Prince Georges County Maryland has some of the coolest parks. My boys and I have put together a bucket list of the imagination playgrounds we’d like to visit throughout Prince Georges County this year. Today we checked the Woodland Playground at Walker Mill Regional Park in District Heights, Maryland off our list. This park opened in 2015 and was designed by the same makers of the popular Wizard of Oz playground at Watkins Regional Park. Prince Georges County has been renovating their parks to create some of the greatest 21st century play landscapes. Just like all the new imaginative themed playgrounds that Prince Georges County has invested in, the new Woodland Playground creates an environment that changes the theory about how children learn, grow and play.
Within its wooded environment, outdoor play at Walker Mill Regional Park encourages discovery, promotes creativity and embraces delight in a beautiful natural setting. Children of all ages, developmental abilities and interests will be captivated and engaged by equipment that utilizes spatial, sensory and physical experiences.
We parked on the far side of the playground since we needed the ramp to push the stroller. It was a pretty steep hill but well worth it when we got to the top. My boys let out squeals of joy and quickly took off to explore this amazingly creative play area.
There is so much to explore at this park that I’m sure I missed something; which is always an excuse to go back again soon. I’m glad that I walked over the bridge made out of piano keys that actually play music as you cross over. Also, while taking pictures I discovered if you park on the front side you are greeted by a hollowed out log tunnel that plays music as you walk through it. You can follow a pathway or climb stairs to the top of the hill. No matter which way you go you will be welcomed by whimsical woodland creatures.
One of the first things I noticed and I’m sure all moms will love, is that the entire area is covered in a soft rubber padded surface. Perfect for kids to roam, explore and tumble without getting hurt. Another thing I absolutely adore about the imaginative playground is how they stick to a theme. From bathroom facilities to trash cans and welcome signs to slides the entire playground sticks to the woodland theme.
One unique concept about this play ground is the Walker Mill Misting Park that has water features. Throughout this section are buttons that you and your little one can push to release water. Small amounts of water will spray mist from little statues. The mushrooms, frog and even skunk are adorable and humorous. Despite that it is September it was hot and this section was refreshing; a fabulous idea for providing a way for kids to stay cool during the hot and humid seasons.
I love that this park is family friendly and has little ones best interest at heart. There are four large mushroom shaped pavilions with picnic tables. There is a really cool table where adults can sit and then has a low lever children’s size table perfect for little legs attached to it. Additionally, the table has the neatest built in highchair that I have ever seen.
Despite that this play ground really is great for kids of all ages. There are a few pieces of equipment you will need to keep a close eye on or provide assistance to children under age 3-4. That being said my almost two year old loved the park and kept up with the big boys just fine. There is a huge ladder and crazy twisty slide on the giant windmill structure. The featured tree house at the center of the playground also has some tall ladders to climb and a giant slide. The tree house is pretty cool, I love the hollowed out wood trunk and sculptures of creatures hidden throughout. See if your children can spot the owl, squirrels, etc. My boys got a kick out of the life sized ants that go marching up the hill next to the giant red slide.
The entire park is over 470 acres of land and has a variety of sports fields, basketball courts, a skate park, and a hiking trail. The best part is it’s all free. We went on week day during the school year and the park wasn’t crowded at all! This is a park you won’t want to miss out on, so make sure you make a visit.
For information and guides to other great Maryland Parks see the follow article: https://theplayfulparent.org/2017/06/07/top-ten-playgrounds-in-maryland/
8840 Walker Mill Road
District Heights, MD 20747