The Best Neighborhood Pools, Splash Parks and Water Parks in the D.C.-Metro Area

Local Spotlight Fleur Howgill August 8, 2023

Summer is almost over, but there’s still some time left to dive into your local neighborhood pool.

Luckily, the Washington D.C. metro area has no shortage of pools, splash parks, and even water parks for residents.

Whether you like to soak up the sun, make a splash, or get your heart racing, having a swimming pool or splash park nearby is at the top of the list when it comes to Washington D.C.’s neighborhood amenities.

The Many Benefits of D.C.-Area Neighborhood Pools

Neighborhood pools in the D.C.-metro area offer the best of both worlds: a local place to get in a few laps of exercise in the morning or take a leisurely, relaxing dip at the end of the day. Plus, most of them are free for residents!

Some other perks include:

  • Bring the kids to practice their strokes or just splash in the shallow end of the pool for a fun and safe summer activity. 
  • Pack a tote with sunscreen, reading materials, snacks, and drinks, and turn your weekend trip to the pool into a mini-vacation. 
  • Improve your fitness and relaxation levels with some low-impact water aerobics classes or swim laps.
  • Make friends and get to know your neighbors by striking up a poolside conversation.

Outdoor Public Pools

The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation manages 23 outdoor neighborhood pools, all of which are free for D.C. residents. Non-residents can purchase a daily pass or season pass. Outdoor pools will close in waves beginning on Sunday, August 6, 2023, and with the last closures on Labor Day, Monday, September 4, 2023. See the full list here.

Some of the most popular neighborhood pools in D.C. include Banneker Pool in the Shaw neighborhood, Francis Pool in Foggy Bottom/West End, and the tree-shaded Volta Park Pool in Georgetown.

Outside of the city, the Old Town Pool in Alexandria has eight 25-yard lap lanes and a diving well, and a separate one-to-three-foot depth training pool with a ramp available for small children. In Maryland, the Martin Luther King Jr.  Outdoor Pool in Silver Springs features a six-lane main pool, an eight-lane diving pool, and a leisure pool featuring a shallow water lagoon with slides, water play features, and a lazy river.

Find the full list of Montgomery County outdoor pools here; Prince George’s County’s here; Fairfax County’s here; City of Alexandria’s here and Arlington County’s here.

Public Splash Parks

Splash parks (or, in the case of D.C.) spray parks, are small outdoor parks equipped with kid-friendly fountains that are perfect for splashing around and escaping the summer heat. There are 16 spray parks in D.C. with at least one in every ward. Here’s the full list.

Langdon Park Pool combines a pool and a spray park. Georgetown Waterfront Park offers “fountain splashing” for children and adults alike, while the Petworth Recreation Center is home to one of the city's best kids’ spray parks.

Across the Potomac River, Arlington’s Virginia Highlands Park has fountains, dumping buckets, and various spraying elements. In Maryland, kids and moms love the SplashPark at South Germantown Recreational Park, which features a 280-jet water maze as well as dumping buckets, a slide, spraying animals, and a cave with a waterfall.

Find the full list of Arlington’s splash parks here, and Fairfax County’s here.

Water Parks

If you really want to make a day of sliding and splashing, head to the D.C.-area suburbs for a day at a water park. NOVA Parks operate five waterparks throughout Northern Virginia, including Great Waves Waterpark in Alexandria, Ocean Dunes Waterpark in Arlington’s Upton Hill Regional Park, and Volcano Island, an island-themed waterpark in Sterling.

Six Flags America’s Hurricane Harbor is Maryland’s largest water park and the perfect place to beat the heat. Located in Bowie (only 18 miles from D.C.) Hurricane Harbor features rides with names like Paradise Plunge, RipQurl Blaster, and Tornado.

On the tamer side, the Water Park at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg, Maryland has an island resort theme with palm trees, multiple slides, inflatable animals, and a “tumble bucket” water feature for children to enjoy.

Fun in the Summer Sun

The D.C. area is full of great neighborhood pools, splash parks, and water parks, and with Labor Day right around the corner, now’s the time to plan your last splash.

If you’re looking for a new home in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia and want to know where the best neighborhood swimming pools are located, we can help.

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