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

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.


North Arundel Aquatic Center, Glen Burnie
Beat the heat by heading to this indoor water park. Little ones can zip down the toddler water slide, tip water buckets, splash in spouting fountains or play with the interactive built-in toys — all in a zero-entry wading pool. Special preschool swim times ensure a calm and kid-friendly experience. Children must be 3 or older and toilet-trained.

Hours June 18-Aug. 20, 2018: Daily 11 a.m.-7:45 p.m. with the two-hour blocks.
Pool is closed May 5-June 17 for maintenance and July 4.

Admission: Adults, $6 for Anne Arundel County residents, $8 for non-residents; ages 17 and younger, $4 for residents, $6 for non-residents.

7888 Crain Hwy. South; 410-222-0090 or aacounty.org/departments/recreation-parks/recreation/naac

SplashParkGlen DaleW1 Glenn Dale Splash Park, Glenn Dale

This splash park has two levels of fun including spraying mushrooms and floating animals. Two waterslides empty into the shallow waters of a toddler pool — one for small inner tubes and another for traditional sliding. The main pool also has zero-depth entry.

Older kids will love the large flume slide and aquatic adventure area with a lily pad crossing.

Lockers, changing rooms, shade, chairs and vending are on site, including a Rita's Italian Ice.

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

Hours: Open May 26, 2018. Monday-Thursday, noon-5:45 p.m.; Friday-Sunday, noon-6:45 p.m.

11901 Glenn Dale Blvd.; 301-352-8980 or pgparks.com, click on Things to Do, Find a Park and Glenn Dale Splash Park.

The Yards Park and Fountains, Washington, D.C.
This outdoor park has water fun just right for toddlers. There is an 11-inch deep canal that flows into a lower level with waterfalls where tykes can play in a tunnel of dancing fountains. Children younger than 6 must be within arm's reach of an adult, including in the water.

Hours: Daily sunrise- 2 hours after sunset

Admission: Free.

Accessible via Navy Yards Metro, or parking fees starting at $6.

355 South Water St. SE; yardspark.org

Rollingcrest-Chillum Splash Pool, Chillum
This colorful indoor splash park is perfect for preschoolers. The children's area has a playground with slides, tubes and bridges right in the center of the 1-foot deep pool. Interactive toys, sprays and dump buckets keep kids soaked while they play. The main pool also has a zero-depth entry along with a lily pad crossing and an indoor-outdoor tube slide for older kids.

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

Hours: Monday noon-5:45 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday 4 p.m.-5:45 p.m., Friday noon-8:45 p.m., weekends noon-4:45 p.m.

6122 Sargent Rd.; pgparks.com/Things_To_Do/Sports/Aquatics and click on Rollingcrest-Chillum Splash Park

Chesapeake Beach Water Park
This water park has a special place for tots with a beachfront entrance, mushroom fountains and even a frog slide. There are character days during the summer with visits from favorites like Sponge Bob, superheroes and princesses. There is also fun for older kids including big slides, waterfalls and a lazy river. A grill on site has plenty of food choices and there are cabanas and pavilion rentals.

Admission: Chesapeake Beach residents, $9-$10; Calvert County residents, $10-$12; general public $19-$25. Tuesdays half price for Chesapeake Beach residents and free 4-7 p.m.

Hours: May 26-June 15 and Aug. 7-Sept. 5, weekends and holiday Mondays only, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.;
June 17-Aug. 26, Mondays 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fridays July 8-Aug. 12 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. for Night Slide
4079 Gordon Stinnett Ave.; 410-257-1404 or chesapeakebeachwaterpark.com

By Katie Riley

Updated May 2018