DC’s summer is here in full effect, which can make chasing your little on the playground a sweaty endeavor. Hit one of these DC-area playgrounds where you can count on some trees or well placed umbrellas to beat the heat on a hot day. Scroll down for the best well shaded playgrounds in the DMV. Don’t forget the sunblock!
Watkins Regional Park
Approximately a 30 min. trip from downtown DC, this park is worth the drive. Once you arrive (note: there is ample parking), follow the yellow brick road (follow, follow, follow, follow) to a magical, Wizard of Oz-themed playground. Slide down Dorothy's ruby slippers and climb up Emerald City's castle. Due to the Insta-worthy play structures, this no-admission park can get crowded. If the park feels too peopley, head to Watkins Playground #2, a less coveted play space that has ample room to run around. There are plenty of trees for those wishing to duck out of the sun.
Where: 301 Watkins Park Dr., Upper Marlboro, MD
This playground has it all: a toddler play area for the littles, a massive climb-on structure that is possibly the largest piece of playground equipment in DC (!), cabin-like structures, a water spray pad and more. There are mature trees surrounding this play area and the toddler area is completely shaded (perfect for these dog days of summer!). If your little wants to cool off without getting sprayed, there is also a water table.
Where: 5900 33rd St. NW, Upper Chevy Chase
This playground is partially shaded; there are umbrella structures for those looking to take a break from the sun's rays. But the real draw here is the spray pad that sits next to the play structures. Need to cool off? Let the wee ones run through the spray fountains. Bonus: the area is gates so they cool off without escaping! The playground itself lots of things to climb, like ropes, walls and monkey bars. Older kids will enjoy the near-by skate park.
Insider tip: This small parking lot fills up fast, so get here early. Or park on Reno Road and enjoy a short walk along a trail.
Where: 5200 Sherier Place NW, Palisades
Burke Lake Parks
This 888-acre park has it all: mini golf, an ice cream parlor, boat rentals, an ice cream parlor, a 4.7-mile flat trail, a mini train, an ice cream parlor, a carousel, several playsets situated among the trees to keep them cool and shaded – and did we mention an ice cream parlor? Check the website for details on events such as the Full Moon Boat Tour ($6, July 26 at 8:30 p.m.) for ages 6 and up and Campfire Saturdays: Stargazing ($6, 8:30 p.m.) for ages 3 and up.
Where: 7315 Ox Rd., Fairfax Station, VA