Fenced Playgrounds, Howard County, Mulch-Free Playgrounds, Paved Trails, Playgrounds

Blandair Regional Park

Blandair Regional Park
5700 Oakland Mills Rd. 
Columbia, MD 

We finally made it to the new “Play for All” Playground at Blandair Regional park and boy was it worth the wait! This park opened in May and while I’ve been dying to visit, I wanted to give the crowds a chance to die down, then the cicadas, then the heat, etc. So happy we were finally able to visit! 

Blandair Regional has THREE playgrounds – The new, HUGE one is considered Blandair North. The older (but still nice and updated!) is Blandair West. The third – a challenge course – located in the East area. I will include information about Blandair East and West at the end of this post!

Blandair North

The Blandair North playground is nicknamed the “playground for all” – about 80% of the equipment is accessible! The playground is FULLY fenced with a DOUBLE gate that closes and locks (child proof locks!) – this is a huge help especially since the space is SO big!

The park is dedicated to former recreation chief bureau Laura Wetherald, who worked for Howard County Parks and Rec for 34 years and passed away unexpectedly in February 2021. For more info on her legacy, click here.

The playground is HUGE and divided into several themed sections labelled with ages (though obviously these are flexible – my girls enjoyed all the areas!) We counted SIXTEEN slides throughout the playground! There is some unique equipment here that I’ve never seen anywhere else (especially in the lower area), and TONS of smaller hands on activities built in the the equipment and spread out throughout the park.

The different areas are as follows:

🐮Farm area: Ages 2-5 (SO great for crawlers!)
🦖 Dinosaur/Ship area: Ages 2-5
🚀 Spaceship: Ages 5-12 (SUPER tall slides) 
⭐️ Swings: for all ages and abilities
🌈 A huge open area with unique equipment. Not sure what to call this section but it was labelled for ages 5-12. I think it was great for all ages! 
🎶 A sound garden
🌳 Tree walk: board walk area – ages 2-12. A nice break from the busy playground!

Farm Area: Designed for Ages 2-5

This area is SO great for babies/young toddlers. While it is designated for ages 2-5, I think any babies that are sitting up/crawling would be able to have fun here! The entire play area sits on soft artificial turf. There is a barn structure to wander through with little benches built in that my youngest loved sitting and climbing on. There are several musical elements, a giant horse and pig, hay bales to climb on, a small tunnel and 2 large shades over head (a butterfly and a flower!)

Dinosaur Area: Designed for Ages 2-5

Right next to the farm area is the dinosaur themed playground! This area is designed for ages 2-5, but my 17 month old LOVED it – I think as long as you child is a stable walker, this space is great for them! The structure is low to the ground and sits on rubber surface. There is only ONE small opening where children could potentially fall (about 5 feet high) so I just kind of stood near that area and she was able to have free reign everywhere else! The twins loved this area as well – they could do everything themselves, the slides weren’t too steep, and the dinosaur details were SO cool!

Spaceship Area: Designed for Ages 5-12

This area is definitely best for older kids – but the twins (3.5) still had a blast on most of the equipment here. The slides are HUGE and there is a spiral staircase through the main structure to get to the top. This made it easy for the twins to get up there (and for parents – if your kid needs help!). There is a huge control board for the space ship, monkey bars, small sliding zipline bars, and nearly a dozen slide on this structure alone!

Swings

There are several swings – 4 traditional, 2 toddlers swings, 2 accessible swings, and a large blue raft style swing (I believe this is accessible as well!)

Open Play Area: Designed for Ages 5-12

From the spaceship playground, the rubber playground surface slopes down a hill to the lower portion of the playground. There are structures built into the hill including a rope bridge climber and these unique rainbow arches that you could crawl through (this was one of my girls favorite parts!)

The lower section includes some really unique equipment that I’d never seen before – a raft swing, the biggest rope climber I’d ever seen, a merry-go-round that is flush with the ground, something called a see-saw snake (we used it as a balance beam but its supposed to be a seesaw for up to 20 kids!) and more! I loved all the bright colors down here and how everything was so spread out. My youngest loved just having the open space to wander around on the rubber surface.

Sound Garden

At the very back of the playground is a nice sound garden with multiple chimes, xylophones, etc.

Tree Walk

Right next to the main entrance is the “Tree Walk” – a short boardwalk with a few shaded areas. there is not much to this area but my girls loved running the loop around the boardwalk over and over!

Getting to Blandair Regional Park North

The address for the playground is 5700 Oakland Mills Rd. However, when I put this into my GPS I still somehow went to the wrong area o the park. When you get to the roundabout, make sure you follow signs for Oakland Mills Rd. NORTH. If you end up in a different area of the park, the best thing to do is look around for signs for “north area”. The park is well labelled so it’s not too bad to et yourself back on track!

Blandair North Breakdown:

👩‍👧‍👦Solo w/ kids?: This really depends! If you can go early and avoid crowds, it was okay. I took my 3 kiddos on my own early in the morning and we were fine! However had it been really busy, I would not have been comfortable bringing them on my own. My girls are pretty good at staying close to me/not wandering off, so that helps a lot at a playground this size.
🛒 Stroller friendly?: yes
😷: brand new and known to be very busy. Popular destination for camps during the summer. We were there from 8-9:30 on a cloudy weekday and it was not busy at all, but lots of people were arriving by the time we left.
🅿️: big parking lot
⏰: 2+ hours
🧺 Picnic Tables: yes, under pavilion within playground fence
🐶 Dog friendly: Couldn’t find an answer to this! Not sure if dogs are allowed in the playground area, but they are in the rest of the park
🏖 Shade: there are shaded benches around the playground and a few shade coverings over the equipment but otherwise the playground is full sun. I would expect that this one gets very hot on sunny summer days!

What else is around the playground?

Within the playground fence there is pavilion with picnic tables. Outside the playground fence there are super clean bathrooms! There is also a beautiful pavilion, bocci ball courts and croquet. There are TONS of paved trails throughout the park that connect the different areas. We didn’t want any of the trails but it is definitely possible to walk between all three areas. This is a great way to get some exercise and explore the rest of the park, or bring your kiddos bikes and let them ride around!

Blandair Park West Area

Not to be forgotten is the playground in the West area of Blandair Park! While this playground is much smaller in comparison to the new one, it is still a great size and very nice! The equipment is relatively new and sits on artificial turf. There is a huge shade covering over the smaller play structure which is great for hot days! It is located near the sports field so can get busy when there is a sporting event going on. Otherwise, I expect that it would be much less crowded now that the new playground is open.

Blandair Park East Area

In the east area of Blandair Park, this is a really cool challenge course! Kids can hit the timer and race the clock to complete the obstacle course. This is a great activity for especially for older kids who may be starting to outgrow traditional playgrounds.

An amazing place to play!

We had so much fun visiting Blandair Regional Park. You could really spend an entire day here between the new big playground and exploring the other areas of the park. Highly recommend checking this one out!

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