Baby, it’s cold outside! You know what that means? Grab your swimsuit – it is the perfect time of year to visit one of the indoor swimming pools in the DC area. Swimming is not just a summertime activity. The DC Department of Parks and Recreation operates twelve indoor pools throughout the District, which DC residents can access for free. There are several nearby indoor swimming options in Maryland and Virginia, as well as some not-so-nearby options that are worth the drive. Below are some of our favorite indoor pools accessible from DC.
DC and Beyond: Our Favorite Indoor Pools in the DMV
Located in Tenleytown, the Wilson Aquatic Center is fun for the entire family year-round. There is a zero-entry kiddie pool with basketball hoops and a bucket feature, as well as an Olympic-sized pool for lap swimming. Turkey Thicket and Takoma Park are also great facilities for kids in DC.
This Chantilly, Virginia recreation center proudly states that swimming is not an afterthought at the Cub Run RECenter. We agree! Cub Run has two big kid-approved waterslides, a lazy river, and an in-water playground. Be sure to check the leisure pool calendar online. The leisure pool has some afternoon closures during the week.
Need a dose of paradise this winter? Then head to Boyds, Maryland. This leisure pool is flanked by faux palm trees and a miniature volcano with waterslides. There are splash features for littles, as well as a competition pool and diving platforms for more serious swimmers.
The main attraction at the North Arundel Aquatic Center waterpark in Glen Burnie, Maryland, is a 134-foot waterslide. But be warned, this may not be the best place for toddlers. All swimmers must be 3-years old and fully potty trained. No diapers of any kind, including swim diapers, are permitted.
Road Trip Worthy Indoor Waterparks
Game for a road trip? If you are in for some serious indoor waterpark fun, consider a road trip to Great Wolf Lodge or Massanutten. Both are about two and a half hours from DC.
Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor waterpark resort in Williamsburg, Virginia. You can slide all day, attend evening story time with Great Wolf’s characters, spend the night, and do it again. The indoor waterpark has a giant tree fort with multiple levels of cannons and a giant tipping bucket, a lazy river, several big kid waterslides, and a toddler-friendly pool with smaller tipping buckets and slides.
Have ski bunnies and fish? Then, consider a trip to Massanutten, Virginia. Massanutten is a ski resort, complete with tubing and an ice skating rink. But it is also a huge indoor waterpark. The centerpiece of the waterpark is the Massanutten Meltdown, a huge multi-level feature with slides, cannons, waterfalls, and a giant tipping bucket.
Forget the road trip; I want more options in DC!
We have you covered. The complete list of all DC Department of Parks and Recreation indoor pools can be found here.