Beat the Heat This Summer

Spray grounds and splash pads are a relatively new addition to the landscape around the DMV, where little ones can play in the spray, splash in the sun, and cool down with just a swim suit, waterproof sandals and some sunscreen. My first experience with a spray ground was in Central Park with my grandson two summers ago. It is still one of his favorite places to check out on a hot summer day. Rather than you go to New York City to cool off, here are some closer spray parks.

Rockville’s Fountain on the Square

Rockville’s Fountain on the Square gives you twenty jets of water shooting up out of the ground in the center of a tiled circle. Running from May through September, this fountain in the middle of Rockville Town Square is very popular. Before or after cooling down, soak up some of the square’s shopping and dining.

Rockville Town Square
12 N Washington St. (Rockville, MD)
Cost: Free
Dates: Memorial Day- first week in October
Open: Mon-Thu, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun, 12 p.m.-8 p.m.

South Germantown Splash Ground

Germantown has some of the best parks around! The Splash Ground at South Germantown Recreational Park has a 280-jet water maze, mist-spraying faux rock formations; a waterfall-enclosed cave; and, yes, buckets brimming with cold water that randomly dump. You’ll also find smaller fountains for the less enthusiastic munchkins. There’s also tables with umbrellas for shade and a mini-golf area.

18056 Central Park Circle (Boyds, Md)
Cost: $5.50
Dates: Memorial Day-Labor Day
Times: Daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Downtown Silver Spring Fountain

Silver Spring has spray grounds too! There is a fountain and water park located right at Silver Spring’s popular downtown plaza. Don’t miss the summer program of live adult music in the evenings and live children’s music every other Wednesday morning! There are lots of new restaurants around this plaza in case you get the munchies after an hour of water play!

916 Ellsworth Dr. (Silver Spring, Md)
Cost: Free
Dates: Memorial Day–Labor Day
Times: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Petworth Spray Park

You don’t have to go to the suburbs to visit the spray grounds! The Petworth Spray Park is a popular spot in D.C. A nice-sized concrete space is jam-packed with a combo of small and large fountains that manage to drench you from both above and below. There isn’t a lot of shade here so you might want to bring an umbrella.

801 Taylor St., NW (Petworth)
Cost: Free
Dates: Memorial Day-Labor Day
Open: Daily, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Georgetown Waterfront Park

The fifty foot space at the Georgetown Waterfront is filled with water arcs to soak anyone nearby. As you watch your little ones splash in the water spray, you can enjoy views of water activities and boats on the Potomac or dry off on the River Steps with a perfect view.

Georgetown Waterfront
Wisconsin Ave. and K St. NW
Cost: Free
Dates: Memorial Day-Labor Day
Open: Daily

Yards Park

Yards Park is a 5.5 acre treasure tucked along the banks of the Anacostia river in D.C.’s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. There is plenty of space to spread out, a free moon bounce for kids, live music on Thursday and Friday nights, peaceful garden spaces, incredible views, and water play! A fountain pours into a large canal where kids are free to splash and plunge. At 11 inches deep, the water is just the right level to keep kids safe and help parents stay relatively dry.

355 Water St., SE (Navy Yards)
Cost: Free
Dates: Memorial Day-Labor Day
Open: Daily, 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

Fairfax Corner Interactive Fountain

Virginia has its own spray grounds so there is no need to cross the river to get a good soaking and lots of laughs! The central plaza of Fairfax Town Center offers an easy-going fountain with smaller sprays that slowly build up, which makes it perfect for younger children.

11900 Palace Way (Fairfax, Va)
Cost: Free
Dates: Memorial Day – Labor Day
Times: Monday-Thursday, 9 am–10 pm; Friday and Saturday, 9 am–11 pm; Sunday, 11 am–9 pm

Ocean Dunes Waterpark

Ocean Dunes Waterpark is a popular feature of Arlington’s Upton Hill Regional Park, where you can slip down a 170-foot closed slide in complete darkness! Upton offers a nice mix of pristine wooded parkland and wild water fun, plus mini-golf and batting cages.

6060 Wilson Blvd.  (Arlington, Va)
Cost: $5.25-$8.75
Dates: Memorial Day-Labor Day
Times: Daily, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

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