Playgrounds worth the drive

slide race

Every family has their favorite, tried-and-true parks near their home. Our faves include Getty Park, Martin Luther King Jr., Sligo-Bennington and of course, the train-carousel-playground extravaganza that is Wheaton Regional.

But sometimes in the summer, it’s a real adventure to find a new, exciting playground. Parks are free and this perfect weather is scarce. If you have children with special needs, many of these parks are designed specifically to be places where every kid can play. So if you don’t mind burning a few precious $4 gallons of gas, here are some nearby playgrounds that are worth it.

South Germantown Adventure Playground
Kids will love the castle, pirate ship, interactive world map, drums and xylophones, mazes and the sea dragons at this outdoor playground nirvana. For a double whammy, pack the swimsuits and sunscreen and hit the Splash Playground, also located in the park complex. Both parks are fully accessible for children and adults with special needs.
Directions

Clemyjontri Park in McLean
Clemyjontri was built as an oasis where children of all abilities could play together, no matter their physical or developmental abilities. The park is an 18-acre, gorgeous facility featuring numerous modern, colorful playgrounds and a sweet carousel at the park’s center. The carousel is $1.50 on weekends, cash only, and free on weekdays.
Directions

Hadley’s Playground at Falls Road Park in Potomac
This beautiful park is right off of the 270 Falls Road exit and is fun for kids of all ages and abilities. Throw the scooters and Big Wheels in the back of the car, for the padded ground at the park is painted with a “road” that toddlers and preschoolers love to cruise.
Directions

Cabin John Regional Park
This beautiful, imaginative playground has lots of fun activities for kids, but the best thing it has is SHADE. On a humid, horrid DC day this park is surrounded by immense trees that filter the blazing sun and catch every breeze. We also love the miniature train rides. Yes, it’s the same little train as in Wheaton, but in my experience of parenting a train-obsessed guy these past 4 years, I can attest that the Cabin John train runs more frequently and reliably on summer weekdays and weekends.
Directions

Find more parks, near and far, using the Montgomery County parks and playground list.

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