The Best Things To Do In Maryland With Toddlers (and Preschoolers)
Check out this guide to the best things to do in Maryland with toddlers and preschoolers. These places are perfect for kids ages 4 and under!
You are so excited. Your baby has started walking! Wow. They are growing up so fast and as they transition from infant to toddler you can’t wait to get out and explore with them.
You know there are a ton of fun things to do in Maryland with kids, but you have no idea where to start.
Sometimes ‘family friendly’ does not mean young kid friendly
You heard about a cool place on Facebook– a playground everyone raves about. So, you stock up the diaper bag with 15,000 types of snacks, sippies, wipes, and enough sunscreen for 10 kids– and you head out.
Only, this playground was not fun for you. Not at all. It was overwhelming.
So many kids. Your 1-year got knocked down 3 times by older kids running. And there were so many steep drop offs you really thought your day would end up in the ER.
Defeated, you trudge back to the car, exhausted.. and with a screaming toddler. Not fun.
Or, maybe your experience was even worse— maybe you paid and arm and a leg to visit this cool attraction that gets major kudos as the ‘perfect family friendly destination.’
Only, when you get there you realize that was meant for families with older kids. Your preschooler is bored after 15 minutes.
So, you try to see everything at a turbo charged pace so you don’t waste you money. And then, after about 45 minutes, you trudge back to the car… once again defeated.
All parents of toddlers and preschoolers know that family friendly does not always mean young child friendly.
This list of Best Things to Do In Maryland With Toddlers (and Preschoolers) is geared specifically for the younger crowd.
It includes the best of the best in terms of where to take your toddler so they can safely explore, not become overwhelmed, and have tons of age appropriate activities to keep them engaged.
This list also takes into account Mom and Dad- and the need to not push a stroller up Mt. Everest (for instance).
What made the list? Best Things to Do With Toddlers in Maryland!
If you have kids under the age of 5 you absolutely MUST take them to Storyville. A tot-friendly part of the Rosedale and Woodlawn branches of the Baltimore County Public Library System, Storyville is designed for toddlers and preschoolers in mind. There are building toys, pretend play rooms, a store, a house, a drama room. All of it is designed to be interactive and for younger kids.
Older kids are not even allowed to play here. Check out our review of Storyville here.
2. The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is one of our favorite places to go ever. I seriously cannot gush enough about this zoo. It is very walkable and very stroller friendly. There are tons of young kid friendly play spaces (particularly in the Maryland area of the zoo). The petting farm is great.. kids get to brush goats!
The animals are very close and accessible. And with the renovations to African Journey, your kids can get even closer to the lions, giraffes, and elephants.
3. Greenbrier State Park
Out of all the places to go swimming in Maryland, this is our top pick for families with younger kids. This has always been one of our favorites, but a few years ago Greenbrier had to drain part of the lake to do dam repair.. and that made this great park even better for toddlers and preschoolers. Why? Because now it is more a wading lake than a swimming lake. So there really isn’t a deep end.
4. The Original Playhouse
This little gem in New Market is a house turned into a hands-on playspace for kids. Kids of all ages will love it, but the activities are also super awesome for toddlers and preschoolers. This space is small enough not to be overwhelming and all the rooms have different themes– building, bubbles, crafts, dress up, etc… Find our more information here.
5. Clark’s Elioak Farm
Clark’s Elioak Farm in Clarksville, MD is one of the best places for kids in Maryland, and it is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. There are tons of playground features, all of the Enchanted Forest Nursery Rhyme pieces, and of course… a ton of animals to feed and interact with!
6. Green Meadows Petting Farm
This is another awesome petting farm that is open for Easter egg hunts and then during the summer. If you time it right, your kid can get cozy with some baby animals. Plus they have a ton of fun play equipment.
7. Totsville Indoor Playground
This indoor playroom is Glen Burnie is very age appropriate for toddlers. There is actually a separate area with a ball pit for younger kids. The big draw though is the ginormous indoor sandbox. This indoor playground is made for younger kids.
8. The Wiggle Room
The Wiggle Room opened in 2018 and it is perfect for younger kids. It is an all day, indoor play center located in Crofton, MD that is designed by parents for parents. There is a space for kids ages 1-12, but there is also a sizable area for kids ages 6 and under. Great for toddlers and preschoolers!
9. Busy Bees
Another indoor play space designed specifically for the youngest of kids, Busy Bees features bright, fun, and soft play structures. Highlights include the balloon room, soft blocks, ride-ons, and indoor swings.
10. Stop, Drop, and Play Museum
A fantastic play space in Damascus, MD, the Stop, Drop, and Play Museum combines hands on play with weekly themes. There are tons of fun activities for toddlers and preschoolers here.
11. Irvine Nature Center
There are so many great features for toddlers and preschoolers at this Irvine Nature Center in Baltimore County. The main nature center has a ton of interactive exhibits and a room specifically designed for young kids with books, blocks, and puppets. But the real selling point is the huge outdoor nature playground, where younger kids can safely explore making mud pies, crawling through logs, and more!
12. Robinson Nature Center
The Robinson Nature Center in Columbia, MD is another fantastic option for toddler friendly fun. Their Discovery Room is jam-packed with hands on exploration that is aimed at the 4 and under crowd. The animal exhibits will thrill your kids but not scare them. The nature playground is fun but not overwhelming, and there are numerous short trails that even the youngest of explorers will be able to handle!
13. Little Critter Playground
We love all 25 of the Imagination Playgrounds in Prince George’s County. But some of them are better for toddlers and preschoolers than others. This one is our absolute favorite. Here is why:
- This a lovely themed playground with tons of tunnels and nooks and crannies that will encourage a game of tag or hide and go seek.
- The location, tucked into a neighborhood park and adjacent to a school, is very safe.
- There is plenty of parking right next to the playground.
Note: there were not any potties (public restrooms or port a potties) evident. But the playground is adjacent to a school so that could be an option.
Note: Part One includes the Little Critter Playground. Pare Two incdes the Indian Creek Playground.
14. Indian Creek Playground at Berwyn Heights Park
The Indian Creek Playground at Berwyn Heights Park is the other Imagination Playground that gets two very big thumbs up from us. This playground is really a hidden gem for younger kids. This is why we love it:
- This is a small playground in a quiet neighborhood. There is plenty of shade and picnic tables on site.
- There isn’t a parking lot. But street parking is easy… it is a very quiet and sleepy neighborhood.
- There is plenty of open space for kids to run around and walking/biking paths that lead out of the playground area.
- This playground does have public restrooms on site.
15. Cabin John Regional Park
The regional park in Potomac, MD has so much to offer families with toddlers and preschoolers. You can check out the Locust Grove Nature Center, ride the miniature train (look for dates for their eye-spy trains!), and spend quite a bit of time on the sprawling playground. This playground is shaded and does have a few areas better suited for older kids, but there are plenty of toddler friendly play structures too. Click here for more information.
16. Kinder Farm Park
This lovely park in Anne Arundel County has a huge playground with something for everyone. The toddler friendly areas have a ton of large animals kids can climb on and plenty of toddler friendly swings. There is tons of open space for running around and it’s a very short walk to Kinder Farm, where kids can get super close to farm animals. Click here for more information about visiting.
17. South Germantown Splash Park
If you want to play in the water with your toddler but aren’t into diaper sand, my best bet is this splash park in the South Germantown Regional Park. There are so many fun water features.. it is incredible. But it’s a splash park, not a pool.. and it isn’t overwhelming for little kids.
18. Larriland Farm
There are so many great places to pick fruit in Maryland. If you want a low key place where you literally drive to the fruit fields and pay for your fruit right there, Larriland Farm is the perfect place to check out. You can pick pretty much any fruit here and afterwards your kids will love saying hi to the animals at the main building!
19. Walkersville Southern Railroad
Bigger is not always better, and in the case of toddler-friendly trains, you can’t get much better than the Walkersville Southern Railroad in Frederick County. Their special event trains (Easter Bunny and Santa Trains in particular) are perfect– intimate, comfortable, bright cars, and a very scenic ride!
Read about our experience with the Santa Train here.
20. Imagination Stage in Bethesda
Part of Imagination Stage is My First Imagination Stage ; Children’s Theatre for ages 1-5 years old. The performances are interactive and there are tot friendly classes too (Saturday Song Circle looks awesome!).
21. The Playseum at the Annapolis Mall
The Westfield Annapolis Mall has a lot to offer families with toddler age kids. But one of our favorite activities is playing at the Playseum–part playspace, part toy store– all in for fun. Read our comprehensive review of the Playseum here.
22. Kidz City
This new play space looks so amazing! From their website: Kidz City is an indoor high-level family recreation center that offers quality entertainment for children ages 1-12! Kidz City, blends entertainment and interactive education to create an imaginative, creative, and active environment for children and their families.
Maryland locations in Fulton, Pikesville, and Sykesville. Bubala is an indoor, fun-filled playground designed for all children up to 7 years of age. Bubala was created to not only be fun but also safe and is full of appropriate activities which aspire children to learn independence and social skills while having the time of their lives!
24. Kids Play Gallery
25. The Imaginarium
A fantastic new indoor play space in Southern MD. The Imaginarium boasts an Imagination playground, an indoor playhouse, and Creation Station craft area.
26. AnnMarie Sculpture Garden
I love this garden in Calvert County so much. It is the perfect place to take toddlers and preschoolers too. Why? The Fairy Lolly outdoor nature playground will transform your kids into princesses, fairies, and pirates. The sculpture garden meanders through a gorgeous wooded area. And at the main garden house, your kids can get their hands dirty.. literally. Guests can make any of a number of art projects in the Art Lab.
27. Catoctin Wildlife Preserve
Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is so fantastic for toddlers and preschoolers because there are so many hands on animal interactions. Kids can feed goats, turtles, and fish. There are daily animal encounters, and you can sign up to go on a wildlife safari– and feed even more exotic animals (like buffalo and zebra).
28. Port Discovery
With the major renovations that Port Discovery unveiled in the summer of 2019, the Kidworks (which was fun for older kids but a nightmare for younger kids) was replaced with the Port and Skyclimber. The Skyclimber is probably not age appropriate for toddlers (but preschoolers are going to love it), but the Port is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Plus, there are so many other fantastic exhibits for toddlers and preschoolers.
Our favorites for toddlers include Chessie’s Grotto, Tot Trails, Tiny’s Diner, and Wonders of Water.
29. Maryland Science Center
If you think a Science Center would not be toddler friendly, think again. Toddler friendly exhibits include the entire dinosaur area, the planetarium, Newton’s Alley, and the super cool Kid’s Room on the 4th floor!
30. Pongos Learning Lab
Pongos Learning Lab in Crofton is a STEAM learning wonderland. They also have a great indoor play center for kids under age 6! Kids can drop-in to play all day, with a responsible adult, for $8, or you can sign up for a membership. They have carefully selected toys, books, and activities that are not only fun, but also encourage your child’s love for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
31. Patapsco Valley State PArk
This gem of a State Park is excellent for toddlers and preschoolers. There are so many easy walking paths, a cool waterfall, fishing pond, and the Patapsco River. There are numerous park areas too, each with their own unique playgrounds (including a tire playground that is awesome for younger kids).
Our favorite section of Patapsco Valley State Park is the Avalon/Orange Grove area. Read our review here.
32. The Salisbury Zoo
The Salisbury Zoo on the Eastern Shore is such a great place for toddlers and preschoolers. This is a small zoo that is very stroller friendly but with animals like eagles, parrots, andean bears, alpacas, and more. Plus.. and this is the best part.. it’s completely FREE! This zoo would be an excellent spot to stop to and from the Eastern Shore beaches!
33. Ben’s Red Swings
And if you are visiting the Salisbury Zoo, don’t forget to check out the adjacent playground, Ben’s Red Swings. This is a lovely playground that is great for young kids because most of the playground equipment is fairly low to the ground. And the Salisbury City park is just lovely!
34. Sailwinds Park
Located in Cambridge, MD, Sailwinds Park is another great stopping point for families with young kids headed to the Eastern Shore. I am adding this playground instead of Idlewild Park in Easton (which also looks amazing but may be a little overwhelming for toddlers) because it is a small playground with tons of toddler friendly features. Plus the park includes a lovely walking path along the water, complete with swinging benches!
35. Trimpers Rides
So, if you are headed to Ocean City there are skads of toddler and preschooler friendly attractions. I mean the beach is the best one (I know, obvious). Even Jolly Roger’s Water Park has a massive toddler friendly splash area. But Trimpers Rides at the end of the Boardwalk has the best bet for the youngest kiddos. The indoor rides and games are specifically geared for younger kids.. including kids as young as 1 or 2 years old. And, the best part is that the indoor attractions are open year round! Score!
36. Bibliobop Dance Party
Every 3rd Saturday of the month, the Greenbelt, MD Community Center hosts a dance party specifically for toddlers and preschoolers. The Bibliobop Dance Party is free and there is no registration required. Just come and let your kids get their wiggles out!
37. Family Fun Day At White Marsh Mall
Another great FREE recurring event that toddlers and preschoolers would love is the kiddie concert series every Tuesday morning at the White Marsh Mall. They have an impressive line up of children’s performers.. and did I mention this is a FREE event?
38. CAbin FEver Play Centre
Cabin Fever Play Centre is an indoor playground in Cambridge, MD is a great indoor play option for kids up to age 12. It appears to have play areas that are specifically for toddlers and preschoolers too. So, that is a huge bonus!