Wheaton Regional Park – Glenallen Area
1800 Glenallen Ave
Wheaton, MD 20902
After visiting the Wheaton Regional Adventure Playground (Click here to read about it!), we walked over to Brookside Gardens. It was a .7 mile scenic walk on a (hilly!) paved trail – we took a little detour to enjoy the views of Pine Lake. If you want a longer walk, the trail loops all the way around the lake so you could do that as well (the trail that immediately surrounded the lake turned into hard-packed gravel but would be fine for an all-terrain stroller)! I brought the double stroller and so glad I did. There was a lot of walking n the garden area itself (it was so much bigger than I thought!) so it would have been too much for them to walk the whole time.
The gardens cover over 50 acres and are SO beautiful and well maintained. We were her in early April and were just a little early for the peak of their spectacular tulip display. Seasonally they offer an amazing walk-through Christmas light display and a “wings of fancy” butterfly exhibit (fingers crossed that both of these will happen in 2021/2022)! There is a small children’s garden/play area outside of the visitor center and a storybook trail (pick up map at the visitor center). There is also nature center with trails and a nature play space, but we didn’t get to explore there this visit.
The girls had SO much fun just wandering through the paths, walking over the bridges, looking in the streams and at all the flowers. We easily spent over 2 hours here and barely scratched the surface. Next time we will plan to spend a whole day just at the gardens. It was extremely busy (beautiful day AND off school!) but we had no problem keeping our distance and just kept the girls close to me. I did hear that the parking lot was full and the cars were lined up outside to get in – we didn’t run into this problem because we parked at the playground and walked over – but just something to keep in mind if you plan to visit during a peak time.
If you visit their website, they have a breakdown of what is usually in bloom each month. So if there is something specific you want to see, you can check their list and plan your visit around that. Also important to note – there are several rules for the gardens to keep in mind (you can find the list on their website)! Biggest one being no food or drink! We did see several other families with toddlers having a snack but definitely no picnics and make sure you take care of your trash. Other rules include no dogs, no feeding fish/geese, no bikes/scooters, etc – so just read those over before you go! These rules only apply to the Brookside Gardens portion of the park – not the entire Wheaton Regional Park.
Highly, highly recommend planning a trip to spend the day at Wheaton Regional Park this spring. We will absolutely be back to explore more!
🚽 Bathrooms 🚽: bathrooms were open and clean inside the visitor center
👩👧👦Solo w/ kids?👩👧👦: yes – but I preferred to have help to make sure the girls weren’t trying to pick flowers or walk in the garden beds
🛒 Stroller friendly?🛒: yes
🦠Covid-safe🦠: can get very busy so avoid peak times if you prefer. I kept the girls close in the garden and had no problem keeping our distance.
🅿️Parking🅿️: free parking lot next to the gardens, or park by playground or nature center and walk (about 15 min)
🧺 Picnic tables: NO picnics allowed in the garden area. Tons of picnic opportunities elsewhere in the park.