March 13, 2011

Centennial Park (Howard County, MD)

This weekend, we had one of those rare Saturdays with nothing on the calendar.  The weather was supposed to be pretty nice, a little chilly, but sunny, so it was decided that the day's plans should include some time outside.  Unfortunately, the kids couldn't agree on what to do.  The girls were begging to go to Annie's Playground, but my son wanted to go on a hike.  We decided it would be best to divide and conquer ~ Daddy would take the girls to Annie's Playground ( a must-do if you live in Maryland!!) and I'd go hiking with my little dude.

Because we've had so much rain lately, I was worried that most of our usual favorite places to hike would be too muddy.  Then I remembered  Centennial Park near Columbia in Howard County.  It was a great way to enjoy nature without getting our sneakers all muddy.  There's a 2 1/2 mile paved path around the lake which is a great distance ~ long enough to relax and walk around, but not so long that my seven year old was too tired.  It would be a great place to walk with a stroller if you have a little one or go for a scenic bike ride. We saw lots of geese and other birds, even a pretty white heron (or crane, or some big bird with long skinny legs!).  The boat dock wasn't open yet for the season, but we definitely want to go back later in the Spring or Summer to rent a kayak or paddle boat.

On the shore of the lake.

He was convinced that an animal lived in this "cave", so he was acting like a bear!
Stopping on one of the little bridges.

After our "hike", we stopped at the big playground for a bit.  My little guy loved it (especially the rock wall).  I liked that it had the soft squishy padding as a base instead of mulch, so we didn't have to worry about it being wet or muddy. 

What a cool playground!

Look at that gorgeous blue sky on an "almost Spring" day!
He loved the rock wall!

It had been a couple of years since I'd taken the kids there, but I'll definitely go back more often this year now that I've been reminded how much there is for us to do.  Oh, and there are lots of pavilions and picnic tables scattered around the park, so next time I'll pack a lunch and spend a few hours there.


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