Turkey Thicket Rec Center and Playground

1100 Michigan Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20017

happyly approved

Large playground with varied play structures from toddlers to tweens.

Take your Entire Family to Turkey Thicket Recreation Center in Northeast DC.

Turkey Thicket sits right off Michigan Avenue in the Brookland neighborhood. It’s an easy stroll from the Brookland/Catholic University Metro, but there is also a parking lot in case you'd prefer to drive. Restrooms are located inside the rec center. There is a small covered picnic area with tables and the park features tennis courts, ball fields, a walking track, fitness center, indoor pool, and most important to caretakers, a fabulous playground, and in the warmer months a splash park.

The center of the playground is an enormous train structure with rock walls and tunnels. There are swings, a merry-go-round, monkey bars, a modern version of a seesaw, a play village, cars, and a great rolling slide. The large playground jumbles structures for the younger and older set together and includes swings, a merry-go-round, a roller slide, musical pipes, and multiple climbing structures. There is also a nice-sized splash pad. My kids also like to play on the adult exercise equipment further up the hill. Kids can also be seen playing on the adjacent tennis courts or on the basketball courts and playing fields on the other side of the rec center. The large rec center not only offers bathrooms but a gym and an indoor pool (with kiddie pool) as well. The mature trees provide plenty of shade for the surrounding lawns, which makes this a nice spot for picnics. Lots of benches and places to sit and observe the kids - some even shaded. The playground is also large enough for class playdates. Bring lots of water and snacks because one can easily spend a few hours here with a variety of play opportunities. I never found it easy to convince my grandgirls that it was time to leave, but a few hidden fruit snacks for bribery did the trick!

Refuel or Stock Up On Groceries 

There is a MOM's Organic Market on 12th Street about a block from the park with a lot of really unique, healthy, and organic foods you and your kids will not see elsewhere. I found it very convenient for grabbing snacks and drinks on the way to the park or picking up dinner supplies on my way home. Bonus: they have their own parking lot. 12th Street also boasts a number of delicious restaurants. Kid-friendly Masala Story is one of our favorites. Menomale, a delicious pizza resturant is also only a five minute drive from Turkey Thicket! 

Surround Yourself With Peaceful Beauty

The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is just minutes away also, a great place to picnic, scooter, and just relax. It is known as an "oasis of peace" for good reason.


Dar Banks
Seattle, WA
More activities by Dar
Large playground with varied play structures from toddlers to tweens.
A playground in the Brookland neighborhood of DC.
Pick your apples in fall, berries in summer.


Parking Restrooms Good for All Ages Picnic Tables Splashpad

Nearby Recommendations

Recommended Gear