 1, 2019 (5pm – 10pm) *Including holidays* Place: Sandy Point State Park Price: $15 Per Car Information: Head to Sandy Point State Park from November 19th to January 1st. Not only will you see Christmas lights, but 3D glasses are available to make your experience even more amazing.
KIDS NIGHT- TEXAS ROADHOUSE Date: Every Tuesday Time: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Location: Texas Roadhouse, La Plata, MD Description: Round up the lil’ Roadies and join us for our Legendary Kid’s Night: $1.99 Kid’s Meal, Ice Cream Sundae Bar, Arts & Crafts, Andy Armadillo and THE Balloon Nerd!!! Kid’s Night is a ton of fun for the whole family so mosey on down to Texas Roadhouse! Please contact us at the restaurant to learn more specific details about this exciting night. *Limit 2 offers per 1 Adult Entree Purchased. Dine in only. Not valid with any other offer. Valid at this location only. Not valid on holidays.* Event: Family Age: All Ages Cost: Activities free, kids meals $1.99, Adult entrees see menu Information: https://www.texasroadhouse.com/restaurant-
BROOKESIDE GARDENS GARDEN OF LIGHTS Date: November 16, 2018 – January 1 *Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas* Place: Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, Maryland Price: $25 per vehicle Sun.-Thurs.; $30 per vehicle Fri.-Sat. Information: Walk thru this beautiful display of holiday lights that features more than a million colorful lights. Following your walk among the lights, warm up inside the Conservatory and enjoy a colorful display of holiday poinsettias, flowering plants and evergreens.
FREE PERFORMANCES EVERYDAY- KENNEDY CENTER Date: Monday – Friday Time: 6:00 PM Location: Kennedy Center- Millenium Stage Details: See link for schedule of performances. Different musicians, actors, singers and dances each night. Event Type: Performance/Concert Age Group: All Ages Cost: FREE Registration: No Ticket RequiredMILLENIUM STAGE EVENT LINK
Location: First Baptist Church of Waldorf- Bunker Hill Rd
Details: This is a Christian based program and community support group to help young moms. This a great evening that provides girl talk, support in discussing struggles we face every day as moms. This group is designed to surround moms with other loving and supportive moms. Dinner will be provided for food and fellowship before moms. Kids are invited to come, they will have a chance to meet and play with other children in the nursery with certified volunteers. Meal will be provided to mommas and kids.
The Playful Parent was created by Kristy a mother of two energetic boys. She has a Bachelors degree with a interest in Secondary Education and Masters in Clinical Community Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. “I believe that children learn through play! I love to do fun things with my children and hope that sharing our adventures provides other families with inspiration and resources that lead to quality time together and a love for learning!” This non profit 501c3 organization was started so parents would have a family friendly place to come to, feel supported and leave with information that is useful. This site is kept advertisement and influence free in order to keep the site from clutter and bias opinion. Your support, feedback, likes and comments are essential; this site was designed to connect the community. The Playful Parent offers resources such as guides, calendars and ideas for making learning fun. In addition, TPP is present in the community and hosts a handful of events to support SOMD in raising healthy families.
***Home Page/Cover Photo Credit to MARIZABETH PHOTOGRAPHY***