Fountains are no longer just a pretty display of water to look at. Which means treating your kids to a fun way to cool down this summer no longer requires a suitcase worth of pool supplies. With many spray grounds and splash pads scattered around the DMV, you can play in the spray, splash in the sun, and cool yourselves down with little more than a swim suit and some sunscreen.

South Germantown Splash Ground

On summer’s hottest days when you just wish someone would dump a bucket of cold water onto your head, try the Splash Ground at South Germantown Recreational Park. The large outdoor spray ground boasts a 280-jet water maze, mist-spraying faux rock formations; a waterfall-enclosed cave; and, yes, buckets brimming with cold water that randomly dump. You’ll also find smaller fountains for the less enthusiastic kiddos. There’s also tables with umbrellas for shade and a mini-golf area.

18056 Central Park Circle (Boyds, Md)
Cost: $5
Dates: Memorial Day-Labor Day
Times: Daily, 10 am - 6 pm

What’s your family’s favorite spray park? Let us know in the comment section below.

—Tricia Mirchandani and Jamy Bond

Photos courtesy of Capitol Riverfront BID via Flickr, hollyloo via Flickr, catomatic92 via Flickr, Wayan Vota via Flickr, smata2 via Flickr, Flickr Dave via Flickr, pcopros via Flickr, homerclees via Flickr, Great Waves, Ocean Dunes, grobinette via Flickr, Rachel Gonzales via Flickr