Badlands Children’s Play Space “Pivots” – Donates Massive Space to Local Non-profit While Exploring Smaller Footprint

by MCS Staff

Badlands, a children’s play space that offered a nature inspired, interactive environment for learning through risk and play, has been closed since March of 2020.

The play space, located in Loehmann’s Plaza (Rockville/North Bethesda), recently announced a “pivot” that involves donating a massive space to CityDance School and Conservatory– a nonprofit dance institution dedicated to developing young dance artists and innovators.

Their full statement can be seen below:

​“The climate of the Covid19 Pandemic was devastating to our business; it forced our shut down resulting in the loss of memberships and staff.  Despite this, we never lost sight of our mission:

We are committed to growing a conscious community by challenging ourselves to embrace uncertainty with bold imagination and curiosity.

We are pleased to announce that one of the ways we will achieve this moving forward will be through collaboration with our new partners at CityDance.

CityDance School and Conservatory – – is a nonprofit dance institution dedicated to developing the next generation of dance artists and innovators.

At their studios and community sites located across the national capital region, CityDance trains young dancers for professional careers, nurtures talent and achievement through dance, and works to advance the field of professional dance. Anchored in a belief that diversity advances excellence, CityDance works to create opportunities that promote equitable access to dance education and performance.

Through partnership, Badlands and CityDance will provide programming centered on the unique cultures, histories and voices of our communities, artists and students.”


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Chris Reynolds December 15, 2021 - 12:47 pm

This is too bad. Badlands was really, really cool. It’s tragic that there’s just no way to make it work during a long pandemic. I hope they’re eventually able to bounce back and reopen, but that seems unlikely given the level of investment they clearly put into that place, all the back-rent, and other challenges. I wish them all the best; what they created was a blast for my kids to run around and explore.

Steven Thompson June 29, 2022 - 9:20 pm

I really hope they make better use of this shopping center. It has a lot of potential due to its central location, and I’m sure opening something like a Starbucks would change the entire dynamic. It could even turn into an extension of Pike&Rose or something similar if a few nice restaurants settle in.


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