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What I Love Wednesday: The Spray Park

2012 June 26
by Becky

How are you staying cool this summer? We are hitting up the Lee District “Our Special Harbor” spray park.

In a word? It’s the BOMB. 

I may be even more excited about this place than Ethan. 

Designed for all kids, of ALL abilities, this spray park is the thing to do during the hot days of summer. It’s about 15 minutes from our house too, making it an easy answer to those “what are we going to do today?” questions.

It opens every day (now that school is out) at 11am. A small line forms outside the gate each morning, full of kids in adorable swim suits, water shoes, and sun hats, their moms and dads smearing thick sunscreen on their tiny bodies while they attempt to squirm away. Some kids escape (mine included) and run to the park fence, squeezing their faces through the bars for a closer look at the shooting, squirting water mecca unfolding before their eyes. Ethan says “boat” (there is a huge boat complete with masts) and “wa-wa” over and over until we are finally admitted to enter.

It’s quite the cute-tastic spectacle.

It’s zero-depth (making drowning a near-impossibility) and everything is pint-sized for kiddos. The capacity is also limited so you can actually find your child when they run off toward some amazing water attraction. There are shady areas with chairs and clean restrooms for diaper changes. AKA, Family Central.

We visited the water park once last year, but Ethan wasn’t walking yet and, while he found the water to be really fun, he was a little too young to take advantage of the facility. Now, he is the PERFECT age so we go at least twice a week. He plays and plays until he is so overstimulated and tired that he begs for me to pick him up.

He loves the water tables…they are like the one in our backyard but on steroids. He splashes until he can’t see anymore because of all the water in his eyes. Then he goes at it again when his vision clears.

Drinking of water is of course involved in the fun. He can’t help himself. There is just something so fun about drinking water! (good thing it’s filtered and not overly chlorinated…at least this is what I tell myself)

Families of all shapes and sizes surround us at the park. Big kids, toddlers, babies in slings, moms, dads, pregnant moms (wearing those bellies like an accessory!), grandmas, and grandpas. One thing is for sure, everyone has a good time.

Lots of you have been requesting videos, so I’m going to be better about including them…I have SO much video, it’s just the editing that takes time. But here is a quick one of Ethan having a ball in the water.

Like I said, he doesn’t make it long, only about 30-45 minutes tops. And since the park doesn’t open till 11am, we always pack a lunch to eat on the grassy areas surrounding the park. We may play for a few minutes on the covered (yes, covered!) playground nearby, but by 12:45 we are headed home for nap time.

He never makes it.

There are a few other spray parks in our area, but we’ve yet to check them out. This one is close, super fun, and hard to top. I can’t believe how many people don’t know about this incredible summer activity right here in the DC Metro/NOVA area.

And it’s FREE!!! You just walk right in. 

So if you ever want to go, give us a call! We’re always up for some water fun.

What outdoor activities are you doing this summer? 

3 Responses
  1. Linda Johnson permalink
    June 27, 2012

    Love the Video of Ethan at the water park!! He is having so much fun…then down for a nap..too cute!!

    What a great place for kids and adults alike.

  2. Grandpa Joe permalink
    June 27, 2012

    Love the Video.
    Ethan will have a water/splash park at Riverside Discovery Center when he visits here next week. And we’ll be ready with his own personal splash-water-and-slide park here……….with a herd of guinea hens.
    See ya soon.

  3. Sandy Schon permalink
    June 27, 2012

    Dad took my response!! Loved the video. Yes, lots more of those.

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