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Monday, July 6, 2009

Watkins Regional Park

We first discovered Watkins Regional Park through an article in the Washington Post several years ago about special parks in the region. I'm always on the lookout for great locals in Prince George's County and was pretty excited to see a Prince George's park listed among parks in Northern Virginia, DC and Montgomery County. Fast forward a few years and we've been to Watkins countless times. Lucas calls it the "big park" or "train park" but it is so much more than that. It truly is incredible. If you haven't been to Watkins before...GO!

Here are just a few highlights.

The Chesapeake Carousel

Who doesn't love taking a ride on a carousel? This beautiful, enclosed carousel was built in the early 1900s and has been at Watkins since 1977. The carousel runs Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-7pm. In September, it is open weekends only. It doesn't go too fast, but does offer a nice breeze on a sweltering summer day. Tickets are $1.25 (or $1 each if you purchase 10, a good bet because you use the same tickets for the carousel and the train).

The Miniature Train

Boy do we love the miniature train! The ride is a good length and takes you through the shaded forest, past the Old Maryland Farm where you'll spot goats, llamas, cows, chickens and all sorts of other animals. The good-natured conductors are happy to blow the whistle, to the delight of all on board.

The train runs Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend, Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-7 pm. It is open weekends only in September. Tickets are $1.25 (or $1 each if you purchase 10, a good bet because you use the same tickets for the carousel and the train).

The Old Maryland Farm

After you ride by the Old Maryland Farm on your train ride, you'll just have to walk over to visit the animals or to let the kids have a pony ride. The old Maryland farm is large enough for your kids to enjoy, but small enough to ensure the entire family doesn't get exhausted from walking.

The Old Maryland Farm is open Tuesday–Friday from 9am-4 pm and Saturday 9pm–4:30pm. Closed many holidays, see website for details.

Watkins Nature Center

The Watkins Nature center offers kids up close and personal views of live animals such as owls, hawks, reptiles and insects. There are indoor and outdoor ponds to explore and a Discovery Cottage which gives kids a taste of live as a naturalist (not to be confused with life as a nudist!!)

The Nature Center is open Monday–Saturday 8:30am-5pm; Sundays & Holidays 11am–4pm.

All this goodness and I haven't even mentioned the awesome playground, great walking/biking trails, tennis bubble and open spaces for picnics. Don't forget that Watkins was also featured on my list of free summer outdoor concerts. They offer free concerts every Thursday evening through August 13. No wonder Watkins Park is one of our favorite destinations!

Additional Details:

Watkins Regional Park
301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

General Information: 301-218-6700; TTY 301-218-6768


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. I am really enjoying your blog! I frequently check out APISS, but it's nice to have something for PG county. You're doing a great job! My toddler is really in to trains and animals, so it sounds like Watkins Regional Park will be great for us. :-)


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