Want to find the top playgrounds for throwing your next birthday party? Birthdays are the absolute best! Friends and family come together to celebrate your little one’s wonderful milestone with tasty treats and fun games. Plus, there’s cake!
If you’re looking for a birthday party alternative to the family dining room, but don’t want to drop a lot of cash on an indoor play venue, we have a list for you. We gathered crazy cool parks and playgrounds where you can host your next big celebration.
The list is broken into 2 groups. The first group features low key, less crowded areas that are very toddler friendly. The second group includes parks and playground with that “WOW” factor that will sure to impress your party goers. Party on!
Less Crowded & Toddler Friendly Playgrounds
Address: 6951 Old Waterloo Rd, Elkridge MD 21075
Pavilion: Yes (must rent)
Parking: Limited parking in front of pavilion (would need street parking too)
Waterloo Park is a small, quieter option for those who seek small crowds, privacy or want a playground confined enough to be able to watch the children from the pavilion the whole time. This is a great option for younger toddlers!
The pavilion has ample shade, 8 picnic tables, grills and electrical outlets. Nearby there are 2 tennis courts, paved trails, a ballfield (permit technically required) and water fountains.
One of the biggest pros of this playground is that you can fully see the playground from the pavilions, so adults can watch multiple kids at once. The playground is also close to the pavilion so you can easily go back and forth.
It should be noted that this playground is smaller so older children may get bored and want to run to the fields and trails after some play. The parking in front of the pavilion is also limited, so guests will need to park on the street as well.
Address: 1834 Montevideo Rd, Hanover MD 21076
Pavilion: Yes (must rent)
Parking: Yes dedicated parking lot for the pavilion
Restrooms: Yes, Porta Potty
Jessup Park is a great option for those who want a small crowd, private playground experience. There is one bright playground structure with fun, new equipment. There are also multiple swings, including 2 baby swings and 2 regular swings.
Nearby there are baseball fields and a soccer field where children can play if the fields aren’t being used for games or practice. There are some trails nearby (paved and natural) that can be explored as well.
One of the biggest pros of this playground is that it is tucked in a corner near the woods, so it is not normally overly crowded with other families since there aren’t too many activities going on nearby. You can also watch multiple children at once on this playground because it is not extremely large. The new equipment and bright colors will catch and keep party guests’ attention.
To note: there is not shade over this playground. There is a shaded pavilion, but it is smaller pavilion suitable for a shorter guest list.
“WOW” Factor Playgrounds
3. Blandair Park North
Address: 5685 Oakland Mills Rd. Columbia MD
Pavilion: Yes (4 but first come, first serve for 4 picnic tables)
Parking: Yes dedicated parking lot (can fill up on weekends)
Restrooms: Yes (building)
Blandair Park North is an EPIC spot to have a playground party. It has the feel of an amusement park without the actual rides. There are over 4 different sections with many different themed areas including space, dinosaurs and farm animals. These themed sections are spread out in their own area, which helps give small toddlers and babies a safe place to explore without being run over by older kids.
The biggest pro of this playground is that this spot will keep children entertained for hours! There is so much to do that guests will be excited to keep playing. PLUS this playground is fenced in which helps parents feel safer, especially if they have children who run off easily.
To note about this playground: you cannot see all the sections of the playground from the pavilion so you will need to follow the children around. It is harder to watch multiple children at once, so multiple adults may be needed as well!
Since the pavilions are first come, first serve you will want to get to the playground early to reserve picnic tables (it opens 7am on weekends). There are restrooms in a separate building but you have to leave the fenced area of the playground to get there.
4. Wheaton Regional Park
Address: 2000 Shorefield Rd., Silver Spring MD 20902
Pavilion: Yes (can rent a party room or a pavilion)
Parking: Yes, dedicated parking lot
This park would make a phenomenal party spot. It is best known for its massive slides, but it also has a carousel and small train. The playground has 3 main sections: the slides, the playground for older kids, and then a baby/toddler section which includes a large sandbox. There are also swings under trees in the shade!
Unique to this playground is that there is an option (May through September) to rent a Train Station Party room. With this rental comes a “no-wait” priority seating and boarding on the first train, for your entire party.
If you prefer, you can rent out one of the 8 outdoors picnic shelters areas, which are all close to the playground, train and carousel. The train is a short ride around the grounds and through the woods (very toddler friendly). The carousel is also a quick ride and a great way to have multiple activities during a party.
To note: this is a busier spot with big slides that may attract older kids on the weekends and when school is out.
5. Millard Cooper Park
Address: 7282 Cooper Drive, Sykesville MD 21784
Pavilion: Yes (2)
Parking: Yes, dedicated parking lot
Crowds: Medium/High (on a nice day may be more crowded with the splash pad)
This playground party spot will offer you multiple playgrounds, a splash pad and a zip line! The park is sprawled out over lots of grassy hills. On the top of the hill are some very new, unique climbing robe opportunities, a tandem swing, a slide on the top of a steep dirt hill PLUS the small zip line (amazing, huh?) Kids will definitely be excited by this setup.
If you follow the hill to the bottom, you will find the new Splash Pad (opened Fall 2021). If any of those spots are overly crowded, head on over to the older but larger, second playground area. Families can space out among the trees and grass. This is a big area. There are 2 pavilions that can be rented as well.
To note: this area can get busy on weekends and probably will have a lot of children on hot days playing on the new splash pad.
6. Walker Mill Regional
Address: 8840 Walker Mill Road, Capitol Heights MD 20747
Pavilion: The pavilion at the park is not near the playground, but they do have 4 shelter spots with picnic tables. This is first come, first serve.
Parking: Yes, huge parking lot
Restrooms: Yes (in it’s own building)
Grilling: Not at actual playground
Walker Mill Regional aka the Woodland Wonderland is a showstopper! Who doesn’t love life sized ant structures and other woodland creatures that come to life at this playground? This is a large playground with plenty of sections to keep party guests interested. Children of all ages can enjoy this spot. There is also a woodland scavenger hunt throughout the playground, which would be a fun addition to the party agenda. Plus a musical piano bridge where you step on certain pieces of the fake logs to make sounds. So much fun!
This playground has endless climbing opportunities. It’s great for a child who loves slides, and animals/insects because of the many statues or animal structures scattered throughout the grounds. It is truly a magical spot, which will have children remembering this party all year long. Plus there are pads throughout the playground which will mist water if you press the buttons. Great option to cool down!
NOTE: this spot does not have a pavilion to rent right next to the playground, but there is a pavilion on the grounds of the park. There are shelter spots with picnic tables at the playground, available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Need more Birthday Party ideas? Check out our Party Directory!
Let us know if you have any playground suggestions for us to check out in Maryland via our social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Katrina Kessler
Katrina is a Maryland mom of two toddlers and has become an avid playground
explorer since the playgrounds re-opened during the pandemic. You can follow
along with her visits at @marylandkiddos. She enjoys reading, music and walks
outdoors. Recently she has combined her experience as a parent with her
master’s degree in psychology to launch a new page @connectingwithkatrina,
which aims to connect parents and children to nature and their emotional health
through virtual and in-person guides and classes.