Keep Your Cool
By Katherine Gotthardt
Well, it’s July. The fireworks are over, it’s hot and the kids are bored. Or maybe you’re the one who’s hot and bored. Or perhaps you have family coming in from out-of-town. You don’t want to go into D.C., and you need a cool activity. What are your options? Fortunately, besides a plethora of private and public pools, Prince William County is local to three large waterparks.
When residents think waterparks, the first one that probably comes to mind is Northern Virginia’s largest, SplashDown, in Manassas. The park offers two, four-story waterslides, a lily pad and log walk, an activity pool, a leisure pool, sand volleyball, five concession stands and yes, shade. For the children, there are the never-ending bubblers and spray fountains in Sandcastle Kids Kove, along with the interactive slides and their own play area.
All in all, it’s thirteen acres of fun for everyone, priced under $15 apiece with special rates for season pass holders and program participants. Those programs include “Mommy Monday,” when moms get in for half price with the purchase of a full price child ticket; Tag-along Tuesday, when season pass holders can bring a friend for half price; Splash-n-Play Playdate Thursdays, when the park hosts a playdate for kids five and under in the kiddy area. Additionally, the park offers group discounts and specials for family nights.
Location: 7500 Ben Lomond Park Drive, Manassas, VA 20110
For more information, visit www.splashdownwaterpark.com.
Conveniently located off Route 29 in Centreville is Bull Run Regional Park’s Atlantis Waterpark. Amid the spacious fields, playgrounds and campground, visitors enjoy a giant dumping bucket, waterslides, food, souvenirs and fun-filled activities, all for under $10 per person.
Atlantis Waterpark boasts a variety of other features for kids of all ages. The waterslides include a 230-foot open slide and a 170-foot ride in complete darkness on the closed slide. A large, main pool offers splashing and swimming space for everyone and provides a play island with slides on three sides. The spacious wading pool (for children six and under) comes complete with a little octopus slide and a sandy area.
The centerpiece of the waterpark is the enormous dumping bucket and play features of the splash pad area. Covered slides, open slides, water cannons, sprayers, showers and more create a water party for all under the mighty dumping bucket. The splash pad is also the place to find water cannons, showers, sprinklers, smaller buckets, fountains and more.
Location: 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville, VA 20121
For more information, visit, www.atlantisbullrun.com.
In Eastern Prince William County, there is the family and group-friendly Waterworks. For under $10 per person, visitors can enjoy several slides, water obstacles, wading pools, shaded shore lounge cabana areas and a full-service snack bar.
The two-level children’s wading pool includes colorful crayon sprays, slides, a rope climb, geysers, bubblers and a whale slide. There’s a spacious beach entry, an enclosed speed slide and circular open slide, as well as three “jungle walks.” Plenty of shade is available in the pavilions, too.
Activities at Waterworks include parent/tot playdates, swim lessons, a junior lifeguard camp and a beach entry.
Location: 5301 Dale Blvd., Dale City, VA 22193
For more information, visit www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/park/waterworks.
All three parks are staffed by professional lifeguards.