Short of a long-haul flight to somewhere warmer, an indoor water park is the fastest way to get the summer feels in wintery weather. Grab your swimsuit and enjoy a  splish-splashin’ vacation without dipping into your frequent flier miles. From a relaxing float in a lazy river to a toddler-friendly in-water playground, you can find beachy vibes at these Maryland and Virginia-based indoor water parks near Washington, DC.

photo: Joanna H. via Yelp

MARYLAND

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.

Distance from downtown DC: 40 minutes

18000 Central Park Cir.
Boyds, MD
Cost: $6-$8/adults; $4-$7/kids
240-777-6830
Online: montgomerycountymd.gov

 

photo: Heidi F. via Yelp

North Arundel Aqautic 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
410-222-0090
Cost: $6-$8/adults; $4-$6/kids
Online: aacounty.org

photo: C.N. via Yelp

Rollingcrest-Chillum
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
301-853-9155
Cost: $4-$6
Online: pgparks.com

photo: Massanutten Indoor WaterPark

VIRGINIA

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!

Distance from downtown DC: 2 hours

1822 Resort Drive
McGaheysville, VA
540-437-3340
Cost: $38/adults; $26/kids; free/kids under 2
Online: massresort.com

 

photo: The St. James

The St. James Indoor Water Park
With 6,000 square feet of exciting slides, massive water dumping buckets, long distance sprayers and other water-based play features for all ages, you could stay all day here. Not to mention, this water park is housed inside of a 450,000-square foot complex decked out with indoor playing fields, an olympic size pool, a kids activity zone, and so much more. Block out the entire day!

Distance from downtown DC: 25 min.

6805 Industrial Rd.
Springfield, VA
Cost: $15-$20
Online: superawesomeandamazing.com

photo: Heather B. via Yelp

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
703-817-9407
Online: fairfaxcounty.gov

 

 

photo: HGA

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
571-258-3456
Online: loudoun.gov/Dulles-South-Pools

photo: Jason S. via Yelp

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
571-258-3600
Online: https://www.loudoun.gov/1259/Claude-Moore-Recreation-Community-Center

 

photo: Great Wolf Lodge via Yelp

WORTH-THE-DRIVE

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

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549 East Rochambeau Dr.
Williamsburg, VA
800-551-9653
Online: greatwolf.com

 

—Meghan Yudes Meyers and Ayren Jackson-Cannady

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