There is nothing like a pool in the summer time. The warmth of the sun plus the coolness of the water equal a perfect combination. I enjoy pools, beaches and waterparks best on a warm but slightly overcast day. Such a day presented itself and we took the bait!
We drove around the Beltway to SplashDown Waterpark, 13 acres of pure fun! Just south of Dulles Airport, SplashDown is like a waterpark + playground rolled into one. Not only are there fun waterslides, fountains, and pools but there are three volleyball courts (two on sand!), a tennis court, and soccer field. Add in the delicious food and you have the perfect experience.
Our intention was to arrive in time for the SplashDown Playdate, a time set apart for children under age 5 to enjoy the park Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 – 10:30a prior the official opening (just $4 per child and free for parents). However, between the traffic and lights, we didn’t make it. It didn’t dampen our fun. We just waited a little while and entered during regular admission.
The first water feature RJ noticed was the Lazy River. We picked up a complimentary life jacket, grabbed an inner tube and jumped in! We were having so much fun, I hardly noticed that my 10-month old had dropped her pacifier in the water somewhere around the half-way mark and was now eating leaves! Oh well!
After negotiating with RJ that we would come back to the Lazy River later in the day, he agreed to explore the rest of the Park. Sandcastle Kids Kove is the perfect oasis for infants and toddlers.
You can sit your infant under the shaded umbrellas to play with the gentle springs…
while your toddler enjoys the children’s area built just for him/her…
Splish Splash, a winding slide in the same area, moved at just the right speed for an adventurous, or not so adventurous, toddler. This time I had to negotiate with my 10-month old as she was truly enjoying having free-reign in this area. While the ground looked and felt like stone, it was had some “give” so it was pleasant for her little knees.
We made our way to the Activity Pool which started at a depth of 3.5 feet. Children can use their life jackets to float around independently…
…and enjoy the inflatables while parents are able to easily stand to assist them. This time I had to pry both children out of the pool. If not for my promise of pizza, I’m not sure how I would have done it.
Did I already say the food was delicious? Yes, it was. You may be surprised by the many options available. From salads and popcorn chicken, to corn dogs and nachos. There were Dipping Dots and smoothies, funnel cakes and brownies, pulled pork and onion rings, subs and wraps. Something for the health nuts and something for the rest of us. And, it was all yummy! (this picture is post-food: see that smiling face!)
After lunch, RJ noticed the sand. I’m sorry. I just wasn’t ready to battle with removing sand out of clothes and hair so, I used my “get out of sand FREE card” by suggesting returning to the Lazy River! It worked! And, would you believe, after two hours, we found that pacifier!?!
We really enjoyed SplashDown Waterpark. If we lived closer, I would purchase a season pass. There’s free parking. The water depth and water temperature were just right. There was plenty of shade. It wasn’t too crowded. Lots of lounge chairs. Nice, clean bathrooms! It seems as if the designers of the Park had every age group and eater in mind.
Take a day to enjoy Northern Virginia’s largest waterpark! It truly is “like a day at the beach without the drive.”
(Originally published on Dulles Moms, “your resource to children’s and family-friendly events and activities in the Greater Dulles area!”)