Nine pools and splash parks perfect for preschoolers and fun for older kids

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There are plenty of spraygrounds and swimming facilities in the Annapolis/Washington, D.C. area that offer a safe way for tots to keep cool. Kate Simson's 3-year-old son can't get enough of the water fun at the Ellen Linson Splash Park in College Park. "We love going there," says Simson, of Laurel. "It's a great way to stay cool on a hot day. Plus, I don't have to worry about him in a deeper pool with older kids and adults."

Splash1W1The park recently underwent a major renovation and the new splash area has an "amusement park" feel, according to Tara Eggleston, assistant division chief and aquatics director for Prince George's County Parks and Recreation. There's a beachfront entry, fountains, and buckets that fill up and dump water from above.

"It's a good alternative for parents who don't want to take small children to one of the larger water parks in the area," Eggleston says.

If you want to find a place where you don't have to worry about your little one wading into deep waters, check out the nine parks below for the 6 and under set.

Spraygrounds and pools for toddlers

Ellen E. Linson Splash Park, College Park
This recently renovated park has a large splash pool with tipping buckets, spray features and floating alligators, plus two toddler slides that empty into 2 feet of water. The beachfront entry makes it easy for little swimmers to get wet, and a separate wading pool with a spray whale is perfect for tots who like a quieter experience.

Older kids can use the main pool with a lily pad crossing, larger slide and six lap lanes. There's also an aqua climbing wall.

Lockers, vending machines, changing rooms, umbrellas and lounge chairs are all available.

Admission: Adults, $6 for PG County residents, $8 for non-residents; ages 3-17, $5 for residents, $7 for non-residents; children 2 and under, free

5211 Paint Branch Pkwy.; 301-277-3717 or pgparks.com and click on Things to Do, Find a Park and search for Ellen E. Linson Splash Park.

Roger Carter Community Center, Ellicott City
The center has a splash pad and swim center for swimmers of all ages. Colorful pipes spray onto a padded outdoor deck, while overhead buckets dump water to keep kids cool. The outdoor splash pad is connected to an enormous indoor swim center with a zero-depth entry pool that has a retractable roof and walls for summer use.

There are lockers, vending machines and a fitness center on site.
SplashParkRogerCarter2W1

Admission: Ages 3-59, $5; children under 3, free

Hours: Call ahead or check online for splash pad and general swim schedule, which changes weekly.

3000 Milltowne Dr.; 410-313-2764 or howardcountymd.gov/rccc.htm

Cove Point Park Pool, Lusby
This partially shaded toddler pool offers a zero-depth entry wading pool with spouting whale and fountains for splashing. Older siblings will enjoy the windy waterslides in the main pool.

Concession stand is on-site with a playground nearby.

Admission: Resident Adults, $6; residents ages 3-17, $4; ages 2 and younger, free
Non-resident Adults, $8; non-residents ages 3-17, $6

Hours: Weekends Memorial Day through June 10, 2018. Then Weekdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; weekends, noon-8 p.m.

750 Cove Point Rd.; 410-394-6248 or co.cal.md.us and search the site for Cove Point Park Pool.

Click Next below for five more spraygrounds and pools perfect for preschoolers.

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