Playdates are essential for the socialization and maturity of young children, however, having a couple of youngsters tear through your house eventually gets a bit tiresome for the parents who have to pick up the mess and for the kids who start to feel cooped up. Happily, there is a perfect alternative: the public playground!
If carefully selected, a good playground is open, sunny, fun, and safe. Here are five playgrounds in the Baltimore area which fit all of these categories. So phone up another parent, set a date, pack up the kids, and get ready to play!
Our Playground At Stadium Place
900 E. 33rd St.
Baltimore, MD 21218
A testament to the community spirit of Baltimore, the Stadium Place Playground was built on the former Memorial Stadium property entirely by volunteers, funded entirely on donations. Despite these humble contributions, this playground is a glorious megaplex of fun, including all of the regular playground fare – such as swings, slides, jungle gyms, a theater, a boat, a shopping village, towers, and a volcano.
Its impressive level of fun and community involvement have not gone unnoticed, either. In 2010, the playground won Best of Baltimore.
Bring your kids and their friends to a place where they will never run out of fun.
Oregon Ridge Park Playground
13401 Beaver Dam Road
Cockeysville, MD 21030
Oregon Ridge Park is an exciting place in general. With nature trails, a beach, a nature center with kid-friendly displays, and year-round activities, it’s a place you might consider visiting at any rate, however, the quality of the on-site playground is not to be understated.
The playground is divided into two areas: one for children ages five and under and one for older children. The playground for the older kids is a complex of towers and bridges that connect the slides, jungle-gyms, and other playground activities.
Both areas have a kid-safe rubberized turf which is both wheelchair accessible and easy on the knees of the child who happens to take a spill. The whole playground is situated in the perfect spot to have a beautiful, sunny view of park spread out before it.
Riderwood Hills Park
910 Kenilworth Ave.
Towson, MD 21204
For nearly 30 years, Riderwood Hills Park has remained a hidden treasure of the Towson area, tucked away from public consideration in a shaded grove. Of course, as time has passed, the little park and playground have grown weary and worn. Recently, however, all of that changed, as public funds were put towards giving this playground the face lift it so desperately needed.
Now the park boasts some of the most enjoyable activities your kids could want to participate in including a zip-line, suspension bridge, and a rock-wall for climbing. Nearby you’ll find basketball courts and a baseball field.
Pack up the kids and a picnic lunch, and enjoy a hot summer day in the shade of the trees, eat your lunch at their convenient picnic tables, sip from the water fountain – and don’t worry, there are on-site restrooms, too.
Related: Best Parks For Kids In Baltimore
Gay Oaks Park
1200 Sulphur Spring Road
Arbutus, MD 21227
Play dates may be something you do well into your child’s tween-age years, but they are especially important to the development of a very young child. Unfortunately, most playgrounds have little to offer toddlers. This is not the case at Gay Oaks Park. Although there is plenty here for older kids, such as the adjacent basketball courts and larger playground fare, much of the playground has been dedicated to the fun and safety of the much younger child. The park sports adventures like a big plastic dinosaur, turning blocks, smaller bumpy slide and double slides, mini-ladders, and much more for your young child to enjoy. Adjacent picnic tables give a good view of the entire playground so that you can relax and watch your kids as they have fun.
Recycled Tire Playground
2813 Jerusalem Road
Kingsville, MD 21087
A park that is respectful of the environment, the Recycled Tire Playground is located in the Gunpowder Falls State Park Hammerman Area. Now, you may have noticed that in recent years several playgrounds and recreational areas are using chipped-up tire rubber as turf, but this playground takes it just a hair further by using recycled tires for almost all of their play equipment. In an entirely safe, rubber-cushioned environment, watch as your kids and their friends bounce, climb, and swing on repurposed tires that make up some of the most enjoyable playground attractions they are likely to ever experience!
Related: Best Indoor Playgrounds In Baltimore
Joel Furches is a freelance writer and researcher for The Examiner and Logos Software, and also manages his own catalog of writing on Hub Pages. Joel is on the board of directors for Ratio Christi. He has a bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Education.