9 Indoor Water Parks for Family Fun Near DC

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Looking for a quick fall getaway without leaving town? Get vacation vibes without the air travel at these indoor water parks. From a relaxing float in a lazy river at the Dulles South Recreation Center to a toddler-friendly in-water playground at Claude Moore, scroll down for the best places to get beach vibes near Washington, DC.


Germantown Swim Center

A swim meet hot spot, this aquatic venue comes with a whopping 60,000 square feet of lap pools, hydrotherapy pools, diving platforms and springboards. But the biggest attraction for the play-seeking set is the two massive water slides that go from one side of the lap pool to the other. There's also smaller slides and a shallow wading area for the little fish in your school.

Insider tip: Reservations are strongly suggested (but not required). 

Distance from downtown DC: 40 minutes

18000 Central Park Cir.
Boyds, MD
Cost: $6-$8/adults; $4-$7/kids
Online: montgomerycountymd.gov

North Arundel Aquatic Center

You know a water park is the real deal when there's a two-hour play limit per person. But, trust us, the cut off time is totally worth it. The water park is part of a massive swim center that, in addition to two pools, features a 134-foot water slide, splash down area, water buckets, preschool slide, vortex area and a poolside spa for grown-ups. Good to know: Kids must be 3 years old and completely potty trained to swim here.

Distance from downtown DC: 40 minutes

7888 Crain Highway
Glen Burnie, MD
Cost: $6-$8/adults; $4-$6/kids
Online: aacounty.org


The preschool set will fall in love with this year-round splash spot. In addition to a trio of 25 yard lap lanes and a family pool, this community center offers a water play area complete with slides and sprays. If your fall or winter baby has been jonesing for a pool party, they're in luck—this aquatics zone offers indoor poolside parties ($200-$240), complete with 20 admissions and unlimited swimming. PARTY TIME.

Distance from downtown DC: 25 min.

6122 Sargent Rd.
Chillum, MD
Cost: $4-$6
Online: pgparks.com


photo: Massanutten via Yelp WaterPark at Massanutten 

Massanutten Indoor WaterPark

Surfing in the Shenandoah Valley? Why not! Big kids ride the waves of this water park's Pipeline—the largest indoor surf park in Virginia—while little ones slip and slide at the Frog Pond's 12-inch deep pool.  From water cannons and body slides to tipping buckets and wading pools, there's really something for everyone at this water-lovers oasis. And the best part? It's a toasty 84 degrees all year long!

Insider tip:: Capacity is currently limited. Pre-purchase your tickets online to secure entry.

Distance from downtown DC: 2 hours

1822 Resort Drive
McGaheysville, VA
Cost: $38/adults; $26/kids; free/kids under 2
Online: massresort.com

Cub Run Recreational Center

The summer (and winter) chill spot features a leisure pool with a 30-foot-high slide that exits the building in an enclosed tube, a 20-foot-high slide with an open tube, a spa, a vortex, a current channel, an open shallow water area. Plus, tinier tots will work their wiggles out at the smaller slide and zero depth entry temp-controlled pool for tiny tots who need some cooling off (er, warming up).

Distance from downtown DC: 30 minutes

4630 Stonecroft Blvd.
Chantilly, VA
Cost: $6.50-$10/kids and adults; free/kids under 4
Online: fairfaxcounty.gov

Dulles South Recreation and Community Center

You can almost smell the newness at this rec center near IAD. Skip the airport lane and make a detour for one of the largest slides near DC. With a 125-feet of fun, this massive blue slide dumps you into a lazy river for floating fun. Little ones can splash and play on a playground in the water. And don't forget the hot tub for a quick dip into relaxation.

Distance from downtown DC: 50 minutes

24950 Riding Center Dr.
South Riding, VA
Cost: $4/kids; $6/adults; $16 for a family pass
Online: loudoun.gov/Dulles-South-Pools

Claude Moore Recreation Center

Keep your little one out of the splash zone of bigger kids by heading to this indoor water park with a dedicated toddler area. You can float down the lazy river while you keep an eye on your bigger kids (48 inches and up) as they zip down the big blue slide. Or take a relaxing dip in the hot tub (for guests 16 & up). Don't forget to stop by the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum, located in the same complex,

Distance from downtown DC: 40 minutes from downtown DC

46105 Loudoun Park Ln.
Sterling, VA
Cost: $4/kids; $6/adults; $16 for a family pass
Online: loudoun.gov/Claude-Moore-Recreation-Community-Center


Great Wolf Lodge

Make a weekend of it at this indoor water park resort that's just a few minutes from Colonial Williamsburg. Spend the day zipping down River Canyon Run water slide, taking a turn on the Howlin’ Tornado, splashing in the zero-depth wave pool, or relaxing on the lazy river. And then wake up and do it all again the next day. This summer the lodge and 79,000 square foot water park take on a camp theme, complete with craft stations, nightly s'mores, and dance parties. You'll want to take it slow exploring it all.

Distance from downtown DC: 2 and a half hours

549 East Rochambeau Dr.
Williamsburg, VA
Online: greatwolf.com

—Meghan Yudes Meyers and Ayren Jackson-Cannady

featured photo: iStock


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