The lazy hazy days of summer certainly apply to the humid months that are the hallmarks of summer in the DC Metro Area. As tempting as it might be to jump in the Reflecting Pool to cool down, there are far better spots for relief from the heat.
The Downtown Silver Spring fountain known as Silver Plaza is a short walk from the Silver Spring Metro Station and is a fun free place to play thanks to water jets that jut out from the circular mosaic tiles that are flush with the ground. Kids squeal and run through the fountain while caregivers and passersby can sit at nearby tables. With an abundance of kid friendly eateries (Lebanese Taverna Café, Nando's Peri Peri, Eggspectation, Potbelly, Austin Grill) in the immediate vicinity of the fountain, there's no need to bring your own food unless your little ones are too drenched to make it inside!
South Germantown Recreational Park Splash Park and Miniature Golf may be a trek since it's located in northern Montgomery County, but it's certainly a place that you can spend an entire day. Features like a jet water maze, spraying animals, and bucket drops that can drench you upon becoming filled are fun ways to stay cool on the hottest and most humid summer days. Bring your own food since the fare at the vending machines is never enough to satisfy hungry kids who have spent the majority of their day splashing under the sun. Splash Park admission is $5 per person but combine it with a round of mini-golf for $7.50 a ticket.
Rollingcrest-Chillum Splash Park in Prince George's County is well known as being another day where you can spend an entire day splashing to avoid the heat of summer but the indoor facility is also a blessing for those wanting to avoid the sun's harsh rays. The Splash Park offers a sloped beach entry for non-swimmers who want to splash. Little swimmers will enjoy sliding down the drip, otter, and tube slides, hopping between the lily pads that stick up out of the water, and visiting the island play area. The fee for Prince George's County residents is $4 while non-residents pay $5.
Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, Virginia is more than just a local watering hole. While you can't swim in the lake, there's plenty to do on the park's 476 acres but a favorite place to visit in the summer is The Water Mine. Despite the acre that encompasses The Water Mine, the park is geared towards elementary ages but there's plenty for older and younger children too. Tenderfoot Pond is a perfect place for toddlers due to the shrunken size of the slides and gentle bubbling water. Older kids will enjoy a lazy ride in an inner tube as the float around the Rattlesnake River. Parents will appreciate being able to keep an eye on their kids thanks carefully situation chaise lounge chairs on each side of the Rattlesnake River and unobstructed lines of sight. Admission is $13.50, kids under 48" are $11.25, and those two and under are free but a printable coupon for $2 off can be printed for an additional discount.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreational Park provides indoor and outdoor swimming options in southern Montgomery County, Maryland which can be great especially on days where the sky threatens to open up and storm. The indoor kids pool is always comfortably warm and provides nice relief from the blazing sun. It's a wonderful place for toddlers and beginning swimmers. The beach entry has a gentle slope and dump buckets that fill with water to drench those standing below. Head outside to float along in inner tubes in the shallow lagoon that circles the property or enjoy the water slides in the center. If the larger pool is overwhelming, there's a smaller tot pool off to the side for younger children. The shady structures provide a nice place to rest and grab a bite to eat on the hottest of days. Admission for Montgomery County residents is $4 for children and $6 for adults. Non-resident prices range from $6.50-7.50.
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