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!”

TIPS: The park can get very crowded. Dress your children in bright colors to spot them in the crowd. Best time to go to the park is off peak season during a week day. If visiting during the summer try to get there early in the morning. Be sure to read to the end of the article for information on the secret playground.

old md farm.jpg


This beautiful antique Chesapeake Carousel  is a fun ride for guest of all ages. Purchase tickets at the ticket booth than saddle up to enjoy a classic carousel ride.
Watkins Park has a miniature train which is my boys favorite thing to do at the park. Climb aboard this miniature steam locomotive that travels  through the park. It is the perfect way for train fanatics big and small to enjoy a tour of the park.
Just when you thought you’ve explored it all, there is still a 18-hole mini-golf course to check out.


Watkins Downs Photographed: 2014 By: Cassi Hayden

So, I’d like to ask you a equestrian… Did you know about the Equestrian theme playground located at the back of Watkins Regional Park? Not only does Watkins Regional have a wicked awesome Wizard of Oz themed play area but they also have a horse themed playground that is often less crowed and covered by a greater amount of shade. Take on this Triple Crown play ground by racing down the Kentucky Derby slide, take on the Prekness with a ride on a spring horse or win the Belment Stake as you swing to the finish line.


  • Parking is limited on weekends. The best place to park is near the Oz playground, which will put you closest to the playground, carousel, train, mini-golf, and farm. If parking is full here try parking down by the nature center.
  • The enter park is stroller friendly and you will find paved paths that lead you to different areas.
  • This is the perfect park for picnicking. There are tons of pavilions and shaded area to eat at. Keep in mind there aren’t any concessions or food options  available for purchase in the park.
  • Be sure to check Watkins Regional Park through out the year, there are so many seasonal events to check out. Our favorites are Kinderfest in the Fall and a Festival of Lights in the winter.
  • My biggest insider tip is if you visit this park frequently you will save money by purchasing a 10-pack which is majorly discounted.



Address: 301 Watkins Park Dr, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
Admission:  FREE! No cost to park, picnic, explore the trails, visit the nature center or even the farm. The only additional fees at Watkins are to play miniature golf or ride the Hayride, Train and carousel which cost $2 per person for Maryland residents and $2.50 for non-Maryland residents.  Mini-golf is $5 per person per round for Maryland residents and $6.50 for non-Maryland residents.