Inside: Badlands Playspace is a fantastic nature themed indoor playground in Maryland. There are so many reasons your kids will love playing here!
When we opened the door, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Right in front of the ticket window there was a huge boulder, and then a giant indoor mountain rose out of the middle of the former grocery store.
My daughter could barely wait for us to get our tickets before she ran to the mountain, scrambled up the side of it, and immediately careened down the long green slides. And that was just the beginning. She didn’t stop moving for 3 entire hours! She climbed, stretched, rolled down a grassy hill, built a cart that actually moved, build a tower out of bean bags, drew on walls, and piloted an airplane.
The entire concept of Badlands Playspace is pretty fantastic and the execution is just about flawless. This is the perfect place to take your kids, regardless of the weather outside.
Related: Check out the Kid Friendly Maryland comprehensive resource for parents: Things To Do In Maryland With Kids!
Badlands Playspace is super cool and you are going to want to check it out!
Here are 9 reasons why you and your kids will completely love playing at Badlands Playspace!
1. The Climbing
The first thing you notice about Badlands Playspace is the giant mountain in the middle of large warehouse room. Your kids will become completely engrossed in climbing, stretching, and scrambling up and down the mountain. This is like a rock climbing wall but not quite as vertical. It is completely safe and Badlands has plenty of safety monitors/quasi camp counselors on hand to ensure your kids are being safe and get them out of a jam if they get stuck (it happened to us once).
2. The Slides
The centerpiece of the Mountain are two slides. They are actually quite large and slippery for an indoor playspace. Of course, the slides are on the side of a mountain. Kids can scramble up the mountain unassisted or use a rope to help them climb up.
3. Rolling in Grass and Walking Through Trees
One of the many things I absolutely love about Badlands Playspace is the incorporation of faux natural elements into the indoor playground. Of course, real grass, real trees, and a real mountain would be ideal. But when it is 20 degrees cold or 95 degrees hot outside, this environment is actually pretty rad. The turf is used to create a hill kids can climb up and roll down. I suppose they could actually get faux grass stains on their knees as well.
A grove of faux birch trees creates a fantastic place for imaginative play. Actually, the entire facility is big on imaginative play, creating, building, and moving. All the time, moving.
4. Special Exhibits
Every three months, Badlands goes deep on a particular topic with a special exhibit. When we were there, the topic was flight. Kids could climb aboard a real plane and pretend to fly it. They could make airplane crafts, do experiments with wind and aerodynamics, and even help a fictional plane land as part of an air traffic control crew.
The airplane was the highlight though. Kids lined up for the chance to sit in the cockpit and fly the actual airplane.
5. The Workshop
There are so many super fun features in The Workshop. We could have spent a few hours just fiddling around in here. Kids are encouraged to tinker. Tools and parts are provided for screwing, nailing, etc…
Markers are provided so kids can draw their portrait on the walls. There are turtles and frogs kids can examine with magnifying glasses. The projects rotate, but the emphasis is completely on fun, experiential learning.
6. The Screening Room
If your kids need a break, you can retreat to the screening room for a flick. Ok, not really a movie. Think some sort of educational programming. However, the lights are dim and there are dozens of huge bean bags. Needless to say my daughter wasn’t interested in watching anything. She was interested in building a bean bag fort. It was a very good time.
7. Builders Room
Legos and Magna Tiles are the main feature of this room. It is a small room but if your kids want access to more legos than they probably have at home, they will have loads of fun pieces to choose from!
8. Loose Parts Play
On the other side of the birch tree grove is a super fun area where kids can build pretty much anything they can dream of! There are boards, wheels, nuts and bolts. Kids can engineer a truck or a cart, or a robot if they thought about it long enough. Our budding engineer kept coming back here again and again. She loved figuring out how the building pieces went together to make something that could move.
9. The Cafe
I really loved the food options at The Cafe. There are tons of kid friendly and adult friendly options. The Cafe is open to the rest of the facility so you could pretty much sit and have a cup of coffee while your kids play. Of course, Badlands Playspace is super fun.. you might want to play too!
Know Before You Go
- Badlands Playspace is located Rockville, MD inside a former grocery store. However, other than the front of the building, you will have no idea that the space your kids are playing in used to sell fresh produce and canned goods. Here is a link to the Google Maps directions: https://goo.gl/maps/ZYzUyDWNVys
- The admission cost is $20 for 2 hours of play for kids age 3 and older and $12 for kids under 3. Up to 2 adults per child are free with their kid’s paid admission.
- Badlands Playspace offers Memberships. $9.95/month for a one child household and $29.95/month for a household of up to four kids. Membership gives you a 50% discount on the general admission prices.
- As you can imagine, Badlands is a high demand indoor playspace. In order to ensure the playspace is not too crowded for kids to be safe and have a great time, they limit the number of tickets sold. Especially on the weekends, it is very important that you reserve an admission/play time online before coming to the facility.
- Badlands is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9AM-6PM.