Badlands Offers Lots to Explore and Enjoy {+ Birthday Parties!}

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This post is provided in exchange for services with Badlands and we are thrilled to highlight their incredible business to local families!

 

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Badlands is a new nature-inspired play space and interactive environment in Rockville, MD where children can take risks, succeed at challenging themselves, and find their own way.  The space is simply amazing and provides plenty to keep kids ages 2-13 busy for hours. What’s more, there is a wonderful cafe-bar in the facility so parents can enjoy a perfectly made latte while the kids get energy out. We recently had our eight-year-old son’s birthday party there and the kids absolutely loved it. I can’t emphasize enough how impressed I was with the staff, beautiful taste in decorations, and very well planned space for kids to have fun on! You HAVE to check it out! 

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The Massive Play Area That is Fun for ALL ages

Right when you walk into Badlands, the kids basically run to where their eyes are drawn. There are giant mountain structures with slides, stairs, and interesting terrain to help kids take responsible risks. They have a beautiful, real looking forest for kids to roam through complete with rocks below. The baby area is complete with smaller structures that are more manageable for their bodies. And there are climbing areas against the walls in the back. Each space is perfectly curated for fun! It really is an inspiring, enjoyable place to be! Sometimes when I walk in kids “play places” I immediately want to leave because it feels claustrophobic and overwhelming. Badlands is different, especially with their cafe-bar! 
 

How many times do parents rack their brain thinking of the perfect site to keep ALL the kids engaged? The park might be too basic for the older kids, and the museum fail to keep a two-year-old’s attention. Here, our two-year-old explored for two straight hours while the older kids climbed the mountain and engaged with the more complex offerings. And at the end of this, no one wanted to leave. It really is a magical place! 

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The Workshop & Rotating Exhibits

To the left of the mountain is the Workshop. The Workshop has several tables with bins of Legos on hand for kids to create things. The leaders in the room give kids a task to accomplish in a certain amount of time. All of the kids take this very seriously and are proud of their work. Instead of following printed Lego instructions, kids imagine their own creations in the workshop. Behind the bar at the workshop is another staff member engaging with kids to ensure they are making the most of their time. They also have a carpeted area with items for smaller kiddos to play with. Additionally, they have several animals in tanks or cages for people to look at in the Workshop. Want to see an Australian Bearded Dragon or a Chameleon? They have them! This room alone could keep a child busy for hours!
 
A few steps away from the Workshop are two rotating exhibits. The slightly smaller one was a butterfly room this summer! (All of this is included with your admission!). The second room was recently transformed into a farmyard complete with a red barn, hay all over the ground, and mini tractors for races around the track. Our toddler loved it! These areas are well planned and executed so well. As you look around, it is clear how much thought, love, and time went into imagining and creating this unique space for kids. 
 
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Birthday Parties at Badlands

Badlands Birthday parties are top notch. To put it simply, they have a gorgeous place where kids are entertained for hours by thinking creatively, getting energy out, and having fun. Badlands has it all! Plus, they have four classy spacious, separate, well-lit pavillions for events. The birthday party packages include the pavilion, giant table covered with parchment paper, chalkboard decorated with the birthday child’s name, and all of the plates/ napkins/ silverware! We chose to upgrade our party with the dinosaur theme add-on package. Everything was stunning, better than what I could have imagined myself! As you can see, the set-up is truly adorable! Right when you walk in, you are introduced to your party host who helps facilitate play, serves food, and helps with all the birthday party activities.

At our party, they included all the fruit, pizza, juice boxes, water, and ALL the decorations including cutlery, plates, and cups. They have options to offer more food, but this is what we chose. All I did was walk in with a cake and enjoy myself! After the pizza and cake was eaten and “Happy Birthday” was sung, they rolled in their famous candy cart. The kids (and adults) eyes were aglow. It was like Willy Wonka’s Factory was sitting in a single magical cart outfitted with actual sparkling lights and glitter tassels. The host let everyone pick out candy and bagged it for each child. This was their party favor (something else I didn’t have to plan to bring). All of the kids left happy and ready for a good nights sleep because of Badlands. And I miraculously still felt peaceful after a kid’s birthday party! Normally, I’m frazzled. But I honestly credit Badlands inspiring space and helpful staff for such a successful party. My mom friends were impressed with it too. 

Lastly, I want to mention that events and parties at Badlands weather-proofs your plans! Luckily, we have some great options in the DC area for kids to get energy out, but now I now put Badlands on the top of that list. It is an immersive play space that recreates an outdoor space in the comfort of a gigantic indoor facility. All while parents enjoy their time too!

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The Amazing Staff Facilitates Kids’ Play

One of the most impressive aspects of the Badlands experience is watching how the staff engages the kids. They do a great job making sure kids are playing safe, but they do so much more. Staff is clearly a priority to them. During our afternoon party, the staff led the kids in several engaging games on the grounds, facilitated a Lego building competition in the Workshop, and introduced the kids to the array of animals they have on-site. We, of course, watch our kiddos as best we can, but I love that someone else is making sure they are safe and having fun too! 
 
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Courtney was born and raised in Louisiana where she met her husband (married in 2005). Since then they have moved several times, but finally feel very settled in NW DC after moving back a little over two years ago. She has four energetic kids: Cormac (2010), Evangeline (2013), and Solomon (2016), and Antoinette (2019). She thinks motherhood is absolutely wonderful, but she is constantly challenged and stretched in ways she couldn't have imagined. She spends her days talking Star Wars, legos, playing dress-up, and chasing her toddler. We all know motherhood is challenging so she wanted to band together with other mothers to start this site to inspire, learn, and grow together. She loves morning coffee, chocolate, chatting with people since she's an extrovert, a clean house (which is rare these days). She dislikes when her kids don't listen the first time, she abhors littering, and doesn't enjoy shopping. 

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