Volcano Island Waterpark - Credit: http://www.nvrpa.org/

Summer has arrived with full force. As the thermometer creeps increasingly upwards, water parks provide entertaining relief from the summer sun. Water parks feature an array of activities that will keep the whole family happy and allow for some great memories.

Six Flags America – Hurricane Harbor
13710 Central Ave.
Mitchellville, Maryland.
(301) 249-1500 and (800) 491-4FUN
http://www.sixflags.com/america/index.aspxFor the ultimate water park experience, go to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. This park features rides for all levels of thrill seekers. Try the Tornado which drops riders more than seven stories into a huge funnel. Or, enjoy one of the largest wave pools in the country. Hurricane Harbor also offers several dining options throughout the park from burgers and fries to adult beverages.

Splash Down Waterpark
7500 Ben Lomond Park Drive
Manassas, VA 20109
http://www.splashdownwaterpark.com/Here’s a taste of what you’ll experience at Splash Down: activity pools, lap pools, fountains, cannon ball slides (developed for extra speed!), four story dual slides, a simulated beach and a lazy river. This impressive list ensures that every member of the family will find a favorite activity that keeps them coming back summer after summer. Additionally, Splash Down rates are reasonable and run $14.95 for adults and $10.95 for children shorter than 48 inches.

Volcano Island Waterpark
7001 Fairway Drive
Sterling, VA 20165
http://www.nvrpa.org/park/downpour_at_algonkianSituated in the heart of the scenic Algonkian Regional Park, Volcano Island features a Polynesian theme that sets a unique atmosphere. Surprises abound. The architecture features palm trees, “lizards” crawling over the slides and even a realistic smoking volcano. Kids will wait in anticipation as a huge bucket that hangs above the play area fills with water and eventually tips over to soak everyone in the pool. To get a 360 degree tour of the park visit: http://www.nvrpa.org/park/downpour_at_algonkian

Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole
1400 Lake Fairfax Dr.
Reston, VA 20190
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/rec/watermine/The Water Mine is another family favorite water park in the DC area. The Water Mine features an Old West theme complete with covered wagon slides and “rattlesnakes” floating around the pool. However, the crown jewel of the park is Pete’s Peak which recreates old mine shafts and tunnels which culminate with a ride down twin slides. Adults will enjoy relaxing down the lazy Rattlesnake River while the kids discover a taste of the West. Additionally, if the family is seeking even more summer fun, the surrounding Lake Fairfax provides the opportunity for pedal boating and canoeing.

Pirate’s Cove Waterpark
6501 Pohick Bay Drive
Lorton, VA 22079
http://www.nvrpa.org/park/pohick_bay/content/outdoor_poolPirate’s Cove is ideal for younger kids. Little ones will enjoy searching for buried treasure in the sand area and shooting water cannons. Much like Volcano Island, Pirate’s Cove features an immense 300-gallon dumping bucket. Additionally, Pirate’s Cove offers swim lessons as well as convenient birthday packages.