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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Water fun in Northern Virginia

Many local communities often have their own swimming pools which are part of a complex or home owners' association, but there are still many communities without pool access unless a pricey summer guest pass is purchased. 


If you don't want to invest in a seasonal pool pass, but are looking for water fun, there are a number of great places in Northern Virginia to find it. 

Here are a few of my top picks:

Atlantis Water Park: Run by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, this pool has the Atlantis theme going on. There are two large water slides and a nice sized pool. If you have little ones, there is also a smaller pool (still good sized) that is about a foot deep and has a slide. There is also a sand area here. This park is located at Bull Run Park in Centreville.

Volcano Island Waterpark: Also run by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, this one is similar to Bull Run's features, but with a Polynesian theme. This park is at the Algonkian Regional Park in Sterling.  

Great Waves Waterpark: Located in Alexandria, this one has a lot to do in its 20 acres including pools, slides and "dry" activities too. I haven't been to this one, but looks to be pretty popular. More information can be found on Great Waves website.

Pirates Cove: Another park run by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, this one has the pirate theme going on and is located on the eastern side of Fairfax County in Lorton.

Splash Down: Located in Manassas, this is also one of the larger water parks in the region. It has two 4-story waterslides, cannonball slides, a leisure pool and a bunch of other activities.

Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole: Run by Fairfax County, this one is geared towards younger (elementary-age) children, but the website says it has "something for everyone." I haven't been to this one yet, but thinking this summer might be a good time to check it out. It is located in Reston.

Northern Virginia Magazine has an extensive list of local pools and water fun, including the indoor REC Centers in Fairfax County. The latter is great for rainy days too when other pools close down. You can pay by the day or buy a number of passes, good for the whole family. 

Sometimes it is worth it to invest in a summer pass to a local community pool, but I often find I don't use it as much as I'd like to, so for me it is much cheaper to take day trips out to one of these fun locations. See websites I've linked for current hours of operation and also day prices and/or summer pass plans, as sometimes these change from year to year.

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