Brookside Gardens is one of my all-time gardens near Washington DC in Maryland. Not only is it award-winning but it’s HUGE, with 50 acres for you to enjoy in Montgomery County Maryland! It’s also very child friendly with a playground and paved walkways for strollers. And did I mention it’s free! Unlike many of the gardens in DC, this one is completely free to enter and enjoy!
Brookside Gardens During Coved-19
Is Brookside Gardens open during the pandemic? The short answer is YES! Brookside Gardens is part of the Montgomery County Parks, NOT the Maryland State Parks. The grounds of Brookside Gardens are open sunrise to sunset, Monday to Sunday, but Montgomery County Parks has closed the Visitor Center. Bathrooms and playgrounds are also closed. But the gardens are still beautiful and perfect for an outdoor stroll during the pandemic.
Brookside Gardens has plenty of free and available parking. Though during the pandemic Montgomery County Parks has blocked off some parking to limit the number of visitors at one time and promote social distancing. I’ve been here during the weekday and on the weekend and have never have had trouble finding a parking spot even with some of the lot blocked off.
How Crowded is Brookside Gardens
Brookside Gardens is not crowded at all! We have been here several times all throughout spring and have not had problems maintaining social distancing. The people we encountered were mostly very respectful of social distancing guidelines and we all stayed 6+ feet away from each other.
Brookside Gardens is a large space with plenty to explore so there’s no real problem maintaining social distance here. Brookside has limited the amount of parking available also to prevent crowds.
Brookside Gardens for Kids
The Gardens is still a great place for kids. My daughter loves playing in the area around the Japanese Tea House. There’s multiple bridges to access the Tea House surrounded by water. She loves to pretend that the Tea House is an actual house on a lake!
Brookside is relatively stroller friendly, with mostly paved trails. There are a few areas, mostly the azalea garden that is a mulched path.
The playground and kids garden is amazing at Brookside Gardens. There’s a little playhouse, play kitchen, boat, car, and so many fun things at the playground! During the pandemic, however, Montgomery County Parks has closed the kid’s playground.
Flowers that Bloom at Brookside Gardens
Cherry Blossoms in March
Brookside is one of the best alternatives to cherry blossoms in DC! They have 2 huge willow cherry trees that are absolutely stunning and bloom around the same time as the Yoshino trees in Washington DC.
And of course, there’s not really any crowds for the cherry blossoms here! Brookside is one of my favorite places to see cherry blossoms in Maryland.
Tulips in April
My absolute favorite time to visit Brookside Gardens is during spring for the tulips! There’s quite a few places to see tulips in DC, but Brookside remains my favorite for a number of reasons. First, it’s never crowded here! I’ve always enjoyed the tulips basically with just a few other people.
Second, the tulips are absolutely stunning here! When they are in full bloom it’s hard not to imagine that you are in Holland! You are literally surrounded by colorful tulips. Not only that, but I also love how Brookside color coordinates the tulips into a truly stunning garden!
They plant quite a variety of tulips here so you can really catch them from about the 2nd week of April all the way to the end of April.
Wisteria in Late April
Just as the tulips start to fade at Brookside, the stunning wisteria starts to bloom! I absolutely adore the smell of wisteria and there’s plenty of it at Brookside. There’s even white wisteria that grows on one of the bridges. Personally I find the best time to see wisteria at Brookside to be around the last week of April.
Roses from May to September
Brookside brings in beautiful roses that scent this amazing garden once tulip season is over. Last year was the first year I’ve gone to the rose garden and I can’t believe I waited so long! It smells magnificent!
As much as I want to grow my own garden, I definitely DON’T have a green thumb, so it’s nice having easy access to such a perfect garden right next to my house. Especially during the pandemic, it’s nice to have a change of scenery for our daily stroll!