While your kids may never tire from swings and slides, they may want a change of scenery. From climbs that are vertical, horizontal, and every which way, check out these you-have-to-see-them-to-believe-them D.C. area playgrounds sprinkled with awesome structures that aren’t quite for those afraid of heights.

wheaton-regional-parkPhoto: Davies M. via Yelp

Wheaton Regional Park
Whether your carabin-ee is two or twelve, the Adventure Playground inside Wheaton Regional Park has the perfect climbing challenge. The Tot Lot’s got a low-lying ropes course, which is what you get when you cross a rope ladder with monkey bars. Older kiddos will love the amazing twin rope pyramids connected by a wobbly (but safe) rope bridge. Also check out the three giant slides, climbing hill, miniature train and carousel. And don’t leave without enjoying a picnic on the shores of Pine Lake, just a short walk away.

2000 Shorefield Rd. (Wheaton, Md)
301-495-2595
Online: montgomeryparks.org

garfield-park-ropesPhoto: Garfield Park via Flickr

Garfield Park
Both tykes and the ‘rents have been known to enjoy weaving in, out, and through the handful of rope nets, and the tower and pyramid in this pooch-friendly park nestled in Capitol Hill. Spend enough time here and everyone will start to feel like an itsy bitsy spider! Tip: Make sure everyone uses the potty before they head out the door since the only bathroom facilities available are for our four-legged friends (aka, the grass).

148 F St., SE (Capitol Hill)
202-543-6232
Online: garfieldparkwashingtondc.org

harry-thomas-sr-playgroundPhoto: DCDGS via Flickr

Harry Thomas Sr. Playspace
You see ordinary curlicues? The designers of the Playspace see the Fibonacci spiral. There’s even a plaque at the playground where you and the little mathematicians can learn all about it. Or, they can just play on the swirls, curls, and whirls. Check out the wobbly tunnel in the area for big busy bodies, and the four-person see-saw in the area for smaller ones. Bonus: There are four other playgrounds within a mile.

1743 Lincoln Rd., NE (Eckington)
202-673-7647
Online: dpr.dc.gov

tuckahoe-park-arlingtonPhoto: arlingtonva.us

Tuckahoe Park
The rope climb at this park is not for the faint of heart! It is over 20-feet high! Make sure the munchkins are ready to make it up and down themselves, or be prepared for an adventure of your own. No fret, if today turns out to not be the day for a two-storey climb, check out the tire dish swing or standing see-saw.

2400 N Sycamore St. (Arlington, Va)
703-228-6525
Online: parks.arlingtonva.us

castle-park-marylandPhoto: Sokha A. via Yelp

Adventure Playground
Locals call this “Castle Park” because its main feature is a castle, which means there are a few towers to be scaled. Would rather be “at sea”? Your lil’ pirates can board the play-ships using steep planks or ladders. And for the tiny x-gamers, check out the mini rock-climbing wall. Bring your own spotter (aka, the parental units)!

17920 Germantown Park Dr. (Germantown, Md)
301-670-4660
Online: montgomeryparks.org

#11 Make the "Awakening" sculpture at National Harbor your playground.Photo: National Harbor

National Harbor
Can your pint-sized excavator help the giant free itself from the banks of the Potomac River? That is, if she can reach its fingertips that scale almost 2-stories into the air! Just beware, this 5-piece sculpture sits in a giant sandbox so be ready for some clean-up before heading home (or for lunch at one of the dozens of National Harbor eateries).

165 Waterfront St. (National Harbor, Md)
Online: nationalharbor.com

Are there any other playgrounds with cool climbing structures around D.C.? Let us know in the Comments section below. 

—Lisa Ng