Like I wrote yesterday, last week I spent part of the day in jury duty. After I was free to leave at 1 p.m. I decided to check out a few nearby places since I was already in the vicinity of them. First I made a brief stop a His Lordship’s Kindness, which I already wrote about in that post.

After that stop I headed further north into Largo, where I decided to visit Watkins Regional Park. I’ve been to that park a few times in the past, mostly to check out the annual Festival of Lights that is held around Christmas (although the last time I went was in 2014).

I wanted to visit the park at a time other than Christmas mainly because I had heard that they had remodeled the playground into something that’s based on The Wizard of Oz. I went there to check it out and it is just as awesome as some of the pictures I’ve seen posted on Facebook.

Getting to this playground of magic and dreams is way easier than what Dorothy in the movie had to do in order to get to Oz. You won’t need to wait for a tornado to rip your home off its foundations—all you have to do is drive down the Capital Beltway (I-495), take Exit 15A (Central Avenue) going east, then drive for about three miles until you turn right on Watkins Park Drive (Route 193). Go through the main park entrance on your right then follow the signs that point towards the playground. Park in the parking lot that’s nearest to the playground then follow the yellow brick road…

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…until you find the Wizard of Oz playground.

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The entire playground is designed to invoke the various locations that were mentioned in both the book and movie versions including Kansas and Oz itself. The main characters are also present as well.

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Children will have loads of fun playing on the various playground equipment, such as these sliding boards shaped like ruby red shoes. For their adult companions, there are signs throughout the playground explaining the story and even making comparisons between the original book and the classic Judy Garland movie.

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Everywhere you go there is total eye candy that’s designed to appeal to children and adults alike.

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The colorful ground is made out of a very springy material that’s incredibly soft to walk on. (The reason why you see snow in some of these photos is because there was a very minor snowstorm that took place a couple of days earlier and the very cold temperatures preserved some of that snow that fell.)

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The nearby bathrooms have various Oz characters painted on the outside.

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If all that isn’t enough, there is even an area next to the playground that feature trees with faces.

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It has got to be the coolest playground I’ve ever come across. The only reason why there aren’t any children in these photos is because 1) I had arrived at the park on a Tuesday afternoon when the kids were still in school and 2) the temperature was around 25 degrees Fahrenheit and it was windy as well. Watkins Park have a few other cool attractions within walking distance of the Wizard of Oz playground, including a carousel, a nature center, and a train ride. Most of the attractions were closed when I was there because I visited in January. I made a mental note to return to Watkins Park sometime in the spring when the weather will be warmer and more attractions will be open for the season.

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